Thursday, April 8, 2004

Reality TV?

I'm thoroughly disgusted.  Has anyone seen the new Fox Reality TV show The Swan?  The premise: A group of "average women" undergo a 3-month transformation with hopes to earn a spot in a beauty pageant, to then compete against eachother for the title of The Swan.  The hook: It takes a team of twelve professionals and reconstructive surgery to get them there.  Oh sure, there's a workout program and psychotherapy - which they'll need from the trauma of surgery!  This show is grossly American!

One woman last night had to speak - to hear her own voice - in order to recognize herself in the mirror.  Today, on the radio I heard things like, "Way to go. You look beautiful now."  Gag! Spit! Puke!  The sickest part about it is, these women looked beautiful before the surgeries.  Mostly, their issues revolve around self-esteem and self-worth.

No no, the truly sickest part is, they take us on this 3-month journey with two women at a time [each week] and show the transformation at the end of the show.  But only one of the two will get to go to The Pageant for a chance to become dubbed The Swan

How about that huh?  Hey, 3 months of reconstructive surgery, away from your family and friends, on a strict diet, workout program and intensive therapy [with no mirrors whatsoever], and "sorry, you're still not good enough to qualify for a beauty pageant."

Ick!  I'm ashamed to say, I somehow got sucked in.  I watched the entire episode - and weeped at the end.  Perhaps grieving over our sick, sad American culture.

Anyone else?  Thoughts?

37 comments:

harborkin said...

i know. can you believe that they actually didn't put the O.C. on just for that stupid show?!?!

mallory4284 said...

Yes, sadly, I did watch it. And I agree with you, I didn't see anything wrong with the two of them before they had all that surgery done. They just had major self-esteem issues. I felt so bad for the girl that ended up winning. Her husband was a real jerk.

And, is it just me, or does it seem a little ironic to boost their self esteem by basically saying, "congratulations we think you're one of the sixteen ugliest women in america. We will now conform you to how we, as spokespeople for society, think you should look to be considered beautiful!!"

Everyone's always saying that you don't have to be a supermodel to be beautiful, yet they have a show where to be considered beautiful, you have to be transformed into a supermodel?? That doesn't make sense to me....

-- Mallory

geminiwilder said...

i watched american idol, but refused to watch that crapola show that followed!  i do enjoy an occasional EXTREME MAKEOVER - but the HOME edition, not the HUMAN ones!!!  I guess if people really want to do these things to themselves, ok for them....but i don't want to watch it!  YUCK.  

irun01 said...

You, my dear, are absolutely right.  I didn't watch it, and I refuse to watch it.  Having worked with teens, I have seen far too many young women have their self esteems crushed because they didn't think they were "attractive" enough, "skinny" enough, or "smart" enough.  The truly beautiful woman is the one who recognizes her tanlents (whatever they may be), recognizes her beauty (however it may be displayed) and realizes that she has a gift to offer the rest of us.  

sepintx said...

Seen the promos, but tonight was Survivor night! I'll have to check out more "quality" FOX programing another evening. Plastic Surgery TV. Doesn't MTV have something similar?

s0ngbird1962 said...

I watched it.... It came on after AI results.  Then after the Swan, I watched the Bachelor.  Man, reality TV has sucked me in, bad....  I truly thought that the "winner" looked a bit like a guy in drag....  I totally agree that they didn't need all that surgery to *look better*.  All they truly needed was more self esteem and an exercise/eat right program....And they could have done that without losing 3 months of their lives.

There's nothing wrong with looking "average"....  I think I would miss my old face if I ever had plastic surgery.

donah42 said...

Freee, you can find my disgust chronicled in my journal tonight. I'm still in shock, on so many levels.

noirtec said...

I refuse to see this show! I can't believe we as a nation have gone down to this level. *sigh*

derossetfamily said...

Ive seen the commercials, and at this point in reality tv-dom, Im just like, whatever dude. Theres something pretty sick behind the premise of these shows, but even sicker are the ratings. Why do we keep watching? I hardly even watch tv anymore unless it's something really good, like Newlyweds :P
~Mary

annalisa135 said...

I saw the previews for it, but haven't actually watched the show.  It was a bit too graphic for me with all the medical gore.  I think that its a real shame that people can't be happy with themselves without major plastic surgery, starvation, & extreme makeovers.  There are so many more serious issues in this world.  What kind of message are we sending our youth with this kind of show on the air?  

babyshark28 said...

I just don't watch much tv anymore.  but, if I did...I would most likely watch this.  To witness the transformation, to watch how the women dealt with things emotionally, like a scientist watching some poor rats. It's horrid.  I couldn't believe it when I saw the previews.   no mirrors whatsoever to watch yourself change!  incredible.  The human mind can't really mentally process things like that...to see yourself suddenly after all the surgeries, and say...that's me.  and your brain...no it's not.
ugh...
I could go on...

ondinemonet said...

With each new "reality" show comes a new found level of disgust! That certainly is a good, healthy image for our young women to follow. Sad. Take care, Carly :)

queenz43 said...

Hey Freee. I watched it too after AI. At first I SWORE I wouldn't watch it but just like a gaper at a car wreck, I tuned in. I agree with the commenter who said that it is a shame that we can't feel good about ourselves without surgery. You try to tell yourself that if this what will make them feel better about themselves then nothing is wrong with it but you know inside that really it is sad. I felt for both young women and their self-esteem issues having always struggled with self-esteem issues myself. But it was the blonde that really stood out inasmuchas even though she was "made over" if you look into her eyes the same person and same problems are now just covered by a boob job and make-up. I feel what problems these young ladies are dealing with can't be solved that easily. You can alter how you look but that doesn't necessarily mean that will alter how you feel or deal with your life. Sorry to make a journal entry with my thoughts but just wanted to put them out there. Have a good one Freee. Hugs~RC~

deabvt said...

Happy Easter, Freee.   I don`t really watch Tv, `cept for Sports, so can`t comment.
Vince

andreakingme said...

GREAT topic, Trishy! (You can't do any of these great topics while I'm gone, though. Be boring. And short winded.)

Ahem.

I saw previews for this show and was intrigued. I love watching the makeover shows. I love seeing the makeover-ee gasp at his or her new appearance. It always makes me cry because I'm a big fat sap. (I sobbed like someone had just died when I saw an episode of A Wedding Makeover. It was truly disgusting.)

But, yeah. Reality TV is sweeping the nation. And the more shocking the better, it seems. This show's premise (which I wasn't aware of till I read your Entry) as it concerns beauty pageant material sucks. It's a rotten thing to put those girls through after they've gone through all the makeover stuff, and it's a rotten thing to put the watching audience through.

This is why I rarely read fashion magazines or watch beauty pageants. They just aren't realistic. How's that for irony?

montaukny said...

Hi Freee!  I've seen the previews of the show, but didn't actually watch it...so don't ask me.  LOL   I have gotten into "Extreme Makeover," however.  It's probably not that much better, but at least they're not competing in a pagent @ the end.  I wonder what kinds of reality shows will be next?  ~Aunt Nub~

karensull12 said...

I couldn't stomach more that 5 minutes then switched over to that other brainless reality tv show, the bachelor.  I think it's incredibly sad that the message we are sending to just about anyone who will bother listening is that what we are is not good enough.  No wonder everyone has self esteem issues.

lifes2odd said...

I can't believe I missed it!!
Martha ~ http://beta.journals.aol.com/lifes2odd/PsychoMom/

karynetaylor said...

TV plain scares me nowadays. Supposedly it is what "the people" want, right, cuz it's based on making a profit, by selling ads, have to have people watching, all that. So what does that say about society?

I can stop overanalyzing long enough to think, well, the runner-up got the three months of self-improvement she signed up for, even if she didn't win. Now that's not so bad.

~ Karyn

krobbie67 said...

"This show is grossly American!" <--- You sound soooo European! LOL! Why are you watching this garbage? Much to my old roommate's chagrin, I am a Reality TV addict. My current addiction is "The Apprentice." However, these Extreme Makeover types just digust me too! :-) ---Robbie

somenuttychic said...

How sad. Pathetic and sad. I feel sorry for those women.

indigosunmoon said...

Shows like this one make me sick.  Do you remember a show, I think it was on ABC called  "Are you Hot?"   This was similar to this other show, minus the thousands of dollars of major reconstructive surgery.   The contestants would go before a panel of judges, and the judges would scrutenize <sp> them, and tell them if they were "hot" enough to go on.  I was furious with the concept of this show!  I wrote ABC about it!  I told them if thats the only kind of television they could put out, that they might as well go out of business.  Luckily, the show was cancelled.  Dont people have enough self esteem issues without shows like this???

musenla said...

First off, I have to say that I haven't seen this show.  Secondly, I hate Fox, and I don't have to see this show to know that this show blows!  

What is wrong with these women?!  Are they so insecure, so lacking in self-esteem that they would subject themselves to literally making themselves over and inhabiting another person's body/face to feel good about themselves?

As a society we do have an obssession with beauty and youth, but the buck stops at the feet of each one of us.  If we just collectively say ENOUGH to insanity like this, it will stop!

aims814 said...

Hey! I knew you'd feel this way, especially since we were chatting while you were watching it. :) I actually liked it better than I thought I would. Happiness is a state of mind, and in their minds they were average, although, to you and me they were already beautiful women. I've done makeovers for 20 years, and I know that there is something special and uplifting about getting a new hair-do, or a little makeup, losing a few pounds, etc.. It's the one-hour-long infomercial for cosmetic surgery that bothered me to no end! And THEN having these already, insecure women compete against one another made me really sad. I was never one to do the beauty contest thing, bc I always thought it was...setting young girls up for let down and self doubt. e.g.~ "I'm not good enough" etc. I remember some of my friends would be depressed and cry in highshool after losing these contests. Remember the cosmetic surgeon who said, "Oh, what are we gonna do about that nose?" I wondered then, how this girl felt when she watched the show later and heard all the negative feedback? All in all, still..I think they got what they wanted when they went into it, which was to feel better about themselves, and to appear "prettier" to those in society who thinks everyone should be perfect.. but I wish they would have spent more time on counseling and less time on the surgery. And...I wonder how many women saw that show and decided they needed to go this extreme? I could go on and on..but this is your post. :P Good entry! Love you! xo

grodygeek said...

Okay, so you watched it.

At least you admit it and admit to the internal strife it created during the show and the nausea that boiled up after you thought about it.

I agree with everything you said here.

Gordy

jennipooh3597 said...

Oh...I haven't seen *that* one!  What's an "average woman"?  Never heard of one of those ;)  I *did* get hooked on "Joe Schmo"... or whatever one that was where the guy didn't KNOW he was on a reality tv show... I felt so bad for him... but, still.... I was hooked!  But, the one you outlined above... it just reinforces the idea of "never good enough"... even WITH surgery, diets and "enhancements"... Unbelievable.  And still... I often fall victim to the idealogy of "not good enough"... ya know?  But... it *is* getting better!  (it's that 35 thanggggggg :)  Love, Jenn

sonensmilinmon said...

Freee, I've completely missed that ... gratefully so after reading your entry.  I hadn't even heard of the show.  It seems so demoralizing ~ what else can we expect from American TV?

Mon

kathlyna22 said...

aaah, Free that is so sad. I think I would probably get sucked in too, but who are these people who create these shows? Just stay away from me!
Kathleen

jeanyu said...

Interesting! Never watched that pro. But watched the apprentice and 1st survivor, hated Omorosa and Jerri...

jcgeorgiapeach said...

Swans are mean birds anyway.  Who would want to aspire to be one?  I, on the other hand, prefer to hang out with the "ugly ducklings".  There's more of em and they have so much more fun because they don't give a rat's patookie what the swans think.  ~Peachy

c82trinity said...

nice to hear that someone else is disgusted by those shows and somehow they do seem so sink you into them. I think because it is so unbelievable.

goldenchildnc said...

FREEE!!! OMG! Yes, I'm sad to say I saw it. And like you, I was so incredibly sad by the end I hardly knew what to do with myself. But then remember, we do live in a society where 9 times out of 10 a person with equal or better credentials is snubbed out of a job because their competitor may be taller or more attractive, where more people vote for an American Idol than vote for the president of the US. Screwed values. Sad but true.

redskunk187 said...

Yeah.. That's why I don't have a tv.

txsguinan said...

Oh my lord ~ I just clicked the link and saw the gallery of these perfectly fine looking women.  I didn't see anything that a little diet, exercise and a visit to a salon wouldn't improve.  The whole concept here is reprehensible.  What in the world are we doing to ourselves?  I'm all for looking your best, but surely this is cruel and excessive.  And to present the whole miserable experiment as entertainment is obscene.  It all just makes me sick... :P

slowmotionlife said...

Eurgh.  Yeah, some of those reality shows really irk me.  Like the marriage ones or anything related to love or any show that purposefully aims to embarrass the participants.  Gross, indeed!  

bridgetteleigh75 said...

Funny....but I said the exact same things you've written here to Doug.  I was so disgusted by this show...but like you, I watched the whole thing.  I couldn't believe the transformations.  Actually, the show wouldn't be quite so horrible if the pageant issue didn't come up at the end.  That was just cruel.  

So yea...some days I think American culture is going in the toilet.  

vettegrl1978 said...

yuck...i don't know what else I can say about this except that I fully agree.  It's disgusting....not just the show itself, but the fact that we live in a society that would end up producing a show like this.