Fluff (the Moderator) had the brilliant idea for a thread to sleuth out why women in "our" demographic watch this show? I'm always fascinated by the 4-5 women who produce for this show season after season. What is the appeal (beyond a paycheck)? What about the viewers? There is no question that these shows garner ratings, not just active discussion among a few diehards. Does it matter?
From time to time, we should have some reading material. It's Saturday. Let's kick it off with light reading: an Access Hollywood blog.
If anyone has other on topic reading materials to contribute to this thread, that would be great.
Lifelong learners are we, eh?
Misogyny Rules - Access Hollywood
“Please, please, pleeeeease pick me, Bret!” “Flav, I'll do anything to keep my clock tickin'!” “Of course I'll accept this rose!”
Such are the most common, most belittling begs of reality television today. And boy are people watching. VH1's "Rock of Love" was the highest rated cable reality show on television. Twenty women vying for the love of Bret Michaels? The makeup-wearing, bandana-obsessed (could there be any other reason than a thinning and receding hairline?), 44-year-old "Poison" band member.
Be it the build up of living with, and competing against, other women desperate for Bret's attention, or the appeal of having a real-life rocker boyfriend, these twenty, thirty, and on occasion, forty-somethings, give it all they've got in order to receive one-on-one dates with his Highness.
How these women validate it to their parents is beyond me.
"Well mom and dad, I'm going on 'Rock of Love,' you know, to compete with other women for the adoration of Bret Michaels.
"What do you mean, 'Who?' The guy that was really popular when you were in labor with me! Duh."
From "The Bachelor" to "Flavor of Love," the misogyny of reality television has reached an all time high. Women are willing to do ANYTHING to win the "love" of the man calling all the shots. Rumors of sexual favors peppered the first season of "Rock of Love" (not that Bret chose the woman accused of servicing him after hours).
Flava Flav's girls don't even pretend not to know what will most likely keep them around. They openly admit to needing "alone" time with the skinny, 48-year-old former Public Enemy rapper.
Even on "I Love New York," one of the few shows where a woman is in the choosing position, the men still run the show. "New York," (or Tiffany as she's known by her family), placates each man, one by one. She morphes into whatever she needs to morph into in order to keep the guys’ attention. A dash of high drama here, and a pinch of "Oh no you didn't" there, Tiffany tricks viewers into believing that she is in the driver's seat. But the former Flava Flav disciple-slash-reject was doomed from the start.
Kids who (inevitably) watch these shows see a very strong message. For little girls, they see their bodies as the way to get what they want -- by using sex as a sure way to beat out the competition.
For young boys, it is perhaps an ever stronger message: "Women are there for your choosing, their self-esteems so low that YOU dictate what they should do in order for you to love them."
It's no coincidence (in this writer's opinion) that the majority of women featured in these shows have had breast augmentations, lip-plumping injections, and countless other plastic surgeries. Low self-esteem is blaringly obvious on TV whether you have HD or not.
So why are these women willing to humiliate and degrade themselves? Is it the lure of 15 minutes of fame? Is it the hope that appearing on television will up their career, or dating, value?
Whatever the reason, its a sad, sad time for reality television.