A blow for feminism, or is that against?
Sounds of Spring

Reality is ugly

Or maybe just the whole concept of reality TV is ugly, or demeaning, or insulting. Or maybe the greatest entertainment idea for the masses since the Roman gladiators. We like to see the underdog win, the cocky smart-ass lose, and think maybe that could be us. If only we could get out of our lounger.
The most worrisome one I've seen is something called The Swan, from Fox. The concept is to select two women who think they are not attractive, who have low self-esteem because of that, and believe if only they could be transformed they would have a second chance at life. They put them through extensive plastic surgery (face lifts, boobs, butt, liposuction) as well as a three month exercise and weight loss program and a series of counselling sessions with a therapist. Who will somehow built their self esteem in the midst of all this beauty emphasis. Every show they feature two women, and pick the one voted most improved. The winner gets a chance at future rejection and depression by going on to a beauty pageant to see if she really has changed her life for the better or is a loser after all. Don't even get me started on beauty pageants. The "loser" gets to keep all the work (obviously), gather up what dignity she has left, and get back to the other reality.
It's worth noting that the experts they have on the show to help these girls are all good looking and quite photogenic.
I watched the first show in amazement just to see what was involved and thought the winner actually looked a little skanky - but maybe skanky is good.
Perhaps all these poor ugly ducklings need are the therapy sessions, so that they can realize that beauty is relative. Are they ugly, or just plain, or just average. Yes, they don't meet the standards of the beauty queen ideal promoted by the entertainment and fashion industry but so what? What (or who) makes a swan?

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