Thursday, May 27, 2004

ugly ducklings

Well, that's just what we needed. A reality show called The Swan. Brazenly proclaiming a group of women "ugly ducklings" the show transformed them into "swans" for a pageant, where one woman was crown "THE swan" and wore the most godawful crown I've ever seen.

Thing is . . . it's not like these women were deformed people. Sure they had a little extra weight, like a lot of us. Their pictures were taken without make-up, some wore glasses. Their hair wasn't glamorous. I thought, "Shoot, what's wrong with them?" So they believed the lie they were ugly ducklings and succumbed to four months of extreme makeoverdom.

Down to the final three, they answered why they should be "THE swan." Most of them said how much this had changed their life, that being beautiful made all of the difference to their self-esteem.

Well, crap. I guess that's what I've needed! Some reality show to tell me I'm ugly, then spend four months changing me, putting me under a surgeon's knife and mutilating me and awww, isn't Hollywood so nice for doing this for these gals?

Ugly ducklings, my butt! And are the producers going to be there for them when they go back to their regular lives, and things haven't really changed all that much? Talk about one of the most demeaning shows I've ever watched. Hollywood is the first to celebrate feminism and the last to give us a break. See Lara Flynn Boyle on the cover of The Inquirer this week? Just goes to show, Hollywood eats its own, ounce by ounce.

I feel sorry for these women and all those entertainers who feel they must torture themselves for someone else's ideal. Who are they doing that for? What person said, "Hey you're fat now!" (From my memory, I think Calista Flockhart brought the skin-and-bones look to Vogue, didn't she?) Not their fans. I remember when size 6 was the norm. Still mostly unattainable for us regular gals, but not shocking, not wasting, and surely possible if we stuck to a program for more than a week. (Watch Spike TV if you want to see what actresses really look like! There are 80's shows on there all the time.) We want these ladies to eat more! We want them to look a little more closely like us! We want them to have periods and babies and real boobs!

And we want them to admit it's not normal, so our daughters won't feel like ugly ducklings, and neither will we.




Blogger Becca said...

I saw parts of the first episode of "The Swan" and also thought the women were not ugly. They needed a diet and possibly a trainer, to get their weight under control. They also desperately needed therapy to bring their self-esteem to a normal level. They certainly didn't need surgery! (I couldn't watch that part, too squeamish.)

I feel sorry for them as well, and I've come to adjust my attitudes about celebrities. Now I think it's pathetic that they attain their dream of fame and are subsequently torn apart by the media and sometimes their own fans. It's cruel what we do to them.

I wish I could have afforded to keep Spike TV in my cable lineup - it was fun to revisit those old shows, and see more normal-looking women. Sure, there was still an emphasis on beauty, but not as extreme and twisted as today.

May 27, 2004 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger Jules Quincy Stephens said...

Yes, I know what photo you're referring to about LFB. Shouldn't she be a beauty queen by Hollywood standards?

My husband's cousin's sons (no, that's not the start of a joke) said that most of the girls they go to school with are ugly and fat because ...


Our children don't know reality from fantasy. And they're going to grow up as adults who don't know the difference, either.

May 27, 2004 at 2:30 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

This sounds awful! I confess I turned off my cable the day after my ex moved out--what wonderful silence! My TV doesn't pick up any broadcast stations at all, so we can only watch movies. It really puts me out of the loop when people start talking TV. But this show sounds way too extreme. Elizabeth

May 28, 2004 at 1:10 PM  
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