Did somebody say horrifying television? Check out the upcoming show 'More to Love.' Fox's new reality show will be more or less in the vein of The Bachelor, but with one key difference: fat people (GASP) Or, I'm sorry, not fat . . . regular people as the execs keep saying.
Producer Mike Fleiss says he wants 'to send the message that you can be the size you are and still be lovable.' Oh, well I guess now that Fox says my fat ass is lovable I suppose I can hold my head a little higher. Now I too have the opportunity to compete on national television in a harem fully of equally uhhh, regular women for the affections of a bachelor described as Kevin James-like.
I find myself more annoyed with this PC paint-job on an antique mysogynist model than with all the regular, ludicrous antics of reality tv combined. In fact, this story has annoyed me on more levels than I previously thought possible. First off, there is the erroneous equation of fat=average. I may be a big girl but I am not a regular girl I'll have you know. Making chubby girls the new girl-next-door doesn't do anybody any favors. All sizes of women are regular women, what separates the mundane and the ordinary is not a question of size. This sort of attitude only serves to further put mainstream beauty on a pedestal as well as alienate women who don't meet media beauty standards for reasons other than their weight.
Then there is this weird issue of segregation. Why do hefty people need their own show? Why can't they be humiliated on the same shows as every body else gets humiliated in? If this show is supposedly about average women, couldn't we see some ladies who don't look like models for other reason? Overweight people are not an alternate class of people, and why are they assumed that they are only datable to other overweight people? Other popular shows like Beauty and the Geek and Average Joe have used traditionally attractive women served up to nice-guy average type men as their whole schtick. So what is the message here? Attractive men deserve modelesque women, physically unattractive men deserve modelesque women, but 'average' women deserve to compete for 'average' men. A show that actually challenged the status-quo would feature vain Him-bos surrounded by successful, interesting and talented women with unremarkable appearances.
Finally, I just don't think its going to work. Love in reality tv is shorthand for lust. Generally the show requires somebody to be so fucking hot that there is no question of attraction, a prize you can taste. In this case, unless this man has a personality so shining that he can drive all of these women into jealous hysterics, this show is going to fizzle majorly. Basically, the assumption that a woman just needs a man, any man, is what this concept is based on. After a brief flirtation with controversy and novelty, this show is going to tank-it. Then people will go back their lives and media-jobs thinking 'oh, i guess nobody wanted to see fat women on tv after all . . . oh look, Top Model is on!'Fat activism? Body acceptance? Try again.
(photo via www.iwatchstuff.com)
The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.