A World of Speculation

My friend Anne blogged about the new reality show, The Swan, last week:

I’m outraged by the continual message that only one type of body is beautiful and the rest of us need life-threatening measures in order to get one.

I watched the first episode with my daughter and kept asking what they were doing to these unique and interesting women. It was only the women’s sense of unworthiness that made them candidates for this surgery that tried to make cookie-cutter bimbos of them.

And now Cup of Chicha has a detailed post that verbalizes a lot of my horror and some I didn’t think of. If you’ve managed to escape the show, this is a good read, because the show captures and propagates a cultural phenomenon.

Unfortunately, The Swan is loathsome to the degree that it takes itself seriously, and, thanks to the panel’s complete lack of intellect, it takes itself very, very seriously. The Swan simply isn’t smart enough to realize how disturbing it really is: the panel applauds the idea that the women’s husbands will no longer recognize them because it marks their success in creating ‘transformation,’ not because they know their applause will reveal a shockingly brazen attitude towards the relationship bewteen appearance, familiarity, and emotional attachment. And, while Kelly and Rachel only have a boyfriend and a husband who might fail to recognize them, future contestants will have children. (At 24, I still remember the day when I was five and my father, having just shaved his beard, picked me up from a friend’s party. I cried and cried; even if I recognized him, my emotions for him didn’t –a face being both love’s cue and its subject.)

Source: The Old Hag, who includes this great sentence: “Related: none of these women is ugly AT ALL — upon waking, we easily eclipse all of them, and we’re still cute!”