Battle of the Bods

When I saw the advertisements for this show my feminist light bulb was flashing red. I was disgusted. So I went to the website to see if this was really as revolting as it sounds. And yes, people, it is. Let’s go over the the shows format.

First there are the women. All skinny. Mostly blond and white. These women are rated by a group of men, again athletic and mostly white. The men rank the women on a scale of one to five based on certain body parts. For instance, the clip I watched was breasts. They are ranked in comparison to each other, by the way. This is the most disturbing part to me. Not only are we going to value them like cattle, we are also going to pit them against each other.

But wait. There’s more. While the men are busy hacking their brains to rank the women, the women are then asked to rank themselves trying to match the men. So, what you hear in the female conversation is some women say “I don’t like my breasts, so I’ll rank myself number 4”. It’s terrible.

What shows like this do, besides the usual female objectification women are measured by their bodies bullshit, is perpetuate the idea that self hatred is normal and criticizing others is normal as well. At the same time, it creates this narrow one dimensional “norm” for women.

I almost feel like its a waste of breath to complain about these things but I can’t help myself. It seems that the secret to reality television these days is to pit women against each other and devalue every redeeming quality they may have.

7 Responses to “Battle of the Bods”

  1. 1 Marste
    July 11, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    Oh, wow. I actually feel physically ill after reading that. I mean, seriously. Wow. (At the show, not you – just in case that needed clarification.)

  2. 2 iflurry
    July 11, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    Hm, giving your body a ranking and then comparing it to what others think? That could actually have been pretty positive, if they took it in the right direction.

    Too bad it sounds like they did the opposite.

  3. 3 littlem
    July 11, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    *runs screaming*

    We are in the midst of a backlash. (There are some links on Jezebel — I’ll try to find them and post them back here.)

    Men are angry and whining. They feel as though their “rights” are being impinged upon and women are taking “jobs and opportunities that SHOULD have gone to a man”. Frequently we out-earn them (at similar lateral levels), even more frequently we are better-educated and out-perform them (because as we all know, a woman has to be twice as good to get half as far. Square that factor yet again if you are a WOC).

    Therefore, they strike back in the most basic of ways, where a woman is most vulnerable but in a comparatively subtle way. This nauseating show is going to be deemed “just a bit of fun” and “can’t you take a joke”, and it’s being BEAMED AROUND THE WORLD ON A MAJOR MASS MEDIA NETWORK so that everyone gets the message in the least amount of time.

    Also, like I’ve said before, there are women colluding with this crap. It couldn’t happen otherwise. This show could never have aired if they couldn’t locate the contestants. There are bimbettes, lazy girls, and women who have been Stockholm Syndromed into thinking they just can’t do any better than to ride on the tails — take that how you will — of the man whom they deem the most “alpha” in their social circle that they can catch. And then we have this crap.

    My momma always said “When a fish begins to stink, it starts at the head.” I am of the very strong opinion that if we didn’t have such Confederate throwbacks as President and VP (with their equally silent, glazed over, and I suspect heavily medicated First and Second Ladies) at the top of the food chain, quietly permitting behavior like this and other horrors to go unchallenged, people who believe “the way things used to be is the way things oughta be” look to them as role models and when they look away, and don’t get spanked (rape in the Armed Forces, anyone?) the signal that’s sent is that any kind of horrifyingly sexist behavior is A-OK.

    Counting down the days to the end of BushAmerikka.

    /Friday rant

  4. 4 intellectualfeminist
    July 11, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    littlem, I hear you. And I have always believed that women perpetuate this awful ideology just as much as men do, sometimes more. I think the unfortunate reality is that beyond bimbettes, lazy girls, etc. we have women who measure their worth and their success by the way they look. And our society thinks that’s okay. Our leaders (conferderate throwbacks-i love it) allow this kind of behavior because they have made the fairy tale alpha male the model for leadership. Much of their “success” relies of the submissive one dimensionality of women. Hence shows like this one and evert other women centered reality show. sickening, isn’t it?

  5. 5 Godless Heathen
    July 11, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    I’m so glad I killed my television.

  6. 6 MayDarling
    July 12, 2008 at 11:05 am

    yeah…I’ve about had it with BushAmerikkka, too.

    This show is revolting, to say the least. Right up there with Flavor of Love…coonery & buffoonery apparently sell.

  7. 7 DiosaNegra1967
    July 16, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    wasn’t this show on before? i coulda sworn it was….with lorenzo lamas as one of the judges? i could be wrong though….

    count me in for counting down the days until the end of king george III’s reign….

    i have a tv, but it’s hooked up only to my dvd player…..i’m totally re-thinking getting cable, now….

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