Fighting with the Sky

More to Objectify?

Posted on: June 24, 2009

I’ll admit…I like to watch “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette.” I’m not saying they are good shows, but I enjoy watching this type of trashy television. But, Fox has a new show airing on July 28th called “More to Love.” It is basically “The Bachelor” for “real people” (aka heavier people). I have mixed feelings about this show.

One ad for the show states that the average dress size for American women is 14/16 but the average size of reality TV show stars is 2. The Fox website says that they are “setting out to prove that love comes in all shapes and sizes with the new inspirational dating competition series.” While I think it is great that there will be a more realistic representation of women in television shows, I’m not convinced that this show is a good thing.

We all know that the women that are portrayed in the media through television shows, ads, celebrities, and on and on do not represent what women really look like. But does making a separate show for “real”/heavier people just further other and objectify them? These contestants are separated into their own class of people. They aren’t good enough to be on the real reality shows, so they had to make them their own show. By creating this show, we are further making heavier people “the other.” Fox may think they are doing a good thing by saying “look, real people can find love too.” But this implies that they can’t find love on their own, without the help of a television network.

Fox’s description of the show says that “each week, the husky hunk will wine and dine a group of curvy women to determine if they have more love to give or if they are truly more than he can handle.” Even this description is objectifying the people on the show. They are described as “husky” and “curvy” as if their only defining characteristic was their weight. According to Fox, there is nothing more to these people than how they look, even though they think they are showing that people are more than how much they weigh. But is there really a way to have a “dating competition series” that doesn’t simply value people for how they look and doesn’t objectify both the contestants and the person “looking for love”? If there is, I have yet to see it.

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3 Responses to "More to Objectify?"

Great post! Kudos to you for pinpointing exactly what's wrong with the basic premise behind this show.

They are described as husky or curvy but not because it is their only defining characteristic, rather because it is their only COMMON characteristic. When you are referring to a group of diverse people that have one thing in common, it is pretty natural to describe them by that one thing, or refer to them in a group by that descriptor.

I know it is not their only defining characteristic. But does Fox? These people were picked for the show precisely because they are plus-size. And focusing on their weight is not an empowering thing, it's demeaning and objectifying and it's done solely to make money.

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