Fox’s Big Snafu…

I appreciate what Fox is trying to do, debuting their new show “More to Love”, but I honestly think they’re going off a little half-cocked.

The commercials come on and they talk about “NORMAL PEOPLE” having the chance to find love.

“Fox is teaming with “The Bachelor” producer Mike Fleiss for a new dating-competition series that casts “average-looking” people…

“For six years it’s been skinny-minis and good-looking bachelors, and that’s not what the dating world looks like,” Fox president of alternative Mike Darnell said. “Why don’t real women — the women who watch these shows, for the most part — have a chance to find love too?”

Awesome.  Sign me up.  I would love to see a dating show where some of the contestants are a 14, some of the contestants are a 4, some of the contestants are tall and lanky with braces and funny ears.  I want curvy, I want short, I want freckled, I want blondes and brunettes and purple haired punky people.  I want tattoos and I don’t want that girl to be some crazy badass who gets kicked off the show for having a bad attitude.  I’m tired of fake tans and ripped abs.

I want to see a show where real people, picked off the street and not discriminated against in ANY WAY are the contestants.  I want real.

In fact,

Fox reality programming chief Mike Darnell — who has previously greenlighted reality relationship shows like Married By America and Mr. Personality for Fox — is billing it as the “first dating competition show in television history that reflects what most real single men and women look like, which makes it instantly relatable to the vast majority of people in the dating pool.”

I started to get excited because maybe reality tv would become… you know, more relatable.  You know what Fox thinks is real?  This:

Look at those girls.  They are all gorgeous.  You know what’s weird though – it’s being marketed like this:

There’s “More To Love” in Fox’s new dating show as plus-size women compete for the heart of 26-year-old former college football star Luke Conley.

Wait… plus size women?  The show’s creator says they’re “real women” like the “women who watch these shows, for the most part”.

Normal?  Average?  Real women?  Fox is basing normalcy on weight, now?

What happened to the small girl with the buddha belly?  The tall girl with the beautiful, long hands?  What about the girl with the rods in her back or the girl who channels a voluptuous Bettie Page with a pagan twist?   What about that person somewhere in between who doesn’t belong on that show, but doesn’t wear anything close to a size 2?

Normal women don’t all look like those girls, just like normal women are not all a stick-thin, size 0.  Real women are both, and everything somewhere in between. When you call one group of people “NORMAL” like this show’s advertisements do, you’re implying that a whole lot of other people are not normal.  The combined message is that “normal” women are a specific size at all, whether it’s 0 or 22+.  How degrading is it to be categorized by a size?

They have some darker-skinned girls, they have some blondes, one of the chicks has rad tats, and the bachelor sports a paunch.   By marketing to their “normal women”- concept group, they’ve picked a new demographic to suck up to and pick on, and discarded the rest of the population (who that population is and what they will inevitably say about it) while trying to pass off the cast as a “normal” and diverse group.  Unfortunately, by putting what they call “plus size” people and not other types of contestants on the show as well – marketing only a plus-sized cast, Fox is not not using their noggin.

As Dianne Sylvan notes at her blog “Dancing Down the Moon”:

What they’re doing is exploiting one of the last safe prejudices and inviting the mockery and scorn of the audience for ratings.

With such great intentions, Fox has STILL managed to ruin an interesting idea.  I think they’re missing something here.

Thin is not in.  Fat is not trendy.  Let’s stop for a goddamned second and start thinking about people in terms of their personality and charm.  If you want to get rid of the distinctions of class, race, weight, etc, you have to stop placing importance on those things.  The only thing this show is doing in it’s current incarnation is pointing out just how important weight still is.  Don’t believe in the message?  Don’t subscribe to it – don’t watch.

Beautiful, “normal” women are everywhere.  They serve you coffee, they work at the store.  They vary in weight, size and proportion.  Normal women are beautiful because they have personality and a certain style, not because they happen to be in a certain weight category.  Some of them have love handles.  Some of them have giant feet.  Some of them get a taco baby after a particularly great burrito and they’re okay with that.  Some of them are hourglass shaped, some of them don’t even come close to 5’5″, some of them are pear shaped and all of them possess something beautiful about them.  Part of the beauty of normal women is that they’re all different, that they’re varied and that there’s a spark of personality in them that speaks volumes about their beauty – no matter what their physical state.

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(A big hug to Jaka from Jaka’s Tea Party for inspiration, continual support and sanity, and a whole lot of AWESOME)