Friday, August 28, 2009

Dear Producers of More To Love,


(Much of this entry was originally published on the blog I work for Takepart.com. I am reposting because this blog entry belongs on Dear Douchebag, and because I'm on vacation this weekend and it's easier to cut and paste while lying on the beach.)

Yes! As if husband hunting shows aren't already pathetic, just add the twist of highlighting how heavy the contestants are! The show lists each woman’s weight on the screen! If you are going to put such emphasis on how large everyone on the show is, I wish you would also put emphasis on how to help these people get healthy. Shows like “The Biggest Loser” helps, crap like “More to Love” that exploits plus-sized people hurts.

And why are overweight people segregated to their own show? If you want to promote the show as a “real” dating show for “real women” then why not mix people of all shapes and sizes? Isn’t that what the “real” dating world is like?

And I hate the term it when overweight women are called “real women.” Does that mean that someone who is a size 4,6,8,10 not a “real woman”? Please, can we stop pitting women against one another? All women are real… unless of course they are a computer-generated image or a robot.

Then again, I won’t be surprised if a freaky, “Weird Science” style dating show comes out next season where one man builds 20 custom designed mechanical mates and then picks one android to be his dream wife.

Even though I had decided I hated the show after only watching 10 minutes of the premiere, I still keep tuning every week just to see how nasty the train would wreck. I cannot express how uncomfortable I felt while watching this show. As if the “Bachelor” didn’t already make women feel like they needed a husband to feel good, now “More To Love” makes women feel like they need a husband to also feel comfortable with their bodies. The ladies are ALWAYS CRYING about weight-related depression and rejection saying that “guys never give me a chance” because of my weight. And here comes Luke, which the show has portrayed as the one and ONLY guy who can love a larger woman. While my heart goes out to these ladies who have suffered insecurities due to their weight, isn’t this show just feeding into the whole fat-girl-can’t-get-a-guy stereotype? I know plenty of bigger gals who are in great relationships, yet “More to Love” seems to indicate that only a made-for-tv plump prince can come in and make these girls feel like a plus-sized princess. Isn’t finding “true love” hard for lots of folks, of all shapes and sizes?

By the middle of episode two, some women were already saying they could fall in love with Luke, that they have never been treated so special the way Luke treats them cause Luke takes them in private jets and on yatchs. Um, guess what? Luke didn’t take you on a jet or a yatch, Fox did! Luke didn’t plan that romantic date, Fox did! Luke is just some cheesy dude who takes advantage of any moment of self-loathing you ladies have and then swoops in with variations of a “let’s kiss” line.

And as if on-air desperate dating wasn’t humiliating enough, you guys loooooooves to show everyone eating. Really? Do you really have to always show these girls with food in their hands getting all giddy about the fact that “it’s so nice to date someone that I can eat in front of!” We get it, there is more to love. But no, please, highlight a shot of contestant Bonnie sucking down a kebab and exclaiming “I love me a stick of meat!” Drive that fat point home. And be sure to get sound bites of Luke constantly saying “I love to eat! I love to eat!” because it wasn’t clear to us that he likes to eat.

Now imagine if Luke kept saying “I love to drink morning, noon, and night till I piss myself in my sleep” or “I love shooting heroin.” Would that be endearing and fun? You see, overeating is an addition yet for some reason it’s an acceptable addiction to make light of in our society. But obesity can kill people. An article in the Washington City Paper makes this great point: “If the source of the contestants’ hardships were something more openly maligned–anorexia, meth, furries–FOX wouldn’t have touched the concept. But being heavyset resides in a strange cultural limbo. Public health advocates call obesity a “killer,” but unlike tobacco, we’re not supposed to comment on or disapprove of fatness.”

“More to Love” is quite simply making spectacle of these people. The constant discussion of weight on this show portrays these people as though their size is their only defining characteristic. And the show further “otherizes” plus size people. It segregates love, as if a plus sized person and a thinner person could never be happily together. It perpetuates the notion that obesity is not a health epidemic, when the truth is obesity is a disease. It makes a mockery of body image, just calling the show “More” to Love puts all the focus on the gimmick of size, as if the only quality needed for a “fat girl” to fall in love is to find a “fat guy” who will accept her.

My favorite episode thus far has been the prom one where Luke gave these women the "prom of theirs dreams." Um, sharing your prom date with 15 other women? Sounds more like a nightmare (or I suppose if you're a kinky it could be a fantasy).

A few weeks ago I watch the show with my mom and when one of the girls was sucking face with Luke and telling the camera that she knows “he is the one” or whatever, my mom said to me “please Giulia, I don’t want to watch anymore of these stupid people, I want to watch smart people.” So we changed the channel to watch “America’s Got Talent.” Good call Mommy, good call.

More to Love? More like, More to Hate! Ha! Get it? Play on words! More to Hate! Badump-bump! So cleaver, right? Wrong. See what you're making me do, you're making me make dumb jokes. It's all your fault.

Ugh, I need a snack.

Love Always,
Giulia

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