Monday, March 15, 2010

How Embarrassing!!

I just watched a portion of Jessica Simpson's new show The Price of Beauty. The premise of the show is that Jessica and two of her pals gallivant across the globe to explore how beauty is defined in cultures other than her own. I was really hoping it would be interesting and that she would explore the deeper issues of how beauty is socially defined and often biased in favor of the privileged. I watched part of it and then had to stop. It was too painful and infuriating. 
    Jessica and her pals manage to be our new "ugly American" ambassadors, embodying everything repellent about white, privileged people from the US. I can't even express how rude and ethnocentric they are in this show. And they don't even realize it!! 
In one fell swoop, these people demonstrate how shallow, silly, dumb, and disrespectful US citizens can be. A woman from Thailand talks about how women in Thailand like their skin to be light. Jessica then talks about how all the women in the US want to be tanned. Um...I think that's a fairly limited portion of the population in the US, Jess. Like only the white people. Who live in California.
    She and her friends publicly recoil and gag at the food sold in a public market (granted the food was fried grasshoppers, worms, and roaches among other things). Not something I would want to eat for sure but they were really disrespectful. I can't even begin to describe all the ways this show was annoying to me. 
    She had such an opportunity to really explore beauty at a deeper level and she basically squandered it. The three act like they're going to a zoo put together for their enjoyment and exploitation. Yuck...I think I need to watch less TV. I don't know why I expected anything better from the likes of Jessica Simpson but a girl can dream, can't she?!

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