Shaken Not Stirred

Monday, May 24, 2004

Progress Interrupted

While chatting with one of my buddies on the phone, he kept insisting that I turn the channel to Fox Network to watch The Swan. I have only seen the show advertised a few times and had no interest. But he kept saying things like "Oh my God, look at that one. Come on, you like boobs right? Check this girl out. She looks like a porn version of Morgan Fairchild". That got me, so I turned to the channel. What I saw, was a smiling big haired, over made-up girl wearing a dress designed by the makers of Barbie. Her hair stiff, not swaying naturally with her moves, make-up flawless, whitened teeth that could send coded signals to the moon and a proud family applauding their new mom/wife/sister. The premise of the show? To turn an ugly duckling into a swan. Along with the natural method of getting oneself to look good--diet, exercise, therapy both physical and mental, but with plastic surgery as well. What the show was really selling was to feel good on the inside, one must get that stuff scraped out via face-lifts, nose-jobs, plastic boobies and liposuction. You can't erase the past unless you do it with a scalpal. Nice message huh?
I thought the women of today were beyond all that. I don't mind the occasionally beauty pageant. It's nice to look at beautiful people strutting their stuff, walking with a sway so gentle that one is hypnotized. Speaking with such eloquence that the words seem to slide off their tongue and float to our ears. And lastly a goal so high, that even Shaq couldn't touch it's backboard. But because we were moving into a new millenium (or according to one of Will Smith's songs--the Willenium), I thought none of that mattered anymore. We were going to teach everyone to look beyond the veneers and push-up bras. To see the soul as mirrored by the inner-self. Not to see the wind-blown hairdo and spray-on tan.
And really, what were the producers thinking? They took these women with already fragile egos, threw them into a gym, gave them some therapy, cracked them open, pulled out all the residue, slapped some silk/satin/lace on them, threw them on a runway, and spotlighted them. Yes, the plastic surgery did wonders. Yes, they did look amazing compared to their former selves. I can't really judge though. Why is it when a "former" picture of a person is given, it's the most horrible looking picture ever taken. The Department of Motor Vehicles could win photojournalism awards compared to the pictures shown. They could have at least shown wedding pictures, prom pictures, or even family portraits. Nope, they show these let your four year old comb your hair and dress you pictures. So of course the new and improved does look tantalizing and flawless. Anyway, back to the topic..these women already have fragile egos. To throw them into a beauty contest would not boost their egos. It would only make them think, "I lost to other ducklings. What does this make me?".
I think the show may have thrown us back to the era of Mona Lisa Smiles. When a women was judged by her basic ability to be beautiful to a standard. Anyhow, ten minutes left to the show. I've gotta at least see who wins.


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