I don’t watch television like a normal person. I’m not aware of schedules, or of trendy shows that come out, unless I read about it somewhere (usually online) or if a close friend recommends it. This doesn’t mean I don’t watch. I love television shows: I pick and choose which ones to watch, and then I watch them when I want to, without commercials. I do this through the magic of the internet, awesome computer geekery, dvds, and dvrs (which are one of the best inventions ever).
The average child is exposed to 20,000 television commercials in a year. While I cannot eliminate all television commercials and their influence from my family’s life (sporting events are usually viewed live and, unfortunately, with commercials, though often muted), I think we do pretty well. This is a pretty insular existence, but one I’m happy to have (and one which I wouldn’t trade for the alternative). When I try to watch television with commercials, I am very quickly annoyed with (a) the constant, unceasing interruptions to the plot of whatever show I’m watching and (b) the sheer volume of crap I’m forced to watch of someone trying to sell me something I don’t need. It could be anything: a burger, some new gizmo that’ll promise to make my life easier, room deodorizer (probably the most useless product on the market today)… It doesn’t matter what the product is; years of living virtually commercial-free make going back to the banality of commercialized television insufferable.
This is all a preface to the video below.
So I am aware that there’s this show called America’s Next Top Model. I know, I know, this is the sort of statement that makes people say, “Well, duh,” because it’s been around for a while. It’s not one of the shows I watch. I watch a lot of shows, but this one doesn’t pass muster. Not that ANTM would have had much of a chance anyway at making it onto my (really long) short list of shows that I watch, but this video seals the deal for me. The video, in my opinion, is NOT appropriate for watching in front of children, and I don’t consider it safe for work either. It depicts battered models playing dead, complete with blood spatter and sexy poses. I don’t know who thought this was a good idea, the sexualizing of violence, and I don’t consider this “art.” Obviously “art” is in the eye of the beholder, and if this were to be found exclusively in a modern art museum, I’d think, “It’s distasteful, but it is in a museum, after all.” When you go to a museum, you expect to get shocked sometimes.
These pictures are NOT in a museum; they’re on a television show, a show which is probably watched by millions of little girls all over the country, aspiring models or merely fans of them. Normalizing these images only serves to perpetuate violence against women, with the added “bonus” that the women-to-be victims of the future might think the abuse is to be expected. After all, they’ve already become desensitized to seeing bloodied half-naked women in lingerie. Even when you’re getting beaten half to death you should look your very sexy best, don’t you know… Anything less would be criminal.
For more information, including how to take action, read “America’s Next Top Rape Victim.”
And while we’re on the subject of television, don’t even get me started about Kid Nation.