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Obviously, I dislike and despise the premise of the Faux Network's show More to Love, but aside from the "see the fat freaks cry!" sine qua non of size status quo reification, I realize that every time I see a promo or watch a clip on The Soup, I find myself hating the guy they picked. He's creepy. He's sexist. He can't deal with the idea of a woman who won't be a combination babymaker/housekeeper wife for him, and is...

Holy cow, he's my ex-husband.

Awkward sexualized commentary whether it's appropriate to the conversation or not? Check.

Constant need to be the one in charge? Check.

Expectation of sexual favours after paying a generic compliment on appearance? Check.

Creepy sexual innuendo? Check.

Inability to read the emotions of any of the women? Check.

And as a result of the above, a tendency to assume that because he's having a good time, then everyone else is? Check, check, and fuck.

I'm perhaps a little jaded by my experiences with a man almost exactly like Luke (I get all my recaps from Fatshionista!), but every time I see a clip (watch the show?  Oh, hell no), I want to scream at all these women to run away as fast and as far as they can, before they end up with a douche who will never, ever empathise with, support, or appreciate them.  Apparently, the producers deliberately filtered for women with crashingly low self-esteem (they cannot perpetuate the trope of "my life would be perfect if I wasn't fat" with confident, accomplished, happy fat women, you understand), and by all appearances, they hit the jackpot.  Any woman with the merest shred of confidence would dump Luke in a heartbeat.  Not because he's fat, but because he's a shallow self-centered jerk.

I know whereof I speak; I was that woman with no self-esteem at 19, and I thought my first husband was the love of my life, because he was interested in me.  The fact that he had no real interest in compromising anything about his single lifestyle to accomodate a partner was not really a problem for me, since I thought that I was the one who had to change to accomodate him.  He never gave me any indication otherwise.

Five years later, I ran.

Fifteen years later, I'm doing great - and my self-esteem is in much better shape, in large part thanks to the man who loved me exactly as I was, thin or fat, and saw our relationship as a partnership, not a heirarchy with him at the top.

While the women on More to Love are edited to be weepy and all about their fat, they are real people, and they deserve more than a creepy sleaze who can't even handle the idea of them having a career.  I hope each of them leaves this show and finds someone worthwhile, who will love them exactly as they are.  But they need to lose some self-hatred first.

I see this show as endorsing the idea that fat people can't have nice things, and that they, especially the women(because women need to be much thinner than men to be considered attractive), will never be lovable, and must settle for whomever will have them.  Every time they film the women going "this is my only chance at love!" they reinforce the status quo that says fat women are worthless, and should be grateful for the merest crumb of affection.  I can't blame the women; it's really hard on the self-esteem to be told "you're worthless unless you're thin!" all your life.  I notice that Luke is never filmed saying "I'm not lovable"; as the man, he is given a harem to choose from, because even among fatties, men are higher up the social scale than women.

Run ladies, run.  As fast and as far as you can.

ETA:  I ran Safeway's BMI calculator, and guess what? I'm overweight. This is how fucked up our society has become about weight and health. Fat women are so ugly that they will never find anyone to love unless a reality show fixes them up (after a humiliating elimination process), and a person who lost 60lbs and kept it off for 14 years (and is a size 8-10)is "at risk for weight-related problems". Society is messed up, y'all.  


( 37 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )
Sep. 9th, 2009 01:22 pm (UTC)
I've been reading the recaps on TWOP and I saw one episode--last week--and it was repulsive. He's such a douche! Why do they not see this? It's just so horrifying.
Sep. 9th, 2009 01:57 pm (UTC)
Because they have such low self-esteem that the fact that he's awful is eclipsed by the fact that he's telling them they're beautiful - which, as women with no self-esteem, they haven't heard from men, perhaps at all. >:(

When I hear a woman say something like that, I know they've been looking in the wrong places. There are lots of guys who don't consider dress size a romance-killer, but they tend not to hang out in bars or go to "Ladies Night".

I just want to take all the women for a month in the country, and have them talk about anything and everything except men and losing weight.
Sep. 9th, 2009 02:22 pm (UTC)
Hell, I was Hottie McHottie this weekend, if you base upon the type of attention I was getting. And yeah, it was genuine. Kinda fascinated me, since I didn't actually feel at my best (you know how when you "feel" that you are solidly "on"?), but I soaked it up with pleasure anyhoo.

I kinda disagree with it being ALl about self-esteem. A lot of reality shows are also about "getting on tv" and "stair-stepping" a career, whether the people publicly acknowledge it or not. Wait and see. Some of them will turn this into further opportunities...
Sep. 9th, 2009 01:30 pm (UTC)
I agree wholeheartedly with you on this show, and I don't have the background of having been married to that sort of guy (or, well, anyone).

I am so glad you write about these things-- because every *I* see a clip of this show, I turn into a seething mass of rage and sputtering indignation and cannot write coherently on the subject.
Sep. 9th, 2009 01:41 pm (UTC)
Another great reason to not have a TV.
Sep. 9th, 2009 02:35 pm (UTC)
Seconded very happily!
Sep. 9th, 2009 07:52 pm (UTC)
I third that!
Sep. 9th, 2009 01:47 pm (UTC)
Why anyone would want to go on ANY of these types of shows is beyond me- the producers clearly choose people who will clash with the others vying for the 'prize', and no thought is given whatsoever in terms of matching up values, hobbies, etc. And it's not like the shows are anywhere remotely successful in the long run anyway- I think the relationship length for most (or all) of the relationships is something like a couple of months. Yeesh.
Sep. 9th, 2009 01:59 pm (UTC)
It's for the freak-show drama - they are simply offerings sacrficed on the altar of ratings and entertainment, not people.
Sep. 9th, 2009 03:19 pm (UTC)
Which is exactly why I avoid these shows. Ugh!
Sep. 9th, 2009 07:01 pm (UTC)
Who has time and is excited enough about being on a TV show to move in with strangers for weeks/months for a reality show? Let me think...

1) Someone who has LOTS of vacation time (or whose employer allows sudden leaves of absence) and money saved to make the mortgage payments while they're gone.

2) Someone without a mortgage or other ongoing commitments. Possibly without a job, too.

Toss in that they're looking for young, unmarried women, why do I think that category 2 is more likely than 1 in this case? Or that category 2 has less life experience, fewer accomplishments, and, oh yeah, has more riding on the show and thus is more eager to please?

(No, I'm not a "they should've cast me" person. I'm ineligible. Jaded, adult, married, mortgaged, no desire to chuck my well-paying software engineering job to be on TV.)
Sep. 9th, 2009 09:51 pm (UTC)
Seriously, it makes me so sad that any of them are genuinely on this to find love. Can they sincerely believe that this is how you get it? I would way rather think they were in it for the exposure or for money or the trip to Hawaii or anything but to get this douchebag's attention and approval.
Sep. 9th, 2009 02:04 pm (UTC)
boy am i glad i dont have a TV anymore.. i would have thrown bricks at it.
Sep. 9th, 2009 02:12 pm (UTC)
Run, indeed. "Last chance at love," my ass. For one thing, *that's* not love....
Sep. 9th, 2009 02:23 pm (UTC)
Totally, 100% right on. I watched the first episode, and this trope of desperate craving for attention from the women was there from the beginning:
I watched it again last night (he was down to the last three), and it was brutal. There's something bout his manner: probably his seeming entitlement to touch these women and grope and kiss and slobber all over them that is revolting.
Sep. 9th, 2009 02:26 pm (UTC)
I am often both sickened and depressed at what passes for 'entertainment' these days. At least the Romans only went for physical violence in the Colosseum, we seem to like to inflict a much longer term suffering.
Sep. 9th, 2009 03:01 pm (UTC)
Thankfully I haven't seen this "show"
For once, I'm glad my taste in television shows is above the whole "reality show" mentality. I'd probably put my foot through the tv (and it's a mere 6 feet above the ground.. so you can see the problems).

I get tired of tv depicting fat women as those totally devoid of any socially redeeming qualities and so insecure they think anyone who pays them any attention is "love".

I had to stop watching "Ruby" on lifetime; they managed to find someone who is an adult but is still very childlike to the point of driving me screaming crazy. That's another judgment I've tried to fight off. For some reason, people want to take care of me. Either because I put out that vibe, or because they think I'm incapable. I'm not sure which...

But as a current fat woman, I can honestly say that while my self esteem has spent a time or two in the toilet, I did not succumb to the ideas of More to Love... although I'm still getting through to some folks that I'm a capable adult most of the time.
Sep. 9th, 2009 04:03 pm (UTC)
Oh, lordy. I just want to take a hammer to the producers of that show. These ladies so need a wakeup call, and Luke needs repeated kicks to the junk.

So, so, so awful.

Sep. 9th, 2009 04:17 pm (UTC)
I had a really weird experience this weekend of telling someone I was a size 8, which I'm fine with. I have narrow shoulders, but I'm super hippy, just like my mom. And they blanched as though that was SO heavy and gulped and told me "Well.. you carry it quite well..." Excuse me?
Sep. 9th, 2009 05:42 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 9th, 2009 07:14 pm (UTC)
Several years back the local newspaper ran a photo. A professional body-builder in a speedo, with his arms outstretched and 4, yes 4, models in bikinis sitting on his arms. The caption? "The Army says this man is overweight and out of shape." You can guess the article.
-- Dagonell
Sep. 9th, 2009 06:33 pm (UTC)
Oh, for pity's sake, what a rude comment! 8 is a SMALL size. In the planet I live on, if you are wearing a size that is smaller than the sizes carried at Lane Bryant, you are a wee little thing.
Sep. 9th, 2009 06:35 pm (UTC)
I think I look fine. It was just such a weird experience.
Sep. 9th, 2009 06:39 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that is a very weird experience. Very very bizarre to think 8 is anything but slender--maybe the small side of average.
Sep. 10th, 2009 08:02 am (UTC)
Unfortunately you're quite right, and my tiny ass can't find clothes small enough for me most of the time because of rampant vanity sizing done in an effort to pretend that a size 8 is just SOOOO BIG. I'm little but my mom is bigger than me and she gets mad when she has to go below a size 8 to find something that fits. Sometimes she has to go as low as a 4 or a 2, and my mom is not any size freakin' 2. She'll call me from a store going "I'm a size SMALL here, can you believe this? I'm not small! I'm average! YOU'RE small! Nothing here would fit you!"
Sep. 9th, 2009 04:20 pm (UTC)
Wow. Haven't seen a bit of the show - not in clip, recap or on TV, but it sounds horrid.

Speaking as a fat woman, I thank God everyday that the only thing really wrong with anything in my life is my weight because that I can (and am) work on fixing.

Ug. Wonder if we can sue them on behalf of humanity?
Sep. 9th, 2009 06:58 pm (UTC)
Gah. I hate those f'ing shows. My husband loved me when I was a size 3, and he still loves me now, when I'm decidedly NOT a size 3.

I watch the Amazing Race and Dancing with the Stars (because I lovelovelove ballroom dancing), but they are people DOING things, stepping out of their comfort zone and trying to learn something. Those "looking for love" shows are just exploitative and mean.
Sep. 9th, 2009 10:22 pm (UTC)
If you like Dancing with the Stars, I recommend So You Think You Can Dance. It's elimination-style reality tv, but there's absolutely not that sort of mockery that happens when you put untrained people in impossible situations - they're all highly-skilled dancers and the judges are sometimes harsh but not -mean-.
Sep. 9th, 2009 11:29 pm (UTC)
Try "So You Think You Can Dance". After you get past the city-auditions and get to the actual contestants it's a lot like Dancing with the Stars but the quality of the dancing and choreography is generally better because both partners know how to dance. Incidentally, many of the "professionals" on Stars are graduates of SYTYCD, so it's neat when you watch both shows and get to see people making a career of their passion.
Sep. 9th, 2009 11:51 pm (UTC)
Actually, I have seen SYTYCD, but even though the dancing may be immeasurably better, part of what I like about DWTS is seeing people who are absolute oafs at the beginning improve. Also, I just really like ballroom dancing. Watching jazz and modern dance styles leaves me kind of cold.
Sep. 9th, 2009 09:54 pm (UTC)
I accidentally had it on last night (I was watching Hell's Kitchen and it came on afterwards) and really couldn't believe the stuff I saw or heard. The concept of the show made me uneasy to begin with because I was 99% sure it would be "LOOK AT THE FATTIES", meanwhile these women are uh seriously not "morbidly obese". They're gorgeous. :/

The guy is disgusting, and the girls are just so sad -- one girl was talking about how he seemed interested in her, which was the highlight of her life, but he seemed interested in the other girls too so that was a crushing failure. I just... what? :(
Sep. 9th, 2009 11:37 pm (UTC)
I hate to say it, but I don't think this particular version of the format is any more exploitative or that the "contestants" have any lower self-esteem than any other contestants in this sort of show. Anyone (male, female, skinny or overweight) that enters into this sort of arrangement (a harem fighting for the love of a single person without even knowing what said person is like before starting to "compete" for their affection) has to have either shockingly low self esteem or a serious exhibitionist streak. And they do certainly seem to choose both types.

As for allowing themselves to be treated this way, I certainly wouldn't "compete" for any man, and conversely, I'd question any man who would be okay with me "seeing" 24 other men while courting me.
Sep. 10th, 2009 02:02 am (UTC)
Have you seen Drop Dead Diva? The trailers advertise a shallow blonde model dying and coming back as a chubby brunette lawyer (with a heart of gold - natch) presumably to learn a lesson. I haven't seen more than the ads but that is usually enough to make me cranky.

I am not supposed to go under 150 lbs by Doctor's orders. I am also NOT supposed to eat fresh fruits and veggies. It amazes me how many people give me the stinkeye for being a size 16 and not eating a salad!
Sep. 10th, 2009 02:59 am (UTC)
"More to Love" - what a title!
This sounds like one more good reason that confirms the validity of my choice to dump broadcast TV more than 3 years ago. I got tired of paying for all those channels, more than half of which I couldn't care less about, and getting complete garbage on network channels. I almost never watched anything but PBS, Discovery, TLC and that type of thing.

I'm oh-so-glad I have no direct experience with this show! It definitely sounds like a see (once)-and-avoid situation.

Cheers, ladies - keep positive thoughts!
Sep. 10th, 2009 07:54 am (UTC)
The BMI calculated is a crock of shit made my a statistician to help insurance companies classify as many people as possible as "unhealthy" for whatever reason. Don't bother wit hit.
Sep. 10th, 2009 09:41 am (UTC)
Oh I know - I just used it as an illustration of how wrong it is. :) Its intended use is as a statistical measure of entire populations, for which it does have some use, but the way it's being used today is ridiculous, since size is really no indicator of overall health.
Sep. 19th, 2009 09:53 pm (UTC)
I had no idea that show even existed and I'm kind of glad I didn't. It's amazing the garbage they'll put on there. Also, the BMI is definitely a nemesis of mine. In grade 9 gym class they all had us weigh ourselves and then calculate where we were on the chart. Who's brilliant plan was that? "Let's taken a bunch of girls who already have body issues and reinforce the idea that they're fat." I swear almost every girl was told she was overweight. I was categorized as obese, which I most definitely am not.
( 37 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )

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