Wednesday, July 29, 2009

More To Love: A Big Girl's Look at the Fat People Bachelor

While I got sucked in by the British Bachelor (that accent!), I've never been a huge fan of dating shows. My tastes in the reality genre tend to the dance and cooking competitions (Hell's Kitchen! FTW!) Despite my usual disdain for the genre, I was pumped for Fox's premiere of it's new "Bachelor for Big Folks", More To Love. I watched this show last night determined to discover exactly why I despised it. Full disclosure: I am shamefully, sheepishly hooked.

Perhaps my enjoyment of the show stems from the fact that I find it refreshing that there's a reality show about plus size people that is not a weight loss competition, but I found myself enjoying More To Love.

There's an air of tastefulness to the show... well, as much tastefulness as a reality dating show can muster. I am consistently amazed at the lengths people will go to in order to get on tv; 20 women attempt to generate enough lusty feelings for one man to have them spouting such vapidity as "I could really marry this man!" after about one hour in his presence. Are you really that desperate for love? Or desperate for the innate approval that comes from the attention you derive as a reality tv star? (I think it's the second one!)

There is definitely a train wreckiness to the show: height and weight are listed for each woman (and Luke, our schlubby bachelor) along with age and career. In the same breath with which I was damning the producers for exploiting these poor women, I also found myself comparing my own stats to theirs. (Brilliant marketing tool? I THINK YES!) There was the typical "shameless attention grab" in which one of the girls artlessly jumped in the pool fully clothed, as well as two sleaze-out "gimme a kiss" seduction moments (one such attempt mounted while Luke had another girl sitting next to him on the couch. AWKWARD). Finally, previews for future episodes feature plenty of hefty hanky-panky scenes, as well as what looks to be a fairly delicious girl-fight, complete with battery by floral arrangement. Count me in!

What I appreciate about the show is the candid nature with which the girls speak and behave. While some viewers were undoubtedtly turned off by the admittedly obvious pity editing, watching these girls support each other on body image (bonding over mutual enjoyment of Spanx!), throw up the armor in the face of rejection, and light up when given diamond rings- this show's "rose ceremony" trinket- only to appear so dejected when told they had to give them back for the ceremony (indian giver!!) hits a little TOO close to home for this single, zaftig blogger.

This show is NOT revolutionizing the world view on body image. But it is a show enjoyable, at least in its premiere, for it's mindful portrayal of the "average" American.

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