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Old 2nd December 2010   #1
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Join Date: October 2010
Posts: 133
Default VH1 plus-size reality show?

While we all keep hoping to see fuller-figured girls in the media, I think the More To Love experience has made everyone jaded about what Hollywood will do with reality shows that do feature bigger girls.

I just read a news item about a new dating show that is exclusively casting larger women, "plus-size and up" according to the report. It sounds somewhat positive, but it serves us all to be skeptical.

Here's the link:

The relevant text:

VH1's New 'Sex & the City' Reality Show: For 'Big Women' Only

By Hollie McKay

December 02, 2010

VH1, in association with Doron Ofir Casting and Left Right Productions, is now casting “the hottest, most bodacious, voluptuous single women in Los Angeles” for a brand new docu-series that will show “a long-awaited glimpse into the ultra-fab world of big girls!”

According to the casting release, “skinny bi**hes need to step aside” as this series is strictly for gals who “have their cake and eat it too.”

But this is certainly no weight-loss promotion program like [name of horrible series] or dating-related show like “More to Love.”

“There have been shows to spotlight bigger women, but there has never been a show to celebrate being a woman in a body type that they are totally comfortable with,” casting agent Doron Ofir told us. “This is going to be the ‘Sex & the City’ from big girls’ perspectives.”

And even in an industry that’s typically associated with skin and bone, there is no limit on how ‘big’ one can be for the small-screen show.

“I would say plus-size and up, but I’m really looking for 5-6 girls that are organically interconnected with personality and a story,” Ofir continued. “We want girls with active social lives, a sense of style, who are dating, who love to raise the roof and are unapologetic about who they are and their size.”

On that note, the show’s main aim is to glorify the fuller female frame.

“Time to show the world that big girls have more fun,” added Ofir. “Big girls don't cry… they freakin' party!”

On the one hand, I like the fact that it cites a starvation/torture show, as well as More To Love, as examples of what it will NOT be.

I also like the pro-curvy claims, such as the promise to "glorify" the plus-size figure and to cast "unapologetic" girls (i.e., hopefully no hour-long crying jags or diet-starvation product placement).

On the other hand, Sex and the City had a lot of raunchiness in it that I didn't care for, and the vulgarity, shallowness, and materialism of that program was off-putting.

Still, this will be a reality show, not scripted, which might be better.

All in all, I'd like to be cautiously optimistic, but it's probably better to take a wait-and-see approach, given Hollywood's disastrous record when it comes to filming plus-size girls.

The most important factor, of course, will be whether or not the girls who are cast possess timeless beauty -- at least enough to overturn the media stereotype that fuller-figured women can't be gorgeous.
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Old 30th December 2010   #2
Join Date: July 2005
Posts: 1,784
Default Vixens, not victims

This could go any number of ways. Reality programs are, for the most part, rather horrible, as they tend to spotlight lowest-common-denominator behaviour. Not only do they generally present people at their worst, but the participants in such shows do not even act as they ordinarily would, but perform for the camera, knowing that only extreme and outlandish behaviour garners air time.

(Just imagine a reality series in which everyone behaved in a reasonably civilized manner, spoke intelligently to one another, and maintained a level of decorum and decency. Such a program is never likely to come out of modern Hollywood.)

This VH1 casting notice could also be deliberately misleading. The true nature of the show could be completely different from its billing. It could end up undermining the participants' confidence instead of celebrating their happy lives.

The most troubling aspect of the VH1 text is the reference to Sex and the City. If by invoking that specific program the producers merely wish to indicate that this show will cover full-figured girls' romantic escapades, so be it. If, however, they mean to pattern the program after Sex and the City itself, then they should be aware that many people abhor that series as a vile and disgusting entity that materially contributed to the coarsening of the culture.

Having said all that, if (and this is a colossal "if") the casting notice correctly describes the series, then on paper at least it has the potential to do a fair bit of good.

Hollywood's plus-size programming to date has been nothing short of abysmal:

-a diet-propaganda vehicle in which the contestants claim that their lives are unbearable and that their whole existence could be fixed by starving and torturing themselves into an underweight size.

-a dating show in which the participants incessantly bewailed their lifetimes of lonely misery, and were paired, not with a GQ bachelor, but with a rather unsavoury "big guy"--the implication being that full-figured girls deserve no better than this, and must settle for third-rate suitors.

-a show set in a concentration camp (a.k.a., a "weight-loss camp"--an institution that should be illegal, since its purpose is to starve its inmates), where popularity was equated with skinniness.

-various other TV dramas and comedies in which the full-figured leads are well past their dating years, rather than being young and desirable, and are invariably depicted as being loud and obnoxious.

None of these portrayals have born any resemblance to the lives led by actual voluptuous vixens, who are desired by all men, who are unattainable beauty queens, who dance and party all the time, who are wildly popular, and who may even be plus-size models. As Classical goddesses, these girls know that they deserve to be romantically involved with the Classical male equivalent of themselves--i.e., traditional GQ types, of whom they can have their pick.

A curvy beauty of this sort will have a romantic dinner date early in the evening at a posh restaurant, courtesy of a wealthy suitor who is trying to win her hand; she will then enjoy a second date later that same evening with a GQ vying for her affections, who will take her out dancing. (Being a self-respecting girl, she will tease these fellows and flirt with them, but will permit them nothing.) She knows that her beauty entitles her to a lavish lifestyle of round-the-clock fun, jetting off to Paris one weekend, then being taken to the Hamptons the next. And she never deprives herself of anything, but partakes freely of life's pleasures, knowing that her self-indulgence only makes her more beautiful.

If this VH1 reality series presents curvy girls living the high life and enjoying the kind of attention that any skinny superwaif would envy, then it could do much to overturn the media myth that a skeletal appearance somehow translates into popularity, and will instead reveal the suppressed truth: that plus-size goddesses are the most desirable (and desired) women in the world.

Katherine Roll, personifying the kind of gorgeous Queen Bee whom VH1's show should celebrate--adored by all men and envied by all women, flawless in face and figure, the epitome of popularity and beauty.

(Modelling for Aurora Formals)

- Katherine Roll gallery

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