Yes, I know I shouldn’t have watched. I know. But I couldn’t help it. I was wide awake, it was 11:00 p.m. on a Sunday night, I was channel surfing, and it was on. Up until this point, I think I was in denial about it's existence. I had heard about it, of course, but I guess that I thought that it must have somehow been my demented imagination playing tricks on me. Now that I knew it was actually real, I had to see for myself if it was as awful as I imagined it would be.
It was worse. Far, far worse. Luckily, I turned off the TV after twenty minutes so I could avoid slashing my wrists in despair over the fact that I live in a world where a show like “Bridalplasty” can exist.
I don’t even know where to start. With the obvious, gleeful attempts of the show’s producers to showcase the clichéd, time-worn myth that women are catty, shallow, competitive, vain, materialistic whores in the constant throes of a deranged obsession with wedding-day princess fantasies? With their emotionally disengaged, inertia-ridden fiances, mumbling impassively at the camera during the "joint interviews"? With the gorgeous bride-to-be’s heartbreaking litanies of self-disgust over the width of their thighs, (or noses, or chins, or breasts), and other imperceptible “flaws”? Or, the powerful underlying invitation to schadenfreude: Hey, it’s okay to enjoy watching those shallow bitches suffer for their vanity! They deserve it for trying so desperately to meet the physical standards that our culture demands of them. The same as they deserve to be punished for not attempting to meet those standards, of course. Or maybe just how it's retro notions of female "empowerment" through ostentatious displays of materialism made me want to go live in a cave with nothing but a incense burner and a jar of earplugs?
I was sure that “The Swan” was about as far as we could sink into the rank, steaming cesspool of reality T.V. misogyny, but I guess I was wrong. I just hope to god we’ve actually hit bottom with this one, because I don’t how much lower we could go.
More on this after I've bathed my eyeballs in bleach.