Friday, February 29, 2008

Rock of Piggy Men

As you may remember from previous posts or my old blog site, I have a certain obsession fondness with trash TV, The Girls Next Door to be specific.

I have no explanation for this embarrassing hobby. I can not explain why I feel so drawn to Holly, Bridget and Kendra. Perhaps it is because their lives are so very different from mine. They have butlers and maids, where at my house, I am the butler and maid. They have amazing bodies with perky, perfect breasts (two sets courtesy of Mr. Silicone, but who cares?). I have saggy, stretch marked milk transfer units. They get to wear pretty clothes and gorgeous costumes. I wear yoga pants and stained t-shirts. I spend my day administering to two small, demanding children. They spent their days (and nights too) administering to one old, demanding, kind of creepy man.

Plus, the voyeur in me can't help wondering what exactly goes on behind the doors of Hef's bedroom. Is it a never-ending carnival of sex? Does Hef get it on with all the Playmates? Do the girls pitch for both teams? One wonders....

So, given my love for the Playboy threesome, I was surprised at my recent reaction to another trashy, worthless, sign of the coming Apocalypse show, Rock of Love.

Rock of Love is a "reality show" featuring the lead singer of Poison, Bret Micheals. His lives in a house of honeys who are competing for his affections. It's the same basic premise as the Bachelor.

I happened to catch an episode of the show last week while on the treadmill, my favorite place to indulge in my affection for trash. I don't usually watch it, but there was nothing else on and I had nothing taped.

In this episode, Bret staged a mud ball game for the girls to compete in. The girls were all outfitted in cut-off t-shirts and shorts. bosoms were on display. Bret was clothed in a long-sleeved t with another shirt on top. He explained to the camera how much he loved mud ball games with hot women, the wet environs resulting in body-molding attire. After the game, Bret gathered the girls around to give out the trophy and reward of a private date. Why he was blathering on and on, the girls were visibly violently shaking with teeth chattering. It was obvious they were freezing in their skimpy apparel while Bret was all warm and toasty in his more substantial clothing.

This is when I first started to become a little pissed at the show. The least they could have done was let the girls change first, but no, that would defeat the purpose of having their dripping wet boobs on display.

Then, Bret takes the winner on a private date. A private date to a lingerie store. He has the girl try on and model an assortment of sexy outfits while he sits sipping wine. Throughout, he makes comment after comment about how hot this girl is. He is practically panting and drooling.

After the lingerie show, he and the girl sit down to dinner at a table set-up next to the dressing room. Chickadee is still in one of her new outfits and Bret is obviously checking her out. The girl attempts to talk to him, asking about his likes and dislikes and hobbies and so on. The scene cuts away to Brettreflecting on the date. He complains that the girl was talking to much,asking too many questions, when all he wanted to do was look at her. He doesn't see any sense in all the conversation, when obviously what he likes about her can't talk. He almost eliminates the girl based on her apparently misguided attempt to actually hold a conversation with him. He clearly states that he just wanted her to shut up and look cute.

This sent me over the edge. What a total pig! And who the hell does Bret Michaels think he is anyway? Bono? Las time I checked, Poison wasn't doing much these days. He goes on and on about how a girl has to fit in with his rock and roll life. What rock and roll life??? It's Poison, not the Rolling Stones.

I understand that these women signed up for this and that all this is deliberately staged to be as sexy as possible. I understand that it is not real. But what kind of message does this send to all the teens who watch this show? Women are only as good as their bodies? Women should shut up and look nice? The only worth a woman has is her ass?

Are teenage boys watching this and thinking Bret Michaels is a cool guy? Are the girls watching this and thinking they need to be more promiscuous to hold a guy's attention? Do they compare their bodies to these women and think they don't measure up? It makes me sick to think of Ladybug exposed to this when she is older.

Now, you might say that Girls Next Door does the same thing, and you would be right to a certain extent. I am not defending it and there is no way my children would ever watch it, but there is some difference. The girls on GND are depicted as more than sex objects. Holly is often shown in her job directing photo shoots for Playboy. Bridget is shown studying and going to class (she already has a Master's and is studying Communications). Kendra is shown investing in real estate. And Hef talks with them, plays board games, and is always very respectful of them and supportive of their endeavors. He genuinely seems to care about them as people, or at least he is portrayed that way on the show. Bret Michaels does none of this. He practically says that all he wants is a sex toy.

Even given the differences, I know that both shows are objectionable.

Obviously I could turn the TV off, but ss women and mothers, why do we not demand more from the entertainment industry? Even shows like Cashmere Mafia, which show women achieving in the work world still play up the sexuality of the women. In a recent episode, one of the women, Zoe I think, wore to work a blouse practically open to her navel. It was clearly something no one would wear to an office. Why do we not protest the overly sexual depiction TV? Is feminism that dead?


stephanie said...

I am strangely compelled to watch Girls Next Door, too. But I find comfort in the aspirations of the ladies to go beyond the Playboy mansion.

You're right about Bret & his nonsensical show; I used to think he was a hottie but now he makes my stomach turn. There is a huge difference between admiring a woman and being a letch who can't stand to have her do anything but look good.

My protest is turning off the TV, educating my kids and as many students as I can get my words to, and behaving smartly around potential jokers who buy that Rock of Love crap...

(Good post :))

jennifer h said...

I can't help watching Girls Next Door, either.

But I had to draw the line at Rock of Love. I have a friend who watches it, and I might have gently mocked her for it. To be fair to her, I watched one episode. Honestly? Why do these girls sign up? It's not like they didn't know what they were getting into this season, since it's not his first go-around with this show.

He's an ass, if you ask me, and a has-been, to boot. But I'd also say the girls have some responsibility for being there and dressing the way they do.

Everyone involved is selling what they think people want to see. And, you're right, it's sad.

Anonymous said...

More than anything a child learns to value themselves based on the role models of their parents and those closest to them.

On very rare occassions I have watched shows of this nature. The thing is you can find the over sexualization of women and men everywhere - the ads on bus stops and in the pages of our Womens Circle magazines.

I have made a point of watching some of these objectionable things with my son and talking about what we see. We are both enjoying this season of American Idol (which is weird because I was disgusted by the last few seasons). As we watch we talk about each contestant and how they are feeling and what does it mean to them to compete like that. I want him to see everyone, specially those on "reality TV" as real people and not just believe the aspect that the producers want you to see.