Sunday, August 23, 2009

On "Bridezillas"

I've never really cared much for Reality Television, but recently I've started to see the appeal. And here it is:

You get to watch irrational people behaving irrationally.

That's it: that's the pleasure. Most of reality TV is still, to me, pretty boring. But when irrational people start behaving against all reason, reacting to events without any sense of proportion or sense, then that's fun to watch. Perhaps I'm an overly reasonable person, because I can't help being amazed and entertained by the unreasonable words and actions of unreasonable people (as long as they have the distance of television). And I don't consider that a guilty pleasure, because in this life, the only pleasures we should feel guilty about are those that harm others.

However, I'm not sure I should enjoy watching Bridezillas. Certainly, I get to watch irrational people behaving irrationally. But I'm very interested in gender representations in popular culture, and I think this show may perpetuate several negative stereotypes of women, specifically:

Women are overbearing shrews who domineer their husbands.

Women are selfish narcissists caring only for themselves and their desires.

Women are overemotional and react to minor setbacks with either yelling or tears.

That actually makes me feel a little guilty. I may be watching a sexist show that asks its audience to laugh at stereotypical portrayals of women behaving badly.

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