Last week was the pilot episode of new ‘reality’ dating show, More to Love. What’s the difference between this and the Bachelor/Bachelorette? Well, apparently it’s helping obese girls find love. Lucky them!
(Photo of contestants courtesy of EW.com)
Officially, the show is billed as “the first broadcast dating show entirely cast with heavy and “average-looking” contestants,” (THR). Based upon the hour I watched last night, I would venture that the show is not only cast entirely with heavy and people, but also those with deep emotional scars and identities that revolve around being heavy. By no means, are all the contestants average. Many of the girls are quite beautiful and boast larger, but defined figures.
I remain offended by the very concept of the show, on many levels. Firstly, they claim the show to be a dating show for the rest of us, a show that will break down boundaries previously set by reality TV. I, for one, do not see how matchmaking ‘big’ girls with a bachelor who is a self-proclaimed chubby-chaser breaks down any boundaries. More to Love skips the stereotype smashing that shows such as Beauty & the Geek achieved, where they mismatched couples and let each see that they had underestimated the value of the other person. Instead, they enforce the stereotype that obese people belong each other and should be segregated from society as much as possible. Why not give these girls a classic Prince-Charming type and let him fall in love with their personalities first, or give a less-classically good looking Bachelor the typical “Bachelor” type girls? Apparently this would not make for good TV, and, I would assume, would be forcing the chiseled and skinny to date down. But hey, it sure sends a great message! “You don’t have to be skinny or pretty to be on a reality dating show! But if you’re not…we’re going to give you a bachelor who not only likes fat girls but is chubby himself! No fairytale-Prince Charming for you!”
Secondly, I have issue with the types of women they have chosen and how they are portrayed. Format of the show aside, if they are going to set up ‘larger’ people, why not keep the mental state of these individuals the same as on typical dating shows? When casting for shows such as the Bachelor and the Bachelorette, it seems a certain physical and mental vetting process is in place to ensure that not only are contestants in peak physical condition but are also mentally ready for love – something (purposely) lacking on More to Love. Instead of giving both the Bachelor and the contestants their pick of ‘the cream of the crop’, we instead see stereotypes reinforced. Of course these girls have never been on a date! Of course they’ve been been made fun of their whole lives! If it wasn’t enough to reinforce the stereotype, the show has the women do ‘confessional’ tapings, where they cry and tell the world that they’re happy they’ve finally found a man who won’t hurt them (you know, because he’s fat, too!). The show also seems to think nothing of posting the women’s height and weight next to their name and occupation when they are shown onscreen. Of course, this is a typical reality dating show practice. Wait, it’s not? Right…I’m thinking of the Biggest Loser. Silly me!
Will I keep watching? Probably. I’m intrigued to see how this pans out. My predictions include some weight-loss challenges, makeovers, maybe the introduction of some skinny girls. If the producers are being really ambitious, they might even rig it so the “not superficial” Bachelor chooses the ugliest, fattest girl of them all to be his mate! However this ends, I really don’t think society will learn anything from this show, other than that fat people belong with other fat people. That’s what the producers were hoping to accomplish, right?