Saturday, June 13, 2009

Where Do I Audition?

A friend told me on Friday about a new game show called More to Love – a Dating Game style show for plus size women. Naturally, being 1) a plus size woman, 2) an author of books featuring a plus size protagonist, and 3) just naturally curious about all the flaky things on TV, I decided to do some snooping.

Yes, there is a reality show being produced featuring plus size people. But instead of it being patterned after the old Dating Game, it’s more along the lines of The Bachelor. Only this time the bachelor looking for love will be husky and the single women plus size. In fact, More to Love is produced by the same folks who brought the viewing public The Bachelor. It is scheduled to be aired this summer on Fox and hosted by plus size super model Emme.

The problem is I've read comments about the show that have annoyed me and comments that made me think this might be a good thing. Something that might make people across America see that people with extra poundage are just normal folks looking for the usual stuff out of life like security, happiness and love, the very things I strive for in my Odelia Grey books. One of the annoying quotes I read is: "More to Love’"is billed as the first dating show for ‘average-looking’ people.

When did “average-looking” become synonymous with plus size or ample? Does a drop-dead beauty who is a size 14 or over automatically become “average-looking?” Is a plain jane who is a size two now the poster child for beautiful? I think these folks are confusing their adjectives. And just because a hopeful Romeo has a few extra pounds, it doesn’t make him average either. And while I'm on a rant, why are big people only being paired with big people? Most of the men I date have medium body types. And I see a lot of husky men with slender women. It's like the More to Love contestants are being paired off as a special species for Noah's ark. Or maybe paired to be future contestants on The Biggest Loser - Couples (a show I love, BTW).

According to a casting site for More to Love, they are looking for “REAL women who are curvy, beautiful, sexy, ages 23-35.” The combination of beautiful and sexy is not average. Nor is there any explanation of “curvy.” I’m sure the show has its size limits, but is too politic or afraid to print them. I wonder how many women will be considered who are 180 lbs or over. Me thinks none. I’m betting the women on More to Love will be as drop-dead beautiful as their more slender counterparts on The Bachelor, just a little more filled out. “Average-looking” my ass.

It’s not that I object to contestants being gorgeous and young, but don’t call this a dating show for “average-looking” people. The Dating Game – now there was a show with average-looking people. I know because I knew some of the folks chosen for that show. The Biggest Loser contestants are average-looking people, and not because of their starting weights. Maybe instead of average, they should have said a dating show for "everyday people." You know, the folks you see at the bank or grocery store - folks before a Hollywood makeover.

Then I read this comment on the official site for More to Love: "This is a dating show that sends the right message about embracing and loving yourself no matter your shape or size," said executive producer Mike Fleiss. "When you are comfortable with your own body, you can really allow yourself to be open to the possibility of finding the right person to love." In this site's casting requirements for the women "sexy" has been replaced by "confident."

Okay. Now these ideas I can get behind. Why? Because it’s true of everyone, no matter what you look like. Confidence is beautiful and sexy at any size ... and at any age.

Speaking of age, when is there going to be a dating show for “average-looking” single mystery authors in their fifties? Now that would be TV worth watching.

I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. Fleiss.

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