Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Ten Years Younger!

In response to Vicki's post on 'Im disturbed by The Swan,' i totally agree with the idea of reality tv becoming too obsessed with the way people look.

I too, had never seen an episode of The Swan, so was shocked at what women put themselves through to live up to the expectations of others - the need to be 'perfect.'

The New Zealand made show 'Ten Years Younger' has the same sort of idea as these other shows, but for most of the participants, surgery is not needed. Along with a new wardrobe, makeup tips, a new haircut; botox, their teeth fixed and cosmetic surgery can be done. In this way it seems very much like 'Extreme Makeover' or 'The Swan,' but in other ways its not quite to the full extent. I think that people just go for the easy option offered by these American tv shows, without attempting exercise if overweight or looking after their skin on the outside etc. 'Ten Years Younger' is trying to make people look more their age, as a number of people look older than they are from smoking, baking in the sun, or their hair going grey early and so on. It seems that there are a number things that can be tried before going under the knife! So im not sure that this programme has as many negative aspects as the others, other than the fact that people arent happy with the way they look and always have the need to 'look better.'

Programmes like these too, i believe, make the contestant or participant sound and look so much worse than they actually are! At the beginning of the programme someone is always going on about how the 'desperately need help' by exaggerating their flaws and making out that they cant continue to live the way they are!!

But i agree...there definately needs to be more emphasis on personalities or beauty within rather than external beauty!


At 3:51 PM, Blogger mags said...

yeah, I so agree aswell. I reckon that 'ten years younger' really represents the difference between New Zealand culture and American culture. We are so less extreme and overt in our behaviour, we are not particularly outwardly passionate people, and this filters through into the ways that we present ourselves and the kinds of things that we feel comfortable about doing or admitting to. The difference between the cultural acceptability
of plastic surgery in LA is massivley different from the hush hush 'oh my god how dishonest' way that we view it in New Zealand, and in my opinion thank god for that.

At 10:29 PM, Blogger aye002 said...

I completely agree. I have seen a few series of "Extreme Makeover" and one episode of "The Swan". I personally think these reality TV shows is not what society needs. It is ridiculous how they encourage people of this sort of behaviour. Instead they should encourage people to have more self confidence. When I see how woman in particular talk about how miserable and uncomfortable they are with the way they feel about themselves really makes me feel sympathetic to them. I really don't see the need for extreme makeover though, it looks like so much pain and so fake! Think about it, in "Extreme Makeover", they look totally different as if they are artificial rather than them true selves. It is just something they really shouldn't encourage. It reminds me of a movie "Stephid wives", the one with Nicole Kidman and Bette Miller? I remember watching fipside long time ago as well about women using Botox and plastic surgery etc... it seems like what is real and what isn't anymore in this world? Does anyone know what I mean?

At 10:32 PM, Blogger aye002 said...

One New Zealand reality TV show, which has a better approach to make an individual look and feel better about themselves internally and externally is "Witch doctor" (I think that is the title.)
It is more real and true effort made by the individual themselves. Having thier own control over the food the eat and getting into the daily routine of exercise.

At 9:45 AM, Blogger Luke said...

Having seen a few episodes of the UK version of 'Ten Years Younger' I caught one of the NZ version a couple of weeks ago. I was a bit unprepared because the UK show is pretty much clothes, hair, makeup etc. but this guy was having the whole works: major dental reconstruction, major lipo, laser eye surgery etc. It seemed more like a half-way house between the UK version and Extreme Makeover. For me there's certainly a big element of "my god, what are they doing: do they really think all this physical pain will bring them lifelong happiness?" etc. But I think we should also be wary of casting these people as dumb victims. There is certainly power at play e.g. a big gender mismatch between the patients of cosmetic surgery (mostly women) and the practitioners (mostly men). So I'm not saying it's a level playing field. But at the same time, these people have choices and they have sufficient intelligence to know that they are buying into a 'mythology', a social construct of idealised body image that furthers the interests of the 'body industries' (plastic surgeons, gyms, fashion industries etc.). Yet they still go ahead and do it. We all do 'pointless' stuff for vanity, right? I don't personally have any tatoos or piercings, but if I had a few thousand bucks to spare I'd be up for laser eye surgery before lunchtime because I hate wearing specs and contacts. We could also question the "rationality" of gym freaks who spend hours every day making repetitive movements in order to keep the body to a precise shape. When it comes to body image, who is rational? Where is the boundary between acceptable and unacceptable body modification?

At 12:00 PM, Blogger mags said...

I dont think there is a boundary, or that it is really really blurred. I would have to disagree though that the majority of people 'know' they are buying into a mythology. I think that people dont think along lines of mythologies and falsenss and all of that kind of stuff, but rather are fully absorbed by the imensity of the lie. For me its a question of how immersed people are within the whole image world. I go to Les Mills, and I see people everyday who I would bet my bottom dollar have not really taken a moment of their adult life to actually reflect on what it is they are so obsessed with. They are lost in the whole world of fantasy tans and muscles for brussles. I agree that people have choice, but so much of how we choose is based on how we have been educated about those choices, how are parents have taught us to feel about ourselves, how our friends reflect and re-inforce our values. I dont think people are dumb victims either - just that they may be unable to step outside of their own sphere of experience.


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