Two nights ago, I along with countless other 20-something’s longing for a little extra spice, teenage boys dreaming of the future and middle-aged men dreaming of the past watched the Victoria Secret Fashion Show. And I suppose a few women doing some sort of window-shopping. Not a program I’m overly proud about viewing, but I figure I’m allowed, as I watch neither Jersey Shore nor any of the Real Housewives train wrecks.
There were many aspects of this program that I was shocked/disturbed/surprised about and none of them had to do with women walking around in barely enough material to make me a toque (granted I do have a pretty big head). The first of which is that through absolutely no effort of mine I have matured slightly…slightly. You see I have watched this show in the past, but this year I found myself saying ‘This is stupid’. I was actually more interested in the musical performances than the noodle thin prosti…uh Angels on stage and I’m talking linguini here, not fettuccini. Yes I seem to have grown slightly or the Internet has just corrupted me to the point where this sort of thing seems insignificant.
Second on my list of irritants was the behind the scenes aspects in which the models were being interviewed. I guess this also showed some sort of aging or maturation, as my most common reaction to the models was ‘no, no, no. What terrible examples you’re setting.’ Upon listening to these women I found myself with a level of concern for any young girls who may be watching. There were two thoughts expressed that struck me the hardest as dangerous messages.
The first came from a young and first time Angel who noted ‘I feel like I’m living the American dream.’ Which in some ways may be true as I’ve always perceived that dream to be along the lines of anybody can make it big if they work hard and strive to achieve. But that is not really how this women’s message came across and I fear for the young girls that what was heard was ‘I’ve made it. I’m beautiful, famous and rich’. Which I guess is the new dream. The other message delivered came from two Angels talking about their own childhood and dreams of being a model. They said they hoped and believed that somewhere a young girl was watching who could dream big enough and like them one day walk around in their underwear and skip meals for money. And to me that is just not the right thing to promote to children. I can’t really say there is anything morally wrong with modeling, I just feel like aspiring to be wank-fodder for 12-year old boys whose parents have good internet locks is aiming a little low.
Finally the thing that stuck out to me the most and I found to be the most peculiar happened after an Angel made her turn at the end of the runway. As she was walking off stage my eyes followed her so as to see the design features on the back of her outfit when I noticed that her backside had been blurred out. This was particularly noticeable as none of the preceding models had this happen, so I can only assume she was wearing a thong or a g-string or some other cool new thing I’ve never heard of.
This struck me as pretty gosh darn hypocritical, because the entire show is based around titillation and cheap thrills. Yet seeing an ass crosses the line? There didn’t seem to be any need to blur out any of the women wearing lacy see-through bras, where nipples were as blatant as a fly in one’s soup. And it certainly didn’t take a Sherlockian eye to notice all off the dromedary dactyls on display. Aside from the obvious reason of my penchant for hindquarters, I think this censoring bothered me so much because it speaks to a larger issue in TV censorship.
It is the censoring of sex and sexual content that I find somewhat ridiculous. It’s not that I need to see t’n’a all over the small screen, but that sex is still considered taboo on network TV and violence is so commonplace. I mean sex is about as natural as it gets, pretty much everybody I know has experienced it in some form, probably even some priests. Yet I can’t think of any acquaintances who have shot, stabbed, blown up, or candlesticked someone to death. Any of which can be witnessed thousands of times a day on any number of shows, but try and find a nip on prime time and you’re plum out of luck.
A couple weeks ago while watching the premiere episode of Hell on Wheels I saw (spoiler alert) a man getting a hole blown through his head and a throat cut wide open – if you haven’t watched the show I suggest you do. All that’s fine, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest, but I know there is no hope of seeing any tits-a-poppin. At best I might catch a little side-boob, which admittedly if shot well can be mighty fine but you know…its not the real deal. And I fail to see how seeing a breast is more inappropriate than a fairly realistic shot of a man losing his scalp under a native blade.
I guess the thing that bothers me is how much work goes into covering up all the smut. Watch any episode of CSI and you’ll see a dead woman in a hotel who has been murdered and left in her own blood and despite the killer going to great lengths to brutalize his victim he was very careful to tastefully drape a sheet across her naughty bits, I guess so the police won’t find her in a state of indecency.
I’m not saying I have a desperate need for more nudity on TV, because I don’t. Sure in certain situations it can lend an air of realism, but who watches TV for realism. I guess what it really boils down to is, coommmeee ooonnn – it’s the Victoria Secret show for Pete’s sake.