More to Love

There is a new series starting tonight on FOX called, “More to Love.” It is the brother show of The Bachelor, but the difference is that this show is for “big” girls.

MORE TO LOVE, the new dating competition show from Mike Fleiss (“The Bachelor”), follows one regular guy’s search for love among a group of real women determined to prove that love comes in all shapes and sizes. The inspirational new series is hosted by iconic supermodel Emme.
Luke Conley is a 26-year-old former college football offensive lineman who stands 6’3″ and weighs over 300 pounds. He’s a successful sub-contractor and real estate investor who has his sights set on building a long-lasting …relationship.

My first instinct when I saw the trailer was how I feel whenever I see trailers for these dating/marriage reality TV shows, “this is bullshit.” And as I watched, my opinion didn’t change. The problem with these reality TV shows about marriage and finding the one isn’t just about how they are sexist, but how they make fetish of romance and love and play on outdated ideas about romance. I have to say of all my guilty pleasures, The Bachelor, Tough Love, Who Wants To Marry a Millionaire and Millionaire Matchmaker are not on the list (I am more of a Top Chef, Fashion Show, Project Runway kind of gal), but most definitely because I have a specific ambivalence to weddings and the romantic industrial complex (to put it nicely).
But that is not what is unique about this show. More to Love is different because it features women that are fat. When I am using fat here, I am using it as a descriptor, not as a pejorative. Similarly, Marianne Kirby writes at the Daily Beast,

So when I say fat, I mean it as a descriptive term, not an insult. I work toward a concept known as Fat Acceptance–the idea that, really and truly, your body is OK just the way it is.

Unfortunately, the general TV watching public may not have the same attitude. The reality is that the nature of these shows is making spectacle of people, so now the gaze has shifted to fat women and the men who love them. (A very common fetish in the porn world.)
Outside of the fetish spectacle of the whole thing, my second thought when seeing an ad for it on TV was relief. I am fat and I appreciated seeing other fat women on TV, not on a show about weight loss, but on a show about accepting themselves as is and finding love as is. But as I watched the commercials, something continued not to sit right with me and Kirby hits the nail on the head,

Does every fat woman have a story about the date invite that was actually a humiliating joke? What about the one where the fat girl strikes up a conversation with the cute guy at the bar…and he asks for her thin friend’s phone number? I try to remember that meeting a good partner is a challenge for everyone, but it’s hard in the face of these stories not to feel like the show’s producers are conflating “fat women” with “pathetic, sad women” and leaving it at that.
Still, as I started watching the first episode, I could certainly identify with these women’s dating struggles, even as I sat comfortably on the couch next to my husband. The show’s creators have tapped into something with this. But then they fall back on stereotypes, yet again.
The women on the show look amazing; great fashion, great hair and makeup. They are all individually gorgeous, even if they don’t look a thing like the mainstream beauty ideal. It feels really great to watch them strut and shine. But…they are all strutting around huge plates of food.

So while the mere act of these women being on television does disrupt beauty standards, you have to wonder what the desired outcome of this show is and what the producers are playing to. Are they using catchy almost feminist ads to shore up support, only to break it down when you actually watch the show and realize these women are “pathetic?” Are they creating a fetish of fatness for Americans to tune in in awe, to make jokes and laugh about how these “fat girls” are trying to find love?

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50 Comments

  1. Laura
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    I think shows like More to Love are just further objectifying plus size women. The women are described by the show as “curvy” as if their only defining characteristic is their weight. By creating a separate show for plus size people, Fox is further “othering” plus size people and further making them second class citizens.
    I talk more about it here: http://youngfeministadventures.blogspot.com/2009/06/more-to-objectify.html
    And I talk about other plus size centric shows, mainly Drop Dead Diva here: http://youngfeministadventures.blogspot.com/2009/07/with-premiere-of-more-to-love-looming.html

  2. DeafBrownTrash
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Are they using catchy almost feminist ads to shore up support, only to break it down when you actually watch the show and realize these women are “pathetic?” Are they creating a fetish of fatness for Americans to tune in in awe, to make jokes and laugh about how these “fat girls” are trying to find love?
    I don’t know how they’ll portray “fat girls” but I am very positive that they’ll probably show these females as catty, back-stabbing, gossiping bitches. Since reality TV tends to do that with females.
    This show still doesn’t look as degrading as “Average Joe” or “My Big Fat, Obnoxious Fiance” though. Remember those two shows from the early 2000s?

  3. NewsCat_in_DC
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    I have a bad feelings that about six episodes in the show is going to introduce “thin women” to the guy and then it’ll be about shallowness versus “inner beauty.”
    Beauty and the Geek did this. They have the “geeks” and the ‘hunks’ and the woman always chooses the hunks.

  4. waitscratchthat
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    I can’t help but notice that the man whose attractions the women are vying for is not a handsome male-model type. He’s as “average” and “fat” as they. Yet when we look at reality shows in which the men are less than perfect, e.g. Beauty and the Geek, the women involved are absolutely gorgeous.
    Yet another example of how hot woman/average man pairings are more generally accepted by our culture (think Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl or Steve Carell and Catherine Keener) than hot man/average woman pairings.

  5. DeafBrownTrash
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    I was thinking the same thing, too! FOX did something like that with a reality show featuring Little People, some years ago.

  6. Lumix
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    I believe the creators have stated that since over half the U.S. is considered overweight they intended for this show to resonate with a significant portion of potential viewers.
    On the other hand, this just feels like an opportunity to otherize fat people. Like circus animals or something, “Look at these fat women. Look how their lives are so different from a “normal” person’s. Look how sad and desperate they’ve become!”
    So I’m sure a lot of women will be attracted to this show because they can relate in a specific way to the people presented. But this show is just presenting stereotypes, even if each of these women is portrayed as a unique individual, the focus is still on their weight. This show as been designated for them.
    What about a romance reality show that has women or men of all shapes and sizes? That would be closer to reality than any of these other “reality” shows.

  7. DeafBrownTrash
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    exactly!

  8. EKSwitaj
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    By making a separate show for larger women rather than including larger women in a “regular” show, the fat women are further othered. Moreover, there seems to be an implication that they couldn’t compete with thinner women, which reconfirms the supposed importance of size.

  9. argon
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Two things.
    1) This show is no more or less exploitive, misogynistic, racist or downright stupid than any other reality show on the air. In other words — yes, it really is that bad.
    2) As someone who dates women, I have to say that anyone of any gender who dates a person as beautiful, quick-witted and deeply passionate as Samhita should thank his or her preferred deity, deities or other spiritual forces for their good fortune. (Apologies if I offend or harass by saying that)

  10. Posted July 28, 2009 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    This is exactly what I was thinking. They would never dream of having a fat woman as a regular contestant on The Bachelor. And, as NewsCat pointed out, if any thin women appear on More to Love, they’ll only be there to test the bachelor’s “integrity.”

  11. smiley
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Samhita,
    I do not really understand your quibbles. I am not a devotee of reality TV, and do not know the other shows you mention. (And the only trailer I’ve seen is the one on your post.)
    But it seems to me that you have got a grudge against Fox TV, and will find flaws with all their shows.
    In this instance, you object to fat people trying to find love. Great! say I! Had the people ‘on offer’ been thin, you’d have objected to that, presumably, on the grounds that the show excludes nearly half of the population.
    Can Fox make any show that meets your approval? *Average people*? Well, if they are younger than 30 or 35, it does not include the *more mature* slice of the population?
    Your specific objections (“… the nature of these shows is making spectacle of people…”, ” the show’s producers are conflating “fat women” with “pathetic, sad women” and leaving it at that”) could be made against practically all shows on television – yes, people do want to appear on television, and will do anything for fame. TV is only tapping into people’s desire for fame or notoriety.
    As for conflating “fat women” with “pathetic, sad women”, quite frankly, I haven’t seen that in the trailer. Rather, a case could be made for showing them as *positive*, *optimistic*, *go-getting*, and so on. Maybe the show will be different, but until we see it, I don’t think it is fair to throw that charge at the producers.

  12. Posted July 28, 2009 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    This part of the show’s description is particularly annoying: “a group of real women determined to prove that love comes in all shapes and sizes.” Prove? So now somebody has to prove that you can be bigger than size 2 and still be loved??
    The whole idea behind this show comes from the completely faulty premise that being bigger makes your love life more difficult or problematic. “Fat women looking for love” are presented as some sort of a curiosity. The idea that they expect to find a romantic attachment is seen as entertaining.
    I’d love to see more women who look like me on television. But not as an object of ridicule, pity, or condescension. I don’t find this rhetoric of “Don’t worry, dear, you can be size 14 and still find love” empowering in the least. I don’t need this reassurance any more than “a perfect size 2 woman” does.

  13. Posted July 28, 2009 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been twittering about this show @jennpozner and @RealityTVBook (and will livetweet it tonight).
    I’d love for people to keep in mind that where reality TV is concerned, visibility is not a blessing. When a constituency often marginalized on TV is the subject of a reality show, that usually translates to gross objectification, reinforcement of gender/race/class/sexuality stereotypes, and as Samhita says, “fetish spectacle.” Case in point: the way women of color (and men of color) were turned into minstrel show gawk-fests on VH1′s “Flavor of Love” and the spinoff “I Love New York,” “Real Chance of Love,” “Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School” etc.
    Context is king, and while I would LOVE for a reality show to treat larger women as deserving of love, affection and sex, I don’t believe that Mike Fleiss (producer of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette”) and Mike Darnell (Fox’s reality sleaze king) would ever actually make that show. “More To Love” reunites these two bottom-feeders, who literally created the misogynistic mold for the entire reality TV genre when they teamed up to produce Fox’s “Who Wants to Marry A MultiMillionaire” eons ago. After it came out that the guy they wed a woman to on air not only wasn’t rich but had a restraining order against him from a former girlfriend (he allegedly beat her up, and worse), they laid low for a while. Not long after, Fleiss sold “The Bachelor” to ABC — repackaging the same sexist values of MultiMillionaire under the new guise of earnest “fairy tale” lingo. And Darnell then followed by lowering the bar with “Joe Millionaire.” I wrote about this a bit in the current issue of Bitch magazine.
    These two men are not the ones to bring us a show that respects women. And without respect built into the show at every point in the process, from casting to editing to promotion, a plus sized dating show doesn’t stand much chance of doing anything beyond reinforcing horrid notions of who does and doesn’t deserve to be considered beautiful, deserve to be desired and adored, deserve to be happy. “More To Love” is advertised as offering us an empowered and compassionate look at plus-sized daters’ quest for love… but as we all know, advertisers’ promises rarely match what their product delivers. Remember: Fleiss and ABC promoted “The Bachelor” as a genuine, heartfelt search for “true love,” and advertised “The Bachelorette” as a show in which “the woman has all the power.” As anyone who has watched either of those shows has seen… those promises are about as far from the content they offer as can be.
    One final thought: in the multimedia lecture I do on women and reality TV for colleges, I have a clip of Fleiss saying, on air during an episode of “The Bachelor,” that the single most important thing that women need if they want the chance to compete to marry some dude they’ve never even met, is: “Most important…they have to look good in the hottub.” Immediately after this quote, “The Bachelor” cameras cut to an extended video montage of bikini-clad waifs entering and exiting pools and hottubs, droplets of water dripping from their teeny-tiny bods (and enormous breasts), and – I kid you not – one of those cheesy, soft-porn style chicka-chicka-pow-wow soundtracks in the background.
    Mike Fleiss has been the reality TV industry leader in keeping healthy women of a variety of body sizes out of dating shows. He is among the reasons why reality TV has pretended that only women who are skinny could ever be considered desirable. Now he wants us to believe that he believes America should consider plus-sized women to be datable, sexy, desirable, lovable? I don’t buy it. And I hope none of you do, either.
    I haven’t seen the premiere episode yet, it airs for the first time tonight. My thoughts thusfar are based on what I know from having monitored the reality TV genre for the last nine years, and my research and analysis for the book I’m currently working on, “Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth Behind Guilty Pleasure TV.” If it turns out that the show does actually treat the women as self-aware, confident, sexy, desirable and desired people, I will be surprised — but pleased. And I’d happily offer Fleiss an apology.
    Wow, that comment was way longer than I expected. I may repost or rewrite over at WIMN’s Voices http:www.wimnonline.org/WIMNsVoicesBlog

  14. Gular
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    I refuse to watch the show due solely to its main advertisement in my market. It talks about how these women are the statistical average (14-18 in dress size) and then, in the same sentence, talks about them being fat. The gap in that really bugged me from a body image standpoint.
    They needed to decide of these women were fat or if they were like everyone else. You can’t have both.

  15. Gular
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Now, I’ve been not one to defend Samhita lately, but I think she’s pretty on with this one. These women are of average size stastically and are being otherized into marketed into being the size of Gojira. It’s not right and Fox has a responsibility to decide whether or not these women are average or more than average. Until then, these women are just not being treated right.

  16. teacherwoman
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    The network must think it wouldn’t be possible to feature the fat women on a regular dating show with women of all other sizes. No way, they couldn’t let that happen. They had to be given their own show with the title “More to Love” to show that it’s just a gimmick, or a niche thing.

  17. MBriannaS
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    I share sentiments expressed by Gular above.
    I remember how enraged I was when I first saw the teaser commercials for this. Their lead-in stated that, while the average everyday American woman was a size 12, the average everyday supermodel was a size 2. And then they continued to perpetuate this “More To Love” gimmickry.
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but (“plus-size” or not) how can it be “more” to love if the average American woman weighs in at this size? It’s not “more” if it’s an average. That’s just logistically impossible. Not to mention, y’know, exploitative and demeaning.
    In fact, I think I might have been slightly less offended if the producers pulled out all the stops and went 100% crass. Why not call it “Chubby Chasers” or “Fat & Lonely No More!”
    Groan.

  18. XXLAshley
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    I hate how it seems like the only way to garner support for the plus sized figure is to put us on a sort of pedestal. Hell, even some people (obviously not feminists) still use terms like “goddess-like figure” or “more to love” or even “real women have curves” and the like. My problem with that is the fact that it *still* comes down to looks, only, when some women attempt to make the fat figure out to be a positive, they feel the need to knock down other women on the way up. Sure, the way the thin and big busted figures are held up high in our society, I can understand why many feel the need to knock others down before they themselves can climb up, but it gets to be seriously ridiculous. No, these women don’t have more to love, the people on ridiculous “little people” dating shows don’t have less to love, we’re all fucking human with different needs and desires, and it’s ridiculous to assume that those needs and desires are going to be expressed by what size clothing you wear or how tall you are.
    /rant

  19. smiley
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    MBrianna,
    As I said above, I’ve see the Trailer. I froze framed it at 17 seconds, at the line-up; I must say the women do look ‘above-average’ to me.
    Maybe they are of average weight over all age groups, but I’d be staggered if they were average for their age group.

  20. LalaReina
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    This show is so sad/stupid. They are going to trod these women out there and they will do the whole giddy/grateful “OMG!! finally a man wants me” act. I resent all of life is about getting a man AND acting like curvy women a problem with that to begin with cuz they don’t in communities I know. And another thing, these damn “cougar” shows. An older woman with a younger guy, so flipping what? That drives me up the wall as well.

  21. Jessica Lee
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    I remember the first time I saw the commercial for this show. I was absolutely ashamed. The part that really got to me was the montage of the women talking about how they were told that they’d be pretty if they lost weight or they felt as if they’re never gonna find love. I’ve had these sentiments as well (although I’m not quite as big, which goes to show how bad our society makes its women feel) but I would never broadcast it to the world. It just plays into the “big girls are sad and lonely” stereotype.
    In short, fuck you Fox Reality.

  22. Kate the Great
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    It seems like any show or movie that has characters that are plus size has a plot thats about them overcoming their size or looks. It can’t ever be about their accomplishments alone…its always “look what she did even though she’s fat!” Its great that more networks and movie companies are putting normal looking people on the screen, but can’t they be doing normal things, too?

  23. young_feminist_man
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    ?

  24. waitscratchthat
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    If the producers of these shows really want to prove that being plus-sized is acceptable (which may not be their true mission, but is at least what they are under the guise of) then they ought to freely incorporate women of all sizes in the cast list for other shows, without othering fat women.

  25. Gular
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think it’s necessarily if they’re actually of average size; it’s more that these women are being sold – it is marketing after all – as being average sized, but then also overweight.

  26. Gular
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the shout out :-)

  27. Gular
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    I think in this case, it may be excused because it is a reality dating show. It comes with the whole package of what they’re selling to their audience — it’s largely based on looks and it’s going to be exaggerated when your “edge” is using non-traditional looking people.

  28. Gular
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Not excused as in OK, but excused as in expected.

  29. magi
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    It’s a reality dating show. Whether it’s The Bachelor, The Bachlorette, More to Love or even Flavor of Love, none of them are any good. All of them are garbage. Picking out which class of people they insult the most, is an exercise in futility. As far as I’m concerned they’re insulting to anyone with a heartbeat. All this show is doing is finding a new flavor of suck. The producers don’t care about political statements, they care about ratings. Don’t want to see them on TV, don’t watch and make sure you friends don’t watch them either. The less attention shows like this get, the less we’ll have to put up with them.

  30. kave
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    The guy is big as well.
    What’s disturbing is the weight of everyone (including him) is listed when each person is focused on.
    But besides listing weight often my first impression is that the women are seen as lucky for him being interested in them (instead of being “weight” equals), and most of the women disclosed that “men have never been interested in me”, because of their weight. No mention of the guy not dating because of his weight.

  31. electrictoaster
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    I think that constantly seeing very slim women presented as though they were average has skewed our perceptions of reality. They do look a few pounds heavier than what I think of as everyday, real life average, but “the camera adds ten pounds” isn’t quite a myth. Using a not-quite-right lens for the distance between the cameraman and the subject and creates distortion, and usually not a flattering one. (You can google “wide angle comparison” to see what I mean.) I’ve heard it’s worse for video cameras, though I couldn’t tell you why, and while I’m sure the cameramen here are very professional, TPTB of this show want to make sure we think they’re fat — otherwise their gimmick show just lost its gimmick. So keeping that in mind, they look about right to me.

  32. Athenia
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    This!

  33. athena-magazine
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    This show is distubring and offensive for soooo many reasons. Obviously there’s the typical reality tv show objectification/degradation: selling off love, portraying women as catty scheming bitches, making a spectacle out of everyone involved…all the reasons previous commenters have mentioned.
    And then there’s the “she’s fat so she’s never found love, but now she finally can because here’s another fat person.”
    And the “I feel so pathetic and unloved because I’m fat” (which may be true in our extremely fatophobic society, but is hardly helpfully or informative to hear constantly repeated).
    And there is also the fact that they flippin’ displayed the HEIGHT and WEIGHT of each of these women alongside such actual, pertinent biographical details such as her goddamn name. So that, just in case you couldn’t judge these women enough based on their physical appearance alone, you can calculate their BMIs or whatever the fuck else they want you to do with this information.
    I know that reality television is degarding, but to segregate “fat” people from the rest of the population so that they can be publicly mocked (which is pretty obviously the intention of the show) is really just too much.
    Ick.

  34. darklitfem
    Posted July 28, 2009 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    “And there is also the fact that they flippin’ displayed the HEIGHT and WEIGHT of each of these women alongside such actual, pertinent biographical details such as her goddamn name.”
    Seriously. I thought it was profoundly ridiculous and just the icing on the cake of yet another BS-ridden reality program. Another thing that peeved me was the “We’re going to take real women” comment in the commercials, as if being a woman is defined by what size clothing you wear or if you have curves. Ugh.

  35. faithdarwin
    Posted July 29, 2009 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    In addition to everything that’s already been said about how disgusting this show is, I have a problem with the advertisement stating that “20 real women will have the chance to find the man of their dreams.” I don’t like using “real” as synonymous with “fat.” It implies that those of us who are very thin must be “fake”. At the same time, their statement implies that without this show these “real” women could never ever find love because they are so ugly and men are shallow and only ever pay attention to super-skinny, super-attractive, “fake” women. Ugh, reality tv is the worst.

  36. Tenya
    Posted July 29, 2009 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    Did you watch the same preview? The women crying that they want love and relationships, like at 0:07 and 0:09, hardly says “go-getting” and “optimistic” to me. That says women who are fat are miserable due to their lack of relationships.

  37. daytrippinariel
    Posted July 29, 2009 at 2:16 am | Permalink

    In some of the other previews for the show fox states “the average reality show woman is size 2, the average American woman is size 12, how is that real?” I watched the show today. I’ve spent a significant part of my summer watching god-awful television, I’m not proud of it. So, I read this as they are trying to sell the show and these women as average sized rather than fat. But, then again they call the show “More to Love” as opposed to “Average People Date” or something more clever.
    I’m not defending Fox or crappy television. But, to be fair, Fox does state these women are of average size for Americans in other previews for this show.

  38. sarah
    Posted July 29, 2009 at 3:55 am | Permalink

    I just wanted to add that these women DO adhere to beauty standards by the way. They may be bigger than the typical girl on reality shows, but their faces are covered in makeup, their hair is done and they have expensive clothing on. Therefore, they are conforming to beauty standards.

  39. sonastew
    Posted July 29, 2009 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    I am happy to find a network that understands my hatred for these types of shows, 25 women competing for the affection of one man but I especially hate this one, that pits plus size women in a battle against everyone else. Why must be degrade other to assert our confidence.
    what does the tagline:
    “I am glad you like normal size women” really mean?
    I am naturally a size 2 and I am normal, why must we divide ourselves by our weight

  40. preppy
    Posted July 29, 2009 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    “a group of real women determined to prove that love comes in all shapes and sizes”.
    this is the part that is really just… f’d up. i mean hasn’t this already been proven like a million times?

  41. Cosmosis
    Posted July 29, 2009 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    While the trailer for the show definitely had a “RAH! RAH! Plus-sized women are beautiful” bent, the premiere was a different story entirely. Most of the one-on-one interviews follwed the same script “I’ve never dated/my previous boyfriends were embarrassed to be seen with me and this is my last chance to find love.” There was so much talk about being “alone” as if fat women are doomed to a lifetime of solitude unless they are lucky enough to get on a dating show with THE ONLY MAN IN AMERICA who could possbily love them. Same old crap we were all hoping not to see.

  42. knpeterson
    Posted July 29, 2009 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Any hope I might have had for that show was totally killed when they decided to put each woman’s stats on it. Every time they flashed to someone they put her weight up on the screen. If this show is really about love going beyond someone’s appearance then why do we need to know her weight?
    It makes me sick. How much do you want to bet that halfway through this they bring in a bunch of size 2 women to ‘prove’ if he really loves curvy women?

  43. Harold
    Posted July 29, 2009 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    As an athletic fitness professional
    who likes fuller figured women here
    are some of my thoughts and observations
    after watching the first episode
    of Fox’s More to Love.
    First let me say that all of the women
    cast for the show are physically
    beautiful and although I don’t believe
    myself to be the most shallow man on
    the planet that fact will probably keep
    me watching no matter lame the show gets.
    All these women carry their size well
    and have curves in the right places
    and in that respect not necessarily
    representative of the average larger
    woman out there.
    Unfortunately despite their beauty these
    women displayed or were forced by Fox
    to display almost zero self confidence
    which is a major turn off to most men
    including myself. Talking about how they
    can’t get a date is not something that’s
    going to make a man fall for them.
    Also Fox really knows how to tighten
    the screws of humiliation by statting
    these women at every opportunity as if
    they were a football team lineup. I’m
    a sensitive guy and personally think
    this is wrong, but heck this is reality
    TV and honestly are we really watching
    this stuff for any reason other than
    watching people being humiliated on
    national TV? Fox has a long history
    of humiliating people of all shapes
    and sizes so it’s all fair.
    One wonders what further humiliations
    await these women as the show
    progresses. Bikini shots with stats
    displayed? Five course meals? Being
    played by Luke with cheap come on
    lines in order to get some easy action
    with the girls before dumping them
    and making them turn in their rings
    after which they’ll cry and
    lament their return
    to a dateless future?
    I also have some unresolved questions
    about Luke. It has been my experience
    being friends with guys that size is
    that they almost always prefer petite
    women and may resort to someone plus
    size as a default. Whise this may not
    be true of Luke I think we’ll all
    be interested to see if Fox in their
    infinite wisdom will test Luke’s
    resolve with the introduction of some
    petite women with model looks who
    are crazy about the big teddy bear
    types like him to see if he falls
    for the bait
    While I have no problem with the
    choice of Luke as the batchelor, after
    watching the first show I wonder if
    he has the “romantic leading man
    skills” required to keep the show fresh
    and prevent it from dragging. One thing
    I’m sure of: the show will be filled
    with lame come on attempts to get some
    cheap action which I suspect many of
    these unconfident women will fall for
    but perhaps little else. I think we’d
    all find the show more intriguing if
    they chosen an athletic, buff, and
    confident guy along the lines
    of “12 Pack of Daisy of Love” for
    these women to fight and claw over.
    By choosing Luke Fox falls into the
    assumption that an athletic guy
    would never be interested in women
    like this and vice versa. We all know
    that is not true. While we generally
    want someone attractive, not all of us
    athletic guys want someone super thin
    woman or one as hard as us. While
    Luke is fine I think these women would
    fight and claw all that much harder
    if their target was some 12 Pack
    looking guy and after all isn’t that
    why we watch these shows where 20
    women are pitted against each other
    for the affection of one guy.

  44. cadizgal
    Posted July 29, 2009 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Two things in particular bothered me about this show last night. First of all, most of these women (attractive women!), when being interviewed individually, cried and cried as they spoke about their past dating experiences (or lack thereof) and as a result they came across as desperate and oh so grateful to be getting this chance at love. What a shame. It’s obvious their self confidence levels are practically non-existent if they see this show as a last opportunity to find love. I felt bad for them and at times it was difficult to continue watching. How humiliating. I felt like reaching through the television and grabbing them and yelling “Stop!” I wish they could see that they’re all worth more than that, but then again Fleiss wouldn’t have this ridiculous show…
    As for the guy, well, quite frankly I felt a vague discomfort watching him. (Can he talk, or what?) He’s certainly good at saying all the right things and these girls just lap it up! Why the kissing when the evening was supposed to be about friendly introductions? I really didn’t like his touchy feely mannerisms and those corny, cliched phrases. You can bet he’s aware of the effect he has on these “desperate” women and I suspect he’s going to play it to the hilt.
    I think these women are particularly vulnerable and this guy…well…this guy…can’t quite put my finger on it. Just because he’s a heavy man doesn’t mean he’ll relate to these women the way they’re hoping for, nor does it guarantee he’ll treat them with the respect they deserve, much less come to love one of them. I’m not buying into that. I don’t think he’s so “Mr. Wonderful”. Neither is this show. In fact…Yuck!!! :O

  45. Posted July 29, 2009 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    I wrote about the stupid premise behind this show here:
    http://clarissasbox.blogspot.com/2009/07/more-to-love.html

  46. Harold
    Posted July 29, 2009 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    I agree with you 100 percent Cadizgal.
    You could tell he knew exactly how
    vulnerable these women are and used
    that to take
    full advantage of the situation to
    work his way to kiss at least several
    of the contestants
    (possibly more were not shown) on that
    first meet and greet. I don’t recall
    the guys starring in the
    regular Bachelor getting that much
    action on their initial meet and
    greets. He had all the right lines
    down from “thick and juicy”, “looking
    for someone just like you”, “kiss in
    spanish” etc…
    You’re right when you say
    that the fact that he’s
    large and may have experienced some
    size discrimination in dating that he
    won’t necessarily treat the women
    any differently
    than the rest of us guys out there
    and quite possibly with a heck
    of a lot less respect and dignity
    than some of us would. I wouldn’t
    say that coercing the women into
    making themselves look easy on
    national TV by playing on their
    insecurities shows the kind of
    respect the girls would hope to
    be treated with though they may
    not have the confidence to stand
    up for themselves and demand better.
    By the way just because he’s big does
    not mean they are on equal footing
    as a man that size generally
    experiences quite a bit more
    social acceptance
    in all aspects of life from the
    workplace to dating. He was a
    6 foot 3 inch college
    football player for god sake. He
    said he’d experienced some size
    discrimination in dating and I’m
    wondering from whom: the big curvy
    women he’s claimed to always
    be interested or the thin cheerleaders
    he may have tried and failed to date.
    If it’s the latter is it possible
    that his preference stems from a
    conclusion that the larger women
    may be easier to
    get and not from a genuine attraction?
    Regardless big tall men are celebrated
    in this society and no matter what
    individual romantic disappointments
    he may have suffered there is simply
    no equivelency.
    I guess time will tell though his
    actions on the meet and greet leads
    one to believe
    that he had full expectation that
    he could get these girls to do almost
    anything he wanted in a minimal
    amount of time and he had no
    problem taking full advantage.
    By the way if he really does like big
    women how the heck did he kick off
    that big beautiful
    curvaceous blonde Natalia in
    the first round. Even if we didn’t
    click that first day I would have
    kept her around just in case it
    was a slow developing thing.

  47. purpleheat63
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    I watched the show, and I was thinking I would like it for the entertainment factor that I watch other reality shows for, and just thought of it as a bachelor for larger women. But, when I watched, it was appalling. They put the women’s weight on there, like what does how much they weigh have to do with winning the man’s heart. The other thing was they kept asking them about weight issues, so they talked about their weight and inability to get a date the entire sho. There was crying, sadness, and it was pathetic. I hated it, and probably will not be watching the entire series, as it was emotionally draining to sit through it, and not at all entertaining in a pleasant way.

  48. smiley
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Cadizgal,
    I didn’t see the show.
    I do not understand your remark “… [they] cried and cried as they spoke about their past dating experiences (or lack thereof) and as a result they came across as desperate [...]. What a shame.”
    Why is it a shame? Maybe it was embarrassing to watch them, maybe they should have more confidence in themselves, yes, but if their past experiences are so few or so poor, then why should they be ashamed to admit it? I find it rather courageous and, in a way, quite touching.
    That’s for the individuals. Generally, I don’t find it at all surprising if ‘big’ people find dating more difficult than ‘average’ or ‘thin’ people. If that is the case, then the show is being truthful – and that I cannot condemn. As an analogy, would a program that showed inner-city children complaining about their lack of prospects be slammed in the same way? Probably not – it would be called ‘revealing’, ‘a statement of the hurdles faced by a large number of our fellow citizens’, etc.
    Surely, the same arguemnts can be made for this show, can’t they?

  49. meegs
    Posted August 3, 2009 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    “she’s fat so she’s never found love, but now she finally can because here’s another fat person.”
    THIS. I think this is one of the things that bothers me the most about this show. “Normal”, “Plain” or “Larger” guys in popular culture still have megamodels draped off their arms but the female equivalent can never be seen with anyone who might be considered conventionally attractive. BAH.

  50. slavekal
    Posted August 3, 2009 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    This show is mean. A train wreck. These chicks are very vulnerable. Tears were flowing all over the place. The last thing a fat girl needs is to be rejected on national television. But nobody put a gun to their heads. Anyone who doesn’t know by now that reality television is just one big freak show probably can’t be helped anyway.

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