TLC’s Virgin Diaries comes to the US

TLC is debuting a new reality TV show that showcases the lives of 30-something virgins.

Alternative tagline: Adult virgins kiss on wedding day; looks like bird feeding.

Fetishization of the myth of virginity is an ongoing theme in conservative politics. (Check out Jessica Valenti’s book on the topic). It’s frustrating and harmful when reality TV continually echos some of the most disasterous cliches about women and sexuality.

But, reality TV now goes a step further from fabricating problematic story lines. Reality TV today showcases “freaks,” wherein characters are picked based on how outlandish their stories are and how much we will be shocked by their lives. So technically they want us to laugh at their stories, in all their sad peculiarity. But, I’m not laughing. I’m just a little grossed out that ‘however old virgin’ went from a comedic fictitious story line to a reality TV show.

Join the Conversation