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.

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3 Comments

  1. Posted November 29, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    (facepalm)

    Well, Big Entertainment sure loves to divide and conquer between the sluts (on shows like Jersey Shore and The Real World) and virgins (this show). Of course reality TV has to create this divide, otherwise healthy sexuality wouldn’t profit. And does anyone want to bet that TLC will pay off people to make up fake stories?

    10 years ago, TLC would’ve looked at this issue from a sociological/scientific viewpoint. But as Americans value their brains less and less this is what the free market of TV brings us.

  2. Posted November 29, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    What the heck is with TLC these days? TLC….take “The Magic School Bus” back on the channel! Make it worthwhile again!

  3. Posted November 29, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    I’m so happy I don’t have cable anymore; however, knowing that television is going to these topics, and possibly portraying them as something worth aspiring to, makes me weep for the future.

    I’m ordering The Purity Myth this week. I can’t wait to read it.

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