Patriarchy blamers are world renowned for their (professed) eschewment of cable television, so it is possible that you have not heard of the most misogynist TV show ever conceived. As an award-nominated professional bearer of bad news, I am here to correct this situation.
The history of women’s degradation is long and colorful, but this “Bridalplasty” show takes the wedding cake. Once it has taken the wedding cake, it smushes it in the face of the last little shred of simple human dignity to which the sex class has been desperately clinging for the past 8000 years.
Wait, did I say “Bridalplasty”?
I’m afraid so, and yup, it’s exactly the gross-out you think it is. The hideous mutant clone of “Bridezillas” and “The Swan,” “Bridalplasty” is a tour de force of exploitation megalotainment such as the world has never known. The laughably sicko “plot”? Says the website: “Brides-to-be compete in challenges to earn plastic-surgery procedures in a quest to win their ultimate dream wedding.”
Is there anything about that sentence that fails to induce dry heaves?
Still, you almost have to admire the show’s creators for managing to clabber together into a single pulsating, inspissated lump of banality not one, not two, but three really top-tier femininity behaviors: catfighting, weddings, and self-mutilation. A typical scene depicts one contestant visiting another in her hospital bed as she convalesces from a nosejob; their conversation is about forming an “alliance” to thwart the evil bitch Jessica (“You better sleep with one eye open, bitch, ‘cuz I’m after you.”). Promos include a conventionally pretty contestant stabbing at her own head with pointed fingers, declaiming “I want this butt-face fixed!” Of the humiliating “challenges” let me say this: brides-to-be are given two glasses of sparkling wine and instructed to determine which one cost only $3.98; apparently this test reveals whether they possess sufficient taste to pull off a classy wedding reception. So it’s classist on top of everything else. Awesome! The prize for guessing correctly is a surgery to implant cadaver meat in their lips or some shit.
The lobe-blowing thing is that the show’s audience can drink in all this misogyny week after week and not take to the streets demanding immediate liberation from patriarchal tyranny.
Or can they? Has “Bridalplasty’s” corporate-sponsored hate and scorn finally pushed devoted E! channel viewers too far? A glance at the E! discussion board reveals this glittering jewel of feminist outrage:
“Personally I think this is a disgustingly misogynistic show! The very idea that a woman is incapable of being a ‘perfect bride’ without undergoing radical, dangerous surgery to be more aesthetically pleasing to the general public is obscene.”
I regret to say that this commenter’s future as a patriarchy blamer is not, perhaps, so bright as it initially appears. She knows what “misogyny” means, and she gets that plastic surgery is an extreme form of it, but doesn’t seem to grasp the inherent misogyny in the concepts of either bride-dom or feminine perfection. Sadly, although a few other detractors add their rancor to the comments, their unanimous refrain suggest that beauty, dudely validation, and marriage remain undisputed life goals:
“These women [don't need surgery; they] were obviously proposed to because their husbands think that they are [already] beautiful.”
That is, they’ve got it made in the shade; their dudes have pre-approved their degree of conformity to the patriarchal beauty mandate or they never would have popped the question in the first place.
Unsurprisingly, most of the remaining comments are quite the little tiptoe down Self-Loathing Lane:
There is nothing wrong with wanting to enter marriage a lil more perfect/ sexier than you did when you were just a “girlfriend”….what better gift to give urself and hubby than to be than a (better) “trophy wife”, even if it takes a lil bit of twerking and lifting.
The E! channel, for those saintly readers who don’t own televisions, is also responsible for such life-affirming programming as “The Girls Next Door,” a reality show about the enpornulated women who make a living draping themselves like silk bathrobes over septuagenarian perv Hugh Hefner’s living corpse, and “True Hollywood Story,” which produces incisive documentaries revealing such “insider secrets” as Katy Perry’s having once eaten at Taco Bell, and interviews with prostituted women who have been used by Charlie Sheen.
Yeah, it burns.
Photo nicked from the “Bridalplasty” website.