Monday, April 30, 2007

Jessica Valenti, I'm really sorry, but I love them.

VH1 has some how managed to warp my mind again and divert my mind from weighter issues to lighter fare. While it is usually quite interesting, VH1 somehow managed to set some group of people back. Whether that was Black people (Flavor of Love and I Love New York) or alcoholics trying to recover (Danny Bonaduce snapped and downed an entire fifth in one gulp! He had been clear for a really long time. It was tragic and disheartening at the same time.), someone was being disenfranchised by programming on VH1. And this spring is no different.

Some of the cast-off women from Flavor of Love were reconvened and "sent" to charm school. If you watched the aforementioned show at any point in time, you know why these girls were sent to charm school. By sending the girls to charm school, you would think that the program has become better in some way, improving itself from times before by adding some class. Unfortunately, my wishes were shattered in the most terrifying way.

The first way was when the girls initially entered the house. Mo'Nique, the host of Charm School, stripped the girls of their Flavor names. This was a nice thing because some of their names were flat out ridiculous. The most ridiculous of them all was Safari. That's not how you spell her name; there are ph's and a y somewhere in their as well. Anyway, when she was to strip herself of her old name, it turns up that Safari's name was in fact Safari. Yes, with the ph's. Also, Hottie, who did damage to the Black race with her first performance on Flavor of Love. She is completely out of hand. Her real name is, in fact, Schatar. What? Schatar? No, the name is true. Additionally, check out the myspace and watch the video. It blows my mind. Take that anyway you will.

She's really doing a lot of damage for her group here though. She's totally catty and unwilling to work with others in any meaningful way. It's kind of amazing how out there she really is. For example, in the second episode on etiquette, Schatar stole one of the girls' dresses and suits just to rattle her during the date challenge with THE bachelor Andrew Firestone. She stole them during the day, hid them, didn't say anything, and then brought it up in the interview with
the bachelor. It was one of the flat-out, most lowdown thing possible to do. What compels a person to be such a scheming bum? After the interview ended, Heather, the victim, was suitably pissed, and Brooke, an initial victim with Heather, put a pair of dirty panties over Schatar's picture, which hangs over top her headboard. But, Schatar wasn't phased. No, I mean that seriously, it really didn't phase her. It was mindblowing.

This sort of behavior is routine for this show. Flavor of Love: Charm School ft/ Mo'Nique is a multi-ethnic, all woman Flavor of Love in both its absurdity and its setting the women's liberation movement back at least 10 years, probably more like 20. Anyway, this is how Jessica Valenti comes into play.

Jessica Valenti is a feminist blogger, an active advocate for the woman's interest. She is an editor over at Feministing, a *surprise* feminist blog. It's quite informative, and I enjoy reading it immensely. While Miss Valenti is a fantastic young feminist, she doesn't deserved to be punished by Charm School. All of her hard work has essentially gone down the drain every hour this show comes on, which is like 20 hours a week because it's VH1. If you can't find an episode, you aren't trying; that's how easy it is.

While the show has damaged so much of the work that feminists have been struggling with for years (I'm going to shout out Jane Feustel here, in case she's googling her own name. She's a feminist of my day as well as a friend. She explained a lot of ideas to me.), I can't help but say the show is really, really entertaining. It makes me guilty to say it in a way, but it's true. The pettiness of it all is just laughable. I can't imagine what would make people want to act like that. While I know all of the negative connotations of the show, I can't turn away. It's really engrossing. It's like being hypnotized by the ridiculousness. I think I really only watch the show to see how much worse it could actually get, how many more years could be lost from the women's liberation movement's prior advances.

So,with that in mind, I apologize to Jessica, Jane, and other persons of the feminist persuasion for making your work harder because I really, really like Flavor of Love: Charm School. It's just too good.

epilogue: seriously, read feministing. it's a fantastic blog. I read it everyday.