Flavor of Love
I don't generally watch reality tv, partly because I don't have cable, but also because I find most of it to be uninteresting and trashy. However, one show that I actually did watch more than 5 minutes of is Flavor of Love. The premise of the show is a typical Bachelor type show, but instead of the normal bachelor, it features Flava Flav. On the Bachelor, the man who is the bachelor is rich and attractive with a wide appeal. On Flavor of Love, Flava Flav is a not very well known musician who is known more for his eccentricities than his music. He is not very attractive, he is short and wears strange clothing, but somehow VH1 found a group of women who want to date and even marry him. Flavor of Love is a warped version of the Bachelor, but whether it is trying to emulate or mock the Bachelor is unclear. Certainly the format is similar, but the people make it more comedic than romantic. Many of the women who are trying to be with Flav are pathetic and strange. Why they are attracted to him is not clear. As far as celebrities go, Flava Flav is not that famous, sucessful or rich. If Flav is just considered as a normal guy, he is far from handsome and does not seem intelligent or cultured. The only thing he has going for him is that he is somewhat famous and rich and seems to be a nice guy. As in the Humiliation article by Mendible, the humiliation of these women is clear. They are portrayed as strange for even wanting to be on the show and marry Flav. On top of this there are the typical fights over Flav that occur on most bachelor shows, which seem even more pathetic because they are fighting over Flava Flav. Many of the women seem so desperate to be with anyone that they would do anything to be with Flav. Mendible says that a trait of humiliation in reality tv is that, "the victim is made passive and conscious of the humiliating act, while perpetrators must be aware of the victim's condition and derive satisfaction from it." (336) Everyone on the show is aware of the humiliation going on, Flava Flav, the women and the writers/producers. Not surprisingly Flav enjoys the humiliation when they are fighting over him, and the women enjoy seeing others be humilated as long as its not them. When fights ensue many of the women stand back and smile. Not only is this show humiliating for the women because of embarassing situations like fighting, but the fact that they have no choice but to like this unattractive man and fight over him is demeaning. The women have no agency and can't decide during the show that once they get to know Flav that they aren't interested in him, they must fight blindly for him. Obviously they do have a choice, the choice to be on the show or not, but once they decide to be on it they must play along. Like the Bachelor, Flavor of Love perpetuates gender stereotypes and encourages a heterosexual norm, but in addition to this it humiliates women even more by having them compete over someone not especially desirable.