Remember in around seventh or eighth grade when "prostitute" or "hooker" became an option for a Halloween costume? I'm pretty sure I collected candy as a "lady of the night" at least once. For some reason the new Pussycat Dolls reality show sparked that memory for me. Maybe it's the outfits.
The adage "sex sells" continues to ring true with last night's ratings of the premiere of "The Search For The Next Doll." What's disturbing to me about the overnight ratings was the very significant number of teen girls who tuned in.
Given the recent APA report on how damaging over sexualized images are for girls, I'm guessing there will be some outcry and backlash over the series. But while the Dads & Daughters campaign may have been successful in stopping Hasbro from making actual Pussycat Dolls for young girls, I would be surprised if there is enough momentum to rally a successful boycott of the reality series -- but who knows, maybe there will be one.
What I like about "American Idol" is that looks aren't everything -- they do play somewhat of a role, but it didn't stop poor teen mom Fantasia from being victorious. "America's Next Top Model" isn't that much better than The Pussycat Dolls, even with Tyra advocating for more plus size contestants -- you still have to conform to specific standards of beauty. "The Search For The Next Doll" is allegedly about "singing and dancing," but we all know it's more about looking and acting sexy according to a rigid standard (that of burlesque performers in Vegas or The Viper Room). It's not as if these are the Dove models in their underwear feeling sexy and beautiful no matter what body type they have.
Maybe to some women, taking up pole dancing or aspiring to be a Pussycat Doll really is empowering, but let's get real: The CW is a youth oriented network -- "Smallville," "Gilmore Girls," "Veronica Mars," "One Tree Hill" and "America's Next Top Model: all have huge teen fan bases. So in a sense, they know they are marketing "The Search For The Next Doll" to 12-17s as well as to 18-34s.
While I don't have problems with the concept of burlesque as adult entertainment, just as I don't care how many middle aged women want to jump on the stripper pole to work out or spice up their marriages, I do have a problem pole dancing fashion lines for tweens and with the reality that teen girls are tuning in to "The Search For The Next Doll" on The CW.
What do you think?