I have a confession to make. I have been watching The Swan on a regular basis. Smack me. Hard. Please. I watched it tonight. I have no valid excuse, other than that my choices were to sit on my couch and watch that or actually haul my butt upstairs and fold laundry. I’m not out of underwear yet so you can see that this was really no choice at all. (There may have been more choices earlier in the evening, but after the post-bedtime hour of “get back in bed,” “if I have to come up there again someone had better be either on fire or bleeding,” “could we please have this crisis about your feet in the morning?” my brain had narrowed the field.) (Yes, a foot crisis. Don’t ask.)
So have you seen this abomination of a program? “Ugly” women are selected for complete, radical makeovers and half of them are then selected to compete in a pageant after their transformations, with one winner ultimately being crowned “The Swan.” I think that if there were truth in programming, they’d crown this woman “The Barbie.” I think every contestant, after the unveiling, should have to imitate the little segment of Tour Guide Barbie telling everyone good-bye during the credits at the end of Toy Story 2. (“Good-bye, good-bye, good-bye, so long, good-bye!”) So far, every woman I’ve seen has received breast implants (except one, who had a reduction down to a D cup), and all have had hair extensions and basically identical Barbie hairstyles at the end. Spooky.
Oh, don’t worry, enlightened women! This isn’t about physical beauty only. No no no. You see, part of the team of Swan miracle workers is a therapist. After your gazillion surgeries, in addition to spending 2 hours a day at the gym with your personal trainer, you get to go to therapy to work out your issues and become beautiful on the inside as well. Hurray! What do you suppose they talk about during therapy?
Ugly Duckling: “I’ve always felt so ugly and like an outsider… I just don’t know….”
Therapist: “Of course you did, but now get a load of those knockers! Plus they sucked all the fat off your ass and injected it into your lips. Trust me, your troubles are over.”
Tonight’s episode included a contestant who was a mother to three and stick skinny (a major achievement in my book). In addition to a tummy tuck–which I didn’t think she needed, being so thin, but okay, there was some preggo-skin there–she was placed on a 1700 calorie/day diet as part of her “rehab.” Lemme tell ya, I nearly choked on my ice cream.
And we women wonder why we never feel comfortable in our own skins. Every brain cell in my head enters a hypnotic trance when The Swan comes on and then unites with the others, Borg-style, to send a single message: I’m fat. (Let the record show that I’m a size 4. What’s wrong with this picture?)
One the one hand, I’m horrified, outraged, disgusted. On the other, I’m thinking damn they got all that for free? Bitches. Maybe they’ll decide on a mini-version… maybe call it the Chesire Cat pageant, where they only do the dental work… and then I could sign up and get really white teeth (which is about the only procedure I’ve seen on The Swan which I’d be willing to undergo)?
I wish I’d folded the laundry….