Sunday, May 08, 2005
Making Us Confused
We really liked watching this show. At the end of each episode we discussed who we would pick if we were making the band. It was fun to watch the girls dance. And we especially liked it when they had to get into groups and put lyrics and choreography to a track of generic bubble-gum beats. It was almost as fun watching them kick that mean Jayson guy (who made them throw away all their carbs!) out of their mtv- twinkle palace apartment house.
But a few things had us furrowing our brows. On several occassions, P.Diddy used the term "black" to mean good at dancing. He scolded the women of color on the show for "not being true to your people" when they struggled with some of the steps. When Aubrey, a blonde Californian who quickly became one of the standouts on the show, nailed the moves, Puffy asked her is she had "some black in her." Later, when the girls went to a karaoke bar, Puffy breathed into his microphone "Aubrey is now officially black" after she performed and everyone clapped and hollered. Later, in a pow -wow with his team back at the studio, Puffy dissed the dancing of one of the African-American contestants and said that he wanted to "revoke her blackness." Although it appeared that these references to "blackness" were made rather lightly, we couldn't help feeling a little irked by Diddy's breezily racist remarks. And of course no one questioned or challenged his use of the term. After all, he's P. Diddy. Do we actually expect anyone to talk back to him? (Well, yeah, a little bit . . .though in this case that would probably mean losing your job). And even though we enjoyed Triumph's dig at Diddy when he says "I didn't know wearing a suit was a talent," we were still surprised and dissappointed by Diddy's comments. We were like, remind us again what's so great about him.
We were less surprised by the show's creepy emphasis on the girl's bodies. This is MTV. But despite the fact that these girls are all young and thin and beautiful (this is MTV), there was plenty of talk about getting the girls to loose weight and pushing them to get "cut" abs. But we were * totally* disgusted when, on the season finale, Diddy asked one of the girls to stop in the middle of her song because her couldn't stand looking at her stomach while she was dancing. Moments before he mentioned to one of the producers that she "needed to lay off the hamburgers." WTF? Harsh dude. Totally harsh. Her outfit may have been atrocious, but her body was healthy and beautiful. The poor girl slunk off the stage clutching her stomach.
Pretty bad, huh? But this sequence seemed even ickier since it followed a rehearsal scene in which of the women was wearing a shirt that said I Beat Anorexia. At fist we thought that this girl was wearing this shirt because she had in fact beaten anorexia and was hoping to use her time on camera to raise awareness, and if that is the case, then good for her. But after doing some research, it appears that shirt is marketed as a gag gift for someone who is overweight. ha ha. funny, right? because they, like, so DON'T have anorexia. ha ha.
Pretty fucked up if you ask us.
And oh yeah, they *didn't* make a band after all.