Will You Watch "What I Hate About Me?"

BlogHer Original Post

I read this article about a new show that will debut in January and my head exploded. I was IM'ing with a friend when I read about What I Hate About Me and decided that ranting to her alone was not enough. I had to share this nugget with you, dear BlogHer community and see if I'm over reacting or if a show about self-loathing sounds as loathsome to you as it does to me.

Anthony Crupi at Reuters writes to tell us that "What I Hate..." is taking makeovers to a new level. Don't get me wrong, I often like makeovers and (think) I wouldn't mind having one. A fun and empowering one but this sounds sad and depressing to me:

Hosted by Style personality Lisa Arch ("Clean House"), What I Hate About Me is an unconventional makeover show that challenges women to address the 10 aspects of their lives they dislike the most. Along with the obligatory complaints about cellulite and relationships, the women who appear on the show will aim to get a handle on everything from intra-family dynamics to the way they manage their financial affairs.

After each guest lays bare the things she can't abide in herself, Arch and a rotating panel of experts (including boxer Laila Ali, nutritionist Rachel Beller and radio host Emily Morse) will attempt to devise pragmatic solutions to some of the more vexing problems. Style has ordered 10 one-hour episodes, the first of which debuts at 9 p.m. on January 2.

Oh, where to begin with the problems I have with the description of this show? How about with the title? "Hate" is a really strong word and, like many, I don't love to see it used casually. Even with the promise of a "pragmatic" fix, I really don't enjoy seeing women encouraged to use it on themselves. And then there is those promised solutions. I find it hard to believe that a one-hour television program with dubiously-credentialed experts such as "Style network personality" and the host of American Gladiators and 2nd runner up on Dancing With The Stars behind Joey Fatone could actually help someone who truly hates herself.

I guess what most pushed me over the edge is the depths television network executives seem to be plumbing for ratings. And what about us, the public? Why do we watch? Are we really hoping to witness uplifting, feel-good redemption, is it gleeful schadenfreude or are we that numb to pain that we need ever more desperate displays of humiliation in order to feel a reaction?

I'm not sure what the answer is. Perhaps when it is closer to airing and if I read some positive reviews to change my mind I will check the show out. But as it stands now, I'm really sad to read about this spectacle of "creative self-loathing" and plan to miss it.

How about you? Does What I Hate About Me sound promising to you? What redeeming quality do you spy that I'm missing?

Related Reading:

Krista Riley at Feminist Review: Ten Things I Hate About Me

[Randa] Abdel-Fattah’s second book is Ten Things I Hate About Me. Unlike Amal, Jamilah, the protagonist of this book, works hard to keep her Australian identity separate from her Lebanese-Muslim identity. At school, she is Jamie, and with her bleached hair and coloured contacts–no one knows that she is Arab or Muslim. The novel takes us through the stress and anxiety that Jamilah faces in keeping her culture and religion hidden, and her eventual path towards finding a sense of comfort to be able to express all elements of her identity.

Schmutzie: How To Go From Self-Loathing To A Belief In Limitless Personal Possibility In One Short Essay, Almost

I do not hate myself. If I never changed or grew or became anything new over the many years I hopefully have left in this life, then, yes, I probably wouldn't like myself very much, but unless that miracle of a non-crippling, non-brain-damaging, decades-long coma comes along, that is not going to happen. I am a creative and dynamic human being with a powerful drive to make new things.

"The" Merry at Cranky Fitness: More To Loathe?

Is the object of a reality show watching people express self-loathing on television?

Tracee Sioux at The Girl Revolution: Self-Loathing Sin Bank

The thing is, I don’t loath my self or my body. I wasn’t even aware of how fat I was until I started seeing positive changes in my body. I still dream of myself as thin. I still think of myself as “the thin cute blond” one when I’m with my girlfriends. I have been blind to my own fat. Heck, I’m fairly sure my daughter was blind to my fat. I don’t look in the mirror and hate what I see, because I don’t even see what’s really there – I literally look in the mirror and see myself as I was in college.

Yet, I realize that my daughter can’t determine the difference between how I feel about my body and what I say about my body. To her, she will only internalize that I say I feel fat and that I say I hate my body. She only hears me criticize my looks, my self. And that is what is inevitably effecting how she will see herself for the rest of her life.

BlogHer CE Maria Niles isn't a hater at PopConsumer


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