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Snog, Marry, Avoid (UK)


samurai_sarah

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For those not in the know, it's a "make-under" show. Basically, they take people "addicted to fakery", literally dress them down and provide "natural" make-up.

 

I used to be a fan, but beyond the first season, I started being conflicted. Basically, I like the idea of showing people that they do look good without make-up. Make-up is practically non-existent in my life, and I enjoy the idea of other people not caring either. But that's where my problem with this show starts. Granted that on camera you look odd without make-up, but they only show men and women how to put on more natural make-up.

 

It plays into the segment they have, in which the Great British public decides whether they'd "snog, marry, avoid" that person "before" and "after". That rubs me completely the wrong way. Usually participants get a major "avoid" in their chosen looks, and get "snog" or "marry" in their new "natural" looks. Public shaming for expressing oneself however one chooses, really pisses me off. I personally don't think purple hair is all that attractive, but if that's your deal, you sure as hell don't need my approval. In my books that's just policing other people's bodies, and I'm not cool with that.

 

As I said, I'm a conflicted about this show, because yes, I'm a big fan of going au naturel. But no, I would never tell anyone else what to wear. And no, why the hell does the "public" get to decide what's best for other people in terms of their attractiveness? Not to mention that it usually reinforces gender-roles, in terms of attire.

 

I still do like watching though. But in any case...thoughts?

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My hair's pink right now ;)

I like the "before" generally a lot better than the "after". At least the "before" is people expressing themselves how they feel is best - the after's sort about fitting them into a cookie-cutter "pretty girl" mould.

Agree with you about getting "the public" to judge. There's also no reflection from the girl herself if she's attracted to anyone! What if she finds all of the "marry" ones icky?

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My hair's pink right now ;)

I like the "before" generally a lot better than the "after". At least the "before" is people expressing themselves how they feel is best - the after's sort about fitting them into a cookie-cutter "pretty girl" mould.

Agree with you about getting "the public" to judge. There's also no reflection from the girl herself if she's attracted to anyone! What if she finds all of the "marry" ones icky?

Spot on. You said everything I was trying to say- and more- in far fewer words than I. :) Except that I do generally like the "after", but that says more about my tastes than about the participants. It still annoys me to no end that they're basically made to conform to please. Since the majority of the participants are women, it just feels like more of the same old...do this, do that, look this way, act this way, and then everyone will luuurve you. It's not empowering in the slightest, the way it pretends to be.

And I totally agree about the lack of reflection from the participant herself. She basically gets silenced, once she's "decorative". :evil:

Oh, and about the hair: Purple just isn't my favourite colour, but I wouldn't "avoid" or "marry" anyone on the basis of purple hair. Me, I've always wanted really dark green hair, but am too lazy to undergo the major chemical intervention that would require.

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I have not seen the show, alas, but is there a certain amount of slut shaming going on? Frankly, when I was dressing up like Nina Hagen, I wouldn't have been interested in someone that wasn't interested in that look.

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I have not seen the show, alas, but is there a certain amount of slut shaming going on? Frankly, when I was dressing up like Nina Hagen, I wouldn't have been interested in someone that wasn't interested in that look.

It's not slut-shaming per-se, I'd say, although that is an interesting perspective. An adjective often used to describe why the public would avoid a particular participant is "cheap". As soon as participants look like "nice" girls, you usually hear stuff like "oh, she's got a really nice smile" or "she looks really natural" or - in my mind the worst- "she looks like someone I could introduce to my parents". Uh, huh? The last one always gets me, because my lack of personal style makes me look like that "nice" girl, although I pride myself in being not "nice" at all. ;)

Nina Hagen? You'd have been slammed. :evil:

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I went round to my brother's flat and he was watching it, so I saw last night's episode - did you see it?

The first girl dressed in layers and layers of charity shop clothes, put wild makeup on and drew her eyebrows on an inch thick. She looked much better in the "after" but she returned to her old style (minus huge eyebrows). The second girl dressed "like a living doll" very princessy, lots of eye makeup, tiara, white and pink dresses, bleached blonde hair and a lot of cleavage. I quite liked her look, it reminded me of some of the styles girls have in Japan with a bit added boobage and Katie Price. :) Anyway, she too went back to her original style.

I noticed a few interesting things after what you wrote. For a start, both girls were asked if they wanted a boyfriend (no room for "a girlfriend" or "a partner" of course...) and told they wouldn't get one "looking like that". The dressed down style that the second girl had in particular seemed to be designed to make her look mumsy and was more suited to someone ten years older than her (if they happened to like such things). Of course then she got all the "marries" after that, and comments like "I'd take her home to my mum and dad" and "She looks really natural".

My brother commented "They're pretending, aren't they? They'd be happier with someone who likes them before than someone who likes them only when they're pretending to be someone else. When [the second girl] wants to put on the princess dresses again, the guy will be all like "What the fuck?"" I felt this was a cogent summary of the situation. :)

(He also pointed out that POD and the presenter are one and the same, which I hadn't noticed.)

There was a bit of slut-shaming in this one too, the women of Cardiff were called tacky and not classy for showing "too much" skin and wearing "too tight" trousers. I don't like tight trousers either, but if one wants to strangulate one's vag, then one should have the right to without being mocked by a computer.

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I think its great that its telling people that they dont need make up to be pretty...but I dont think someone should have to change their look to impress their preferred gender. I think if you have to change who you are to impress someone, they arent worth it.

I prefer natural women, but there are loads of other people who prefer different kinds of people, theres someone for everyone. Also, personality matters more, if I met a really lovely woman who was smart, kind and funny but dressed like a living doll, sure, Id date her.

Sometimes I like dressing up in a very over the top way-either goth or a bright pink tutu and loads of bright accessories (never been big on wearing make up though), although most of the time, its too much work so I wear a tshirt thats either black or bright coloured with something cute on it, a skirt and leggings.

I think sexual orientation is asked when they sign up for it though, which is why they ask them if they want a boyfriend and have only men answering "snog, marry, avoid". They had a gay man on there before, and they had men answer.

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@ JFC: I totally forgot about the actual slut-shaming that does go on. I've picked up on it from time to time, but you usually have to hit me with a sledge-hammer to really notice. One of the things that is fairly obvious though is that, whichever city they travel to, they always pick on the women. How dare you go out with rollers in your hair? Why are your lashes so thick? Don't you think you're too orange? And then they ask some guys about what they think about the women's fashion trends. It's usually negative, which sends a message of "don't do this, or no guy will like you".

In the episode you're talking about, I really liked the woman with the heavy eyebrows. Clearly, here was someone who really, really didn't care whether I (or the public) found her attractive. It really made the bullying-aspect of the show clear, where you either conform to what friends and parents think, or be damned. Great...what's wrong with not conforming? I think your brother is right - they'd all be happier with someone who just takes them for who they are. But no, instead, they have to become "eye-candy" and be silenced.

I also hate the moments, when some parent gushes that "we've got our daughter/son back". It makes it sound like looks are all that matters, instead of the person that was there all along. Of course parents who love their children no matter what don't make for great telly in this sort of show, but again, the audience gets a loud and clear message. Don't overstep boundaries if you want your parents to love you. What a great message that is. Not.

The more I think about this show, the more frustrated I get.

@Ilovejellybeans: I agree that it's good to show that you don't need all that slap. That's what I found quite charming about the idea initially, but it got troubling quite quickly for me. In quite a few episodes they picked people to make-under, who admitted that they had issues with their self-esteem. It seemed harmful and bullying to me, to let the public judge them, completely change them, and then repeat the process with "positive" results. That's not really "helping", and still bases a person's worth on their looks.

As I said above, it makes me deeply uncomfortable to hear friends and family gushing. I've gushed over changes in someone's style or appearance before too, but they changed something for themselves, and not because another person/people told them to, to be lovable. As you said, people shouldn't have to change to appeal to anyone (except, for some job-interviews it might be advisable), but certainly not to appeal to a potential romantic partner.

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One thing I noticed in this weeks......why are people wearing onesies outside? I thought they were pyjamas. Although then again, ive seen people in their pyjamas at the supermarket and stuff, so that makes sense.

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