Choosing Not to Watch The Choice

Most of us have either heard about or watched The Voice, a game show where celebrity judges look for talented singers based onlyon their voice. Now Fox is using the same concept to create a dating game show, called The Choice, airing on June 7. Celebrity bachelors (and a few bachelorettes) fight over dates solely by listening to their voices. With the judges backs turned to the contestants, they judges can only base the contestant’s attractiveness on their voice and how they presents themselves. After pushing a button (we can call it the button of approval), that particular judge’s chair is turned towards the contestant and her or his appearance is revealed. Basically, the contestants are pitching themselves to the men and women who are the judges for that particular week, hoping for buttons to be pushed and chairs to be turned. The ultimate goal is a date with one of the celebrity judges.

In order to score one of these hot celebrity dates, the contestants (who in the trailer are all women) need to convince the judges that they are themselves the hottest, most eligible of them all. The trailer puts it out there: 4 celebrities……Blind Auditions……Spinning Chairs……This June some of the most eligible celebrity bachelors have agreed to a blind date experiment and will pick from dozens of sexy singles for the ultimate dream date, but the stars will make their choice with just the sound of her voice……the choice.

Even though The Choice has yet to air as we write this, and we might be completely in the wrong, there is something quite creepy about the concept. Not only are the celebrity judges made up of 20 men and only 4 women, implying the masculine dominant ideology of choosing and pursuing a date (preferable a hot date), and the sexual objectification of women in media, but what the televised trailer suggests is that appearance is the most important component of any type of dating relationship. If you are lucky you will go on a date with an attractive woman, if not, you are stuck with one whom you do not find attractive. Part of the entertainment factor is the possibility that the celebrities might pick a woman that is not attractive enough, regret their choice and be stuck with a woman they do not find attractive.

To score any of the judges, the females focus on convincing them that they are indeed worthy of the celebrity bachelors, and that they are attractive enough to go on a date. In the trailer, the pitches go something like this: I have brains and booty……I am a sexy milk chocolate…… Based on the notion that women are often viewed as sex objects existing for male pleasure, it is not surprising that the pitches are full of sexualized hints to one’s appearance. Imagine a pitch going something like this: “I am a passionate feminist. I have brains, but only an average booty. What is your opinion of women’s reproductive rights?” We doubt that Mike “the Situation” is going to be interested. We doubt that this is going to be sexy enough for TV. As mentioned earlier, we might be completely wrong, but still we do not feel like aiding the sexual objectification of women or the notion that women need to be sexy, sultry and attractive to be viewed as someone that people want to be around. Therefore, we will make the choice not to watch the Choice.


This post is originally published on Feminists for Choice and is cross-posted with permission.  Photo credit tetradtx via Creative Commons License.

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