On Tuesday, Jezebel posted (and Gawker cross-posted) an excerpt from the violence against women chapter of Reality Bites Back, focusing on “The Exquisite Sadism Of America’s Next Top Model.” By 9am today, the post had received more than 31,000 views, 315 comments,
and 414 “likes” on Facebook.
When Jezebel asked to excerpt that particular section, I had a feeling it might strike a chord. In all the press since the book launched on Nov. 1, no media outlets have picked up on my discussion of the way reality TV both normalizes and glamorizes violence against women. (A few have asked me about the many male participants in reality dating and lifestyle series who have had restraining orders, arrest histories and even jail sentences in their past for harassment, battery or sexual assault.) So I was glad to know that their readers would be able to sink their teeth into this analysis of the dangerous messages Tyra Banks sends on America’s Next Top Model, in the name of “empowering” girls.
This 800+ word excerpt is just a small taste of a 10,000+ word chapter, but I hope you’ll enjoy it. If “enjoy” is the right word for an essay about girls being instructed that, for
women, pain is pretty, fear is fierce, and nothing — not even your safety — is as important as being perceived as beautiful.
Here’s a little snippet — see Jezebel for the full excerpt:
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