Tuesday, January 13, 2009

True Beauty

I’ve been watching a new television show on ABC. It’s called True Beauty and the concept is to see who is America’s most beautiful person, both inside and out. The producers found ten people so full of themselves that it’s pathetically hysterical. Yes, these people are attractive, but to class any one of them as the most beautiful person in America is really stretching it. The winner will receive $100,000 and be featured in People magazine’s Most Beautiful People issue.

The contestants think they’re being judged on their exterior beauty, and they are – but they are also being judged on their inner beauty. The judges set up competitions to see how they act in a given situation and the two lowest scoring individuals are sent to the “Hall of Beauty” for final judging, where one of them is removed from the game. I’ve watched it both weeks and the people they sent home really deserved to go, but so did several other people. Many of them lied, ignored the planted actor(s) pleas for assistance, snooped where they should not have, and generally exhibited a total lack of regard for others.

As the two contestants are about to enter the judging building (they are sent in separately), they are presented with one final act to see if they exhibit any compassion for those around them who may be less fortunate. The first episode had an actor who was struggling with several cups of hot coffee and trying to get into the building. One contestant not only held the door open for him, but also let him go in first – after she had asked if she could help him. The other contestant literally ignored him and let the door shut in his face. Last night’s episode featured an actor who had a bicycle crash at the building’s sidewalk. Again, one contestant went out of the way to help the person and make sure he was OK. The other contestant watched him “struggle” to his feet, get his bicycle up and moving, and ride off. Both of the two who showed compassion were judged to be worthy of staying in the game.

Each of the two “beauties” who have been sent home showed their true lack of inner beauty in their final act and their final comments. Each of them blamed the circumstances for why they were judged to be lacking, instead of their own actions. Sadly, that is the mentality of a lot of people in this world, not only the US. Unfortunately, it is people like this who help to give the US a bad image. I shudder to think that someone from a foreign country might be watching this show and think it is an indicator of how the majority of the US population acts.

Even though I think the show is very funny (in an odd sort of way), I think this show is a very inaccurate representation of the general US populace. Sure, people want to be beautiful and there are a lot of very vain people here. But, I know many beautiful people who also exhibit inner beauty, which makes their outer beauty shine all the more so. I also know many, many people who would not be classified as “beautiful” by industry standards but their inner beauty more than makes up for the “lack” of outer beauty. Many of the individuals who fall into the latter category probably would not classify themselves as beautiful but their actions and attitudes put them into that category.

I can’t wait to see who makes a fool of himself/herself next week.

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