I’m quite perplexed by these tv shows.
you seen the tv ad for Big Brother on Channel Nine? The show is
positioning itself as an anti-bogan show. The show is going to be hosted
by Sonia Kruger. She’s been on tv quite a lot, mostly in designer
gowns, as far as I’ve seen, so I’m not pegging her a natural beauty
kind of gal, although it would be hard to tell. Classy? That’s what I’m
supposed to think of her. I’m not buying. In the tv ad she’s wearing
what looks like vinyl tights. Her hair is dyed. She’s wearing makeup.
She’s waxed and she looks like she works out. Not exactly a
freewheeling bohemian type. The distance between her and the bogans who
are denied entry is pretty small. Different hairstyle. Different
dancestyle. Covering her midriff on this occasion. The difference in style is just a matter of
Nine is the station that airs Two and Half Men, Funniest Home Videos
and Underbelly, so it’s hardly the pinnacle of high culture. Hmm. Are
they insulting their audience?
same with Snog Marry Avoid. The host is disparaging to the over-groomed
guests on the show, asking that they tone down their looks to look more
like her. But she’s no natural beauty either (well she could be but
we’ll never know). Her hair is dyed, she is skinny, wears makeup, wears
fashionable clothes, and is meant to be the example of proper,
acceptable style. Again, it is just a matter of degree.
And now, The Shire, which I haven’t seen. Another show in this trend of bogan-bashing.
we want women on tv to look good, to be clear about caring about how
they look, but to look like they’re not trying too hard. We couldn’t
have a plain or unfashionable or overweight or un-groomed (waxed, dyed,
buffed, tightened, botoxed) woman on tv. Grooming now is more than just
cleaning your teeth and brushing your hair. It’s a commitment that
requires time and money. But we don’t want women who are overdone, by
certain standards. Even though there are lot of women in our culture who
do spend a lot of time on their appearance, even if they don’t need to.
we really so smug and self-satisfied that we enjoy making fun of people
we consider below us due to their fashion choices? Or is this coming
from insecurity? Do we see that we are only one step away from being
’bogans’ ourselves. Nearly everyone can afford new clothes, hair dye, manicures, electronic
gadgets, mobile phones, flatscreen tvs and dvd players, and a
playstation/ds for their children. People of all classes have tattoos and piercings. It’s getting harder to tell
the classes apart. So we need tv for do it for us.
working class now have access to the goods and services once only
available to the middle class, but they’re getting it wrong (by middle
class standards), and we’re laughing at them for their aspirations.
They’ll never be middle class. Fools for trying. That’s the attitude.
would be really edgy and interesting would be a show that depicts the
people I will no longer refer to as bogans (we used to call them
‘westies’) because that’s what these shows want me to call them, as
people who are resourceful and witty, subtle and sophisticated, who have
deep relationships, and how working class culture (is that what it is?)
is a culture that is valid in its own right. We look at cultures from
other countries and communities with respect. We legislate against
discrimination on the basis of cultural background, but we currently
have no respect for white working class culture.
What do you think is going on here?
* Written whilst wearing my ugg boots.