American Idol: all those good old American conservative values, including rampant sexism

My mother is the queen of bad television. Thus, it was no surprise to find her watching American Idol when I finished my shift tonight. The season kicked off in our hometown, so it was amusing to watch Seacrest suffer in the Phoenix sun.

As usual, the judges made it plain that they’re the same old sexist, homophobic, fat-hating idiots. Fat girls were demonized. A gay teenager with an amazing voice was told that his voice didn’t match his “look” (you know, that gay look. Ewww homo cooties!). And last, but not least, we had this:

american-idol-bikini-girl1Yes, that is a girl fully made up in a bikini and high heels. What is she doing? She’s auditioning for the squeaky clean American Idol contest on the most conservative network ever, FOX!

Oh silly, when I say FOX is conservative, I don’t mean in the sense that women need to be silent and covered. I mean in the sense that women need to be seen, belittled, objectified, and treated like meat:

It’s pretty plain that the girl is a decent singer, but not fantastic. If anyone who wasn’t a perfect fit for the pornoriffic model of “femininity” tried to audition in a bikini, they would be demonized for being fat and ugly, regardless of their voice. What happens here, though, is Simon and Randy—pigs that they are—immediately voice their approval and give her a yes.

Why? Well, she pleases them. She is sexually attractive and willing to bare it all for men in charge; what’s not to like? This sends a horrendous message. American Idol is an extremely popular show, and one of its biggest target audiences is teenage and preteen girls. The last thing they need is another message telling them how sex appeal is more important than personality, talent, and their ambition.

Witness the how newer judge, Kara DioGuardi, has to qualify her critique of her with the disclaimer, “I’m not saying this because you’re a pretty girl…” Because, honestly, we all know that women are just a collection of holes, sexy fat deposits, and beauty products. If one woman is critiquing another women, it must be because she’s hotter than her and she’s jealous!

Not that Kara is the hero of this: far from it. After Bikini Girl rudely throws the judge’s critique back in her face (Simon and Randy laugh, because they don’t care about people disrespecting the female judges after they’ve already made up their minds: you please my dick, you’re in!)—a huge no-no of talent competitions—Kara calls her a “bitch” and asks her to “come back naked next time”. Very nice. At this point, I’m cringing, knowing that now every man in America thinks that the new judge is a bitter old harpy, and deciding whether or not to masturbate in the bathroom during commerical over the thought of them having a cat fight.

Poor Paula, on the other hand, just sits there and says nothing. She interjects a time or two that the girl isn’t up to par, but she’s quickly shut up by Randy and Simon’s great approval of masturbation fodder and Kara’s self destructive display of her own brand of misogyny (yeah, calling another woman a bitch is not cool, even if she is asking for it).

In the end, the girl goes to Hollywood, even though two of the four judges were against it. Why? Well, because teh menz are in charge and teh menz want more boner material! Now, before we cut to commercial, let’s play the parts where you get to see Bikini Girl’s ass twice more, followed by a montage of her jumping up and down.

Right there, in five minutes, is about the sickest, most destructive sexist message I think I’ve seen all week. Talent is meaningless. Just show the men in charge your boobies and that’s all you need to do! Who cares if you insult the female judge of your audition? Who cares if two out of your four judges don’t like you? Hey, you’re hot, and teh menz approve! Jump up and down some more for the camera. That’s a good girl.

Now, before all you women out there think that you can go out and win American Idol if you just take it all off, check yourself. Do you look like a porn star? Are you perfectly groomed and possess a Dude Nation approved body? Just good old self-confidence and vocal talent alone will not do. Make sure that you’re perfectly attractive, vapid, and willing to crush your own will to reflect everyone else’s, or the sexpot act will crash and burn. You see, it’s not about enjoying your body, it’s about how much others enjoy your looking at your body. What, like you expected some respect and recognition of your humanity?

As long as you please Simon and Randy’s dicks, you can even get away with being a subpar singer and insulting your judge. FOX wants you to know, women and girls of America, that’s not about talent, poise, ambition, intelligence, and individuality. You are a woman, and therefore the only things that matter are how hot you are, how far you’re willing to go to please other people with your body, and if the men in charge like it when you twirl around and show off your ass.

Now, remind me again: why is feminism needed?


Posted on January 14, 2009, in America, Feminism, Media, Music, Penis Brain, Porn Nation and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. sweet! still waiting for a torrent of this to become available (I llive in Sydney). But yeah, already hearing some negative stories about the debut episode. Well, that’s entertainment!

  2. Ugh. That is so skeevy.

  3. “As usual, the judges made it plain that they’re the same old sexist, homophobic, fat-hating idiots.”


    And here I thought some of the winners and contestants so far had been fat, gay, and female.

    Silly me.

  4. Kara DioGuardi’s cuteness almost makes up for Simon’s horrid haircut

  5. Dude, this made me SOOO angry! It was weird how the entire atmosphere of the audition changed as soon as she walked in. Simon looked alert and excited, I just KNEW he was thinking about a blow job from her during the Hollywood week. Randy got a smarmy look on his face. Paula and Kara looked annoyed, rightfully so. Cause of COURSE this young woman had little talent, and Paula and Kara told the truth. But it made them look like angry old spinsters, and that’s how Simon and Randy treated them. Simon and Randy were both just SOOO disgusting to me! I can’t even describe it, just the way they looked at her. I mean, if that was me, naked, with my fat self, Simon would have torn me a new asshole. But because she’s “fuckable” she made it to Hollywood!

    I know I shouldn’t watch this crap, or any TV really, but I like watching funny people audition. This one made me so dang sick though.

    Ya know what the change in feeling in that audition room felt like to me? It felt like the last time I went to a professional basketball game. Things were fine until the “dancers” came out. Half dressed, shaking their asses and boobs. It was sooooo weird- all of the men in the arena were suddenly silent, slack-jawed, just staring at these women. I couldn’t explain it at the time, and I still can’t, but it was the look of a predator. And it was enough to freak me out so much that I’ll never go back to a sporting event where they exploit women as part of the entertainment.

  6. **SPOILERS for 2/3 episode**

    Jesus Christ, I’m watching this week’s rendition of American Idol and “Bikini Girl,” as they’re calling her, gets another fucking free male-gazey pass from Simon and Randy while Kara gets cast as the bitchy, catty, jealous, not-quite-cutting-it cougar. “Bikini Girl” is not as good of a singer as dozens of others there, and Kara’s criticism of her was right on, but everyone took the criticism as Kara just being mean because she wishes she were young and hawt again. I can barely contain my rage. Meanwhile, Simon boggles, just barely keeps from drooling, makes the sounds of Kara’s “claws” coming out (bizoo! bizoo!), and gives the contestant a pass without even listening to her. OMG. WTF IS THIS.

  7. insecurity is a b*****

    I’m a woman and thought Bikini Girl’s attire for her audition would ordinarily be inappropriate. However, what is American Idol? It’s a tv show…and how many female TV stars have been shown in bikinis…? Bikini girl was on a tv show that hardly has been choosing the best singers to go through (just the most interesting), and she made a clever marketing decision. Kara was behaving like an insecure, low self esteem, embarrassment of a woman.

    Please tell me, why is it okay to see Heidi Klum, Tyra etc. in bikinis (as long as it’s on the Victoria’s Secret fashion show oooo) but somehow BIkini girl was doing something wrong?!

  8. Uh, Kara was acting like a woman in the midst of some piggie males. She wasn’t showing insecurity or low self-esteem, she was annoyed that Simon and Randy were too busy staring at the woman’s body to even listen to her not-so-great voice. It’s not exactly a comfortable (or safe) feeling situation when men are leering at a woman in front of you. I suppose you think Kara is “jealous” of this woman? Ridiculous, and woman-hating.

    L- totally! I just watched it the other night and DANG. Simon is just nasty. Of course I shouldn’t watch this awful show. The claws thing was just ridiculous. I mean, no one was making like, boner motions or anything to Simon, when CLEARLY all he’s thinking about is the blow job he’s going to get later.

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