I was watching the Style Network -- don't judge me, Danielle Fischel's blithe comedy stylings on The Dish deserve just as much attention as Joel McHale's over on The Soup -- when I saw an ad for a new show titled What I Hate About Me.
The promos are eye-rolling: A series of twentysomething women stand up and say "I hate that I can't have sex with the lights on!" "I hate that I can't bake a cake!" "I hate that I can't walk in high heels!" And oh, thank God, these glaring flaws will be addressed by a rotating panel of experts.
I realize this is the Style Network, so it's not like the women who are willing to bring their problems to reality TV are going to be standing up and saying things like "I hate that I can't consistently get a 20% return on my portfolio." But I do find it interesting that the examples cited as horrible, hate-worthy flaws are all things that are reflective of external signfiers of an acceptably feminine adult.
You can be stylish without wearing heels,baking cakes or having sex with the lights on -- that's why there are adorable flats (or wedges), cookies and pies, and partners who are not completely insensitive to their lovers' preferences. That this has apparently not occurred to people who ostensibly run a network devoted to stylish living calls into question their qualifications to work at a place called the Style Network. And that not being able to wear high heels should not be cause for sinking into an abyss of self-loathing? That goes beyond "My, these people at the Style Network have a narrow definition of 'style,' which is in itself both ironic and ridiculous," and into "Really? Is that all you have left to worry about in terms of inner development? Maybe what you should be working on is your sense of perspective."
It's pretty obvious the show needed a catchy hook, because Pick Up These Stereotypically Feminine Behaviors wasn't going to fly and there are already a plethora of makeover shows that allege to improve women's looks so they're more pleasing to others. But, really: hate? Reserve your hate for truly detestable character traits. Not sure what those are? Here's a hint, Style Network: Not being able wear high heels isn't one of them.
Note for those of you who want to begin the new year with a vigorous, pique-induced cardio workout: This show is premiering on January 1, 2010. You can start the new year by finding out how you fail to measure up. Hurrah!