Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Would it be so Hard?

In mid-September a new TV show featuring Sara Michelle Gellar called “Ringers” will start airing. The premise is that identical twin sisters, who have been estranged for years, get back together. One dies and the other one takes her place. Most of the entertainment press have been preoccupied with whether or not “Buffy...” fans will revere Gellar in this new role. I've been thinking about something else.
If you believe the premise of this show you have to believe that appearance is everything or, at least, it's more important than everything else about a person. The twin who dies apparently has a husband, friends and other people who don't know anything about her except that she has a kickin' bod and nice hair – because they don't seem to notice that the siaster who took her place doesn't know them.
The show hasn't started yet so it's hard to say if this is the creator's intent or not. That said, it's a silly game to play. Thousands of messages are sent to women every day that exaggerate the importance of appearance through TV, the web, magazines and even books. Strong women are often portrayed as attractive and good at everything, creating an equally unattainable ideal. I think it would be nice if a somewhat attractive, reasonably smart, moderately popular girl was loved for her nature. Failing that, it would be nice if those characteristics were given any air time at all.
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  1. This show sounds really stupid. Also, if the live twin is taking the dead twin's place, does the live twin have friends/family who miss her? Seems strange, no?

    And yes, the premise of the show makes very superficial assumptions about what makes a person. Two of my closest friends in college were identical twins. To this day I can't tell them apart by looking at them, but as soon as one of them opens their mouth, I know!

  2. Yes, so right! Strong women characters, particularly on screen, are so often 2D - tough, sexy, prefect. It's an impossible standard and does women such a disservice. Especially when you consider that more often than not they are also portrayed as bitchy - or at least, start out that way!