A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this dating reality show pits older and younger women against each other for a man's attention. The two groups are particularly harsh in their criticisms of each other (for example, one younger woman refers to the older women as "wrinkled," with "saggy boobs"). There's some discussion of sex, especially as it relates to age. There's a strong focus on physical attractiveness. Some language ("bitch," "hell," etc.) and social drinking.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Dating reality show AGE OF LOVE takes the formula from The Bachelor and gives it a "what were they thinking?" twist. Thirty-year-old tennis pro Mark Philippoussis is ready to get down to the business of choosing a woman to get serious with -- well, as serious as you can get via reality TV, that is -- until he realizes that all of the candidates are in their 40s. It's a shock, but he gets over it and starts to concentrate more on their beauty and personality ... until he's presented with another twist. A group of "kittens" in their 20s is joining the fray, ready to compete against the more mature "cougars."
Is it any good?
Pitting women against women in competition for a man and basing everything on whether or not the older ones are as attractive as their younger counterparts sends some pretty questionable messages about body image and what matters in a mate. In some ways, the show is designed to favor the older women, who -- while contending with wrinkles and kids (one has a son almost as old as Philippoussis) -- come off as much more intelligent and secure than the silly, catty twentysomethings. But all in all, this show doesn't accomplish much besides perpetuating sexist stereotypes, and kids, teens, and probably even adults should stay away.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the show's messages about age and attractiveness. What assumptions does the show make about age as it relates to women? Do these same assumptions hold true for men? Why or why not? Families can also discuss how age affects relationships. Are your parents about the same age as each other, or is there a big disparity? What are the advantages and disadvantages of dating someone older, younger, or approximately the same age as you?