Ashley Paige: Bikini or Bust

TV review by
Anne Louise Bannon, Common Sense Media
Ashley Paige: Bikini or Bust TV Poster Image
Reality show follows designer's life overhaul.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Lots of mixed messages. On one hand, Paige whines a lot, avoids responsibility, and can be very self-defeating. And her mom is constantly trying to soothe her with food. But her mom also encourages Paige and says she's proud of her. And Paige is, in fact, trying to get herself out of her mess, listening to advice and even taking it.


Several models and customers are shown wearing bikinis, but it's an issue of fashion, not sexiness.


Paige's business name is prominently displayed, as are the names of several other local businesses -- but it's mostly for the purpose of identifying locations.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some references to drinking, but viewers don't see anyone actually doing so.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that, in some respects, swimsuit designer Ashley Paige provides one heck of a bad example of how to destroy your own business. While she acknowledges that she's not good at money, she also perpetuates her problems by avoiding them (ignoring bills, etc.). Paige practices a form of New Age spirituality that includes Tarot cards and séances. Also, because she makes high-end bikinis, viewers see lots of gorgeous women in skimpy swimsuits, but it's more about fashion than sexuality. Kids may not be totally engaged by the topic, but there's not much age-inappropriate content here if they do tune in.

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What's the story?

Ashley Paige is a big-name fashion designer with a top-drawer celebrity client list and photos of her creations all over the top magazines. But she can't pay her electricity bill -- or even for parking. ASHLEY PAIGE: BIKINI OR BUST follows her attempts to dig herself out of her financial hole, date, and generally get her business and life back together. Along for the ride is her mother, Leah, who lives with Paige and is a constant presence (both positive and negative) in her daughter's life.

Is it any good?

Despite coming across as a whiny ditz, Paige is oddly compelling. It's embarrassingly obvious how she got into her predicament: She routinely avoids paying bills until she absolutely must, and she post-dates checks and then gets upset when they're deposited before the date and they bounce. But you also get the sense that she's sincerely trying to get her act together. She asks for advice and seems to be taking it. And she does have some understanding of business and knows enough to talk about having a business plan.

Overall, the producers do a great job of creating a story from the oddments of Paige's life. So, in spite of all her mistakes, you can't entirely help rooting for her. And at the very least, her experiences serve as an excellent cautionary tale.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether shows like this really reflect reality. Many of the interview segments seem to have taken place well after the events we see -- how do you think that affects what the interviewees say and remember? Do you think reality show participants are coached on what to say? Why would producers want to do that? Also, how do you think having a camera around affects how people act?

TV details

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