A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show offers a nonjudgmental look at what women around the world do to make themselves feel beautiful and be more attractive to men according to their culture and traditions. The focus is on external looks rather than inner-beauty.
Positive Role Models
Simpson is a mixed bag when it comes to being a role model. While she's not known for her intelligence and plays a role in perpetuating some silly feminine beauty standards (like her insistence on wearing high heels in remote international locations), she and her friends express an interest in learning from others during their journeys and are nonjudgmental. But there are also moments when they act inappropriately while participating in local customs.
Violence & Scariness
We see women suffering from anorexia and permanently scarred by skin bleach and other beauty regimes.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
While sex isn't specifically discussed, the idea of women making themselves more beautiful to attract a husband is discussed.
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Words like "scrotum" and "balls" are audible
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Products & Purchases
The show is, in part, a promotional vehicle for Jessica Simpson, and her songs are featured. Occasional logos for Pepsi and other brands are visible.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this reality series, which is hosted by singer/actress Jessica Simpson, looks at the different ways women around the world think about and pursue outer beauty. The show occasionally features women who have been physically hurt by their attempts to be beautiful according to their cultural standards (including skin bleaching and extreme dieting). The show contains some mild sexual innuendo (including references to "balls" and "scrotum") and occasional logos for Western products (like Pepsi). While Simpson and her friends are non-judgmental, they aren't always culturally sensitive about some of things that they see or try. Parents can use this show as a jumping off point to talk to girls and boys about their own ideas about beauty.
Is It Any Good?
The series offers some nonjudgmental insight into the ways different cultures define beauty, and the different ways women attempt to meet those cultural expectations. Viewers get to see how women are able to transform themselves by eating specific foods, wearing body paints, and even permanently changing parts of their anatomy. It also highlights some of the dangerous things some women do to themselves to try to meet their culture's standard of beauty, like using damaging skin bleach or starving themselves.
It's definitely interesting, but it also sends some mixed messages. While there is some discussion of a woman's inner beauty, much of the focus is on how local women dress and adorn themselves to look a certain way. Meanwhile, Simpson and her companions sometimes lack cultural sensitivity, especially when they refuse to try and/or spit out local foods, and while they giggle during solemn cultural rituals. Simpson's determination to wear extremely high-heeled shoes to remote locations makes her seem a bit silly, too. But if you can look past all of this, you can still find some fascinating information about women's cultural traditions around the world.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.