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 adult-oriented makeover show will probably appeal to older teens, too. But it sends a very mixed message about what makes a woman "attractive" to the opposite sex (hint: Outward appearance is really important!) and employs some borderline-degrading tactics to teach women the "right" way to flirt, etc. And while the women do come out of the experience with more confidence, that doesn't change the fact that more emphasis is placed on the outer makever than the inner one. In addition to some fairly mild swearing (think "boobs" and "damn"), you'll hear some sexual innuendo and playful talk. The show also partners with Bloomingdales to give the women a fashion makeover with a $1,000 gift card.
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What's the story?
In PLAIN JANE, host Louise Roe takes a woman who (in the show's own words) is "ordinary, awkward, forgettable, and lonely" and transforms her into an attractive, confident woman. But looking and feeling better isn't really the central goal ... the game plan is getting a guy (more specifically, a guy the woman has been crushing on for quite some time). After an extensive day of confidence building, strategic shopping, and primping, the no-longer-plain "Jane" confronts her crush and reveals her true feelings. But he doesn't always feel the same way.
Is it any good?
There's a point in an early episode of Plain Jane that reminds you -- quite literally -- just how far reality producers are willing to go to shock viewers these days. Because, apparently, they think it's perfectly fine to wrap a device around a woman's arm that gives her a low-level jolt every time she screws up while she's trying to flirt with men at a dog park. Too boring? Buzz. Too snippy? Buzz. Talking too long to a guy who just told you he's gay? Buzz. Buzz. Buzz. Buzzzzzz!
Enduring borderline-degrading treatment like that makes a lady look pretty desperate, to say nothing of the show's iffy messages when it comes to snagging a man in the first place. (A little stalking seems to be necessary, as are good posture, big hair, and a flirty dress.) Sure, self-confidence can give a pretty woman the edge. But Plain Jane does little to prepare her for the possibility that it might have been the only thing she lacked.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the show's overall message when it comes to men, women, and dating, as well as the importance of being "pretty" (as opposed to "plain"). Is self-confidence the only thing keeping these women from getting the man they want?
How substantive are these "inside and out" makeovers? Do you think the women are happier at the end of the experience? Do you think they'll incorporate the things they've learned into their lives -- and, more importantly, should they?
Where does "getting the guy" fit into all this -- and how does a women react if he rejects her? Are these guys worthy of such adoration?