Parents' Guide to

True Beauty

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Messages of "inner beauty" contest too iffy for tweens.

TV ABC Reality TV 2009
True Beauty Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 1 parent review

age 12+

Really funny!!

Its so funny!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (4):

While True Beauty departs from many other reality competitions thanks to its focus on inner beauty, it's full of mixed messages. The contestants' looks are still a major part of the judging criteria, and much of the show focuses on how good they look in tight clothes, skimpy bathing suits, and designer clothing. Also problematic is the show's insistence on gauging physical beauty with values that reflect an unrealistic, usually stereotypical commercial Hollywood standard that rejects people who aren't tall and thin and don't have seemingly symmetrical features.

The show (whose list of producers includes Ashton Kutcher and Tyra Banks) does send some positive messages about being a good person, but its voyeuristic nature is also carefully constructed to add to the entertainment -- especially when judges catch contestants making some poor ethical choices or engaging in over-the-top activities. And because of the role that physical beauty plays in the competition, even contestants who let their nastier natures show still have the potential of winning. Bottom line? This series, like some of its contestants, just isn't as beautiful as it seems on the outside.

TV Details

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