“I’ve got the brains, you’ve got the looks, let’s make lots of money"?
The theme song for the tv reality show The Beauty and the Geek sums it up nicely…put together some really smart guys with good looking women and let them fight it out for the prize money. Deemed "The Ultimate Social Experiment"?, this show pairs geeks (intelligent young men who are socially awkward) with beauties (women who have gotten by with their good looks, and not much else) and pits them against each other in various challenges.
I’ll admit the premise of this show is somewhat more interesting than some other show: the goal is not to find romance, nor just to get money, but for each group to learn from each other. Through challenges like Rocket Science and computer assembly for the beauties, speed dating and fashion for the geeks, each participant is forced to learn things in areas in which they are deficient.
The show is entertaining, and on the surface seems to be well meaning. However, with this show in its fourth season, I am increasingly uncomfortable with the social stereotypes that it portrays. Are these people for real? When asked the question “Who wrote Beethoven’s 5th?" during casting, one beauty responded, “Oh I don’t know. I don’t read books, only magazines. Another, when asked their IQ, responded “2.5?" Meanwhile, one geek rattles off the US presidents’ names in reverse order, while another admits he’s only ever kissed one girl.
Do you think social stereotypes are more accepted than other stereotypes? Are they a reflection of our society or do they perpetuate intolerance? How is this show any different from a show that portrays racial or other stereotypes?