Friday, July 11, 2008

Live Blogging While Watching the Tyra Banks Show

Ok--first of all, I clearly shouldn't be watching the Tyra show. But I'm home during the day for a change and the tv's on and I couldn't resist. So my current state of indignation is my own fault.

The topic today is ethnic names and the show consists of a multiracial group of people sitting around a table making judgments about a non-existent person based on a name. For instance, a girl named Ashleigh is clearly ditsy, promiscuous, materialistic, land ikely to flash her breasts on Girls Gone Wild. Jose is Puerto Rican, uneducated, speaks broken English, and works as a dishwasher or janitor. Or he sells drugs. This has been going on for half an hour now. Who are these people? Why would they voluntarily go on tv and say such ignorant ignorant things?

The issue of names and what people assume about you before they meet you, based on that name, is indeed an interesting topic for a show. People invariably assume, because my first name is Conseula, that I'm Latina (and when I still had vestiges of my Louisiana accent, the combination often caused people t0 assume I was Caribbean). We certainly took these kinds of reactions into account when we named our children (Catherine and Frances), though our French Catholic heritage and Louisiana roots weighed much more heavily in our decisions.

But is being served by the train wreck currently on my tv? Is it a revelation that people are stupid and prejudiced? Or is it that people are willing to be that stupid in public?

1 comment:

claire said...

I often wonder if people are told to say things precisely because they are ignorant and prejudiced. Like what kind of show would it be if someone said -- "oh, I know, Jose is a CPA and lives in a ranch house and Ashleigh wears clothes from the Gap and likes the movies" how interesting would that be?