An intrigu­ing offer came through to the SLUG-chat mail­ing list a few weeks ago: an Aus­tralian ver­sion of Beau­ty and the Geek is in the works, and they’re look­ing for geeks.

I’ll be hon­est and admit that I’m a fan of the US ver­sion of the show. The ‘geeks’ feel like humor­ous car­i­ca­tures of some of my own traits, and I sup­pose I find bim­bo stu­pid­i­ty fun­ny in a way (although at oth­er times I just roll my eyes).

How­ev­er, I dis­like that the out­come of each series is that the geeks bend over back­wards to learn to be ‘cool’ while the bim­bos sim­ply ‘learn’ to tol­er­ate the geeks. On the episodes that vis­it the con­tes­tants a few months after their tenure at ‘the man­sion’, the geeks have clear­ly changed them­selves but the bim­bos have most­ly revert­ed to their pre­vi­ous state.

I’m prob­a­bly biased, but it seems lop-sided. It rein­forces the view (at least in West­ern cul­tures) that it’s okay to be an idiot but con­verse­ly it is unac­cept­able to be social­ly awk­ward.

We see this posi­tion pushed across pop­u­lar media. The oth­er prime offend­er at the moment that I can think of is the sit­com, The Big Bang The­o­ry. In that show, a bim­bo with loose val­ues is por­trayed as ‘nor­mal’ while a group of intel­li­gent males are open­ly ridiculed.

Again, I’ll admit that I watch that show from time to time, and I do find it enter­tain­ing. I have the capac­i­ty to laugh at myself and traits that I can iden­ti­fy with. At the same time, it still irks me that this is what peo­ple are being fed, not just by this pro­gramme but by the mass media in gen­er­al.

What does the FOSS com­mu­ni­ty think?

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