BatG – Blonde v. Brunette

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It was interesting half-watching Wednesday’s episode of Beauty and the Geek. I realize there’s probably massive amounts of editing going on in order to present things in certain ways, but I also don’t doubt that at least some of it was truly happening.

What I’m talking about is a division of the women in the house – the blondes who spent their time in the pool instead of studying for their challenge and the brunettes who spent their time studying and honestly trying to participate in the project. There was one woman who did both, kind of hovering between the blonde and brunette “factions.” (Personally, I suspect this particular woman is pretty smart even if she doesn’t act like it.) At any rate, the brunettes expressed concern that if one of them didn’t win the challenge, then they’d both have to go to the elimination round because they weren’t part of “the blonde clique” (nor had they been invited to join).

Though both the brunette women did far and away a better job, the woman who hovered around in the middle somewhere ended up winning the challenge (deservedly so). And both brunette women and their geeks were sent to the elimination round, just as they’d suspected.

After it was announced, the brunettes were understandably upset. There was a little powwow among all the women, where the brown-haired women finally expressed to the blondes their frustration. I think they weren’t really taken very seriously. The most interesting thing of all was one of the guys lingering around, listening to the women kind of bicker back and forth. His comment was something like, “I really think the girls could learn some social skills from the guys. We all get along, we all like each other and there’s no separation between us at all…”

So here we had the socially-inept geeks performing much better within the limited scope of the house, where the socially-skilled women couldn’t get along well at all. I do wonder, though, if the guys would have got along well with a different sub-set of guy. Less geek, more jock. Was the division among the women really easily boiled down to hair color, or was there some other reason for it?

Comments

  1. Jennifer Kesler says

    I’ve heard so many men say so many times that men don’t do the clique thing that women do, that men are better team players, etc., but I think it’s a lot of PR spin. There are geeks and jocks, punks and preps.

    I think guys accept those divides as natural, but can’t understand dividing along hair color lines. But when you get down to it, it’s all for the same reason: jocks are more valued in our society than geeks, blondes are more valued than brunettes. Both are cases of over-appreciated people versus under-appreciated people.

  2. sbg says

    I also wondered as I watched if I would have noticed the division so strikingly if I wasn’t brunette myself. I recognized it instantly when I saw all the women but the brunette ones (who incidentally were outnumbered six to two to start with) out by the pool.

    I suppose they could easily be classified as those who want to learn and succeed and those who simply don’t. It just happens that those things fall along the hair color faultline, except that one woman

    Totally off topic, but the men’s challenge was to learn about women, what they liked and whatnot. Their task? They thought it was to sketch a nude model. What it really was was to listen to what the nude model was talking about. All but one of them spent their time ogling and wishing she’d shut up so they could concentrate better on their artistic renditions.

  3. scarlett says

    I think EVERY group, regardless of how its divided, has a bit of a superiority complex about how they are somehow ‘better’, but if you look closer and mess around with the dynamics, the same problems appear. What would happen if you put stereotyped jocks and geeks in the house? What if some of the geks were good looking and athletic enough to be on the fringes of the jocks? Would the geeks all be as united and friendly then?

  4. MaggieCat says

    I suppose they could easily be classified as those who want to learn and succeed and those who simply don’t. It just happens that those things fall along the hair color faultline, except that one woman

    It seems that in reality shows like this one (shows that don’t have some element of hardship built in) the people who actually care about doing well seem to end up being on the outs with the people who see it all as kind of a joke. Sort of a twist on the dynamic of childhood – you might be better than I am at something, but if you genuinely care and I don’t, I still win.

    I’ve also seen social situations where something similar to this happens, but there it was the brunettes sort of edging out the blondes because they bought into the ‘dumb blonde’ stereotype. Sometimes it’s just a question of which group has the majority.

    But as a redhead I don’t get to play in this particular rivalry, so I could be way off base. ;-)

  5. sbg says

    To be fair, and on another interesting note, the girls were given study material that was pretty explicit. It should have been easy for them to infer that learning as much of the material as possible was imperative to success. The challenge was to give guided tours in an aerodynamics museum.

    The guys were told they needed to learn to appreciate women and given Cosmo and Vogue, etc. So when the challenge came and the woman dropped her robe…most of the guys were 1) shocked because they’d never seen a naked lady before and 2) overcome by breasts. I’m sure they appreciated her…and nothing in Cosmo or Vogue would have clued them in that they should listen carefully. Of course, they should have figured out that a nude model doesn’t normally change positions all the time, nor talk nonstop.

  6. sbg says

    >It seems that in reality shows like this one (shows that don’t have some element of hardship built in) the people who actually care about doing well seem to end up being on the outs with the people who see it all as kind of a joke. Sort of a twist on the dynamic of childhood – you might be better than I am at something, but if you genuinely care and I don’t, I still win.

    Yeah, and that, frankly, totally blows. It somehow reminds me of that game we played in high school sociology with the purple (rich) people and the orange (poor) people. I remember being in a middle-of-the-road group and I understood the ultimate goal very quickly. And as soon as I did, the teacher/mediator started making it more and more difficult for me and my team to do anything toward that goal – just to see how we’d cope, naturally.

  7. DNi says

    Of course, they should have figured out that a nude model doesn’t normally change positions all the time, nor talk nonstop.

    Actually, no, that’s pretty normal. Figure drawing isn’t about cranking out beatiful works of art; it’s about practice and understanding the anatomy of human body. As such, quick poses are often prefered, as you can get a lot of interesting studies (like handstands) in a brief amount of time. In fact, a lot of artists would take 30-second poses over 45-minute ones any day. And talking with the model is half the fun.

    I have to tell you, though, this nude modeling thing in this show irks me. I haven’t seen it, but I’m pretty well certain that I’m just as big a social retard as any of those guys; probably even bigger. And, loathe as I am to admit this, the first time I ever saw a live nude girl myself was in, you guessed it: a life drawing class. And she was hot. She was this curvy, voluptuous Asian girl with a nice, coconut-colored complexion and a really nice pair of breasts. But you know what? After about ten minutes, the shock brought on by an attractive naked girl wears off (especially if she’s not doing anything particularly sexual), and you quickly realize that the only real difference between a nude girl and a clothed one is that the nude one isn’t wearing any clothes*.

    *This particular axiom also pertains to men.

  8. MaggieCat says

    I don’t think I’ve ever come across that exercise. What was it about?

    I’ve never liked that particular dynamic myself, mostly because I always care. If I had my way everyone would genuinely care about what they were doing rather than coasting because there’s some (usually superficial) reason why they can get away with it. It’s a setup that ends up rewarding the lazy people by deeming them the cool people, and it drives me nuts.

    And one of my pet peeves is women who get by on being pretty. Not that it’s a bad thing, and while I’m not particularly proud of it I’ve traded on some form of the ‘I’m a girl’ thing occasionally. But like any coping strategy there are some people who come to rely on it- both men and women, but I suppose I’m more invested in the effect the female version has in general. Show some hustle, people.

  9. Jennifer Kesler says

    FWIW, attractive men also coast on their looks sometimes. Maybe I see it more because I’m in Los Angeles, where beauty is a commodity, but it can be done.

  10. sbg says

    Hmmm, maybe true, but the guys wouldn’t have known that. It wasn’t interaction so much as the woman talking non-stop while they stared, too. ;)

    My point was more that I thought the guys were kind of ambushed. Their challenge was far less straightforward than the women’s.

  11. sbg says

    Basically, everyone in the class was divided into separate groups and given tools (like money, power) to do with what they would. Some got lots of money and power and others got very little. Basically, a test to see what you’d do, and as soon as I started looking toward community outreach programs, I was shut down.

    My team still won, though. ;)

    And one of my pet peeves is women who get by on being pretty. Not that it’s a bad thing, and while I’m not particularly proud of it I’ve traded on some form of the ‘I’m a girl’ thing occasionally. But like any coping strategy there are some people who come to rely on it- both men and women, but I suppose I’m more invested in the effect the female version has in general. Show some hustle, people.

    I think there’s a difference between knowing you can do this and exploiting it sometimes and knowing you can do this and relying on it as a means of existence. I have to say some of the women in the BatG house are frightfully crippled because they’ve never done a damned thing for themselves their whole lives.

  12. A Very Bad Girl says

    Well, this is an old post, but I’m gonna comment anyway. :P

    Beauty & The Geek sucks. It’s incredibly sexist. I see it as yet another example of men’s entitlement attitude (It seems that they are always trying to date out of their league). It’s OK for a guy to be shallow and desire the company of attractive women, but should a woman desire the company of an attractive man (as opposed to some pasty, pencil-pushing dweeb), we are “evil & heartless”. This show promotes the sexist notion that women must not judge a book by it’s cover because that’s a “guy thing”.

    Also, I disagree that geeks are under-appreciated. From what I can see, the mainstream media caters to them (as this show clearly proves). These are those “nice guys” who foam & fume about being passed up in favor of jocks (or any man that remotely qualifies as attractive), and are keen to throw the “bitch” label at any woman who fails to show interest in them.

    Lastly, I grow tired of the assumption that all women immediately get juicy over a “smart guy”. Despite rumors to the contrary, intelligence has little to do with sexual performance. And, uh, personally, when I’m analyzing a man for his do-ability factor, I’m not looking at his brain. *ahem*

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