I’m a true believer that “reality” TV serves an important keep-the-lid-on function in our society. After all, it provides hope for those who are woefully lacking in truly worthwhile attributes, talents, or capabilities – beyond an often uncannily shrewd marketing sense for building and exploiting a brand (look no further than Honey Boo Boo’s earthy mother or the Duggar clan’s smug daddy-o. Hope for those without worthwhile attributes, etc., but singularly possessed of shamelessness, devoid of any need for privacy, and just plain hungering to make a quick buck. (Well, what could be more All American than that?)
So what if you weren’t born with a silver spoon full of 1% in your mouth? So what if you didn’t get to take AP classes at Ritzboro High School? Heck, so what if you can’t spell AP even if someone spots you the A?
If your reality show strikes the right chord with the American people, there’s your chance to cash in and/or get discovered.
Why, it’s even better than playing the lottery, since if you’re the star of a reality TV show, you actually get to be famous – at least for the duration of the show’s run or, if it’s one of those one-shot shows, for the duration of your episode. Or until the next breakout reality star comes along. (And wanting to be famous is probably even more All American than wanting to have lots of $$$.)
One of the latest reality shows is something called Dating Naked.
A new social experiment provides daters with a radical dating experience where before they bare their souls they bare everything else first. Each week on a primitive island resort, far from the masks of modern society, daters will go on exotic dates and be naked every step of the way.
Let’s face it, there comes a time in most of our lives when we look better in a burka than in a bikini, and that time for me is well in the past. So even if I were to go on a dating show, it wouldn’t be naked. (And speaking of dating, the other day I got an e-mail - Hi, Maureen Rogers, Want to meet singles over 50? - inviting me to look into Our Time, an online dating service for the AARP-eligible. The timing – almost 6 months to the day of my husband’s death – was especially odd. Do you think they comb obituaries and put widows and widowers in tickler files for a 6 month follow up?)
But there are apparently enough folks who like the idea of throwing off the masks of modern society, and going on a few dates on a primitive island resort (whatever that oxymoronic thing means).
One of those folks was Jessie “I’m really a model” Nizewitz, who’s suing Dating Naked for $10 million because for a split second her most private of private parts, which were supposed to be blurred out, were exposed while she was in what, to the naked eye, might appear to be a semi-pornographic pose, frolicking in some sort of naked dating mud-wrestle with her show beau.
In a statement, Nizewitz claims she was told that her lady parts were going to be completely blurred for the show and that she was manipulated and lied to. The Long Islander said, “If you watch an episode, you will see that the blur actually makes it less revealing than a bikini would. Obviously, I did not expect the world to see my private parts," reports Variety. (Source: Huffington Post)
This revelation apparently set off a Twitter storm of people making fun of her. Not to mention that her grandmother got ticked off at her. (So, her grandmother was okay with watching her granddaughter cavort around nude but blurred with a complete stranger? It was just seeing the actual orifices out there for all the world to see that got granny’s goat? Well, that makes sense.)
The suit, obtained by PEOPLE, claims Nizewitz suffered "severe emotional distress, mental anguish, humiliation, and embarrassment" after the slip-up…"I immediately started getting text messages. Everyone saw it." (Source: People)
Ten million dollars worth of Tweeters making fun of her, causing“emotional distress, mental anguish, humiliation and embarrassment”?
I guess if the reality show in itself fails to provide the pay-day you’re looking for, there’s always the after-the-fact they done me wrong civil action.
And to add insult to injury, it’s not just her grandmother who’s not thrilled.
Poor Jessie believes that the accidental peep show put the kibosh on a relationship that was just starting out.
"He never called me again after the show aired," she told the paper. "I would have hoped we could have had a long-term relationship."
Longer term even than those three naked, unmasked dates on the primitive resort island?
Jessie, Jessie, Jessie.
Guess that’s reality for you.