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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