Back in September of 2011, a friend of mine from university said “Dee, I’m going to be on Take Me Out”. My first response (after – “what’s take me out”) was “Why?”. For those of you not in the know (you lucky, lucky people), Take Me Out is an ITV dating show where 30 ladies sit and judge a man. Then after 15 minutes of cringe-inducing agony, they go on a date to Nandos (“Why are they so excited about nandos?” “No, its FERnandos it’s an island.” “…Think I’d prefer Nandos.”).

I had never seen this show before, but nothing could prepare me for the awfulness that was. The friend I took with me and I had no idea what all the catchphrases were (and there were many), but thankfully there were some nice Irish girls sat in front of us who heard our bemusement and explained it to us (they helped clear up the Nandos problem). It was alright. There was a farmer who milked a cow, and my friend sang Opera. The whole experience could have been a whole lot worse. But then again, I’ve never been water boarded, so it’s hard to tell.

So, what were my general thoughts after the 4 hour hell?

  1. I hoped to God I never had to sit through it again
  2. Couldn’t be more staged
  3. I really hope those girls are being told to say such inane things
  4. How do they not fall down those stairs in those heels?

First I want to talk about the girl on this show. Here are some of my favourite quotes:

“I don’t mind that he went to uni, I went to uni too.”

“James Cameron is the Prime Minster. Isn’t he?”

And last but not least was what one girl said that didn’t make the final show, in which she goes on a rant about how politics has no place on this show, she doesn’t care about politics and that politics doesn’t affect her.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not some crazy, follow-everything-in-the-papers kinda political whiz. But I find it flabbergasting that this is how people react to the world around them. That idea that politics doesn’t effect them? Yes, you’re right, how does the running of your country in any way affect you? NHS reforms, education decisions, how your tax money is spent, has no affect on you as a person. This is when my friend and I had the sad realisation that we are in the minority of people that care. And this breaks my heart.

Is it a lack of caring that is leading to low election turnout figures? Are we blind to the fact that because we are somehow told we have no effect, that it is better to not care?

I refuse to believe there is nothing happening in politics that doesn’t affect or touch someone in some way. The High Tea Cast had a charity event at the end of last year; This is how we can participate. This is how we can care what happens to us and other people. Help raise money, discussion and raise awareness of issues which affect us or those around us. Just because something does not “directly affect you” doesn’t make it less important. We do not have to be these inherently selfish creatures that only care about what the world can do for us. Let’s see what we can do for the world. I can’t stand to hear any more how “politics doesn’t affect me”. Because quite frankly that’s bullshite. And if you really think that then you, my friend, are a moron.

Politics aside, how well do these women on Take Me Out come across? Is it wrong that these women come across as bimbos? I like to call this “The Only Way Is Essex syndrome”. I flicked over one day and caught this show called “TOWIE” and they were watching fireworks. One of these orange babes declared. “who was Guy Fawkes?” It crushed my soul to think that anyone is that thick. It has to be a rouse right? No one can be that thick. But more importantly, no one can be that thick… and proud of it – wearing their ignorance like a badge of honour.

Some of the women on Take Me Out sneered at the men on there who went to uni. At people who are educating themselves. What world are we living in where this is acceptable? That people trying to educate themselves and broaden their horizons is something to be looked down upon? University is not for everyone, and going to university does not make you better than anyone else. If you are from a posh background and went to Eton, it does not – and more importantly should not – make any difference to your value as a person than someone who grew up on a council estate. However, this does not make it okay, to belittle people who want to educate themselves. I’ll just add it to the list of “Things That Make Me Convinced The Devil Made Take Me Out”. And I’ll just despair a little bit more about the world.

What implication does all this have? Does it reduce people’s idea of women? Does it damage feminism? I hope not. I hope the world is clever enough to see through this hideous lie that TV is flaunting, and that in the highly unlikely scenario that these women are being genuine, that they are in the minority. These vacuous people on these TV shows are on there to make a show of themselves, to sell things, so they can carry on buying fake tan. However, it still hurts a little on the inside that The Only Way Is Essex won a BAFTA. I mean. Come ON.

But the masses love it, therefore it will never go away. Not even Big Brother, which should have died a death, has found a new following on channel 5. Is Charlie Brooker right? Will the black mirror be our ultimate demise?

So I beg you, don’t watch Made in Chelsea, or The Only Way is Essex, or Big Brother. Not even Take Me Out. Even if my friend is on after the cow.

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