Check out the trailer for Bridalplasty, coming this Sunday to E!

Yep, this is a real show broadcast for a real network – and here’s the concept. 12 brides move into a mansion in LA competing to win a celebrity style dream wedding and major plastic surgery – so they can look their very best for their big day! Hosting the show is Shanna Moakler (aka the ex Mrs Travis Barker) and the series is produced by 51 Minds, the company behind such shows as Rock of Love, I Love Money and Charm School.

Now full disclosure here! I came up with a competition show of my own earlier in the year in which contestants would compete for a cosmetic surgery makeover. But my format was rather gentler – with the winning contestant being given the choice between surgery and something more substantial (e.g. college tuition) and my aim was to show some growth along the way. But that said I certainly planned plenty of crazy games and bitchiness so I’m not going to pretend I’m holier than thou on the reality front (I did once make a contestant undergo a live colonic irrigation!)

I’m also a big fan of many of the 51 Minds shows – they’re always very polished and often very clever. And I like Shanna Moakler too – who displayed real balls when battling beauty queen bitch Carrie Prejean and her vehement homophobia. So I’ll certainly give Bridalplasty a go.

But here’s my issue… I really wish this show wasn’t on E!

My reasoning? Personally I think the network has become rather vicious in its treatment of women and I’m beginning to find the female images it presents truly distasteful. This was a network that scored huge success on the back of The Simple Life (after even Fox passed on the show) and The Girls Next Door, the latter of which was for me just a show about hookers in Hollywood. Of course Girls also spun off the similarly vacuous Kenrda and Holly’s World. And then of course there’s the Kardashians – the continuing saga of a family with zero talent whose daughters insist on calling themselves ‘brands’ and yet have nothing to offer the world. Or how about the teen trainwrecks of Pretty Wild. Or Kimora: Life In The Fab Lane – the adventures of a bitchy ex model who treats everyone around her like crap.

Notice a pattern here? So many of these shows feature women as sex objects, sluts, bitches and brats. The cast members are spoiled, selfish and lazy. And of course they have no talent. It’s truly depressing on every level.

Even the network’s female fronted shows have a similarly nasty edge. I love Joan Rivers but The Fashion Police is just an excuse to say horrible things about celebrities – and the way they look. And then there’s Chelsea Lately, with that late night mean girl Chelsea Handler who’s not half as good as she think she is and lacks the self deprecating sweetness of the far funnier Kathy Griffin.

I don’t think E!’s treatment of women is necessarily deliberate – often these kind of trends come about by accident. But what a sad message to send out to America’s teens and twenty-something girls – many of whom watch E! in droves. Wouldn’t it be nice to see a few smart, funny, talented and clever girls on the network – rather than just more blonde, busty and bland stereotypes straight out of the pages of Playboy magazine…

But what do you think? Am I being over-sensitive or have you noticed this trend too? And what do you make of Bridalplasty? Will you be watching…?

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