"Falling Into The 'Hot' Trap," a review of ABC's reality TV series "Are You Hot?" Discusses how the show is mentally, physically, and monetarily destructive to young women.

Essay by kristini828College, UndergraduateA, April 2003

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The reality television series, "Are You Hot? The Search For America's Sexiest People" is shallow and dangerous. The whole idea of this eye-candy-fest is to find the two newest "sex symbols" in America, with the only criteria being how "hot" they look. From four different regions of the country called "hot-zones," [Are You Hot] every narcissist in America gathers together to be evaluated in front of three judges on their body, face, and sex appeal. One judge even uses a laser pointer to draw attention to any imperfection on a contestants' body. Meanwhile, I (and probably many other average teenagers) am sitting at home subconsciously measuring myself up to these wanna-be models and I realize that I don't like the way I'm feeling; this can't be healthy. Seeing the judges put down people who are already close to perfect really made me question myself. I feel that "Are You Hot" is mentally, physically, and monetarily destructive to young women.

It leads them to obsess over their appearance, and can be damaging in the following ways:

Standing up on a stage in front of millions of viewers and being told "You are not hot enough," is mentally harmful to a person. This kind of rejection is many people's greatest fear. It damages one's self confidence and self worth and it shouldn't because appearance is just a small fraction that makes up a person. The show's viewers are also victims of rejection because they subconsciously compare their own bodies to the ones on TV. "Are You Hot" completely alters a

young woman's conceptions of what is normal; creating a false image of what she should look like. It's hard enough growing into a young adult, trying to figure out who you are and feel comfortable with your body without having to...