And for once I was SuperMom

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Have We Really Evolved?

Scott had left for the afternoon.  I was alone…well, alone with two children. 
I needed to nurse Carys.
I needed to sit there and hold her while she burps.
I was on the couch.
I was antsy.  A bit bored. 
Baby burps are only so entertaining.
Then it happened.
TLC On Demand.
Scott came home and caught me.
“Are you serious?”
I shrunk a bit deeper into our couch.
He caught me red handed, watching Sister Wives. 
Last night he had to go back to work after dinner.
It happened again.
I watched The Man with No Face, My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, and The Man with Half a Body.
Punctuated with ads for Half Ton Mom and 600lb. Life.
I’ve watched those shows too.
I am so ashamed.
Just recently I finished the book Water for Elephants.  For those of you who haven’t read it the book is about a Depression era circus.  One of the characters is the Lovely Lucinda, the circus’ 400lb Fat Woman.  Apparently in 2012 we’ve added a couple hundred pounds to qualify you as entertainment. 
In the book one of the characters is a little person and he makes the point that there is really nothing else he can do for a living.  It occurs to you that at that point in time that making yourself into a circus freak might not be such a bad option when there is no other way to make money.  Because who would want to do that?  Who would want to put themselves on display like that?  Why display yourself as an image to be pitied.  A person that is so disfigured that others can only pity them, a hit of ‘at least my life isn’t that bad.’
You think, ‘but back then we were so insensitive and we’re better now.’  Are we?  Has political correctness and sensitivity brought us so far away from circus freaks?
I don’t think it has.  Instead of ogling our ‘freaks’ in a travelling circus we put them on television and make hour long specials about them.  Sure, the hour long specials are crafted with care and sensitivity to the person’s plight, but is it any different?
What does it say about us that we watch those programs?  What does it say about me?

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