Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Not Pretty Enough

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Not Pretty Enough

Article excerpt

The great power of television is its ability to reinforce or change people's personal convictions almost subconsciously--especially the opinions of teenagers. Play a music video enough times on MTV, and suddenly a nobody becomes a star. Talent is not the top criterion: Beauty and commercial appeal are the necessary resume check marks.

So how does that play out in the few shows directed at teens that include images of gay people? A few months ago MTV aired a True Life special that was anything but. The focus was a private queer-only school in Dallas and its half-dozen misfit students. While I applaud MTV for taking the initiative in airing the special, I can't help but criticize the content. Simply put, there was no one for most teenagers to relate to and no one to glorify. Every one of my straight classmates who watched the show said that it gave them a definition of "gay" that wasn't really true to what they knew, and while the Dallas kids' struggles are worth reporting, I can't see teens as a group caring. …

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