This post was written by the wonderful Helen Cairns.
It seems that some of you may have missed the memo, but let me get you caught up. There is a new series of Snog Marry Avoid?; but it’s not just that, it’s got a new presenter and a slightly adapted format. I know. Exciting times.
It seems that televisual beige, Jenny Frost, has gone back to her illustrious career of having once been in Atomic Kitten and we have an all-new presenter. Ellie Taylor is the kind of person that wears a pink blazer. She’s like a cross between Streetmate-era Davina McCall and Alexa Chung, which means that she’s a being that could have only been genetically created in a laboratory of DOOM somewhere in a bid to cause me maximum annoyance.
The main change to the format is that POD, the “Personal Overhaul Device” (voiceover artist and flashing light), is on tour, meaning that the show can be taken to any provincial high street in order to do its work of stripping layers of makeup off people and telling them how they should look. We’re warned that POD is now bitchier than ever.
Last night’s episode saw POD land in Essex, because that’s not an easy shot at all. Ellie claims that even though she’s from Essex, she’s never had a spray tan. Her face says she’s lying.
Tonight we’re meeting a DJ and a pole dancer who are going to get the makeunder treatment. Before this, because this is the stereotype edition, we see a vajazzling and discuss the merits of fake tan and white stilettos.
We finally get to meet the pole dancer. Her name is Kelly and her eyelashes are longer than most people’s hair. She has bleached blonde hair with extensions, wears Perspex shoes and is tanned to a shade that can only be described as Dickinson. She can’t walk past a pole without dancing on it. She wants people to see the real her before talking her through her makeup routine which isn’t so much makeup as dressage.
Apparently, Kelly thinks it’s time for people to take her seriously. That’s why she’s come, as POD puts it, as a ballerina stripper. She claims not to be a dumb blonde but when asked to say something interesting she replies about her eyelashes.
The comments from the men on the street range from “common” to “fake” to “easy”. She can’t believe that people would think that. That’s why she’s come out in a basque. I hate this programme because it makes me judge people, but here I am, still judging.
Kelly, predictably, is stunning under all of her fakery but looks exactly like everyone else. I suppose that this is my other main issue with this programme – she’s lost a bit of her individuality. Her friends and family love it.
Back with Ellie, she makes a poor joke about faking an orgasm then goes off to get a fake tan. All in a day’s work.
Next up is a DJ called Bam Bo Tang. Bam seems like an individual. Her clothes are quirky and although she’s wearing a lot of makeup and accessories, she seems at ease with herself. Well, there’s no room for that here! Bam explains that she’s always been different. Well, say goodbye to that. We’re supposed to think it’s romantic that she’s doing this because her husband doesn’t like her look but it just makes me feel a bit ill. Bam explains that she’d like to come out of POD and have her husband think she’s gorgeous. Sad.
Bam’s comments from members of the public are “Avoid because she has dreadlocks” and “Snog because I’m desperate”. Yay individuality!
There’s no place for that here though, and she’s turned into someone who looks like everyone else. Her husband hopes that they’ve done “something nice and elegant with her”. I think I can hear feminism crying somewhere.
We catch up with the girls a few weeks later. Kelly’s spirit is still crushed. Kelly thanks POD for the makeunder with the cold, dead eyes of a hostage. Bam has settled for a happy medium and has added some of her own touches to her new look which is slightly more uplifting but sad nonetheless.
So there we have it: new presenter, slightly different format, still offensive.