Not many things genuinely shock me. But seeing a TV show called ‘Too Ugly for Love’ about people who have had life saving surgery, was like seeing a woman running naked down the street holding a giant plate of jelly – I couldn’t believe my eyes.
Tonight a young man called Anthony will appear on this show. Thousands (if not hundreds of thousands, or millions) will tune in to see how ugly he is and how is is struggling to find his true love.
He doesn’t have a second head, a pig’s nose or 17 fingers. He doesn’t even seem to have any revolting or unsociable habits which would make him unbearable to live with. He seems lovely and normal, not something from another planet and really doesn’t deserve that title.
So what makes him ‘too ugly for love’? He has an ostomy bag. Apparently that’s enough to make us undesirable for life – I think I would have thrown my shoe (or iron) at the TV if I’d seen the advert.
The show, on TLC, follows 10 single people living with medical conditions on their quest to find love, including two people living with IBD; Marcia (Crohn’s Disease) and Antony (Ulcerative Colitis) who both have stoma bags.
Apparently they didn’t even know this was the title. It was changed at the last minute – no doubt to attract bigger ratings.
Basically they have been screwed over for their bravery – and they are brave, I mean it takes a lot of guts (no puns intended) to go on TV to talk about your love life let alone life with a bag, which many are too self conscious about to even share with close friends.
I agree that this is a show which helps people understand the difficulties we face dating, with self-confidence, appearance and telling those we date and love about our bags – I mean, how do you tell someone? It is important that these kind of issues are highlighted, and where better than talking about it on national TV.
But what about the frankly disgusting title? What makes it even worse, if possible, is the fact that the producers appear to have forgotten the question mark – stating it as a fact.
As someone with an ostomy bag I can’t sit in silence and let this disgusting title go unnoticed. As a young woman who battled for years with the idea that having this life saving surgery would make me revolting, that I would never get a boyfriend and I would have to live my life in baggy clothes, this title is the exactly the kind of step backwards people who have already been through so much don’t need.
I’ve been very lucky with my love life, but things could have been very different. I could have faced this, and a show with a title like this doesn’t do anything to help (even if the content of the show does).
I don’t believe in ugly. What some people find beautiful, others are not so keen on. Beauty is very personal, and mostly internal. Having an ostomy bag in no way makes you less attractive. We have come a long way in the past 12 months with inspirational women like Bethany Towsend showing off their ostomy bags to the world. The Get Your Belly Out Campaign went viral.
I’m proud to have an ostomy bag. it saved my life. Yes me and my bag don’t have a perfect relationship, but without Winnie (my stoma) God knows where I would be – and I’m saying that while she is having one of her many strops!
Yes I have days were I feel unattractive, but doesn’t everyone?