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True Beauty

Rating: TV-14 L

Network: ABC


True Beauty is the Disney-owned ABC network’s newest reality competition. The program claims to seek individuals possessing true outer and inner beauty; but it consistently manages to find some of the most morally bankrupt individuals for the competition. In each episode the competitors have one “outer beauty” challenge, and one secret “inner beauty” challenge during which their morals are put to the test.


On the January 19th episode (10:00 p.m. ET), after a long, hard day of being beautiful, the competitors decide to unwind with a toga party. Inevitably, a game of “Truth or Dare” ensues. Contestant Laura is dared to give a lap dance to Billy. As she dances for him, her top rides up exposing her breasts (blurred for the viewing audience). Immediately following this scene, another contestant dares Ray to streak around the pool. Of course he obliges. An icon for the show is placed over his genitals as he struts naked around the pool. As one of the female competitors says, “Ray’s flopping business is definitely burned into my brain for eternity.”


This tawdry program was rated TV-14 L. However, an episode featuring obscured nudity and a lap dance warrants an ‘S’ descriptor. A proper rating for this show would have been TV-14 LS.


To an unsuspecting parent, the premise of this show may not sound innately unsuitable for their children: the search for an individual who displays true inner beauty, someone who has solid values and upholds their morals even when they don’t know they’re being watched. But the actual content on the screen tells a very different story: it encourages the competitors to expose their character flaws -- and bodies -- and then glamorizes them for doing so.


If this program were properly rated, a parent’s V-Chip would be able to block the program automatically. However, networks consistently under-rate their material. When a program goes on the air with an inadequate rating, it is children who suffer. The true tragedy of True Beauty is that it is exposing kids to adult content at too young an age.


If you agree that this program was inadequately rated, please write to the TV ratings advisory board at tvomb@usa.net and let them know that the TV ratings once again failed to adequately warn parents about inappropriate content.


For more information about the TV ratings, please visit http://www.tvguidelines.org/contact.asp.

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