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Singles’ Advocacy Goes Mainstream–And Almost Gets It Right March 27, 2010

Posted by Onely in As If!, Great Onely Activities, Reviews.
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You don’t get much more mainstream than The Today Show, which featured an interview with filmmaker Jane Scandurra of the documentary “Single” and Lesley Jane Seymour of More magazine talking about the awesomeness of the 27 million (presumably U.S. American) single women, in particular those over 40. Yay!

Our Copious Reader Rachel flagged this great segment for us, and we’re thrilled to see our Onely principles espoused by influential and visible women in the mainstream media. In the interview, they talk about how “Anybody is not better than nobody” and “Just because you’re single doesn’t mean you’re alone or unhappy”. They say this with such enthusiasm, and as if these are the newest and most surprisingly wonderful ideas, which I guess to many people they are. So kudos to Today for tackling this topic. They acknowledge the problem of how react to the pitying “Awww” and “I know someone for you!” The video doesn’t present much information that will be new to most Onely readers, nor does it address the fact married people get all sorts of random legal rights that singles don’t, but it’s definitely entertaining and worth a watch.

But then. . .

Oy vey. . .

Immediately following the yay-singlehood segment, we see a Joy Fit Club story about an articulate, spirited, intelligent, attractive woman who was over one hundred pounds overweight. The story follows her heroic weightloss battle, which she won, losing 114 pounds! And how does the segment end? With our now-svelte heroine saying:

I’ve met a wonderful man, and hope to hear wedding bells in my near future.

And our two interviewers (the same ones who lauded Seymour and Scandurra’s single lives) squealing like stepped-on puppies:

OOOO We’re so excited!

Ok fine. But MSN has double-faulted: One, they’ve linked weight to attractiveness and attractiveness to singleness; and two, they’ve acted as if the natural, desired, and expected outcome of a successful life (represented in this case by a massive and impressive weight loss) is marriage. I applaud our heroine’s triumph in the dressing room and wish her luck in pursuing her personal dream of having a nuclear family, but I hope that Today’s next interviewee is someone who lost a hundred pounds then decided to build an orphanage-slash-observatory on the beach in New Zealand. Or something.

–Christina

Photo credit: Mer Incognito

Comments»

1. Susan - March 27, 2010

Wow! Now that IS an about-face! Though I suppose it should be noted that everyone’s definition of happiness is different. Mine happens to be being a gorgeous and healthy 40-something woman who is not only single, but also nicely occupied living her own life and adventures. I have married friends who are practically green with envy. But I also have friends who can’t imagine living solo. That’s not how they’re wired. Whatever works, works. The key is knowing yourself and what you really, really want. And, of course, realizing that happiness is never based on another person. (Children may be an exception, but I wouldn’t know about that.)

2. io - March 29, 2010

Great that people are talking about it – and especially great for me – in Australia – to see the segment is online for others too see!!!!!

Thanks for the “heads up” …. :-)

3. Lauri - March 31, 2010

If I lost 114 lbs and was lookin’ good, marriage would be the last thing on my mind. With all that new confidence, I’d be out hitting on every guy I could find!

4. Contented Single - April 4, 2010

This kind of thing pisses me off. It’s like the magazines, that will have one article celebrating singledom, then follow it with dozens of how to get a boyfriend, how to keep your man articles. Like when they featue “real” people in a fashion segment then do dozens of articles on how to lose weight.

So whilst, it was great that the Today show, featured those happy, single women, I think the message they gave out, like the magazines, is that, yeah, it is okay being single, but being married, is so much better.

5. All The Single (Non-Slutty) Ladies « Onely: Single and Happy - June 29, 2010

[…] June 29, 2010 Posted by Onely in Pop Culture: Scourge of the Onelys. trackback We already wrote about this Today Show blurb that touts the awesomeness of older single women. But one thing bothered me […]


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