TVB Reality TV dating show, Bride Wannabes <盛女愛作戰>, has been a cult hit since its broadcast earlier in April. The “leftover bachelorettes” on the show underwent intensive makeovers and personality coaching lessons, morphing into more “beautiful” women to successfully attract men and find love. TVB announced that the 2012 Miss Hong Kong Pageant will borrow the format of Bride Wannabe, in which the beauty contestants will be transformed from “ordinary women” to beauty queens right before the audience’s eyes!
Since Reality TV shows such as America’s Top Model became popular, endless permutations of such concepts offering “miraculous” transformations have given hope and laughter to audiences. Bride Wannabe was conceived by former TVB General Manager, Stephen Chan (陳志雲) and took 10 months to produce. Apparently, TVB wished to add more entertaining elements to its Miss Hong Kong Pageant, which has been criticized as being dull for many years!
TVB’s Director of Production, Sandy Yu (余詠珊) said, “This year’s Miss Hong Kong Pageant will borrow elements from Bride Wannabes. One of the selling points will be the transformative power of makeup!” Ms. Yu was asked if she was afraid that the new adopted format of the Miss Hong Kong Pageant will deter contestants from joining, due to its chances of exposing the “ugly” side of the women. Ms. Yu said, “There are no ugly women among 18-year-olds! The format will resemble America’s Top Model, where the contestants do not wear much makeup.”
The 2012 Miss Hong Kong Pageant will take place in August. Preparations were currently under way and consultants have been hired to single out contestants who have received plastic surgery. Ms. Yu said, “We will accept candidates who have received whitening or botox injections, but not breast implants or nose surgery!” Prohibition against plastic surgery will be strongly enforced in order to heighten the selling point of the 2012 Miss Hong Kong Pageant: how “packaging” can turn “ordinary” into “miraculous”!
“Bride Wannabes” Criticized As Superficial
Bride Wannabes has generated strong backlash in some instances, where critics complained that the show emphasized superficiality, while discouraging inner qualities. The show encouraged people to wear “masks” to satisfy society’s standsards, rather than be their true selves.
Nevertheless, Bride Wannabes’ popularity resulted in hot buzz that a male version will be produced, where “ordinary” men will be “improved upon” in order to find love! Celebrities such as Joey Yung (容祖兒) and Samantha Ko (高海寧) were fans of the show, claiming that they will join the celebrity version of Bride Wannabes, if it were to be produced. Jessica Hsuan (宣萱) stated that she will not appear on the show should a celebrity version surface.
Source: Oriental Daily
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Jayne: I always remember the elegance of the Miss Hong Kong contestants from the 1990s! Is turning the Miss Hong Kong Pageant into a version of “American’s Top Model” a good thing? Sure ratings would go up. It would be a great advertising tool for the cosmetics brands. Why not use some slimming center sponsors and show us how to truly combat belly flab and thighs without starving ourselves?
This type of show format no doubt creates a lot of marketing noise for the Miss Hong Kong Pageant. But it will cheapen it. The show has already long lost its grace, when Cheng Dan Sui used to be a high quality host, while Eric Tsang is always making cheap wisecracks and leering at cleavage (as if staring will make the bikinis go transparent)!
Regarding “Bride Wannabes,” I have mixed feelings as to how much professional coaching we should get to change ourselves to suit other people. It really depends on the extremity of the transformation. Is looking for love the same as looking for a job? Sure it’s a competitive world out there, but how much are you willing to change yourself to satisfy “market demands”? Maybe I”m a little old-fashioned similar to the critics who are criticizing this “superficial” aspect of Bride Wannabes.