April 10, 2014
If you have used any sort of social media lately, you may have seen a promotion for MTV’s new show, “Faking It” set to air on April 22.
Here’s the script: two girls who are best friends are mistakenly outed as a lesbian couple, and because they are looking for popularity, they roll with it. They decide that keeping up the act is best, because hey, “straight guys love lesbians”, which was brilliantly stated 37 seconds into the trailer.
I’ve got a multitude of problems with the concept of this show, but I’ll discuss two.
First, the obvious trivialization of the existing issues with discrimination and treatment of LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans*,Queer, Intersex, Asexual) people. The implication that being queer is “trendy” completely deviates from the real issues. Sure, it seems that more people are “out” than ever before. Perhaps because it’s safer than ever before; but it still isn’t safe.
In a majority of places, people are subject not only to discrimination, harassment, and alienation, but hate crimes including murder and sexual assault. People are still killed and imprisoned just because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. There is currently not enough legislature to protect them. In a majority of places, it is a DANGER to be LGBTQIA, not a popularity asset. I’m not sure what magical school in space the writers of this show went to, but it’s not an accurate portrayal of our society.
My second main issue with this show is the sexualizing of identity. There are two girls kissing in this show, but don’t worry everyone, they are straight! It’s just pretend! Just another fetishized white, conventionally good looking “lesbian” couple for the male audience to enjoy! So don’t worry, MTV will continue to create fake scenarios, to keep on being edgy and cool, without ever actually challenging anything. This is a sad excuse for media representation, the only “faking it” I’m witnessing is MTV’s claims to good allyship.