Trans girls have to be beautiful. Isn't that what most people want? That's certainly what people are going to get when they watch a new cable TV reality show set to debut on March 15 on VH1.
The eight-show series, called Transform Me, will feature a trio of trans goddesses traveling around the country giving other women makeovers, arriving on the scene via a deluxe fashion ambulance to respond to urgent calls for image assistance, according to a press release cited on the VH1 blog.
The subjects expect to be made over in typical reality show fashion, but are in for a surprise when a team of three transgender women arrive to give them an expert transformation.
The show features Laverne Cox, Jamie Clayton and Nina Poon. But despite the cast of stunning trans girls, Transform Me won't be all about pretty faces, according to promoters. In an attempt to inject some actual substance into each 30-minute episode, the threesome also will help their subjects improve on the inside.
Regardless, I am more than a little skeptical due to the heavy emphasis on physical attractiveness. There's nothing wrong with looking delectable, but there is in fact something wrong when most of the time, that's how transwomen are depicted -- be it on the screen or in print media. This is particularly bad because many people don't seem open to accepting transwomen as "real women" unless they are easy on the eyes.
Transwomen are routinely held to unreasonably high expectations of beauty. They're scrutinized for "feminine" perfection. If they don't measure up, prejudice and discrimination are apt to ensue. The sad thing is that VH1 isn't doing anything that many queer media outlets wouldn't do. Namely, playing up beautiful trannies and depicting them one-dimensionally.