I hate to criticize my favorite TV show, but ABC’s “Extreme Makeover” and the “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” are part of a cultural myth. This myth is that if we only had the right body or the right house that we would live happily ever after. Of course, you and I really do not believe this, but our culture certainly does and certainly sells us this idea. Our value and our happiness are measured by the material things in life, whether physical beauty or a nice home. When a women who is denied her makeover commits suicide over it, who is at fault? In a story on E-online, we find out the sister of this woman who killed herself is suing ABC. The sister claims that family members of Williams, the makeover candidate, were coerced by ABC producers to say negative things about William’s appearance.
In another story in August, we find the home edition folks at ABC choking over a family fighting over the new home built for them. The orphans in the show are suing because of the loss of the house to the supposed caretakers over them.
The myth of the makeover, whether Opra or “Home Edition”, is that there may be a silver bullet to end our misery of life. It is one thing to put on new clothes, but to have the expectation that things not naturally meant to change are in play is dangerous. We do like to play God, don’t we?