Hit the Least Attractive Woman with an Egg

The women are blindfolded and lined up with bulls-eyes on their backs, waiting to be judged “least attractive” on an episode of Bachelor Pad.

Go ahead men, take a paint-filled egg and hit the woman you find least appealing.

With each strike the show’s host announces the intended target, and whether the shot was successful. Erica, on the far right, takes about half the hits. Some of the eggs are thrown pretty hard, but after taking her blindfold off and emerging a stigmatized canvass, Erica lamented,

Being hit by the eggs was painful, but emotionally it was more painful to have the guys say they’re not attracted to me. So now all the girls can feel more attractive than me… better than me.

You can see the video here.

What a way to treat another human being.

Mostly ignoring the women’s feelings, the men worried more about missing needed points. “I didn’t follow through. I kind of like ‘popped’ the egg, and it went right over her shoulder,” bleated one contestant.

A sadistic streak comes into view as the contestants blithely wound each other.

Mercifully, this summer series has ended. And discussing it now won’t serve to make the show more popular.

It should be said that the men took their turn as targets, too, but beauty-connected rejection is probably harder on women since they are taught that their looks measure their worth. Another sad commentary on our society.

Meanwhile, like most of us, egg-splattered Erica didn’t think to question our cultural beauty notions, even though they are not absolute, and change over time. As Gwen Sharp at Sociological Images observes:

In (Erica’s) attempt to defend herself she doesn’t question beauty standards, but refocuses them, pointing to another woman who is “way bigger” and not “that pretty.”

Ms. Sharp explains that this just reaffirms the idea that body size is a legitimate measure of attractiveness (bigger making you less attractive). The comparison also means that self-esteem “Must come at the expense of other women, with whom they are always, and inevitably, in competition,” she adds.

One of the hosts eventually came out to lend the appearance of humanity, saying, “Erica, every person here is beautiful” (measured by our cultural standard, of course).

Erica no doubt felt beautiful after that.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on September 28, 2011, in body image, feminism, gender, psychology, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 37 Comments.

  1. I find things like that infuriating.

  2. First of all, I hardly understand why girls wanted to participate in this stupid television show although the show treats the girls as if they are sexual slaves and gives men a sense of superiority by letting them throw eggs toward the almost naked girls. I believe that why beauty is so important for women is because our society overly focuses on female beauty and they feel pressured to be pretty and attractive as a woman. Women cannot stop thinking about how they look and how others think about their appearance, and they feel better if they are prettier than other girls. But as Erica felt, they can feel miserable and hurt when they are seen as ugly. This indicate beauty is strongly related to their self-esteem, and if women are more and more likely to judge themselves or be judged by others depend on whether they are attractive, they can be more likely to be treated as a sexual object.

  3. And people wonder why ugly girls can be happier. Don’t have to please men anymore and happier for it. Why this video is so surprizing is strange to me this goes on everyday of womens lives. Pretty girls are loved by men until some man finds another women more pretty and this is encouraged by this video. surprize surprize not. Our worth needs to be more than skin deep!
    Sincerely,
    Sarah Shaver

  4. It’s sad to see this woman Erica get hit not by one, or two, but about eight eggs because she is deemed unattractive by a few guys. I don’t know what’s more depressing; Erica getting egged, or she allowing the bombardment of eggs thrown to continue after the first few. Erica should focus not on what other people think of her, but should be satisfied with her own self and own standards of beauty. While Erica undergoes this torment, the men were more concerned about winning or losing. The males wanted to win the competition, and the females didn’t want to be regarded as unattractive. I feel like it should have been the other way around, since females are more selective of their mates than males are. Also, the whole Bachelor show depicts just how huge of an importance beauty is in America. It is not improper for one desiring to be attractive; it’s the lengths they would go to obtain this aura of attractiveness. Many models go on extreme eating disorders and diets to go unbelievably thin, and surprisingly, Photoshop is still required to alter these model’s images so they look even thinner. Women have come a long way, from suffrage to taking on higher positions in the work force, are still battling for their image to be justified in this society, and yet they are still regarded as inferior and subject to scorn and now onto this egg throwing. Women have overcome such hardships that they should remain strong and not allow these things to happen to them. Women are just hurting themselves more and more in order to be deemed attractive. The question is why? Perhaps with beauty, would one be more accepted? Or would they have more power because they are beautiful? Unfortunately, beauty does have a price tag.

  5. That video was so sad, I felt so sorry for Erika but her attitude is just the problem with society. Of course, nobody wants to be called the least attractive or fat but the fact that she got eggs thrown at her, and then at the end of the segment says she doesn’t think eggs should have been thrown at her because there is another girl in the show that is fatter than her?! I stopped feeling so bad for her. Women (and men too? I don’t know because I’m not one) constantly compares oneself to others and feel a greater sense of power and happiness when you think you’re better or prettier than someone. For example, in high school girls will compare one another based on looks and whoever is the prettier is obviously the best, but what about academic wise? Just because a studious girl does not put on makeup or dress accordingly to high school trends she is put down and called ugly and that gives her a lesser sense of self worth. Women (and men) should stop comparing oneself to others, who has the best this or best that, and just compare yourself to you. Have you achieved a good goal work or school wise? Were you overweight before and reached your weight loss target? Instead of I have an A and the other person has an A-, that means I am better than that person. Or, I am skinner than that person. We should stop making judgmental comparisons and focus on being your best self instead best to others.

  6. Thabie Shabalala

    I’M NOT SURE IF YOU GUYS KNOW ABOUT THIS DOCUMENTARY BUT IT’S COMING OUT TOMORROW I THINK, IT LOOKS GREAT IN A BAD WAY, I ALMOST THREW UP WHEN I SAW IT.

  7. Thabie Shabalala

    I feel truly horrible as I write this response, simply because I watched the show and I saw this particular episode, and I can shamefully say that I did not have the same reaction I’m having READING this article as I did when I WATCHED the show. I failed to look outside the box while watching the show. I was one of the people who were happy with Erica being the “least” attractive candidate, not because of her waist size but because of the attitude she had through out the show. And now it has just occurred to me that irregardless of her attitude, no woman deserves to be called least attractive.
    When I first heard Erica speak, I must say I was quite disappointed because to me, she appeared to be one of those people who have too much money and time on their hands. She did mention on the show the amount of liposuction’s she’s had thus far, and that for me was a deal breaker, because I felt like she had already adopted into the Hollywood mentality that Angelina Jolie’s lips are thee thing. However, I am in tears writing this because, not even once did I think about the hidden message behind this exercise. 😦 I’m sorry Erica!!

    Thabie ❤

  8. This video was so sad how would those girls allow themselves to do that. It just lowers your self esteem even more. Even though woman and men will always judge each other I don’t believe is right how you are judge by your physical apereance. Well I believe what matters is the inside, but reality for most people is not true. No one just thinks oh she’s beautiful because her personality is amazing. Now everything is by appearance and how one looks even tv shows have showed how if your skinny the more attractive you are and the bigger you are the least attractive. It puts a lot of men and woman down.

  9. Allyson Velasquez

    After reading this article on the egg throwing, I realize that the saddest part of the whole situation are the people watching it. These reality TV shows that people watched are only fueled by the people watching them. Of course people are going to watch them, that will never change. This particular episode was probably the worst one I’ve seen yet.

    The men are not only the ones to blame, the hosts, producers, and viewers are just as in the wrong regarding the egg throwing competition. Throwing eggs at who the men think are the least attractive women, is possibly one of the most degrading things I have ever seen on television. Most women on the show have the “best bodies” according to what the media portrays. They are all very thin and pretty. Looking almost fragile. Erica, the woman who received the most eggs thrown at her, falls in the category of being “unattractive” according to our media. Leading her to believe she is ugly and unattractive to everyone in the house. Aside from pain from being hit with eggs, more so Erica was hit with a different kind of pain. Pain thinking that she is the least attractive in the house because of this horrible egg throwing game. No human should be treated like Erica was. Every woman is beautiful in their own ways, and they all have something to offer. It is sad that people are ignorant enough to think otherwise.

  10. That season of ‘Bachelor Pad’ was the first of the two seasons that I watched. I became interested in watching it because I am a big fan of ‘The Bachelor’ and ‘The Bachelorette’. However, I didn’t like the concept of ‘Bachelor Pad’ at all. It was a way to downgrade each other and it was a constant battle for money. This game made me so angry because someone may think they are unattractive, but to have every man in that house tell you so could be completely heartbreaking. Erica was devastated by this occurrence, and I would be too if I was her. It is one thing to think you aren’t as pretty as all the other people around you, but to know it is a completely different thing. Also, it is possible that the men chose to aim for Erica because she was the ‘biggest’ girl. I disagree that being the ‘biggest’ girl makes you the ‘ugliest’ girl. There are many women who don’t have that ‘coke bottle body’ and they are still amazingly beautiful. Being beautiful isn’t always about the body. I believe that every women is beautiful in their own way and deserve to know so.

  11. I am shocked that this is something that they would promote on television to gain ratings. It really saddened me that no one thought maybe this was taking it too far. I felt horrible for Erica who you can clearly see was traumatized by this whole experience. This is definitely, what society has done to make us women think that being beautiful and skinny is where all our self- worth lies. When going into the challenge she was confident and happy but obviously after she was distraught and felt as if she’s not good enough. Women already have this unattainable expectation in order to be accepted by society and this “show or game” didn’t help at all.

  12. I firmly believe that the egg throwing game is very degrading, and simply shows how our culture places looks and body type over personality and character. Personally i think its horrible to throw anything at anyone, but to throw eggs at a woman for her looks (or lack there of) is just disgusting.

    This is just a prime example of how society may perceive women as sex objects rather than actual people. I also do not blame the men entirely in this case either, the women that participated in this event should be found equally responsible for subjecting themselves to this demeaning behavior. Furthermore it is vital that we stop things of this nature from being on television. Simply because it only makes it easier to degrade women and further the struggle for women rights.

  13. Alshemah Mohamed

    This is mortifying beyond words. It is such a shame how this show would get ratings to humiliate these poor women. Erica is emotionally hurt and in pain with the eggs thrown at her. I am sure her self-esteem is low after all the eggs were thrown at her. Erica seems very hurt and must be thinking why me? This show should have never come up with this idea to shame women and bring them down. All these men only thought about winning, but never thought of hurting someone’s feelings or how Erica what of felt after knowing she was the only target for these cruel men. Erica had said that, “she is all real and not plastic like the other girls” that shows that she is hurt and has to bring other people down with her. In my opinion, these shows should not be on television.

  14. I think this is just horrible. First of all, why would she put herself in a situation like that and then be surprised when she finds out that these guys weren’t attracted to her. Second, these guys were jerks throwing eggs at women like theyre worth nothing–but you can’t really blame them. It’s not like they forced the girls to stand out there right? Overall I think this is stupid. Women shouldn’t put themselves in situations where they end up looking stupid. Where is the self respect? How is anyone else supposed to respect you if you voluntarily let men throw eggs at you. I agree this is degrading.

  15. This is just wrong, watching the video I feel hurt with the girl that was getting eggs thrown at her. This show breaks my heart that you have to be judge based on appearance. Some of the guys didn’t even care if they threw it hard or soft, they just want to eliminate the least attractive person. This is why society today is messed up, shows like this makes the younger generations think it’s OK to bully a girl because she is not pretty. And I have to agree with what Elaine said, this just degrade women. It puts the viewer to think its ok and it’s how society sees how woman should be treated; based on their looks.

  16. This was really sad and upsetting to watch as Erica took the pain physically and mentally. I’m shocked to see that people would air this or have this written into the show. Also, I wonder who would come up with such a degrading game to women in the first place. Who wrote the scripts and were the masterminds behind the games for this show? To see that people today would allow the public to see that it is okay for society to continue bullying with a game that bases off of ‘good looks’. You would think as you were older and wiser that you’d be well, wiser. When something like this is aired, it really makes me sad to think that we really have not progressed much when it comes to sexism and the way society says that women must be thin or have certain qualities to qualify as beautiful.

  17. Emelina Weaver

    I think what this show has just promoted was wrong and cruel! Why would you do something in such way to make a girl feel less confident and happy about herself. We try to remind women that they are beautiful on the inside and in their own special ways. This show just ruined the whole point of that. Can you imagine being the main one getting the egg filled with paint thrown at you? I would feel horrible. Watching that clip made me feel so bad for Erika I just wanted to take a paint ball gun to all those guys to show them some kind of pain on how that hurts a person. Society makes it seem like you have to be this petite girl with a flat stomach and nice curve. Which is what they promote on some of the top magazines. When really, half of those girls look like they don’t even eat. I just don’t think its right to put something like that on television nor do something like that at all to women. Bottom line.

  18. What I want to know is why someone would VOLUNTEER to be judged based exclusively on appearance, with no possible positive outcome and a reasonably good chance that someone is going to attempt to inflict emotional harm on you by declaring you unappealing in the eyes of society. It’s setting a bad example by simplifying a person down to a series of physical traits that we’ve (and I use we loosely, given that if you ask an average guy what he finds attractive you’ll find it differs from what you see in popular culture) picked as attractive.

    I hate things like this. Nobody comes out of an event like this smelling like roses. Or anything except egg, for that matter.

  19. When I first heard of this the first thought that popped into my head was, “Is this type of behavior culturally correct?”. The task encouraged women to be put down for not being attractive enough for the males. Its not a step ahead for society,it’s a step back. Men and women have always and will always judge one another. (Although some try not to) The thing that bothered me was the fact that these women allowed themselves to be in this position. Society has created this high standard for women,(for men too,but its more directed towards women) and to be honest it’s ridiculous. It takes time to eat right, effort to dress well, and put on make up. Personally I rather not invest into that standard, simple is my approach. But the women on this show CRAVE that, it’s why they’re even on the show! The same reason why they allow themselves to be so harshly judged. But as i said, in my eyes this task was both wrong and a step back in the improvement for women in our society.

  20. Whenever I have the unfortunate opportunity to watch these kinds of shows (reality tv) I think about the creation of the show in its early stages and who was involved. It’s hard to imagine women creating something so degrading to their own sex. There is this sick twist to this show that most women, I believe, feel and it is the desire to watch for shock value but this nagging voice in the back of their minds comparing themselves to the women on the show. This voice comes from generations of women being taught about how important their appearance is to their self worth. Disgusting as this all is, it saddens me that there isn’t more outrage about this happening and being broadcasted in our society. Seeing this video clip within the context of this class makes me frustrated and confused about women’s roles in American society and how they came to be this way.

  21. Francesca DeVore

    I believe that the fact that this type of “game” is incorporated into a television show today is the perfect example how judging and determining an woman’s worth in todays pop-culture world is still very much apart of how woman are treated and valued today. It is hinted at and suggested that woman’s rights have improved significantly and are valued for more than looks or skill in their gender specific role, when we are immersed in a culture that embraces just that. For it to be entertainment to watch woman in a reality TV show have paint filled eggs thrown at them based on looks seems to be only a modern version of what woman have gone through throughout history. For the woman who was mainly targeted not only did she feel degraded as a person but as her identity as an attractive woman was hit as well, but the woman who did not get eggs thrown at them showed behavior that only fueled the men’s idea of what is attractive in a woman, They seemed to be content with the outcome and got a sense of reassurance from the ordeal.
    This type of behavior and “entertainment” is meant to be slipped into our subconscious and reconfirm woman are there to be judged and its expectable and okay to value them bases on there looks. Before woman can really be accepted without emphases on their looks its is essential pop-culture begins to recognize and look beyond looks.

  22. Mackenzie Leis

    That video and whatever show that was is disgusting and degrading to people in general.

    It really upsets me that someone would even think up an idea like that for a reality show much less that it was sponsored and paid for. Things like this just echo the stigma that comes with our society these days. Women and even young girls believe that to be accepted by men and other females you must be tall, skinny, voluptuous, and have a pretty face. A lot of women even go as far as getting plastic surgery to make themselves more attractive. The same goes for men too, they feel that to be attractive they must be tall, muscular, lean, tan, and as well have a pretty face. It is creating a society that is completely superficial, young girls need to be taught that beauty is not only on the outside and that it is about the type of person you are and strive to be. What is most appalling about this video is the fact that the men aren’t even considering how they are making someone else feel, they are more concerned about the competition, reiterating the superficial nature of people today.

  23. I feel that it is very unfair that these women has to endure this kind of degradation. No one should be place in a spotlight and put their self-worth on the line to be measured by their looks and body size. There is no benevolence or goodwill in it if one decides to partake in this act, and I am very certain that it has damaged the women’s self-esteems. I think it is very cruel to make someone doubt their self-worth, because they could possibly become self-destructive or lose their own self-respect. I am also appalled that a woman would actually put herself through this and let herself be treated this way. It upsets me that whoever that designed this contest solely picked women to be the ones on the receiving end of this heartless game. Why weren’t the men the targets? There’s certainly no beauty in this game.

  24. I am amazed and saddened that a woman would even let herself be put into this position. If they themselves feel that their value can be based upon their appearance and not only that but allow themselves to be degraded in this way how will male opinions ever change. It is very sad to think that there were probably thousands of people who were willing to be a part of this show. Not only willing but probably desiring to be a part of it. And how many more watched this show. How terrible that our society sees something like this as entertainment.

  25. Its Funny that i saw this post because my mom actually loves this show. Watching the video was so sad like literally every guy the video showed went straight for Erica. Its also sad to know that beauty or “being attractive to guys” meant so much to her. I Mean everyone sometimes likes to know that someone else thinks their attractive but the way Erica totally put the focus on another girl at the end just goes to show that women are always competing and ready to point out someone else’s flaws so theirs do not look as bad too.

  26. The saddest part of this, to me, besides the fact that everyone shown on camera was so willing to partake in the emotional abuse of themselves and each other, is that these men and women were probably chosen out of pools of thousands of other people to be contestants on the show, primarily for their looks. But it’s not enough that they beat out thousands of other plastic-surgeried hopefuls! Even when they’re on the show, there has to be another looks-based elimination round! I believe shows like this have a horrible effect on the human psyche and our perception of what’s normal. Even as someone who’s aware of how the images they show us are distorted, I’m still shocked often by how common it is that people get plastic surgery. I didn’t even consider that any of the contestants had undergone plastic surgery until Erica mentioned it, and it makes me sick that they’re able to continue feeding us these images because we (including myself) are so willing to accept that what they’re showing us is real. By the way, I searched the contestant Ella, whom Erica called “not that pretty”…. 5 plastic surgeries (but she needed the money for her son)!

  27. Seeing that a show like this exists makes me happy that I haven’t owned a television in many years. I’d like to say that as a woman I am above the notion that my internal worth is based on my looks, but in reality I don’t watch shows like this because I have trouble separating my outsides from my insides. I am convinced that most women I see walking down the street are more attractive than me, and make the snap judgement based on their appearance that they most likely also have better lives, are well liked, and more intelligent than I am. I am very aware that all of this is false, but it seems to be so engrained in me, that it has on many levels become reality.

    I agree with Gwen Sharp about the reinforcement of these ideas of beauty, and worth when Erica was cutting down the other girls she was competing with based on her opinion of their attractiveness. It shocked me only for a second when I heard her talking about how one particular girl she was competing with was much bigger, and less attractive than her- but I understand that type of mentality, and often find myself comparing to other women thinking that I am more attractive than they are, thus thinking that my life should be better or more full.

    I am new to the whole idea of feminism, or really attempting at all to acknowledge or change any of these things that happen in our society when it comes to women and body image being tied to self worth- so I guess I will stop at just posting my reaction to the video, and blog. But needless to say, my interest is peaked, and I will try to be more aware of these things in my own life.

  28. Stephanie Duarte

    I have family members who watch this show and I leave the room every time. Watching the men throw a paint filled egg to the one who is less attractive is just unbelievable. The women’s self-esteem will definitely go lower after this. Especially Erica, who got the most eggs thrown at her. This should have not been a competition at all. Who ever thought about this game should have more respect. Like Stephen said, that this game is not entertaining at all. It is terrible for the women who are lined up and for the viewers who feels their pain. Also we should not judge women on how attractive they are. Looks shouldn’t matter. What matters the most is who they are in the inside and not on their appearance.

  29. This seems really messed up to me. Clearly any girl hit with an egg would feel awful. No one wants to hear their ugly and while girls may take it worse, it makes no sense to me why they would do this in the first place. Its basically a game of lining up and making people feel worse, which isn’t at all entertaining to me. Its pretty disgusting to me and I don’t get why anyone in their right mind would watch the show. It also begs the question what has beauty become in America? Erica seems to be a bigger girl and is thought of as ugly because of it. Interesting also because America is such an overweight country that many people must be feeling insecure.

    • Exactly what I was thinking. She is obviously not unattractive (it is TV, right) she is just slightly larger than the other women. As in relatively very slightly. The fact that she took most of the eggs was a bit puzzling to me. My analysis was similar to yours: that rampant obesity is making people more judgmental about weight even when they have no place to be speaking.

      This television show is clearly sick and I find it lacking appeal entirely. How could anyone want to watch this? It is morbidly fascinating but that cannot possibly account for their whole viewership…

  30. This is sad. I agree with you Elaine. I am speechless. It is ridiculous that people actually let this happen. We cannot let those who came before us die in vain. They worked so hard to get freedom for themselves and the rest of us and be free of discrimination and oppression. We can all do our part by letting others know that their actions and words do hurt. By recognizing the problem and speaking up we are making others aware of watching what one says and does. It is our first step in stopping the madness that is judging people based on their looks. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “We should judge one another by the content of their character”.

  31. Regarding the egg-throwing stunt and the ‘Bachelor Pad,’

    This article and video is a prime example of why I don’t watch shows like the ‘Bachelor Pad.’ Shows like this do nothing but degrade women, and ‘teach’ whoever actually watches this trash that it is okay to think about women only for the attractiveness of their bodies, and that it is okay to disrespect women and to treat them bad. Lining women up to be hit by an egg puts women ‘on exhibit’ and degrades them.

    In reading the comments posted below the video (there were about 7 of them) it was good to see that the comments made (mostly by men) showed disgust and outrage over the egg-throwing contest, and the fact that it was even held in the first place. One man went so far as to say that the eggs should be thrown at the host, and I agree. For the host of this show to go along with the television station that airs this show gives his okay and possibly even his approval of it, and teaches our young generation and whoever else watches the show and video that this type of behavior is acceptable and okay.

    This behavior is never acceptable and okay. Shame on the television station that airs the ‘Bachelor Pad.’ Shame on the entertainment network that airs it. Shame on any viewers that watch this trash. As a society we must stop making and airing trash TV. Each of us can help by taking a stance against it and sharing our disapproval of this inhumane and ridiculous treatment of women. As individuals, we have the power to change society for the better.

    Elaine Balliet.

  32. This is from Prism Magazine’s e-zine. I thought you’d find it interesting.

    “Facebook says that hate speech and incitements to violence are banned and will be removed from their site. So why are they maintaining a page called “Riding Your Girlfriend Softly Cause You Don’t Want to Wake Her Up”? And another page about “throwing bricks at sluts” that includes a photo gallery of portraits asking “Bang or Brick”?

    “There has been an organized effort to use Facebook’s own reporting system to flag these and other pages that encourage rape and violence against women so they’ll be taken down. But Facebook hasn’t done a thing.

    “When 1 in 3 American women will be sexually abused and/or assaulted in her lifetime, pages like these—and the reactions they elicit—are downright scary. Tens of thousands of people have “liked” these pages. Some people even use them as platforms to share rape fantasies and receive explicit tactics for how to carry them out.

    “Please sign the petition to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, telling Facebook to remove pages promoting rape and violence against women now. “

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