I was listening to the radio the other day. The station I tune it to all the time has a segment where the listeners can e-mail their problems and the deejays will try to fix them. (They also have another segment which can be pretty dramatic at times.) Previously, they’ve given a laptop to a girl who needs it for class, a haircut for a woman who needs a makeover, some expensive presents for a guy to give his best buddy who’s coming to town to visit. (I know, you’re thinking exactly how deserving are these people of the things they get from the segment? Not much, really. I guess the station in return gets an interesting story to put on air.) Not every problem was solved by material things; they even mediated a conflict between a daughter and her father who wants her to marry a guy who’s not her boyfriend, and between a woman and her boyfriend’s mother who had a misunderstanding over a flat.
The other day’s problem was sent in by an anonymous person, who has a problem about his/her friend’s body hair. The deejay called her up, explain the situation, and offered her a hair removal package by a beauty salon for free. Naturally, she was lambasting him soon enough before he even managed to utter the free appointment he had set her up with.
After that angry phone conversation aired, the deejay kept insisting and defending that this isn’t what he wanted, but rather what the anonymous person requested. Basically saying lah, don’t shoot the messenger.
I wonder, though, should you not?
Even though technically what the deejay is doing is essentially his job, by choosing that problem to ‘fix,’ isn’t he in a way getting involved? Maybe the producer chose it and not him. Still, it’s your job, you have to do it, so you are getting involved in it, aren’t you? If your job was just being a messenger, then you shouldn’t take it personally if the recipient of the message reacts negatively; rather, you ought to convey that reaction to the sender of the message!
I also have a bone to pick for that problem being chosen. While I enjoy this segment because it’s highly entertaining, I wonder if it’s morally ethical to put the ‘victim’ on air when he or she clearly hasn’t asked for it. You may have a problem with a person and have no qualms going on air, but about the person who’s deemed the ‘problem’? Doesn’t that person have the right to privacy, to have the conflict solved without the whole nation judging his or her actions? Sure, everything is anonymous, they bleep the names, disguise the voice and everything, yet there’s always that possibility you would be recognised by the nature of the problem, isn’t it?
And exactly how is that girl’s hairy body a problem to the anonymous person? So what if she looks ugly to you, anon? It’s her own body! Props to her for believing in what God has given her and even better, for believing in her own beauty! No matter how well-meant your intentions were, it’s her body; only she has the right to decide what she wants to do with it. It does not harm you (unless you’re so shallow that anything visually unpleasant to you is a physical harm in itself) or herself. She is comfortable in her own skin. You yourself said that you and your friends have commented on her body hair before and she was clearly not interested in doing anything about it. Why should you take it into your own hands what she should do with her hair and going public about it?
Gahhh, I’m quite riled up.
But if going by that train of thought, then I shouldn’t be enjoying shows like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and What Not to Wear, which suggest that these people have a problem and need to change their physical appearances to some extent.
Gahhh, maybe I should be mad at myself instead. 😛
Wait, isn’t that like personal blogging too??
Oh boy, am criticising what am practising! 😕