Welcome to Are Y’all the Ones?: Re-imaging Love and the Privileging of Heterosexuality

By D Adams, Ryan Garcia, Maya Patel, Griffin Shafer, and Salem Tewelde (Block 2 2017)

Are You the One (Original Print)“MTV’s regurgitation of heteronormativity comes at the sacrifice of plurality and ambiguity of being and relating. As Howard Buford states in Further Off the Straight and Narrow: New Gay Visibility on Television, 1998-2006, ‘We’re dealing in a country where our popular culture really rules. It’s a country where you don’t exist unless you’re on TV.’ Hence, what is not shown on the show implicitly refers to what does not exist. The show fails to display discussions between the cast members about anything other than their failures in past relationships, their excitement in possibly finding their ‘Perfect Match,’ and the drama that ensues relating to the journey of finding love. It does not display people who transgress hegemonic ideals of femininity or masculinity in ways that we can see.”

Are You the One (New Print)“In our new media, we seek to display other kinds of being and relating. First, our show features a cast that includes people of various genders, races, sexualities, and socioeconomic statuses. There are gender non-conforming, cisgender, trans, and queer folk. There are friends, lovers, dance buddies, and roommates. There are no normative narratives about the ways we relate to one another, so many possibilities of relating exist. We are situated in our living room with posters that read, “Brown Bois or No Boys,” “The Homo Depot,” and “Thot House,” creating a comfortable environment that indicates acceptance and cheekiness. We are wearing what makes us feel best and in accordance with how we identify. There are a variety of emotions displayed, as well. Additionally, our show title, Are Y’all the Ones?, communicates the plurality of our contestants and counters the singularity of Are You the One? to suggest that we all belong to one another.”

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