Whenever I see a news story about obesity, or adult onset diabetes or “the battle of the bulge,” I cringe at video footage—zoomed right in on someone’s belly or butt. There may be a stock photo of me somewhere for all I know, but by the grace of God I haven’t seen it. And I wish the same for those faceless people who have unwittingly become poster people for How Not to Look. Sometimes I wonder if we really need to see all the footage. Some of it is a little overkill. And some is just mean. The other day I saw some footage that was just plain gratuitous.
This time the subject matter was not weight related, but about tanning addiction. After some perfectly appropriate footage of a Connecticut beach—people on blankets, some applying lotion, but no close-ups— the camera took us to a tanning bed. And okay, even that makes sense at first glance. But then, I swear, as God is my witness, they zoomed in on the bikini-clad woman’s crotch as she got into the bed. Not the UV lamps, or a tanned shoulder even. Her crotch.
Then, because that wasn’t disgusting enough, viewers were taken on another trip to another tanning room. This time to watch a woman disrobe, zooming in—as she took her shirt off—to reveal her ample cleavage in a not-so-ample bikini top.
I wondered, am I watching the news or soft porn? Luckily, this was not a news station I normally watch, and I frankly should have known better than to watch even the local affiliate of this crap news network. But I had to do more than just walk away and vow never to watch them again. I emailed them, too.
The footage you showed to go along with your piece about tanning addiction is tasteless and borders on pornography. Gratuitous at best. Do you really need to do close-up shots of a woman's crotch as she gets into a tanning bed, or of a women's cleavage while taking off her shirt?...