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Open Ideas: Project Runway Inspired.

Again – these are open ideas. Things I came up with at spur of the moment that aren’t necessarily my field of interest or research or things that I will ever have time to work with.

I watch Project Runway and am not afraid to admit it.

Last night’s episode focused heavily on family and past, and we learned that one of the more dynamic contestants for the season, Mondo, has been living with HIV for about a decade, and has been keeping it a secret from his family.

The show handled his admitting of this in an delicate way, I felt, and it was a very emotional episode for a game show/reality show.  Nobody felt sorry for him or treated him as diseased, and Michael Kors and Tim Gunn looked sincerely moved and visibly identified with Mondo and his emotional and physical struggle. It was clear that this wasn’t something done for the sake of ratings, but was something that came about by the challenge of the episode – to create a clothing pattern that was important to you personally and your life. Had this particular challenge not existed for the season, it wouldn’t have come up.

I knew a few people who cried watching it, and I was very moved. Personally, I’m glad that Lifetime didn’t really advertise it as an episode plot point.

BUT – I wonder how reality shows on a whole treat HIV/AIDS, possibly comparing and contrasting networks, shows, audience markets, the individual person, etc. The idea of framing disease with the person inflicted – something VERY real – in the setting of a show that presents itself as “reality” but is anything but.

JUST AN IDEA. (It would surprise me if no one was already doing this)

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