The Home & Away Issue

Jail Bait: Rethinking Images of Incarcerated Women

It is not my pleasure to remind anyone of the 2001 teen flick Sugar & Spice. Teetering between the black humor of Heathers and the girly glitz of Clueless, it achieves the success of neither, and I bring it up now only because of a single scene. The movie follows a group of cheerleaders who decide to rob a bank in order to finance their ­captain's unexpected pregnancy. But when watching old crime flicks for how-tos on grand larceny proves insufficient, the cheerleaders visit a state prison for some face-to-face advice from one girl's incarcerated mother. In the prison's waiting room, a hefty, lip-smacking inmate maneuvers her mop between the legs of pretty, pregnant Diane and leers at the unsuspecting group: “Them some sweet skirts y'got there.” The scene is played...

Period Pieces: The Last Taboo of Reality TV

Detailed discussions of diarrhea (Survivor). On-camera vomiting (The Bachelor, The Biggest Loser). Extensive cosmetic surgery (The Swan). Endless hot-tub makeout sessions (take your pick). On reality tv, no subject is too personal to reveal, no biological function too intimate to discuss—... Read more »