Apprentice to Beauty

I confess that I haven’t watched the new series of The Apprentice – partly because I simply can’t stomach yet another round of shouting and incompetence, and partly because this year it seems that the criteria by which the candidates are chosen have changed.

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http://www.bbc.co.uk – I wonder how much these were retouched?

They’re all gorgeous.

I know it’s TV and eye candy is a requirement, but there has been a clear shift in the participants of this series, so that any big noses, fatties and spotties have been scrupulously filtered out. Have a look here.

Admittedly this is more true of the women, but that is no great surprise, and the overall youth, slimness and attractiveness of all the candidates cannot be ignored. This is the culmination of a beautifying process that has increasingly pervaded The Apprentice, and this series is the first in which they all, ALL, fit the profile. The problem is that on a programme like this, which is emphatically (or so Lord Sugar claims) about business skill, the profile of a candidate no longer seems to prioritise the vaunted business acumen: now, you can only make it if you are beautiful.

Of course no-one should be considered incapable or unintelligent if they happen to be good-looking and groomed – an assumption often seen in previous series – but this is the other side of the coin, and we’ll never make any progress with one of these predicaments if we do not also address the other.

Beauty needs to be irrelevant.

Presentation, no; if you work with people it inevitably helps to appear polished and smart. But you should not need to look like a pop star just to be in with a chance. In fact, I quite resent having to say something so obvious.

So I won’t be watching The Apprentice – once a programme like that has become indistinguishable from The Only Way is Essex it’s probably time to turn to a good book.

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