The Flavor of Love FLAV Essay

On the hit television show The Flavor of Love, one time hit rapper from the music group Public Enemy, who is referred to as “Flavor Flav”, has the luxury of having to pick among two dozen young and eager women, whom he will date. The premise of the show is that twenty women come to Flavor Flav’s house of residence and through a selection process similar to the television show: The Bachelor, one by one, the contestants are dismissed with the last one standing being able to date Flavor Flav exclusively, or at least that is what the constants are told.  The show is a great example of Marx’s social conflict as speaking to the motivation of the women and how they are able to bypass public humiliation in order to win a relationship with the Flavor Flav.

 The show is like a train wreck for sensational television and it takes a sociologist to try to decipher the actions of not only the women/contestants who suffer themselves to be humiliated on television with a slim to none chance of capturing a steady and long lasting relationship with Flavor Flav. But also Flavor Flav himself, who thinks that he will find true love or perhaps, the more cynical view is that his ego needs the attention of dozens of beautiful women at one time as well as the attention of the viewing audience at home. The two theories that come the closest to explaining the behavior that occurs on the show would be Freud’s theory on libido and narcissism to explain the actions of Flavor Flave and B.F. Skinner’s Operant conditioning in attempt to explain the many times, bizarre actions of the women participating in this contest.Freud’s ultimate theory embodies what the show is all about.

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It is about the ego massage for every contestant and it really is about the EGO of Flav. Viewing one episode and the audience at home knows that Flav needs to be in the spotlight. His rap group, which was very popular in the 1980’s and into the early 90’s, have faded from the spotlight and the individual as Freud points out, need to fulfill their ego and many will go to extraordinary and clearly narcissistic means of accomplishing this end. His EGO describes his need to be in the spotlight and his presence could be seen as the ultimate orgasm. Flav has a rush by being famous and by attempting to emerge as a start again so he goes on the show to achieve his libidinal needs which is now Freud defines narcissism: The satisfaction of libidinal needs.

So Flav is accomplishing the fulfillment of two needs: Flav goes on a television show to fulfill the need of his ego and a dating show to fulfill the need of his narcissism. This is why the premise of the first show: to find Flav a match, somehow mushroomed into a second season with the exact same premise and no signs that the second season would achieve its objective in the same way that the first season did not. The byline in the television guide might explain that it is Flavor Flav’s attempt to find a relationship but there are really more sinister elements of both his and the contestants’ mentality that make the show continue with the success that it has enjoyed.So as far as the contestants are concerned, B.F. Skinner’s Operant conditioning can be used to attempt to explain their behavior. It is the general consensus among a large majority of the show’s viewers, that it does not seem that Flavor Flav is attractive enough on his own to attract the attention of two dozen women who all seem desperate to win his heart.

Add in the wealth that he has in addition to a popular television show and the demand is manufactured. A great majority of the women are looking for their fifteen minutes of fame. At the beginning of the season, the girls are pretending to be nice and sweet and innocent except the boldest of them who begins as nasty and evil. Once the women see that the Flav (and the producers behind the scenes) are giving more attention (thus more screen time) to the women who act out and engage in odd behavior. So they follow suit and all begin acting this way seeing that this is the key to more screen time and possibly Flav. So the positive stimulus is more screen time and the behavior is acting out.

To these women the behavior of nice and sweet is seen to have the negative stimulus of no screen time or no time with Flav.  The ultimate argument for that is “New York” produced the most drama and although she lost, she gained the most in the form of her own television show. There might be one woman within both seasons of the show that had a true heart and did not seek the attention and the limelight that came with the environment of the show.

 But it is unlikely that person could have sifted through all of the egos and contestants desirous of their fifteen minutes of fame and found true love with somebody of a similar pure heart. There is an abundance of sinister and ulterior motives involved which served as a sever impediment to any possibility of two people finding true love.Social conflict theory is a Marxist-based social theory which argues that the more powerful groups use their power in order to exploit groups with less power. These elements can be seen in great detail within the show. Flavor Flav has the power and the women do not with a great majority of them being from poor single parent families. It cannot help but be self serving for Flavor Flav to have two dozen women fighting for his attention.

Most every day men cannot fathom such an occurrence but when two or more women are fighting over a man, many men find this troubling as well as gratifying at the same time. But most men do not have the wealth, fame and the promise of giving two dozen women their fifteen minutes of fame. Flavor Flav possesses all three and thus, the attraction and the bizarre behavior by the majority of them women can be explained.  The show has attracted criticism for this exact element but it is this element that is the premise of the show and the attraction that it gives its audience.

  It offers a “rags to riches” opportunity for one possibly one lucky women and the powers behind Marx’s Social conflict theory help each women to grovel for the attention of Flavor Flav and in the process, embarrass themselves in front of millions of viewers.                                                      It is this social conflict which causes the disorder or “entertainment” as the producers would want to call it. The women are being exploited but they know it and do not seem to mind under the vague promise that if they win the competition, they will become one of the “haves” when currently, many are “have-nots.”;


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