Entertainment

MTV’s New Series ‘Ghosted’ Sparks Discussion About Consent In The Age Of Reality TV

MTV announced a new show called Ghosted: Love Gone Missing, a docuseries much like MTV’s Catfish, where contestants track down the romantic partners who up and ghosted them. If you’re a woman I am sure you’re thinking: this sounds creepy as hell. Yeah, it is. The reaction on social media was nothing short of wary. 

What woman hasn’t darted into a bodega to get away from a man following her? What woman doesn’t know that if she sees another girl in public uncomfortable around a man, that she ought to pretend to know that girl and scoop her away before things take a bad turn? And this isn’t even genuine stalking, it’s just regular street harassment. To be strategically watched and followed at all times by some creep — to be stalked — that’s an entirely new level of harassment.

 None of which should be glamourized or encouraged. However, MTV seems to feel differently.  

So what is “Ghosting”? 

In the digital age of dating apps, ghosting refers to the act of suddenly, and without explanation, cutting off all communication with a romantic partner. This kind of behavior isn’t new or shocking. When everyone you are dating only exists in your phone, you’re bound to be dating multiple people, and you’re bound to lose interest in some of them. 

It’s hard to imagine, but there was a time where people didn’t have portable phones. They would go to meet dates at restaurants and hope they didn’t get stood up. There was no way to reliably reach people, so your great grandparents probably got ghosted too. MTV is now broadening the definition beyond romance for their new reality series to family and friends. 

Why is MTV’s Ghosted: Love Gone Missing problematic?

Ghosted: Love Gone Missing is hosted by The Bachelorette veteran Rachel Lindsay and artist Travis Mills. The hosts will help contestants track down and confront the lovers, friends, and family members who abruptly cut off ties. The obvious problem here is that there is no way for the people, who clearly don’t want to be found, to consent to what essentially amounts to stalking. 

Tracking down someone who consciously made the decision to break away from an individual, seems like a huge violation of their privacy and wishes. The show assumes that the ghosted party is by default the victim, when in reality maybe people don’t want to see these folks for a reason. I’ve ghosted many creepy dudes and toxic people in my day. I don’t need them finding me and putting me on blast on television. 

Get the facts on stalking.

Stalking disproportionately affects women. In the United States, while 1 in 6 women (1 in 7 Latinx women) will deal with stalking in in her lifetime, only 1 in 19 men will, according to the Women and Gender Advocacy Center. About two-thirds of women are typically stalked by former or current romantic partners. Stalking is linked to other forms of intimate partner violence against women, with 81 percent experiencing physical assault, and 31% experiencing sexual assault. 

Even if this show is harmless, what if it triggers someone’s past negative experiences? 

People on social media were not happy with the premise.

One social media user equated the premise with stalking, harassment, and intimidation. It’s hard not to see why they feel this way. Unless the show is completely fake, the premise essentially requires a person’s privacy to be violated. 

If you get ghosted, maybe it’s time for you to move on.

Other users felt it is unfair for a person to be forced to engage with someone they clearly want nothing to do with. That totally makes sense. Would you want that toxic person randomly showing up at your house with cameras ready to air out your dirty laundry? Arguably, for someone to be a contestant on the show they would have to share a one-sided version of somebody else’s personal history without their consent. Would you want your toxic ex telling only their version of the story to millions of people? Would you want them tracking your movements to find you? Would you want to talk to them about it on national television? 

Things can easily go bad. 

It goes without saying that the United States has a gun problem, a toxic masculinity problem, and violence against women problem. If the series were to confront the wrong person, it could genuinely put lives in danger. While I am all for not judging art until I see it, I have to agree with these Twitter users: a bad idea is a bad idea. 

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Have A Virtual Hot Date? Here’s How To Make Sure It Doesn’t Suck

Culture

Have A Virtual Hot Date? Here’s How To Make Sure It Doesn’t Suck

MixMedia / Getty Images

For the single introverts among us, lockdown might seem like the perfect opportunity to re-charge our social batteries and have some much needed alone-time. But no, thanks to the wonders of technology and just how damn adaptable human beings are, virtual dating has totally become a thing. 

For better or for worse, people are dating just as much as ever – albeit through a screen. So if you’re using dating apps during lockdown, arranging video dates and looking for virtual date ideas, here’s a handy guide on how to stay safe and how to ace virtual dating.

Make a damn effort

Act as if the date was in person and get ready accordingly. Shower if you haven’t already that day — it’ll make you feel a lot better — and put on your favorite outfit. Even if it’s not seasonally appropriate, who cares? Wear the sundress pushed all the way back in your closet. Put on makeup if that’s your thing, and do your hair. 

It makes all the difference not only in how you present yourself but by how you perceive yourself. You’ll feel better on the date, more like your “usual” self. 

Figure out your camera setup beforehand

Pro-tip: Do all this the day before, or at least an hour before, the date starts. That way you’re not scrambling and worrying about your angles. Decide if you’re going to use your phone or computer. Put it at eye-level, if possible. If you’re using a laptop, you can place it on a stack of books, but you can also DIY it by leaning your phone against your laptop screen (which can have its own book stack setup) or anything else you can find. 

And…lighting…lighting….lighting! Set yourself up with some good, flattering lighting before you start the call. Find a place that’s the most flattering in your house. Be sure you’re not backlit by a window which can wash out your face.

Simulate real date ideas

Credit: Luis Alvarez / Getty Images

Although you obviously can’t “grab a drink” together, you can simulate that. Text before the date and decide if you’ll be drinking wine, coffee, or eating dinner “together.” You can even do a twist on “Netflix and chill,” simultaneously using Netflix’s “party” function; if you go that route, choose something campy or that you’ve both seen before so you can chat easily during it.

Trust your instincts

“A nip slip may not be appropriate for a date with a new person,” Moraya DeGeare, a licensed marriage and family therapist, joked to Refinery 29. “It’s modern times, so I think there will be the temptation for people to be really bold and ask about FaceTime sex. People are horny and trapped in their houses. On one hand, that’s okay, but on the other, you’re risking someone taking screenshots,” she cautions. “Listen to your intuition and don’t do something you don’t feel comfortable with.”

She adds that you shouldn’t take the call from bed, because “you’re immediately sending all these other signals unintentionally.” Generally, she says you should conduct the date as you would in person.

Expect awkwardness to happen, because it will happen

Credit: Peter Dazely / Getty Images

Awkwardness isn’t necessarily a bad thing and, when dating is involved, it’s inevitable. First dates in real life have their own clumsy moments, so don’t beat yourself up if your camera freezes for a moment, or if you talk over the other person. It’s going to happen! Just laugh about it and move on.

Stay safe and comfortable

Although it may seem like common sense, being cooped up inside for so long has left many of us lacking some of the most basic people skills. Remember to not give out any of your personal details – think home address and bank details – and watch out for any suspicious links that might come through in the chat.

Before the date, it’s also a good idea to do some recon on your date’s social media to make sure they are who they say they are. Also, don’t show your face on camera if they’re not showing theirs, that’s a serious red flag.

And lastly, know that you can end the date whenever you want to. You don’t owe anybody anything and it’s totally fine if you’re feeling uncomfortable or in danger to just end the call. But remember, basic dating etiquete also still remains so don’t just close your computer screen without saying goodbye because you’re just not feeling the vibe.

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Part 2 Of “Selena: The Series” Has Already Finished Filming And Here’s Everything We Know About The Next Season

Entertainment

Part 2 Of “Selena: The Series” Has Already Finished Filming And Here’s Everything We Know About The Next Season

Selena: The Series / Netflix

Say the word “Selena,” and your mind is probably filled with the opening beats of “Como La Flor,” the Tejano singer’s famous ballad. Selena Quintanilla’s legacy has been explored in acclaimed movies, podcasts, documentaries, and now, a Netflix show. The first part of Selena: The Series premiered on December 4 and is guaranteed a second season.

But what do we know about part two of the series?

Selena: The Series is reigniting interest in our beloved Selena like never before but what’s next for the series?

Selena: The Series covers the life of the late Selena Quintanilla, so how does Netflix’s narrative compare to the true story? Crucially, the first nine episodes only cover the first 20 years of the subject’s life, which means that Selena part 2 will focus on Selena’s evolution into a Tejano superstar before her tragic 1995 death.

Part 1 of the Netflix series addresses the most relevant events, and tweaks certain facts for dramatic purposes. It’s also being met with mixed responses from both critics and viewers alike. But one thing is certain, the series is helping introduce an entirely new generation to the life of one of Latin music’s biggest stars.

The second season has already wrapped filming and it will focus on a very different part of Selena’s life.

Ever since the project was announced, it was confirmed that it would be a two-part limited series. As viewers already know, part one consisted on nine episodes, but it’s unclear how many will make up the second part.

The initial season has largely focused on the 1990 release of Selena’s album, Ven Conmigo, and her family’s discovery of her secret relationship with Pérez.

The next season will likely feature the release of Selena’s first English-language album and her 1992 elopement to Chris before her death and her ill-fated meeting with Yolanda Saldívar (Natasha Perez), the woman responsible for her 1995 murder.

Netflix has yet to confirm when viewers can expect the conclusion of Selena. However, Serratos confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that production had already wrapped—no COVID-19 delays here! Considering that timeline, season 2 could premiere in the first half of 2021. Worth noting: April 16, 2021 would’ve been Selena Quintanilla’s 50th birthday, an event that may be tied to the season’s release.

Season 2 Selena will be “more of the icon.” 

For all of its flaws, the first season of Selena: The Series has helped introduce a new generation to the iconic Latina. And it’s given viewers an introduction to part of the singer not everyone was familiar with. Fans have explored Selena’s childhood and her introduction to music.

But season 2 will focus more on the singer’s megastardom, according to Serratos. “The first part was nerve-racking because there was less footage for me to base my performance on. But at the same time it was more relaxed, because I got more liberty. People don’t know that version of Selena very much,” she told OprahMag.com. “Our second part we’re going to see a lot more of the icon. I had a lot more to base the performance on—but it was nerve-racking because people know that Selena so well. There was added pressure.”

It doesn’t look like there will be any major changes to the cast for part two.

It looks like much of the same cast from part one will also be featured in part two of the series. The ensemble includes Serratos as Selena, Chavira as Abraham, Posey as Chris, Seidy Lopez as Selena’s mother Marcella, Noemi Gonzalez as Selena’s sister and drummer Suzette, and Gabriel Chavarria as Selena’s brother and producer A.B. Natasha Perez’s Yolanda will also play a larger role in season 2 as she gets closer to Selena’s life and business. 

Moisés Zamora (American Crime) returns as the series creator, writer, and executive producer alongside producers Jaime Dávila, Rico Martinez, and Simran A. Singh. Members of the real-life Quintanilla family are also involved with both seasons as executive producers, including Abraham and Suzette.

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