Thursday, October 29, 2009

Swapping trash

(Note the two different hands "swapping": one with red polish and a pearl bracelet, the other is bare.)

Shows like "Wife Swap" use stereotypes to fuel their programs. Because one family is a certain way, the other has to be the polar opposite (to create drama, of course!). There you can find the white trash family, probably "uneducated, macho, close-minded, dirty, fat, insensitive, monster-truck show watching," swapping their wife with a completely organized and proper wife who will make her temporary family lose weight and stop eating so much meat (Price). The white trash family's faults are not only highlighted but are deemed as characteristics that need to be fixed which would "bolster [the American society's] confidence in the correctness of the modern lifestyle" (Price). Unfortunately, I cannot remember the name of the family nor find a video clip of one, but I assure you, that stereotype lives strong on "Wife Swap."

For another example, I present Brooke Hogan.
From reality show fame, Brooke Hogan is often referred to as "white trash with money," thanks to her wrestling dad Hulk Hogan. With her tan and platinum hair, Brooke isn't just a white blonde; her clothes, behavior, and style just don't belong in the same class that her family wealth suggests. Her attempted career as a pop singer is not a typical working-class occupation and those in the working-class work regardless of job type, a paradox Price includes in his site because "white trash" is about lessening "moral qualities" rather than "economic difficulties," and even with money, she behaves in low-class ways (Price). Also after promoting her (terribly unsuccessful album) at Walmart, her association with that store caused her social status to plummet in addition to the low sales. Her image encourages the label of "white trash."

Plus, there are pre-made costumes that you can purchase if you want to be "white trash" for halloween..


  1. Just the fact that Brooke's father, Hulk Hogan, earned all of his money through WWF wrestling emphasizes their white trashiness. I associate Wrestling and Nascar with hicks/white trash.

  2. OMG Brooke Hogan- WHAT are you thinking?!?

  3. That is seriously the fugliest album cover I have ever seen. It looks like some high school kid airbrushed it on a t-shirt at the carnival.