New book characterizes the kind of transformation one will never see on television
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 4, 2011 — Nearly 10 years ago, "reality" television exploded on the scene with shows depicting men and women undergoing "extreme makeovers" involving plastic surgery; severe exercise regimens; total wardrobe transformations; and lifestyle changes in diet, career and relationships. In most cases, the episodes end with a curtain or large picture of the contestant's "former self" being pulled away or destroyed in order to see the total transformation. For most viewers, the change is extraordinary. And according to Teresa Tomeo, radio talk show host and author, the transformation in most cases, particularly for female contestants, is just another example of what network and cable television are doing to enable and even encourage the ongoing objectification of women and young girls.
In her new book, Tomeo writes about the type of "extreme makeover" one will never see on television. Extreme Makeover: Women Transformed by Christ not Conformed to the Culture will be published in October by Ignatius Press.
"Our media and culture continue to reinforce in the minds of girls and young women that their intrinsic self-worth is founded in their value as nothing more than a sexual object," Tomeo said. "How can our society expect women to be treated fairly and with dignity when our culture continues to portray them as mere objects? The new fall TV series ‘The Playboy Club' on NBC is just another example of how women continue to be objectified and sexualized through the media. Shows like this glamorize pornography — a problem that has been devastating to marriages, families and society in general."
Tomeo doesn't deal just with this issue in Extreme Makeover. She tackles many others that remain important to women of all ages, and she offers solutions in her own collective assessment of the state of the world. "The culture can be toxic in terms of desensitizing us to violence, weakening our moral fiber, and making us feel pretty darn disgusted with ourselves because we're not five-foot-nine and a size 2," Tomeo writes in the book. "So how do we respond?"
She answers that and many other questions in Extreme Makeover, and includes a section with stories about women who have transformed themselves by focusing on what God intends them to be — not what the media and culture tells them they must be in order to feel good about themselves.
"(Teresa) Tomeo knows the pressures and dishonesties facing women in modern American culture from firsthand experience," said Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M., Cap., of Philadelphia, "and she leads women to Jesus Christ with compelling personal testimonies and uncommon persuasive skill. For any woman who seeks the true foundation of her dignity, this is the book to read and to share."
Tomeo, whose career includes many years as a secular print and broadcast journalist, hosts "Catholic Connection," a daily radio program produced by Ave Maria Radio and syndicated by the EWTN Global Radio Network. In 2007, her first book — NOISE: How Our Media Saturated Culture Dominates Lives and Dismantles Families — became a Catholic bestseller. She also has co-authored a series of popular Catholic books for girls, All Things Girls, which focuses on modesty and chastity.
For more information or to request an interview with Teresa Tomeo, please contact Tim Lilley with The Maximus Group at 678-990-9032 or by email at TLilley@MaximusMG.com.