Amazing Race
Being Polite Sucks Sometimes

Episode Report Card
Miss Alli: B- | Grade It Now!
Finland, Finland, Finland

Helsinki! (Also known as "Helinski.") The BQs are the first to run out of the airport. The rest of the teams follow, and everybody is hopping into cabs looking for the Kappeli café. For whatever reason, Rob and Kimberly emerge from the airport in last place. In the cab, Rob is doing the meaningless "Fast, fast!" chant to the driver, and Kimberly mutters that he should "stop repeating it." "I'll do it if I want to," he mumbles back. "For the sake of our team, please," she says, but he comes back with, "For the sake of our team, stop telling me what to do." On the one hand, that's kind of an obnoxious argument, but on the other hand, neither of them lost their temper, so that's an improvement. With a lot of bickering couples, you'd have seen that same thing, only they'd both have been screaming the entire time.

The *wins pass the *lyns. Karlyn says, quite reasonably, that while she and Lyn still have an alliance with the *wins, there isn't as much waiting and following as before. It's a little more mutually opportunistic and a little more transitory, if you know what I mean. Basically, it's no longer insane, is the thing. Lyn goes on to gripe that she thinks the BQs "use their whole image to get ahead." She complains that they leave the airport "with their boobs hanging out, arms hanging out," and the show accompanies this with a slow-mo, black and white clip of the BQs wearing their incredibly scandalous... tank tops. Well, Kandice is wearing a tank top. Dustin is fully covered up. That is not a very good argument, Lyn, particularly when followed by that clip. Karlyn follows up by saying she's "upset that you have a disadvantage because of your looks." I hope she kind of paused and said, "Not you you."

I have such mixed feelings about this whole debate, because... I don't think that the BQs are particularly exploiting their pretty advantage, at least not with scandalous clothing or anything. They could certainly be exploiting it a hell of a lot more than they are, as various teams in the past have tried to do with all the "we will use our looks to make men give us money and directions!" nonsense. On the other hand, I do think that it's a form of privilege (I'm not comparing it to others in terms of seriousness; just existence), and it's disingenuous and a little unfair for the BQs to deny that they have it, as they often seem to. There are all kinds of studies that attractive people have advantages over everyone else in how they are treated in a variety of everyday situations, and that is certainly not Dustin and Kandice's fault, but just as everyone has built-in advantages and disadvantages, it is an advantage, and if you go around pretending it doesn't exist, then you're just going to look silly and kind of ungracious. You have a right to be pretty; other people have a right to point out that being pretty is an advantage. So is, in many countries, being male. Or white. It's a thing, and it's there, and it doesn't say anything about you, but insisting that it doesn't exist or that pointing it out is an indictment of you isn't going to fly. It's wrong to hate on them for it, but it's also wrong for them to be like, "How DARE you!"

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Amazing Race




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