I’ve seen three TV programs that seem to have caught a long term trend toward outsourcing our lives.
What do I mean by outsourcing our lives? It means the household unit does less household and personal work while hiring more people outside the household to do the work. Just like corporations hire outside workers to replace entire departments and call it outsourcing.
Obvious household examples over the past three decades are the increase in the number of people who hire tax preparers and accountants for their taxes --- The stunning increase in the number of people who replace cooking at home with meals eaten ‘out’ --- The rising number of house cleaning businesses and commercial laundries. We are outsourcing our lives. With children we have day care and after school care to help us.
The new trends are more personal, we now have weight loss clinics to advise and supervise our eating, we have personal trainers to support and supervise our exercise regimes and we have a whole range of therapists to help cope with family problems, marital problems and make our work lives more tolerable.
The three TV programs that take outsourcing a step farther are: Trading Spaces, Extreme Makeover and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Trading Spaces completely changes the physical environment you live in while keeping you in the same location. Outsource your living environment.
Extreme Makeover is plastic surgery to change your physical encounter with the world. Outsource your personality, in some sense.
Queer Eye is a combination of both. You outsource your lifestyle and get a new one.