So, what do you think of Babestalgia? Well, first of all, what the hell is it?

In a blog post by @Babe_TV, on his Tumblr page back in January 2016, he helpfully explained what you may have already worked out:

“Babestalgia is a portmanteau – a fusion of the words Babestation and nostalgia. It’s a reference to a type of nostalgia within the babe show genre – seemingly a very obscure one.”

Okay… Dodgy wordplay aside, the term raises some interesting questions. Questions like, how prevalent is nostalgia within the babe show genre? Should it have more of a presence or play a bigger part in a babe show channel’s identity? And if it did what good would that do from a money making perspective?

Maybe it’s place should stay on the fringes, among the superfans; those avid viewers who have been watching the shows since the early years, who take it upon themselves to keep the flames of the past burning. Or maybe the makers of the shows should take a certain amount of responsibility for paying homage to all that’s gone before. While Babestation in it’s present form is all about the future – bringing in more and more girls to spread across multiple platforms – does an acknowledgement of its history help in this effort to grow and expand, or does it merely anchor the shows in a past that is no longer relevant?

In their original post about ‘Babestalgia’, @Babe_TV goes on to write:

“It’s perhaps not surprising that this particular portmanteau proves so difficult to find. Try looking for evidence of babe show-related nostalgia and it’s rather thin on the ground. Despite a persistent, “they don’t make babe shows like they used to” mantra among fans. Online chat still almost exclusively pertains to current shows and current models. Does that sound illogical to you? …Yep, it does to me too…

Well, here’s a fascinating piece of information about the behaviour of babe show fans and in particular screen cappers. If you keep an eye on Twitter you’ll know that there are lots of fans taking screen captures of TV babes and posting them with considerable intensity. There are literally millions of tweets depicting TV models. Bearing that in mind, how many screen caps of Asian Connections models do you think there are on Twitter? 10,000?, 5,000?…Nope. Keep heading downward…1,000?…Keep going…500?…Keep going…100?…No. In fact in a full search of Twitter for caps of the Asian Connections TV show, I managed to find a grand total of 10.

Pretty remarkable. Everyone caps Babestation, S66 etc. No-one caps Asian Connections. Is that due to a lack of interest in the models? Definitely not. Asian Connections attracts on the spot attention in exactly the same way as every other show and in all honesty if there were no interest, the programme would not have survived on Freeview for so long. As terrestrial broadcast, AC has already outlasted Bang Babes, Elite TV, Red Light Central, the TVX shows and among many other sub-brands, Partyland.

So why don’t screen cappers want to know? They don’t want to know because AC has no Twitter presence. Cappers thus feel they have nothing to gain from posting AC pictures. No attention from models, no ego-baiting potential, no reverse-promo. Therefore no caps, no eulogy. On Twitter, there’s barely even any mention of AC.

Old school Babestation TV girls
Babestation TV babes – circa mid-00s

Okay, so that says a lot about the motivations and goals of the majority of screen cappers but what has it to do with nostalgia? Well, if models have to have an accessible presence in order to matter to fans, it’s a logical conclusion that as soon as they become inaccessible, they cease to matter. There are some glaring exceptions to this rule but by and large, once a model exits the limelight, she also exits the bulk of the fan’s consciousness. Will she re-enter their consciousness at some point in the future? As long as there’s someone else to replace her in the limelight and provide fans with that all-important accessible presence, more than likely not, I suspect. The dichotomy of long standing fans acknowledging old babe shows as superior and yet STILL focusing their discussions around the current scene, illustrates how overwhelmingly powerful presence and accessibility are for the models.

Of course, all of the above suits the channels at face value. This type of entertainment is supposed to be disposable. It’s supposed to exist only in the moment. The businesses benefit commercially from the fact that if a customer wants to relive the chat experience he had last night, he has to pay again. It’s a blessing for the channels that fans do generally need the models to be present and accessible in order to take an interest in them. If every fan’s behaviour were driven by nostalgia rather than momentary sexual urges and/or an ongoing need for female attention, the babe channels as we know them would have died out by now.

So it doesn’t matter that there is little evidence of nostalgia within this sphere of entertainment then? Well, whilst the disposable nature of babe channel content can be said to help the businesses in the small picture, the lack of historical recognition is not so helpful in the big picture.

History drives business. History is a customer remembering a good experience and wanting it again. History is association, history is kudos, authority, word of mouth, curiosity. And nostalgia is the best kind of history because it’s always, always positive.

So whilst it may seem that a general lack of babe show nostalgia plays into the industry’s hands, there’s an unexplored big picture in which nostalgic buzz could make the genre matter to a much wider section of the public. But it’s a two-way thing. Fans could do more to recognise and celebrate the past. But the genre equally could do more to ensure that today’s programmes become the nostalgia of the future.”

Feelings of nostalgia, or Babestalgia if you prefer it, can be brought up by fans and babe show channels alike through online chat threads/blogs/or dedicated Twitter pages. ‘Babestalgia’ can be created and used by babe shows to further promote themselves through reputation and word of mouth. As with all things pertaining to the babe channel format however, most of their own promotion exists to keep the business moving forward and not spending too much time looking back. That is mostly left to the fans to do.

The fans, though, can’t feel nostalgic if there’s nothing to be nostalgic about. Quality of the output drives the conversation. If the shows maintain a strong visual output and give the viewers something to get excited about, whether it’s the performances of certain girls or a change in the format of the show, fans will have something to talk about for years to come. If this quality continues year after year then nostalgia for babe shows will continue to thrive among hardcore fans and maybe even eventually spread further into the mainstream consciousness as well.


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