Home / Fall 2012 / Reality TV enforces negative stereotypes

Reality TV enforces negative stereotypes

Reality Television is a large part of our culture these days.

 Why people enjoy watching this stuff is beyond me. What does it show about our culture when we reward people who do things we believe are wrong, by giving them a television show?

 In 1973, a 12-episode show called “An American Family” was released.  It was the first look into the lives of Americans and included the separation of the husband and wife and the revelation of their son’s sexuality.

 Then in 1992, a television show on MTV called “The Real World” spawned what we now know today as the modern reality show. With “Survivor” showing up in 2000, it was set in stone that reality shows were likely here to stay.

 Recently, I had the pleasure of learning about the newest reality show sensation Honey Boo Boo. Now I’m not here to make fun of her or her family– that’s not the point of this. Is this really the way we want to be portrayed as southerners and Americans? This family is exactly what we do not need on television.

 I hear all the time that people don’t like to be stereotyped and that not every person of a specific social group acts that way. But when people who live up to stereotypes are paid and put on television it’s going to make society believe that this is the way everyone who is from that area acts.

 For those of you who don’t know, Honey Boo Boo and her family live in McIntyre, Georgia. This is only three hours away from here– right outside Macon. When I became aware of this it began to hit home. This is what people are going to think of those of people who live in South Georgia.

 The way her mother raises her should put up some red flags. She feeds this girl energy drinks and supports all the things she does and says. I don’t think there is anything wrong with pageants if your child wants to do them, but when parents are trying to live vicariously through their kids, someone needs to say something. You can tell the father on the show is not pleased with what is going on, but he does nothing but sit in the corner and keep his mouth shut. It’s honestly sad.

 This is just one of the many reality shows that portrays certain places in a negative light.

 Look at New Jersey– not everyone has been to the Jersey Shore, so when a show about a group of narcissistic and uneducated people that live there comes out, what do you think the majority of people, whether they watch the show or not, are going to think of the people who live in that area?

 So it’s up to you– are you ok allowing this to continue?

 Should we let the next generation grow up with people like Kim Kardashian as role models? 

 I don’t think so, but I’m only one person. We have to stop allowing people like this to have such a big impact on our society. It’s sad that I even have to say that.

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One comment

  1. I do NOT encourage my grandchildren to watch Reality TV as it is immoral, indecent, and non educational. There is more in life than what is promotted on Reality shows. These show appear on TV at a time when children are finished with their homework and TV should be encouraging more TV conducive to school children and not the idiots that watch these shows. The producers of these shows need to grow up and realize that these programs are demeaning.

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