A thought occurred to me recently: Reality shows and the present epidemic of bullying.
I believe that one of the reasons that bullying has become so out of control in our schools is because of the overabundance of reality shows on television, which seem to glorify and glamorize the abuse of others.
Shows like, “Bad Girls Club”, Jersey Shore (which I think are the absolute worst), and The Real Housewives franchise, are shows in which people as old as their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s act like middle schoolers in a locker room brawl. Grown men and women, whom you would think would have a modicum of maturity, often resort to name-calling, bashing others, and yes…even hair-pulling, shoving, punching and kicking.
When I see this, a question always comes to mind: “What kind of example and message are these shows and their stars sending our children and teenagers?”
It’s true that violence has been shown on TV and in movies for decades. However, before reality shows were heard of, TV was not real and kids of my generation understood because our parents never let us forget it. We knew that what we were seeing was only actors playing the parts of fictional characters in fictional shows. Moreover, we were taught not to try anything we saw on TV in real life because it would put us at risk of getting hurt and/or worse. We grew up with the understanding that, “It’s only a television series” or “It’s just a movie” and none of it was real.
Sadly, as television networks slowly run out of ideas for fictional shows and reality shows gradually take over the airwaves, TV is becoming less fictional (and interesting) and is sending the message to kids that bullying is okay, or that you have to be a bully in order to move up in the world…that to get ahead, you have to step over another person. This is WRONG!
Most of the biggest reality stars are lousy role models!
My next post will be Part II of my “Reality Behind Reality Shows” subject, where I will give a more in-depth discussion about reality shows, the bullying epidemic, how these shows get their ratings, and why high ratings seem to equal rewards for despicable behavior. Have an awesome day, everyone.
Books by Cherie White