The Negative Side to Reality Shows- Glorifying and Glamorizing Bullying

Reality shows and the present epidemic of bullying:

One of the reasons that bullying has become so out of control in our schools is 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?”

Violence has indeed 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 to move up in the world…that to get ahead, you have to step over another person.

And most reality show stars are narcissistic has-beens who are just dying to stay relevant and get the last shot at fame, which makes them lousy role models!

Such a shame!

49 thoughts on “The Negative Side to Reality Shows- Glorifying and Glamorizing Bullying

  1. You are absolutely right. I have stopped watching these kind of TV shows that cause hypertension. It’s an excellent post, and I completely agree with you.

  2. Cherie, I explained those exact same things to my children and when they were all living under my household, they were not allowed to watch those kinds of ‘fake shows’ with the ‘has been’ actors and the ‘wanna be’ narcissists. Boy did you hit the nail on the head today!! 🎯

    • Thank you so much, Tam! And you are an awesome mother for not allowing your kids to watch that garbage and teaching them why! Way to go, Mama Bear! 😃💪💪💪🎉🎉🎉

  3. Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.(Proverbs 22:6)

  4. Pingback: The Negative Side to Reality Shows- Glorifying and Glamorizing Bullying – Tonya LaLonde

  5. Great post, we never watched reality shows. I am mortified by their behaviour. And then some of these people are seen as celebrities? Making fame and fortune out of displicable behaviour?

  6. When I think that it is only the beginning of the end, I wonder with some concern, who and how many of this generation will pass the tests of the apocalyptic “waves” that will sweep the planet Earth on all its parallels and meridians, cleansing it of the toxic impurities of artificial intelligence that have accumulated throughout contemporary modern history, distorting the objective-pragmatic primordial, natural, original, ideal reality…
    A relaxing, enlightened and blessed weekend !

  7. Girl you nailed it. The sad thing about these reality shows is that they are NOT reality. Think about it. It is scripted on sensationalizing the plot. The downside about it is that some people who watch this stuff fall into the clutches of the same types of behavioral patterns and act it out in real life. I don’t knock people who watch these shows although I am not a fan of them, but it’s rewarding bad behavior…not cool! 🤦🏽‍♀️🤔👎🏽😲🤷🏼‍♀️🤨

  8. I remember growing up I used to love watching those teenage movies where the bullies or mean guys and girls always goth their “payback” by the end of the show. But you are right, lately it’s glamorized for the sake of ratings.

    • Absolutely, Janice. 💯And ratings is all they care about. And I know the teenage movies you talk about! One of my favorites is “Revenge of the Nerds!” I love that movie!

  9. It is a shame and it has been said that it all started with Jerry Springer. Saying that, I heard many stories that all the ‘fights’ on that show were staged.

    • I wouldn’t doubt it, Michael! Jerry Springer was a trashy show! So trashy that, once when I was at a neighbor’s house, the show was on her television and one of the guests jumped up from his chair, ripped his clothes off down to his underwear, raised his hands in the air and turned around with his back to the audience. When he turned around, you could see skid marks up his underwear! 🤢🤮😳😳😳 And I read in a magazine not long after that those shows offered people ten to fifteen thousand dollars to be guests on their show and make total fools of themselves! I remember thinking to myself, “They couldn’t pay me enough to make an arse of myself on national television! NOPE!”

  10. Isn’t this so true!? Reality TV thrives on gaslighting and manipulating the contestants. I’ve been watching a blog series of how badly the contestants were treated on Next Top Model – it got so bad in some cases where they’d even exploit one of the models who recently lost her friend to death. I never liked reality TV and this just shows how bad it really is – some people spend years recovering from the PTSD from those shows. I also noticed these shows mirror an abusive relationship to a ‘T”.

    • Boy you’re spot on with every point you made here, Sara! Getting on those shows can’t be healthy for the poor contestants! And exploiting someone over a friend’s death is so lowdown! Talk about scraping a scab right off a deep wound! Just appalling! I hope that soon, reality shows will be out of fashion, or forced off the air! They just aren’t healthy! Thank you so much for your thoughts on this topic, Sara! They are so powerful! 💖🌺🌹

  11. Bully has become a form of entertainment in media for a long time. I believe it does affect impressionable young minds. As a teacher, I see many of my middle schoolers lacking empathy and brush off bad behavior towards their peers by saying “they are okay with it, we are friends.”

    • Wow! It takes a special person to be a teacher in this day and time. I’m admire you for your love of children and your strength to withstand apathetic kids and the extra responsibilities that government seems to heep on the shoulders of teachers. 💖🌺🌷

  12. Wow, how true! Unwillingly the content we have access to and allow to have power in our minds influence the way we think, feel, and act. In today’s world children need to be taught that these behaviors portrayed in the shows are despicable. It is good to see that there are people out there who value that which some in our society have become desensitized to.
    Thanks yet again for a great post 😊

    • Great question. It depends on the person. Some do, I believe. But many don’t because they live in denial. Most can’t handle a real bare-naked look at themselves. Thank you so much for your thoughts! 💖🌺🌷

  13. OMG! Yes, these shows are poison! Brilliant post! I am super selective at what I watch- mostly mild house renos and reruns. Too much toxicity in the world and not enough love and kindness.

    • You got that right, Kim! I also watch old reruns- my all time faves are “In the Heat of the Night,” “Dukes of Hazzard,” and “Miami Vice” (the original series).

      • I love the HGTV series Home Town and as for reruns, I am stuck on BBC’s All Creatures Great and Small.

        • I hear you. Although I’ve never watched “All Creatures…,” I love old TV shows! Today’s TV is just so bland and the reality shows I avoid at all costs! Saw them at a friend’s house a few years ago and the people on these reality shows acted so simple and stupid. I like old reruns from the old days.

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