“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~
I feel compelled to discuss how these shows get their ratings to give parents who permit their children to watch them a better understanding of what subliminal messages their child may be receiving.
Sadly, reality shows that receive the highest ratings also have the highest peer abuse incidences, commonly called bullying. Peer abusers (bullies) love drama and are drawn to it like flies to feces! Bullying brings drama…always! The more altercations and confrontations a reality show displays for viewers, the more drama it brings.
More drama means the show is more interesting to viewers. The more interesting the show, the more views the show gets, and the higher the ratings the show receives.
Also, the more drama a certain reality star brings to a show (usually by bullying others on the show), the higher the show is rated, and in return, the higher the star is rated by producers of the show and network executives…all because he/she brings the most drama. For a reality star, this not only guarantees them a spot on the show’s next season but also much higher pay, with producers and execs offering the bullying star hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars!
This equals great rewards for bullies on the show…rewarding and encouraging despicable behavior! Think Teresa Guidice, “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” or Nene Leakes, “Real Housewives of Atlanta.”
In my opinion, both of these women, who are in their 40’s and 50’s, have shown some of the most queen bee, mean girl behavior of anyone on television.
Should they even qualify as stars? I don’t know about anyone else, but in my opinion, watching women in this age group display such girl’s room/locker room antics is sickening and an embarrassment to my generation of women.
This behavior is unbecoming of women of any age but looks downright ugly coming from middle-aged women, whom you think would be a better example to younger females.
Parents need to sit down with children and explain that just because reality shows make bullying look glamorous does not mean that bullying is okay. Bullying is anything but glamorous, especially to victims.
Sadly, high ratings for these shows speak volumes about the society we live in today- that the bulk of society apparently has an insatiable appetite for trash. It is glaring proof that in the eyes of a vast majority, crap is king. It shouldn’t be any wonder that bullying and peer abuse is so globally rampant today.
Parents and grandparents must either forbid kids to watch these types of reality shows. If they permit them to watch it, they must also explain to the children that just because certain behavior is shown on television does not mean it is acceptable in real life.
We must also stop prioritizing petty and poor values, one of which is the misguided belief that being the most popular, liked, or the toughest kid on the block is what life’s all about.
“Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.”
~ Malcolm S. Forbes ~
“Lighten up on yourself. No one is perfect. Gently accept your humanness.”
~ Deborah Day ~
As a survivor of bullying, people often ask me, “What’s the worst thing about being bullied?” Here are my answers:
It’s the pinned up fear and rage you feel but don’t dare show. It’s the paralyzing social fear that sets in. It shuts you down and leaves you withdrawn from the rest of the world. Once people have bullied you for so long, you become intensely paranoid and suspicious of every person you meet. Any laughter you hear, you automatically think, is directed at you.
It’s the confusion. You know that you should take a stand against the bullies. You know that you should speak out about it, only you don’t know how to do it, and you’re terrified that it will only make things worse.
It’s the unanswered questions that play in your mind a thousand times a day. “Why me?” “What have I done to these people” “How do I fix this?” are the questions you have in your head every time bullies surround you and harass you. You know what you want to say to the bullies. “Look! Leave me the &%$# alone!” you scream inside your head but don’t’ dare say it because you know what’s likely to come next.
It’s the feeling of loneliness and isolation. When we suffer bullying, not only do bullies smear us to keep us isolated and from making any new friends, but we- WE automatically put up walls of protection to keep other people out, which only reinforces the separation from others.
It’s the loss of your entire personhood. You forget how to smile, laugh, and have a good time and how to connect with and interact with others. You’re no longer that vibrant, happy, and healthy person you once were. And each insult, each back-biting rumor, each physical attack, each joke, and each prank cuts a little deeper, chips away at your self-esteem, and brings you lower. You feel trapped. You feel as if your bullies are holding you hostage!
Bullies can ruin a target’s life! And they can alter your entire life if you don’t make the changes needed to take your life back.
I won’t kid you. To get out of the hole that your bullies have forced you into, you will have to work hard.
You’ll first need to get out of that environment (if possible), then focus on healing, and lastly, change your entire mindset, which means altering your thought patterns, your attitude, and your whole demeanor. And this change won’t happen overnight but may take years.
However, you must be patient and put in the work and time to take back your confidence and happiness. But I promise you, it will be worth it in the long run, and you’ll be so glad you put in the time and effort!
With knowledge comes empowerment.
“Loving yourself isn’t vanity. It’s sanity.”
~ Katrina Mayer ~