Reality TV and Celebrities
Posted by craigbaltz on November 14, 2008
First of all, let’s get that mislabel out of the way immediately. It isn’t reality at all. Not even close. The only way to make it real is if they hide the cameras. Otherwise the participants are all actors, they know they are on TV and they are acting differently than they would in the real world. For better or worse…usually worse.
I think reality TV has a very negative impact on our society. In the past there were celebrities who misbehaved, but they were normally talented people whose bad behavior was tolerated because of their talent, kind of like athletes, but that’s another topic. I’m not condoning it, just stating – at least they had a talent. Today we have Paris Hilton, Nicole Ritchie and Anna Nicole Smith. Who are famous for what exactly? They are/were famous for being famous. They’ve done nothing. Paris Hilton claims she doesn’t need her inheritance that she makes her own money. She gets paid to go to parties! The only reson anyone knows who she is is because she is a Hilton. If she wasn’t a rich spoiled brat, nobody would pay her a dime to come to their party. Same with Nicole Ritchie. Let’s recap Anna Nicole Smith’s “career”. She was a stripper. She posed for Playboy. She got addicted to drugs and spent years making blubbering, embarrassing public appearances. She made some horrible movies which thank God, I’ve only seen clips of and wasn’t forced to watch in entirety. Then she married a VERY wealthy man old enough to be her Great Grandfather, he died. she fought with the family over the money, she had affairs with numerous men, had a child and didn’t know who the father was, and overdosed on drugs. And this is a career? For this everyone knew who she was? She was famous in America and that is a tragedy. But it wasn’t her fault. It’s ours. We live in a train wreck, rubberneck society. Everyone wants to see the crash and the bloody body. Everyone wants to see Brittany Spears getting out of a car drunk with no underwear on. Millions are glued to the TV with reports of Lindsay Lohan, Hilton, Spears, Ritchie, etc. Why do we care? Why is it in the least bit important to us? In my opinion when Anna Nicole Smith died, because she was relatively famous it was probably noteworthy on the news, and in the press. It is also my opinon I should have never heard another word about it until a month or two later when the cause of death was announced. Unfortunately there were hundreds of hours of TV, and countless written press stories about her. There were entire shows written to the “Life and Times of Anna Nicole Smith”. Who cares????? Somebody must be watching. Who buys those magazines, who is glued to the TV? If it’s you, I beg you to get a life. Because if America stops demanding pictures of Tom Cruises kid then the paparazzi will go out business, they can get on with their life, and we can hopefully stop this trend of people that are famous for nothing and most of whom are famous only for bad behavior.
Which brings me back to reality TV. Who enjoys watching people behave horribly in real life. Do you like people who fight and scream and cause tension everywhere they go? Do you like people who lie and manipulate? Then why is America drawn to them on TV? Simon Cowell has built a career out of insulting people for Godsakes. Omarosa from The Apprentice has probably made more money from appearances than any other contestant and she was admittedly manipulative and combative. She was a jerk. Why do we reward her? There are countless examples. The person behaving badly gets the attention on all these so-called reality shows. And if we weren’t watching and asking for it, the networks wouldn’t deliver that product to us. The cameras focus on the troublemakers and the drama, and the people that are nice, polite, and mature melt into the background. Our children watch these shows and think this is how to be popular. This Jerry Springer, professional wrestling, Real World mentality is taking it’s toll on the civility of our youth. Yes there are good kids, of course there are. But I run into more obnoxious, disrespectful, argumentative youth than I care to even think about.
As parents and people involved in the lives of youth (coaches, teachers, aunts, uncles, friends, whatever) we need to get involved and help remind and teach our youth that respect is not a weakness. That politeness is not a sissy thing. And most importantly that bad behavior is not rewarded.
I also feel that the dating reality shows are bad for our youth and our adults. Do people think it’s OK to fall in love in 6 minutes because some guy is rich? Those women are in love BEFORE they get there. Put me on one of those shows. I’m decent looking, well travelled, polite, good sense of humor, loving. How many of those women do you think would be crying if I didn’t give them a rose. None! Because I’m not a doctor, or a football player, or heir to $50 million dollars. Women have complained for years that men are too focused on looks and youth. Well the tables are even now, because women have achieved equality. They are now just as superficial as men.
How do we change these trends. Stop watching the mind numbing reality drivel. Watch something funny. Watch something intelligent. Hey, I’ve got an idea…read something! But please stop watching and glorifying the train wreck.