Reality TV promotes dangerous stereotypes

By Alexa D’Aiello
Correspondent

While reality television is a central source of entertainment for many people in America, it is still important to question whether the behavior featured on these shows promotes dangerous behaviors for an impressionable audience.

The events in reality TV shows are often dramatized to entertain viewers (Instagram).

Channels like E!, MTV and Bravo feature many series that deliver messages, behaviors and attitudes can have a negative influence on their younger audiences.

I have watched my fair share of reality shows and I definitely think they convey a poor message to impressionable viewers. The “reality” in reality television is often distorted and fails to display the consequences of the
actions committed by the stars of the shows. The events are glamorized and the drama is intensified to lure audiences.

One of my favorite reality shows is “Keeping up with the Kardashians” on E!. I definitely enjoy watching it, but I will admit that the Kardashians are not the best role models. An unforgettable scene from the show is when Kim loses her diamond earring in the ocean during a vacation to Bora Bora. Although the earring was worth about $75,000,
her family cannot understand why Kim is so upset about losing it.

To a majority of people, this amount of money is life-changing, but on
reality television, Kim is depicted as being overly dramatic for crying
over her lost jewelry. If I were to lose something worth $75,000, I can’t imagine the distress that both my family and I would face. However, the other stars make Kim look dramatic, and this tension creates a more enjoyable scene for viewers.

Another reality TV show that encourages dangerous ideals is “Teen Mom 2” on MTV. Raising a baby while completing school is unimaginably difficult, but the series almost encourages teen pregnancy by giving teen moms their own show and stardom. Reality stars are paid for their time on air, which is a fact viewers often forget.

The purpose of these shows is to feature scandals and drama so that fans remain interested — the situations and conflicts featured on reality tele-
vision shouldn’t be taken literally or used as an example for audiences to follow.

Even if viewers acknowledge that these shows display a false reality, this doesn’t mean they will stop watching, but a good first step is acknowledging that you can watch a certain show for entertainment while disagreeing with its message. As long as viewers like
myself can realize that these shows don’t always portray the best ex-
ample, there is no harm in enjoying the entertainment.

Students share opinions around campus

“Does reality TV promote dangerous stereotypes?”

Johnathan Calabrese, a freshman political science major.
“Yes, reality TV stars can influence viewers with their over-dramatic behaviors.”
Megan O’Keefe, a junior fiance major.
“Yes, because behaviors shown by celebrities on TV can have a negative impact on people.”

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