The Fake World of Reality Television

The year was 1992. William Jefferson Clinton, an Arkansas governor won the Presidential Election. Boyz II Men’s hit, End of the Road topped the charts and R & B sensation, Whitney Houston mesmerized Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard. Al Pacino snagged an Academy Award for his performance in Scent of a Woman. It was only 29 cents to send a letter first class and regular grade gasoline was priced on average at $1.19/gallon.

Also, in 1992, a new era was born. Cable channel producers of Music Television (better known as MTV) gave birth to a show about pre-assigned complete strangers moving in together in different parts of the United States and overseas. The brainchild became none other than the Real World. Continuous drinking and bickering enabled this show to hold a timeslot for over 15 seasons. This show planted the seeds that eventually bloomed into the phenomenon that we know and endure best as reality television.

While some hearty Americans are tuning into CNN for the latest news breaks, others are choosing to tune into shows that find people eating boiled animal genitals as a way of winning money. I guess the winner will use the money to get a good dentist and buy each bottle of mouthwash on the shelf to get the taste of his/her mouth. But, let us not forget about the people of Apprentice who are willing to stab someone in the back just for a job. (Well, maybe that part can really happen.)

I was raised in believing that beauty is what is on the inside and not after being swollen for three months or more due to massive cosmetic plastic surgery. These so-called beauty enhancement shows deliver the wrong message to women when they insist they achieve a more attractive appearance through incredibly dangerous and painful procedures to achieve a flatter-looking stomach and larger breasts. If it keeps going at the pace, the push-up bra and girdle will become non-existent. Who has heard the saying, “looking for love in all the wrong places?” Apparently, these reality show volunteers either have not or are choosing to ignore it. Whatever happened to meeting someone at a social gathering or through a familiar acquiescence. Looking for a mate in church is not the primary reason for attending but one will have a greater chance in finding someone.

Has the thought ever entered their minds that it means higher ratings for the show if the person looking for someone to marry (ex: The Bachelor or The Bachelorette) is continuously humiliating herself and arguing with the other people who are there for the same reason?

People are not going to work the next morning discussing how well someone got along with someone else. Realistically, they are chatting across their cubicles about how someone got the mess slapped out of them. If I had a dime for every time Maury Povich said, “you are not the father” and a nickel for every girl who has ran off the stage after hearing the results, all of my student loans would be paid off plus a little extra spending money.

Why do these young girls and women continue to go on the show knowing deep down inside, that there is a possibility that the man she is accusing for neglecting his paternal duties may not be the father of her child? Not only do their behaviors degrade themselves, but it also portrays women as being unfaithful and promiscuous.

The divorce rate among Americans is consistently rising and the best solution these producers and writers could think of is to swap spouses. Shouldn’t a married couple deal with their own domestic problems before trading them off for someone else?
Despite the fact that most reality shows are a waste of airtime, there is one that I will watch even if it came on every day. A show that allows the average Joe or Jane to voice his/her talent to the world and strive to be given the honor of being called the American Idol.

For the last five seasons, I still applaud the courageous men and women who walk in front of panel of judges and show the world what they can do or in some cases, what they cannot do. Although I have been in existence for a little over two decades, I remember when the only reality show on television was the 11pm news. Reality television has revolved into something that has lost total control.

What’s next- a show about people trying to outrace animals of the wild? No, that has already been done. How about a show with couples putting their relationships to the test? Nope, that has already been done, too. It would be interesting to see someone pull pranks on celebrities and capture it all on camera. Never mind. I give up.While some are drowning in this fake world of reality, the rest of the United States is dealing with less entertaining reality like how thousands of men and women have been sent overseas with a little chance of return. America- is that real enough for you?

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