Kim Kardashian reigns in Reality TV

Shows promote unhealthy stereotypes.

Emily Hykes, Staff Writer

If you’re a frequent channel surfer and have ever accidentally found yourself stuck on Bravo, TLC, or MTV, chances are you’ve caught a glimpse of shows such as Toddlers and Tiaras, Dance Moms, The Real Housewives, or even Keeping Up with the Kardashians. If this is so, you have been affected by reality television, the ever-growing form of entertainment that continues to draw in more and more viewers, despite its lack of structure. Why is this so? Why can’t we get enough of this nonsense? Though we perceive these programs as harmless time-killers, the candid stories and images that unfold before our eyes may have more of an impact on us than we really think.

A dedicated viewer of The Real Housewives of Orange County and Dance Moms,  Audrey Lothenbach ‘18, who is a dancer herself,  was asked if watching these shows made her develop a new perspective on any topics addressed. She replied: “No, because I can relate to [the issues] and the moms at our studio are pretty crazy like that, so I’ve already seen a lot of that happen.” Adding to this she also thought that women were negatively portrayed by this show. In contrast however, she included that The Real Housewives has pushed her to form stereotypes about women.

Another subject to reality TV, Callie Abraham, is an avid watcher of Dance Moms and Keeping up with the Kardashians. She feels that both shows shine negative lights on women, especially celebrities. “Dance Moms is solely based on crazy mothers but has nothing to do with the dads, and Keeping up with the Kardashians gives a very negative role to women as they all act petty and ridiculous.” In addition to her view on Dance Moms, Callie thinks that the show specifically puts dancing in a bad spot. “it is portrayed as a very stressful life-changing thing.” Audrey adds, “it’s very entertaining and something is always happening.”

Therefore, even though reality tv isn’t the best influence, it does prove to be a time-killer and even a stress-reliever. The next time you switch the channel to Toddlers and Tiaras though, be mindful of the messages portrayed.