Rolling Out

The reality of reality TV

VH1 Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta
Photo credit: VH1

Reality television is a guilty pleasure that many people indulge in. Shows like “Love & Hip-Hop,” “Basketball Wives” and “Real Housewives” have given us a glimpse of the lives of celebrities, showcasing their life struggles, which, of course, include their relationship issues. We can’t seem to get enough of the uncut reality being showcased on the small screen because not only is it interesting, it reminds us that they too are normal people who experience the same problems as the rest of us.

Oftentimes, we can get so caught up in the storyline that we don’t recognize how these shows can affect our way of thinking and the type of habits that we find acceptable. While these shows are great to watch and are extremely relatable, they also have a way of glamorizing a certain lifestyle that has not always been normal and definitely still should not be.

These shows lead us to believe that fighting, infidelity, double lives, and fake friendships are sensible life choices. According to VH1, “Love & Hip-Hop” has over three million viewers making it the most viewed show for women between the ages of 18-49 and there is not an episode that goes by without someone being cheated on, a secret being revealed, a friend being betrayed or someone’s weave being snatched. If you don’t believe that this affects the way that you think, think again. According to a study by The Girl Scouts Institute, among girls who watch reality TV, 86 percent of them believe these shows often “pit girls against each other,” 70 percent say that “it makes people believe it’s OK to treat each other badly.”

There is nothing wrong with indulging in reality TV, but we must be cautious of how we allow it to affect the choices in our own lives. What people are seeing on television (as well as social media) plays a major part in the choices we make, being such a visual generation. We are at risk of growing up with more baby’s mamas, broken families and children by the side chick with less real friendships, marriages and fewer fathers staying in love with the mother of their children.

So while we all enjoy reality television, we have to remind ourselves to stay grounded and that to a certain extent these people are actors and we can’t possibly deem it as appropriate to live life this way. We have to be in control of our reality TV fetish and be careful not to let it control us.

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