Like most people with down time during the recent holidays, I did some binging and channel surfing. In the way traffic backs up on the side of the freeway where there is no accident because others are drawn to look, I could not help but stop and look at one of the reality shows about housewives of . . . you name the city. I will admit it was not the first time but it will be the last time.
I can understand the appeal to some extent – seeing the glamorous lives of others. Stepping into another world full of money, jewels, beautiful clothes – the houses, the cars, the endless parties, luncheons – what’s not to love! Not to mention the perfect hair, the perfect teeth, the perfect bodies – how could you not want that? How could you not want to live in that world for an hour at least once a week?
But look a little deeper. The so-called friends – friends? Really? In that short period of time, I heard women calling other women (their friends) every derogatory, degrading, ugly curse word you can think of – repeatedly. I heard women gossip and talk about each other changing their tales to match the occasions and get maximum effect from the group de jour.
Who is watching this stuff? What are we learning? I am all for mindless entertainment from time to time; however, while certainly mindless this should never be classified as entertainment. Our young women and young men are watching these shows. They are learning how to worship the dollar and that their bodies are a work in progress to be surgically molded and sculpted rather than loved just as they are. They are learning that in order to have any value you must devalue others.
Girls, boys, young women and young men need to see women as strong, smart and bold and learn to be the caring, supportive, leaders of tomorrow. Reality shows do not depict reality at all. It has been said that in the very act of watching, the observer affects that which is watched. On these shows, women are encouraged to misbehave for ratings; however, by doing so they diminish us all.
Let’s remember that we are all examples of womanhood to the women who follow us. Female – strong, encouraging, supporting, loving friends, mothers, sisters, aunts, and mentors. Whatever we want to be, let us do it in a way that lifts us all and not get pulled down just to get higher ratings!