American actress, Lisa Bonet, once said, “What saddens me is the corruption of youth and beauty, and the loss of soul, which is only replaced by money.” Today’s television shows are decaying into more polluted and inappropriate ideas, which are then presented worldwide. This is a negative influence on not only young people, but also society as a whole. How can it be expected of youth today to be appropriate role models to future generations with such corrupt influences? With the filth, dishonesty, and abuse of freedom of speech, reality television ultimately does more harm on today’s society than good.
“’Jersey Shore’ Season 5 averaged 5.8 million viewers, including one million ages 12-17” (McKay). These one million teenagers who are viewing “Jersey Shore” and other reality television shows fill their minds with the idea that they cannot have a nice time without the consumption of alcohol (McKay). Sexual immorality, violence, and intoxication consume the cast of this reality television show, and unfortunately, most of society. Not only that, but also the general lifestyle of the girls is to compete with each other through materialistic possessions such as clothes, money, or even men (McKay). Another reality show that is affecting viewers, women especially, is “Are You Hot,” in which competitors submit to a panel of judges for appearance rating (Becker). Shows such as this reduce self-confidence in women, making them believe they should be taller, skinnier, tanner, or really anything other than what they already have. “’[The show] emphasizes that how you look is more important than who you are or what you do. It really narrows the worth of the individual,’ Flanery says” (Becker). The more important things about an individual are qualities such as kindness, intelligence, responsibility, and compassion; however, these qualities are being sacrificed for physical beauty, which is only temporary.
Furthermore, “reality” television is dishonest and provides no educational value.
In BBC News, Christian Fraser says, “’Reality TV shows put people into environments that are both unrealistic and coercive,’ said Mr Petruccioli” (Fraser). Reality television is not an accurate display of how these families really live. Their shows are scripted, just like any other show. According to Holly McKay, the issue of dishonesty poses a real problem for viewers of reality television shows:
Reality shows tend to rely on a certain set of pre-determined roles. The troublemaker, the player, the mean girl, etc. And then in the editing room they exaggerate those characteristics even further to heighten the conflict and drama. (Such shows) set up expectations that this is normal behavior, and so it legitimizes relational aggression in the real world. And with all the behavior we have seen in recent years with bullying in schools, is this behavior we really want to encourage?
These producers look for any way to make this show more drama-filled and more...