One of my guilty pleasures is zoning out in front of the computer watching Teen Mom. The show is a great source of amusement to me, mainly because of all the “drama” the “characters” face in their daily lives.
But as I watched all the way through the third season, the “reality” of the show began to fade for me. Even though the teen mothers (and their significant others) continually complain about how they have no money to pay for this, that, and the other, they always have their hair and nails done. They wear name-brand clothing and live in big apartments that teen parents would not realistically be able to afford. They have top-of-the-line cell phones and electronic gadgets.
I understand that MTV is paying these teens to have their lives captured and broadcast to the nation, but the show just isn’t realistic anymore (if it ever was to begin with). I worry that the show is teaching teen girls that all they have to do to make money is get pregnant at a young age, then sign up to be on the cast of Teen Mom. It’s true that some of the issues the girls on the show face (parents in and out of jail, relationship problems, taking care of a sick child) may very well be realistic, but even so… I don’t think the show accurately portrays how truly difficult it is to be a teen parent, especially in this economy.
Another reality show premiered on TLC this past Sunday. Entitled The Virgin Diaries, it’s about men and women in their 20s and 30s who have not yet had sex for varying reasons. The big question about the show is whether it celebrates or mocks virginity.
Now, I have not actually watched The Virgin Diaries, and I don’t think I will. But I think virginity is a personal matter and should not be broadcast on national television. I’m not sure if the show is supposed to make those who are virgins feel confident or guilty about their virginity. All I know is that it’s a total reversal of perhaps 200 years ago, when virginity was a positive thing. With shows like The Virgin Diaries and movies like The 40-Year-Old Virgin, it now seems like virginity is some kind of curse.
Nowadays, it seems that the common stereotype is that the only people who are still virgins in their 20s and 30s are religious fanatics and those who are too unattractive to find partners. I think that’s just sad – because a lot of the time, that’s not true.
So… what do you think of reality TV? Are there any reality shows you watch?