Why Are We So Obsessed with Reality TV?

I was in class, surrounded by books, trendy girls and unspeakable things in their notebooks. Through the murmuring across the room, my ears cut through the noise to listen to their conversations. I know the names of the casts, the casts’ favourite hangouts, and their opinions on the episode. For few weeks, the cast member became familiar to my ears with juicy goss peaking my interests, but at this point, I’ve never watched an episode. My intrigue towards the casts led me to watch my first episode, and I loved it.

IMG_8772As far as I can recall, that was my first and earliest introduction to reality show, Laguna Beach. The obsession progressed to Big Brother, The Hills and the Love and Hip Hop franchise as I got old. Secondary school was the pivotal stage in life that incurred me to live vicariously through these people, relating to their experience in regards to friendships, love and competitive spirit. Thus, this has accompanied me to my mid-20s.

It exposes the latest restaurants, music, and lifestyle choices which helps refine our taste or even better reinvent ourselves.

In the midst of watching the recent episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta, the random spike in thought made me question my addiction to these shows. What makes me eager to watch these shows as a way of winding down after a long, productive day? Why have I become invested in their lives? Checking through their social media to find the latest goss? I need answers! That was the thing I mirrored my life around when life got sticky, what would Lauren Conrad do, or say?

IMG_8766Interesting, isn’t it? That we enjoy when cameras follow these people around, unravelling storylines that directly affects the audiences by witnessing drama that you’re not directly involved in, seeing both sides of the story and looking at ways they resolved their conflicts, or perhaps drag the storyline through the next season and more. I’m looking at you, Kandi Burruss. When in reality, life doesn’t always show both sides of the story to those involved in the triangle drama. Hence the cliche saying ‘there are three sides to the story, your side, their side and the truth’ which leaves us to figure out things lost in translation. Maybe their inability to forgive, thrown with flaws they exhibit that we have, is what keeps us coming back for more. The camera tends to capture all side of the stories, using the flashback method. Hence revealing who to root for, and hate.

IMG_8757Reality Tv is a novelty, to begin with; It exposes the latest restaurants, music, and lifestyle choices which helps refine our taste or even better reinvent ourselves. The various reality shows, the competitive (X-factor, Big Brother, Survivors, America Next Top Model, The Apprentice, and much more) Dating and Drama (TOWIE, Made In Chelsea, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, The Hills, Jersey Shore and much more) reflects different facets of who we are. With the likes of America Next Top Model, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, The Apprentice, Big Brother, The Voice, and lists mentioned above, it’s a mirror of my life. I’m very creative, love social media, posing for the gram, enjoy spending time with my friends and use to live life on the edge like Jersey Shore casts. Minus the one night stands and sexual escapades – living vicariously through them. So ask yourself, look through the shows you enjoy as a way to answer why we are obsessed with reality shows.

IMG_8758So many people love reducing people’s love for reality shows as their inability to enjoy or understand shows with intellect content. When in reality, our competitive nature encourages producers to create storylines that create division within friends using the hashtags #teamA or #teamb between cast members competing for a prize, or fame. During this time, the competitive nature of the show lets viewers develop the need to participate to show that they can do, or be better.

And with reality shows fast-tracking people into the celebrity lifestyle, the obsession is here to stay and will continue to grow. People use it to promote their business, create jobs for creative behind the scenes and in front of the screen. It’s a craze I’m glad to help partake in. It’s not-so my guilty pleasure anymore.

The Black-Panther Effect

The grievance over lack of representation for the black community in different sectors of the world has always been a debate. And everything is about to change. We are living in an era where the black community is increasingly becoming empowered, taking strides in getting acknowledged, respected, accepted, and supported. The movement is growing confidently, demanding equal pay, responsibilities and equal opportunities. An effect little black boys and girls will reap the benefit of being represented, seeing dolls and superheroes that have their skin tone, hair texture and facial features.

IMG_8081Among other issues and discrimination that black people deal with on a day to day basis, the earliest moments of my life revolved around the lack of representation in the media as the standard of beauty wasn’t in my shade, hair texture and facial feature which still prevails in today’s society. But it’s improving nonetheless. However, it hasn’t erased the damages that have impaired self-esteem, as each movie and tv shows depict the darker shade with an African nostril as the angry black girl while the lighter shade was the love interest for the main character which further the propaganda of divide and conquer that has been in place since slavery. In movies that inject diversity revolves around slavery, drugs and violence or a dysfunctional family with the man absent in his children lives. An agenda to push the story that black people are the bottom of the barrel, undesired and pests to the world.

Black men are kings, beautiful and intelligent. Black women are queens, beautiful and multi-faceted.

IMG_8071Lack of diversity is prevalent in the blogging industry with opportunities given to black women that have proximity to the European standard of beauty and on posted on brands social media outlet. There’s a system used by brands to use a black person to express purpose of creating an image of commercially safe, politically correct racial harmony, the token black person. An attempt to avoid offending anybody. But inclusivity is penetrating the creative industry with films like Hidden Figures which centres around three black women working for NASA, the launch of Fenty Beauty that brought out forty foundation shade range and the most anticipated comic superhero movie, The Black Panther, proving that predominantly black-owned can sell-out without being placed under a negative lens.

IMG_8060It’s fantastic now to see how hard-working, incredible black people are getting recognition. There’s not as many as they should be but it’s great seeing the shift taking place, and it’s empowering and gives hope for the future. This topic inspired by The Black Panther, a movie that was released yesterday on the 13th of February, with a full cast of black people with different shades, hair texture, and facial feature. Watching the trailer made me realise that black people are extraordinary. The representation in this movie will create relatable, powerful role models and source of inspiration, bringing a fresh new idea to the table erasing the formulaic approach to create the spotlight for black people. It allows stereotypes and misconceptions to be broken and challenge beliefs in a positive, constructive way. Black men are kings, beautiful and intelligent. Black women are queens, beautiful and multi-faceted.

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