The time is way overdue for the brakes to be pulled on a lot of these reality tv shows. And for those that enjoy many of them or will state ‘it’s just entertainment’, I get that perspective, but as in anything, I think it’s important to do some simple critical thinking and analysis of exactly what is distributed in today’s society.
Just like we know that many of the foods we eat, may be good tasting (ie. Flaming Hots, Oatmeal Crème Cookies) but not good for us, it’s important to know and understand exactly what we are intaking and the consequences of it.
I could get into a whole other discussion on food, music, movies and other forms of media and propaganda, but for the sake of this post, I’m focusing on reality tv shows.
Last Monday, I kept seeing #BestFuneralEver trending on my timeline, so I looked it up. These were the links that I found:
Ok, MY reaction and personal opinion after seeing this was.. “this is an absolute display of buffoonery of our people. And though it’s a show on TLC channel that could cover any ethnicity, I instantly knew that this would depict mostly black funerals and was confirmed by the few snippets I was able to find online. SMH!”
Though I’m not speaking to all reality tv shows, but there are many of them that I’m not a fan of and simply won’t watch. However, as an individual that works with youth, it’s important that I stay abreast of what they & our society are exposed to as well as be aware and actually observe some of the thing they embrace.
I agree with Jennifer Pozner’s view in her NY Times article of how a lot of reality tv shows exploit people of color, women, and children. (http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/10/21/are-reality-shows-worse-than-other-tv/reality-tv-exploits-women-minorities-and-children)
So, I just have to go there…
From ‘The Bachelor’ to ‘Flavor of Love’ to ‘Bad Girls Club’ to ‘The Real Housewives of ATL’ to ‘Sisterhood’ to ‘Best Funeral Ever’ and many others..we have got to be mindful of what we watch, listen to, support and ultimately feed our spirit.
I often look at tv shows and media in general as commercials and propaganda to promote certain images that are NOT exemplary, uplifting, or even remotely acceptable. I personally am fed up with seeing images of people of color or women shown in ONLY or predominantly a certain light. In the example of women, as Pozner points out, on many of these shows, find me one woman or representation of a woman that is not one of the following: “The Slut”, “The Catty Backstabber”, “The Weepy Waif”(desperately competing over female beauty or male booty), “The Angry Black Woman”, “The Gold-Digger”, or “The Dumb Bimbo”.
With the premiere of ‘Best Funeral Ever’, we have taken the sensationalizing of a person’s funeral or homegoing and turned it into entertainment, with a subconscious message of portraying cultural and religious rituals as a mockery. I mean praise dances with gigantic ribs and dipping sauce…c’mon people!! WAKE UP!!
These are the kinds of images, portrayals, and messages we are allowing our children to grow up with, numbing our own minds and intellects with, and allowing to be representations of people in our society? They started calling the television ‘the idiot box’ for a reason. More children spend more time in front of the tv than have face time with their own parents. Then we wonder why we see 4th and 5th grade girls snapping their fingers, rolling their eyes, and quick to have attitudes. Well, they see it on ‘Basketball Wives’. So, much so that about a year ago, at an all girls overnight where few young ladies got into a small altercation, one even stated that they don’t like being around a lot of females because “..‘we’ (ie. black girls/women) can’t get along anyway”.
And the same type of negative imagery applies to images of black and other men of color, youth, and others groups of people. We can say it’s just entertainment, but we need to also be aware of the impact they have on how we perceive ourselves, other people, and overall what they promote and intend beyond simple amusement.
I could continue with a variety of different matters that relate to this topic, but you will see a few various upcoming posts that relate to this very concern. I’m also working to engage in project(s) to promote more positivity and uplifting depictions as well as educate on the significance of addressing what is lacking in our current forms of media (tv, music, etc). But for now, feel free to share your own thoughts and opinions. I very much welcome your comments. Be blessed.