FLEETING FAME: WHY I THINK REALITY TELEVISION IS NOT GOING AWAY

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“We watch they fall apart, we continue to watch.”


reality unfolding

Reality television has always been an aspect of American life. We look at the Kardashian’s television and seem to think they were these creators of reality TV. But when you look back in time, reality television really started with these dating games shows. Where we watch someone try to win a date with another person based on a series of questions.

But in today’s society, when we hear reality television, we think about the idea of watching a family on television. Normal people who put their families on TV for the sake of letting people into their homes. Only problem is, there is always trouble once you let people into your life.

it all falls apart

At least once on every one of these reality television shows has been a major divorce or other family break up. Why, it’s because you don’t put your life out there for mass consumption. Because now, you are subject to the same ridicule as any other celebrity. And this is when everything starts to fall apart.

These average American who are now open to the public are ready for what is in store. People who pursue this as a career know what they’re getting themselves in to. But the average Joe is looking at it from the fame standpoint.

fixated eyes

We love watching reality for the simple purpose of the train wreck. No one tunes in to a show to watch the television show about a family doing well. But if you add a break up and some fighting, now you’re in business. It’s a topic of discussion among people in society. Only problem is that you become invested in a show just to watch the drama unfold.

Then once the family decides to make a change and not fight, we don’t watch. There is something about watching people fall apart that makes us appreciate our own lives. But most of all, it makes us able to cope with our mess, to watch someone else’s mess unfold. And that shift in change leaves us detached from them because now they are no longer us.


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REALITY FICTION: HOW REALITY TELEVISION IS RUINING ENTERTAINMENT

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“I can do what they do.”


We are constantly being introduced to some new reality television show. No matter if the show revolves around married couples to game shows with cash prizes. They are spread throughout every aspect of mass media. We patronize them on a daily; regular people in regular situations, with usually some end goal. And that is the just of why we are supposed to watch them. But over time, a lot of that has changed. And now you’re seeing people watch some of these shows as a means to observe conflict. But if your life going great, why would you be interested in consistent conflict. Oh, and trust and believe, a lot of these people’s lives are far from this interesting. But music, mixed with cutaways and fades on top of the action, you feel like you’re in the room with the people. The only problem is, do they possess talent.

Because we have always had some form of reality television. People today say they are sick of reality television, but game shows are a form of reality television. And who does not like a round of Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, and The Price Is Right. Image result for keeping up with the kardashians castBut we don’t view them as reality television because we are not supposed to be under the illusion that they are entertaining us. But when people say they are sick of reality television, they mean the sitcom shows based around friends and families. The shows like: The Real Housewives, Basketball Wives, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, and Honey Boo Boo. Yet no one is forcing you to watch any of these shows. I myself am not a fan of any of these shows, so I just don’t watch them. But there is a segment of the population who watch just to be upset.

I’m not part of that segment, but I do agree that reality T.V. is hurting entertainment. Because now anybody whose anybody says, “Oh they have a show, I know I can be on television.” And the underlying problem with this, is that when entertainment was seen as this beautiful untouchable industry, we loved it. I thought you had to get on a spaceship and fly to some faraway world to be in the entertainment industry. But since the entertainment industry entertain these non-celebrity famous faces, the lure is gone. If all it takes now is to put your family on T.V. with some controversy to make money, people feel they can make it. The underlying problem with that is with each of these shows a family is broken apart. Why, well because you never put your life on a public display like television or the internet for mass consumption.

It’s because things that go on inside your homes, behind closed doors are what keep families together. The moment society can see your relationships, your life is open to public scrutiny. And since there is a constant barrage of attacks, for which you are not ready for, you crumble to the pressure. Image result for housewives of orange countyAnd funny I used the words, “ready for.” Because famous actors, directors, musicians, and even athletes have a planning process. They planned this career and are prepared for what comes with it. Reality personalities are not ready to deal with everyone in their business. They see dollars and also fame like fame is this easy road. Average people look at fame as a cake walk until photographers start publicly putting out images of you in bathing suit questioning your physic. That’s when the whole entire house comes crashing down on them. Yet still, I don’t see reality T.V. slowing down.

In the end, you look at a situation like the Kardashians-Jenners, who people thought would be a fly by night family. Now, they are running businesses that are valued collectively at $1 billion. Still, no matter how you view them, these shows are not only here to stay, but changing what is entertainment. Which in return begins to devalue the work of so many accomplished artists in the entertainment business who have put in years of work.


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THE K AND J EFFECT: WHY THE KARDASHIAN-JENNERS ARE SO APPEALING TO THE MASSES

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“They’re young, rich, beautiful, and influencers.”


For the past ten years, we have been inundated with the presence of the Kardashian-Jenner family. From the reality series of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, to their numerous business ventures. This family has grown into a nearly $1 billion brand that stretches all around the world. We were first introduced to the surname Kardashian from the O.J. Simpson trial. Robert Kardashian, the girls father, was an accomplished attorney who served as one of the counsels for former NFL runningback O.J. Simpson during his trial. He passed away back in 2003, while the name is still being held strong by his daughters. And as an addition came the Jenner family when the mother remarried former Olympian Bruce Jenner (Katelyn). Two of the Jenners would go on to edge out their own identities in society: Kendall and Kylie.

Why has the influence of the sisters grown in size the way it has grown. Ten years ago, when their reality show first aired America, must less the world, didn’t even know of the sisters. As socialites in their hometown of Calabasas (Los Angeles), CA, they were known among a small group of friends. Once the reality show took off, we were first introduced to the second oldest sister, Kim Kardashian. Soon after we began to get to know the two other sisters Kourtney, the oldest, and Khloe, the youngest. Even their brother Robert was brought into the mix. And the influence of the sisters began to spread. We only knew them as reality personalities, not business women. That is until they introduced us to their store in Los Angeles D.A.S.H.

And slowly, but surely, the two Jenner sisters began to emerge as well. We knew them as the rambunctious pre-teens from the reality show. But eventually, Kendall would be introduced into the modeling world via her mother and sisters. Not long after her introduction into modeling came her younger sister Kylie. Now with all the girls more focused on their own business ventures and less with the reality series, my question still remains. How did they manage to garner so much attention? And why do so many young girls and boys flock to them? That’s right girls and boys. And here is one of my theories as far as exposure is concerned.

When we look at the Kardashian-Jenners, they were supposed to be like anyone else who popped on the scene the way they appeared. They were supposed to get their 15 minutes of fame, and vanish like everyone else; yet they didn’t. So, why have they managed to garner attention and stick around so long? Here is a theory of mine, the introduction of social media. Getting involved in social media with an early start before so many other people joined. Their series became popular not that long after airing on television in 2007. But guess what else took off around that time as well Twitter (founded 2006), Instagram (founded 2010), Facebook increased popularity (founded 2004), and YouTube (founded 2005) increased popularity. Also, the launch of major networks such as the one their show is on E!, introduced between the years 2002 – 2009. They became popular right when social media and reality television was taking off. Fact of the matter is, they got in early.

That is a strong reason as to how they became so popular. Then what about the popularity with so many young people. Well, young people are what young people have always been. The age group of 18 – 35 is such a wide demographic, yet this group makes up the validation and association group. From the highly publicized relationships of the sisters, to their signature look. So many young girls and young women want to be associated with the K & J (Kardashian and Jenner) name.  But the boys love them because one, the girls love them. And another reason is the other one, status. Men need to be validated just as women do. So, to men, we look and go young, beautiful, their own wealth, liberated, and famous. Dating a “K” or a “J” would be the equivalent of winning the lotto and moving from your one bedroom apartment into a 10,000 sq. foot manor. The underlying theory is that if you date one of them, or a woman that resembles them, you have arrived.

See, in the end, the Kardashian-Jenners have tapped into something in America. And that something lies in the very fabric of our nation. That something is capitalism, validation, and fame. All three things the sisters have, all three things society holds up as a standard for what you should want, even if you never attain it. I don’t see them going away anytime soon. Because that 15 minutes, is pushing 15 years. And still, with business opportunities endless, fame and being a socialite is crumbs compared to if they really position themselves well. They are in the app world, and we all know how lucrative the tech industry can be. Whether you like them or not, they are no longer socialites, but the society standard.


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HER WORD IS WORD: THE SLIPPERY SLOPE OF RAPE IN OUR SOCIETY

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“No joking matter.”


Recently in the news, there was an incident on the reality television show Bachelor in Paradise. Two co-stars in the show Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson were hanging out together. Their casual hangout with drinks took a turn and eventually they were both in a hot tub together engaging in a lewd sex act. Camera crews were in sight of the whole entire ordeal. When the story was made public, the television show was yanked from the air. Why was the show yanked from television? Because in an unexpected twist, Olympios stated she was too inebriated to have consented to any sex act. Even though she said she wasn’t raped, she just was too drunk to consent to any sex acts. This left a sour taste in a lot of people’s mouths.

Everyday women throughout this country are raped and so many of the stories fall on deaf ears. So when Corinne eluded to being sexual assaulted, even with video footage, it made a lot of people angry. Though she kept saying it wasn’t rape, the way she said what happened was still sensitive. When you say I don’t remember consenting, you’re still in a way saying something was done to you without your consent. So saying rape or not, it opens the door to more investigation. And the television show was cancelled, understandably so. Because why would a multinational conglomerate like NBC want allegations of sexual misconduct on one of its television shows.

But let’s say for just one moment that there were no television cameras around. And she found out there was something sexual that took place. Would she still come out and say that nothing happened? That is what has people so outraged. DeMario would be in a lot more trouble had there not have been cameras present. Because now the ball is in her court regarding what happens next. And on top of it all, her parents and her boyfriend found out. So instead of her coming correct, it could be something much more that didn’t have to be. So what about men who don’t have cameras present? Or better yet, what about women who are actually being assaulted who never get the appropriate attention they need.

And that is why rape allegations, even slightly eluding to rape should be handled in a delicate manner. Because the fact that someone feels like not facing the reality that they screwed-up, they can now use rape as a get out of jail free card. It could have changed a young man’s life forever. There are men sitting in prisons across the country who have been exonerated for charges of rape. Men who spent greater portions of their lives behind bars for crimes they didn’t commit. Another slippery slope is if a woman thinks rape, that’s enough to charge a man with a crime. Meaning, she could have said I was too scared and thought it, but didn’t say anything. That is a strange position because he now says I thought it was consensual.

In the end, sexual assault is a very serious allegation. It’s not something that should be taken lightly, not even eluded to in conversation unless it’s true. And what’s tough is that even if it comes out that the guy is innocent, no one speaks on it. It’s kind of expected to just go away. As for the guy, he is stuck with this stigma for life.


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