I have a small confession to make. I enjoy Reality Competition shows. This summer I am watching Project Runway, Big Brother (for the first time), Wipeout (SO FUNNY) and Top Chef Desserts. Pretty much ANY food competition- from Iron Chef to Chopped to Food Network Challenge and Food Network Star- we will watch. During the "regular" season I watch Survivor, Top Chef and occasionally Design Star.
I also watch some of the...less competitive shows- What Not to Wear, Celebrity Rehab (It's a train wreck I can't stop looking at), Inside the Actor's Studio, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, DietTribe, Ghost Hunters, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, Tabatha's Salon Takeover- you get the idea.
That said- I feel that "reality" tv has gone too far. I speak specifically of Toddlers and Tiaras. There is a big controversy about this show at the moment. One of the "parents" (and I use that term loosely) dressed her 3 year old in the same "costume" as Julia Roberts wore as a hooker in Pretty Woman. Her defense to the controversy is "It's not like she's pushing the child into sports where she could get injured". My two cents on this is very simple- and has not changed due to the controversy. I feel that this show is nothing more than a parade of small children for pedophiles to get their jollies from. I pretty much loathe everything it stands for. I cannot believe that it is still on the air.
I don't come into this based on news reports and such, I have actually sat through a few episodes in order to form my own opinion. What I saw made me ill. I saw "mothers"-and I put that in quotations because I have seen pro sports coaches who were easier on their players- who tarted these little girls up with fake tans, fake teeth (seriously? Flippers because a child had the nerve to lose a tooth?), hair extensions and more makeup than I wear in a year. I saw them teaching them to "walk sexy" and "flirt with the judges". I saw them blow off their other kids because they were too busy coaching the little one. I saw several of them literally spending their last dime on formal wear for their 3 -7 year old and deny their other children. I saw them yelling and screaming at one another and their children who had the nerve to get tired waiting around or not win. That was just the parents.
The kids were a whole different story. Spoiled, obnoxious and bratty are the best way I can describe their behaviour. I saw them kicking, hitting, biting and screaming at their parents. I saw them behaving the same way with their siblings. I saw them pulling the whole "mean girl" thing on one another while the parents encouraged it. I saw them throw their things around and have hissy fits like I have never seen before because they were told "no". Their whole lives are wrapped up in what titles and trophies they win. How can any of this be healthy? These children are taught that they are to focus on their looks and can get away with anything as long as they perform on cue.
I feel like this show, and Jersey Shore (never seen it and won't watch) and the Real Housewives (seen it and won't watch) shows and the like are nothing more than rewarding people for bad behaviour. The more obnoxious these people are- the better the shows do and the more attention the shows get. I just don't understand that. Now- Survivor has had a few of these obnoxious cast members- and while watching I hoped for them to be voted off every single week. I don't think that behaving like an ass needs to be glorified. I was SO disappointed that Survivor brought *Russell* back season after season. It's not cute, it's not funny and to keep rewarding someone for being a jerk is not a good message to send.
So if you watch any of these shows on a regular basis- please share with me what the appeal is for you. I just don't get it.