Influence of Reality TV on Society

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There are multiple perspectives on reality TV, which is why many people ask, ‘What is reality TV?’. The definition given in the Dictionary is as follows: “Reality TV is television programs in which real people are continuously filmed, designed to be entertaining rather than informative” (Dictionary). Things today in our everyday lives are being filmed for others’ entertainment. Love and relationships, someone's ability to cook, a family’s financial income, anything and everything is being filmed. Now, with the mass production of reality shows, there are supposed guidelines and expectations to everyday lives. No one is going to do what they like, but instead, follow these ‘stars’ who have set what society accepts. Outlandish trends that have been set by today's stars are, a thin body with enhanced buttocks and breasts, lavish cookie-cutter homes, and relationships built for popularity, not love.

The visual or guidelines to the ideal female body have always associated with terms as slim, thin, skinny. That is not the case with how the body of a woman is viewed today. Some TV shows have set outlandish trends, such as enhanced buttocks and breasts. The Kardashians are in the lead for these trends because they are the most popular group to promote that body image. Their social media platforms have a copious amount of pictures that broadcast and flaunt their outrageous hour-glass figure. Raking in millions of dollars for a few posts of public indecency. Their hit reality TV, ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ shows that and more. The author of DASH Amerika, Buysse, once asked the following: “As watchers of the reality television show and digital humanists alike, we ask: ‘What does it really take to keep up with the Kardashians?’”. This truly highlights what the consumers of reality TV are going through. Many commonly believe that their physical attributes must be similar to these so-called stars, but without the money and the lavish lifestyle, it is nearly impossible for views to meet these pathetic guidelines. Along with physical traits, many long to have lavish homes as seen on TV.

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There are numerous reality TV shows that are a group of people, maybe a couple, or a single person, on fixing or flipping houses. Some popular ones that many know consist of ‘Fixer Upper’, ‘Flip or Flop’, ‘Property Brothers’ and one that was the most commonly known, ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’. As time has passed, there have been numerous shows added to the genre. With more and more overlap in this selection of reality TV, the more common every house renovation is. Modern houses seem similar within each show. Cookie-cutter homes. Home renovation should be about what an individual wants, not modern. Many get shamed if they don’t follow these pathetic guidelines these TV shows have set. Many have become followers and are afraid to do their own thing. When in reality, what everyone sees on TV is not what the family gets. Journalist Lauren Piester looked into this and stated: “None of the furniture or decor that Jo so carefully arranges is included in the budget, so the homeowners only get to keep it if they want to pay extra. Not all the rooms in each house get redone, and there have been unsubstantiated claims that Chip only actually works on the house while cameras are rolling”. The decor is the same in every single house because it is never truly bought, it is simply used for decoration for the show. Proving that there is nothing original about these reality shows on home makeovers, and that they are truly a stunt for money and views.

Relationships typically are, and should be, private between the two who are in the relationship. No matter husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, fiance, no matter the length or extremity of the relationship, what goes on within it is typically private. With the reality TV shows like the ‘The Bachelor’ and ‘The Bachelorette’ broadcast a relationship between 1 male or female, with a total of 30 ‘contestants’. Everything within the building relationships within the show is broadcasted nationwide for everyone to enjoy. Once the shows wind down it comes down to two contestants and the final one is the one who gets proposed to. The winner is typically the fans choice. That is not true love, and neither is the following: “In the reality television program ‘Temptation Island’, which topped ratings in many countries, young couples agree to test the strengths of their relationships by living with a group of attractive, eligible singles of the opposite sex” (Vandenbosch). Not only do these shows promote shallow relationships, they are broadcasting building relationships for viewers as content. This is where these producers promote relationships for fame and attention, not true love.

Outlandish trends that have been set by today’s stars are a thin body with enhanced buttocks and breasts, lavish cookie-cutter homes, and relationships built for popularity, not love. U.S. News discovered results of a survey that presented the following: “Researchers asked 1,100 girls aged 11 to 17 about their viewing habits. On the one hand, watching reality TV was tied to increased self-esteem and the level of respect girls expected in dating relationships. On the other hand, it also was tied to an increased focus on appearance and a willingness to compromise values for fame” (U.S. News, ‘The Reality of Watching Reality TV’). These results truly represent how the stars of reality TV can have such an impact on all viewers of all ages, specifically young teenage girls. The outrageous stereotypes and the impossible body goals to reach leave many feeling discouraged. The perfect homes on TV. Make many long to have lavish homes when the ones shown are just for show. Now many have low expectations when dealing with relationships while the ones being broadcasted are artificial. Reality television has set awful expectations for society and should shift their content to show the real reality.

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Influence of Reality TV on Society. (2023, March 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 15, 2024, from
“Influence of Reality TV on Society.” Edubirdie, 01 Mar. 2023,
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