Home » Beauty » Reality Show Women are Mean Girls…Reality Shows Encourage Bullying!

Reality Show Women are Mean Girls…Reality Shows Encourage Bullying!

It’s Me!



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On Monday April 9th, after tuning in for my weekly [guilty] pleasure of Basketball Wives, I was more disappointed in Basketball Wives than ever before; Episode 8 showed these reality girls completely bashing Kenya, one of the newer cast members, for her pursuit to become a pop singer.  If you are one of the girls of The Real Housewives, Love and Hip Hop and Basketball Wives Franchises, being a mean girl comes with a hefty paycheck; however, an even larger price is paid every time these characters are given a public outlet to bully others, destroying the confidence and esteem of other members of these shows and projecting the message that bullying is justified when you’re upset and looking to establish “the bottom line” to girls all over the world.  According to the federal government’s initiative, http://www.Stopbullying.Gov, bullying is defined as:

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.

Every time VH1 and BRAVO air their highly rated “reality” shows, they are making a statement about why bullying should continue and why it is not only the behavior of children.

The women of these shows, who in most cases are mothers, are rewarded lucrative six-figure paychecks by these show’s creators and producers to “act out” week by week in violent fights where they hurl glasses and other objects that can cause serious bodily injury.  Desperately in need of anger management and mental health professionals, these women catastrophically become enraged over issues that many would call trivial.  Without apology, the term ‘bitch’ is used as the replacement to individual identity, even when it is being used under protest (on Episode 4 of Basketball Wives, one of characters, Kesha, asked another character, Tami, to not refer to her as ‘bitch’ and Tami proceeded to call her a ‘bitch’ three more consecutive times). http://www.vh1.com/video/shows/full-episodes/episode-4/1680466/playlist.jhtml

I’ve noticed the entire time I am watching these shows I am engaged in a full-fledged diatribe with these reality show women.   Why I repeatedly subject myself to this distress is a mystery to me.  This very behavior played out time and again in my profession as an educator. When my students become confrontational with one another, it’s just like watching one of these reality shows except now it’s live! These shows almost serve as how-to manuals for bullying and dishonoring the humanity of others. For example, if someone calls a person “loose” as opposed to making any other claims that suggests that a person may be promiscuous and then cannot recall exactly which word they used to describe the sexual history / behavior, one should throw wine bottles scarcely missing the head of other “non-threatening” people. After all, this is what we’ve seen take place in an episode if Basketball Wives (http://www.vh1.com/video/misc/753796/earrings-out-bottles-thrown.jhtml ). Or, if the new girl confesses to having a sexual tryst with one of the mean girls’ beau, the friends of the mean girl should fight the new girl to avenge the mean girl’s embarrassment—at least this was the behavior we saw take place in Love and Basketball by two of its characters (http://www.vh1.com/video/shows/full-episodes/still-look-pretty/1674232/playlist.jhtml).

While there is no Federal Anti-Bullying law, on Thursday March 10th, 2011, President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, The Department of Education, and The Department of Health and Human Services hosted a White House Conference on Bullying Prevention (www.whitehouse.gov) and 49 states have passed school anti-bullying legislation.  For acts of bullying outside of the school, these abuses can be addressed via other federal governmental departments and civil rights legislation.  Clearly some of these shows need to be sanctioned by the FCC for poor taste and judgment, but more importantly for showing that it is okay to bully and to get handsomely rewarded for being a mean girl. The drama of these shows draws high ratings speaking volumes about what keeps the attention of viewers today, but there is also something to be said about the fact that these women have, in various interviews, discussed their desires to use these shows to launch entrepreneurial endeavors—Jennifer Williams from Basketball Wives has a lip gloss line called lucid (http://www.lucidcosmetics.com ), Nene Leakes has been seen in shows like GLEE, and many of the other women are in successful real estate and other business ventures.  Those stories are excellent and should be highlighted rather than the contradictory behavior that deflects from the public’s view of these women as viable business women. Instead, episode after episode, season after season, we see wounded grown women and mothers acting out like scared and wounded mean girls.

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