Are You Becoming a Reality TV Star?
By Kendra Koger
In 1892, Charlotte Perkins Gilman penned “The Yellow Wallpaper.” After having a child and suffering with what we would now call postpartum depression, the female protagonist’s husband decided that isolating her in an old nursery with only a pencil and a journal would cure her. All she had to visually focus on was the yellow wallpaper that decorated the room. Instead of being soothed by it, the wallpaper brought up memories of horrible things that she had witnessed that were also yellow. At the end (SPOILER ALERT!) she began to believe that she saw a woman trapped within the confines of the flowers that decorated the wallpaper. Eventually, in a fit of hysteria, her husband found her clawing at the paper to free the woman, whom she then identified with (“I’m free!”), and crawling on the floor.
Within the 120 year span the story still seems very relevant to women today. With ever growing technology some people seem to favor hi-tech interactions and submit themselves to self-imposed isolation. Then, with the prevalence of reality television it makes me wonder what women are seeing when they are looking at their own technicolor wallpaper.
Now, I’m not going to lie, I find some reality television very interesting, and at the heart of it it is the feuds that keep me watching. However, at what point of time does it start getting old?
Piggy backing off what Wendy Williams said on her show on February 20th, the physical brawls, especially between women in their 30s and 40s is starting to get a little embarrassing. But honestly, I begin to feel the most embarrassed when I’m out and see two girls get into an argument. Right before it turns to fisticuffs, you hear them spout out something that a reality star said before her fight on television.
It’s as if these women, after finally being released from the entrapment of their living rooms, begin to see themselves as the women in these shows, or see it as an acceptable way of behavior. However, in reality TV, their situations are being manipulated and not indicative of how society actually works. First, [some of]these reality show participants are being shut away from the world to help create the tension that brings in the viewers. Then, when they do fight, most of the time their ultimate punishment is being “kicked out of the house.”
To the women who try to emulate their behavior, you’re not being shut away. You have means to cool down and to get away from what’s frustrating you. Finally, if you get into a fight, there’s a good chance that you will get arrested. The rules of reality television don’t apply to the real world, and it honestly confuses me when I see women (if you’re 18+, I’m talking about you, Honey) who are so amped to brag about their future fighting exploits and the tips that they picked up from watching reality television.
If you want to watch it, that’s fine, get your entertainment where you can; however, once you begin to want to free that angry woman from the television that you feel is growing inside of you, please, turn the wallpaper off.
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