Jennifer Pitt

Reality TV – The Death of Us All



I laughed and laughed at my poor parents when I was young (13-16) because they told us all that MTV was ruining our lives.

It wasn’t. It was music videos to giggle about, interviews with musicians we swooned over in all the teen magazines. It was a connection to celebrity that was the most we would ever have, because none of US would ever get backstage anywhere.

That’s how it worked back then. If you knew someone who was on television or in a band, YOU were famous.

Today, MTV is actually ruining the lives of teenagers everywhere. Right alongside TLC, which should be ashamed of still calling itself The Learning Channel.

Don’t get your panties in a bunch, I have proof.

Jenelle Evans. Amber Portwood. Snooki. The Situation. Now, to be fair, Snooki was probably already three-quarters of the way down that road anyway, so let’s worry about her unborn baby’s life.

It’s cool to get Pregnant at 16, or to be a Teen Mom. You can get paid for that now!! Want to be encouraged to get drunk and fight people on camera for money? Head to New Jersey!

I am not a fan of reality TV (ed. – good thing you clarified.). I watched the first Survivor, when reality television was relatively unheard of, and I loved it! We were hooked, we couldn’t wait for the second season. Cue the second season premiere – wow, more of the same?? No thanks. The love affair was over.

As the gong show rolled on, it got worse and worse. I was so much happier, and the world was so much more divided between the true stars and the serfs, before we all had to learn the names Paris, Nicole, and Kim. The world was a lovely place when people actually had to do something to be famous, not just be rich. Remember acting? I don’t know if I do, anymore.

There are shows on buying storage lockers, foreclosures, beating people up, chasing people down for the law, catching crab, catching crabs (looking at you, Jersey Shore!), killing bugs, hoarders, drug addicts, half-naked toddlers, people dancing, people dying, and families that are eventually torn apart.

Amber Portwood asked a judge to send her to prison – PRISON – because she couldn’t do rehab. I happen to think that was a very wise choice, given that she herself admitted she would never complete rehab, and hopefully this will be the beginning of her life weaving itself back together post-MTV.

Shows like Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant are all but encouraging young girls to get pregnant. It’s a meal ticket now, a way out of the  one-horse towns they all live in, and a means to get away from the no-good deadbeat that knocked her up. You don’t think that’s how little girls are thinking? Go eavesdrop at a high school smoking area.

Toddlers & Tiaras. I am hesitant to give it any attention at all because I am horrified that this is even a show. Dressing up your tiny daughter like a hooker and having her parade provocatively on television. And be shocked when you’re vilified in your town because your 4-year old has a viral video of her singing I’m Sexy and I know it on YouTube. And the other side of that coin is that we, as consumers, allow this show to be aired with objection and then condemn the families on it.

I endeavor to do none of those things, either vilify or condemn. I am of the opinion that if I don’t like it, I don’t have to watch it. And I don’t.

I think Toddlers & Tiaras is just putting it out there for the wrong people to consume.

If you ever want to watch the full life cycle of a child on Toddlers & Tiaras to see where these little monsters end up, keep up on Teen Mom, to be followed by Intervention.

All that aside, however, a mea culpa: Dirty Jobs makes my life.

Feature Photo Credit: Ironic, no?

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