I couldn’t resist the title as I love alliteration. I really don’t like talking about celebrities, especially so-called reality show “stars.” I’ve seen the number of lacklustre reality shows increase so much in recent years and I’ve lost count of how many there actually are now. It seems as though EVERYONE has a reality show now. To each, their own, as I always say, but I don’t watch reality television. There may be some good ones, but I don’t make an effort to seek them out.
Sometimes I’m merrily surfing the internet when I come across a comment that I can’t believe is real. I have to check other sources to make sure it is actually legitimate and convince myself that it is real. Usually the comments are just silly, in a funny way, but more and more, they are bordering on the offensive.
Enter Kim Kardashian who supplied us with the worst comparison of the year. Kim K compared her 72-day marriage to an 18 year old teen’s battle with cancer. What?
This statement really upset me (and a lot of other people). I, like many others, have had friends and family members fight cancer. I lost my favourite grandparent to prostate cancer in 2008, and my maternal grandmother was only able to meet one of her many grandchildren when cancer took her at a relatively young age, robbing my mother of a parent as a teenager. I’m sure many people who have had cancer are rightfully angry at Kim K.’s insensitive statement.
A question I had was why do we, as a supposedly intelligent society, feel the need to ask such people for their opinions on sensitive matters? Judging from what I’ve heard and read about the Kardashians, Kim K. would be the last person I’d want to ask for a soundbyte about any subject that’s important. Why do we put such people on a pedestal? When did having one’s own reality show make one an authority on such matters?
Someone I know used the adjective “histrionic” to describe Kim K. The perfect word, I believe. What are reality shows really teaching society? Well, for starters they give people a skewed image of what life really is. Basically, we are shown that the best way to get ahead in life is to act catty, ignorant , drama-centred, selfish and vapid. If you’re all those things, people will like you. If you don’t act outrageous, ratings will fall. Are we as a society enabling their behaviour?
Keeping up With the Kardashians, the Real Housewives franchise (Vancouver, I’m ashamed of you for getting in on that), Jersey Shore (which was thankfully cancelled) ; all examples of terrible television, with the most superficial cast members. Nothing good can be learned from those shows but,unfortunately they have large followings of people who actually listen to their views on things. Think of the millions of people, especially the younger generation, who are vulnerable enough to emulate these people. The horror.
Finally, Miss Kardashian, unless you have actually had cancer, there is no way you can ever understand how a cancer patient or survivor feels, and it’s very wrong and arrogant, of you to say so. And even worse is downplaying a person’s situation and turning the limelight back on yourself. Divorce was your choice, nobody ever chooses cancer. Before you compare your own trivial matters with something serious, please think!
(Added on September 15,2012)
I’m currently reading a hilarious book about politeness and manners, called “Talk to the Hand” by Lynne Truss. She makes a comment about reality television which goes as follows: “Popular culture is fully implicated in the all-out plummeting of social standards. Abuse is the currency of reality shows. People being vulgar and rude to each other in contrived, stressful situations is TV’s bread and butter. Meanwhile the encouragement of competitive, material self-interest is virtually its only other theme.” Well said!