Many of us are regular viewers of the various reality television shows such as House Wives, Basketball Wives and Hollywood Exes. As a viewer, have you ever considered the impact these shows have on the image of women? Is it strictly entertainment, or does reality TV have the power to shape and influence one’s perspective? These questions and many more were answered during RealTalk LIVE online discussion on August 21st.
Nicole Daniels, a licensed marriage and family therapist, was our event moderator and presented some intriguing information. She opened up the discussion with the question, “What impact do you think reality TV has on women’s image?” Most of the attendees stated that, for them, it was strictly entertainment and they had not truly considered it’s impact. However, everyone did agree that most of the women on the shows were catty and combative.
One participant stated that they felt the majority of the show’s viewers were forty plus women and at that age they should be secure in who they are and not be influenced by what they see on television. Daniels quickly pointed out that many of the networks that broadcast these shows are not targeting adults; they’re audience are tweens and teens, which are an impressionable segment.
Another attendee, who has teenage daughters, openly shared how she blocked one of the networks on her television. She began to notice a change in her children’s behavior and decided to sit down with them and discuss how young ladies and women should present themselves. She strongly agreed that reality television has the ability to shape one’s perspective. Daniels encouraged parents in attendance to closely monitor the images their children or seeing on television and to talk to them about it.
Our only male participant was very insightful and presented to the group another impact of reality television. He was concerned about how men were being portrayed as well. He stated that looking at Love and HipHop, someone may get the impression that most men are womanizers. He shared that the show is a good example of how men in a relationship will do what their partner allows; women need to have high standards and expectations.
Daniels closed the discussion by pointing out the fact that as viewers we have a responsibility. If we want to see more positive images on television, we need to view and support the shows that display those images.
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Nicole Daniels owns and operates Family First Psychotherapy Services LLC (FFPS) in White Plains, Maryland. For more information about FFPS and their services, visit their website at http://www.familyfirstpsych.com/.