Is it Reality Shows’ Faults?

Carolyn - Wellesley, Massachusetts
Entered on March 15, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

“I saw on TV someone with this shirt. So now I need it,” said my fourteen-year-old sister Charlotte. She is one of those teenage girls who think being like a TV star is all you need in life. I believe that reality shows send the wrong message to the audience. On The Hills and Laguna Beach all these “stars” are drinking underage like its no big deal. Many people my age watch all those reality shows on MTV, including my two little sisters.

Charlotte has always been interested in those kinds of shows, because she thinks those people can get away with anything. This is because they look perfect and use their connections to get out of everything. So now Charlotte thinks if her hair and her makeup are perfect her life will be flawless. One day she was telling me about how with all her friends their hair always has to be perfect with no split ends. Therefore, she gets her hair cut almost twice a month. Charlotte is in 8th grade, so she decides she’s going to slack off because it doesn’t matter until next year. One reason she is doing this is because all her friends are so it HAS to be cool. The other reason is because if she cared about her work she wouldn’t be able to hang out with her friends as much. She thinks if she doesn’t hang with her Wellesley friends all the time she will lose them all. In return she lost her lifelong friends. My other sister Tina, who is twelve-years-old, looks up to Charlotte and thinks if she acts like Charlotte she will get many friends. But, the reality shows are fooling Charlotte by telling her to rebel against the rules to be the “popular” one. So, Charlotte is teaching Tina this, and she is starting to get obnoxious and is getting self conscious about her weight. She is slightly chubby and Charlotte keeps picking at her about her weight. She also used to just wear what my mom would buy her, but now she just needs to wear Hollister and Abercrombie and Fitch. Charlotte told her if you don’t wear their stores’ clothing, you are an official loser.

Are reality shows the reason why girls stress to be perfect? It sure does stress out my little sisters. You see all these girls in the hallway bragging to each other about how they saw someone with the same shirt or even jeans as them. All their friends will listen in awe, because it’s such a great accomplishment in their life.