5.04.2014

Vulgarity No More on Reality TV



Dear Fellow Connoisseurs,

I have been wanting to do this video for such a long time discussing the disturbing trend of violent, vulgar and crude behavior on reality TV. The straw that broke the camel's back was watching only 5 minutes of the recent Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion Show where I got an eye-full of violence, crass language, crude gestures and copious amounts of vulgarity. And it's not just this show, it's so many Reality TV shows on the air right now.

Whether we like it or not these "stars" are inadvertent role models for our young generation of girls. Do we really want our young ladies to see this kind of behavior on television that is being billed as "reality" and think that it is acceptable? As I wrote in my Huffington Post article from last year, is vulgar really the new normal?

Well if these women on reality TV can express themselves, so can we. We need to send a message to the networks that we are tired of watching manufactured cat fights, unnecessary violence and mouthful after mouthful of vulgar language. Our young girls need positive role models: women who embody kindness, intelligence, grace and class. We need to tell our young girls that they do not need to be a negative drama queen to get ahead and get noticed, that they don't need to be jealous of other women but rather should be supporting each other, that they do not need to exploit themselves in order to attract a man. This may be the reality on television, but it is not our reality.

If you feel as passionate about this messages as I do, please share my blog post or video using the hashtag #VulgarityNoMore

And thank you for continuing to be a part of this special community of daily connoisseurs, where we can create our own reality while pursuing beauty, intelligence, expansion and elegance together.

Yours Truly,

Jennifer x

PS- if you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or check out my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

See you soon!

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25 comments:

Mavie Miller said...

Well said! I am in full support of this movement! I, personally, do not watch reality TV shows for the very reason you have mentioned here and I appreciate your efforts to bring this matter to a more public light. Audrey Hepburn has always been one of my role models I know she would approve this message.

P.S. The book, "What Would Audrey Do?" is such a sweet book that paints a beautiful picture of what her life was like.

Evaline said...

Hi Jennifer, Thanks for taking a stand. I have not seen many reality shows, and I became so bored and frustrated with shows that I cancelled my cable a couple of years ago and my husband and I are SO happy without it...we will never go back.
We do enjoy some old TV shows on our tablet in bed. We watch a lot of British, Italian, and of course, French movies onine and from our library.

I think the vulgarity issue goes much deeper than TV/movies. Maybe schools and universities need to start teaching courses in decency and manners before these things get lost to the newer generations. We can't be worried about sounding old fashioned.
Bravo, Jennifer. P.S. I just finished book called Letters from Paris by Janice MacLeod. She sold her TV and gave up many other things to move to Paris.

Madeleine Lawrence said...

Hi Jennifer,

I completely agree with you on this issue. And yes, we have to be role models for our girls, and importantly, minimise their exposure to this type of behaviour.
Unfortunately when they become teens and start to move towards independence Mum is no longer the main role model. This is where we need to be strong and carefully filter media and even friendships if we want our girls to stay on the right path. And of course keep trying to be a good role model, and provide other good role models via film, books etc..
I have bought my 14 year old daughter (and 11 year old son) some great books on etiquette and life including 'How To Be Lovely - the Audrey Hepburn Way of Life'. Whilst the title sounds a bit pre-Feminism, the message is all about kindness, having a good work ethic,having a positive attitude etc..
Madeleine.X

Ella Kova said...

Jennifer,

Thank you for bringing up this issue. I think that this negativity in reality shows actually spilled into sitcoms for kids and teens and it does affect children's perception of the world and the roles we play in it. I recently cancelled my cable after noticing that I'm not watching TV but just clicking channels, trying to avoid either excessive amounts of commercial or those types of shows. We do need to become more selective in what we "feed" our kids and orselves in terms of pop culture.

M.Lane said...

Amen.

ML

helen tilston said...

Hello Jennifer
You echo my thoughts exactly. As a wise mentor once told me "be very careful what you put into your head" He said it is ok to watch television but be selective and choose what you wish to watch."
I have your blog to my facebook page.
Another topic a friend wrote of recently is tattoos.
We feel many will regret this trend as they age. We concluded that making permanent decisions on a fad at a young age is never a wise decision.
Thank you for this post

Helen

BeccaA said...

Jennifer, you have said it so well here. I have never liked or watched reality TV for exactly these reasons. However, I think the vulgarity, meanness, and poor values go across many more TV shows than just the "reality" shows. TV news doesn't usually have the depth to delve into a story intelligently, and often it does devolve into name calling instead of fact checking. I got rid of TV in my home about 5 years ago. Thank you for using this forum to discuss this issue.

Jennifer Branch said...

We cancelled our cable about 5 years ago when there was nothing but reality tv on. We have Amazon prime and movies, but no ads ever. If I want news I read it.. I love no cable!
The problem is even mentioning these shows gives them the attention they are clamoring for. So why give them that?

LadyFin said...

I have felt the same way for some time now and have as a result watched less and less television. I must admit that with the television off I have learned to enjoy a variety of other activities which has been nice. I do think that some of the blogs that I like to visit would make excellent television shows. I think that when you see how other people live it can be very comforting to know that in another part of the world there are women going through similar challenges. The dramatic fiction on reality shows is not something I can relate to and it just comes across as cheap and silly. Great post Jennifer!

colorformtexture.com said...

Jennifer, thanks for bringing up this issue. In additions to the points you made, I have a few additional thoughts. If we watch these shows, we open ourselves to letting their drama become our drama. In other words, we find that we are replaying what X said to Y, and how A treated B. That brings the huge issue of negativity into our lives. And it also wastes precious time that we could be using to live a real fulfilling life of our own. We only have 24 hours each day. How sad to waste precious time escaping our own reality by viewing someone else's "reality" - for entertainment. How bizarre!

Mary @ colorformtexture.com

wabisabiwife.com said...

I agree completely. The vulgarity and base behavior is disturbing. I struggle to not feel like an old curmudgeon about this, but where did manners go?

Sarah said...

Reality TV is crude and vulgar, no question. But I would caution using TV as a barometer for our society in general. TV is a horrible and distorted ambassador. While it seems to represent an all-prevailing culture, it doesn't. My son is a college athlete and of all the games we've attended this year, only one university had a handful of disgusting fans. The rest were all enthusiastic, polite and gracious. So many young people I meet today of all ages and in all areas of our society are fantastic, articulate, generous and full of self control. When I see the flip side, I am more likely to feel compassion, because they WILL be hurt by their behavior one day. In the wonderful words of NYTimes photographer Bill Cunningham, "If you look for beauty, you will find it!"

Toinette deBrebis said...

You are so right. Thank you for speaking up about this.Obviously we have a choice about what we watch but it's difficult to understand why it is considered entertainment to watch grown women behave in such a degrading way. Obviously the producers of these shows encourage this kind of behavior.

I truly appreciate your approach to life.

Susanne said...

Well said. That is exactly why I stopped watching things like The Bachelor/bachelorette... crude, vulgar filth. Because I, like you, enjoy seeing how other people live, I will watch things like the little couple or the duggars. It's fascinating seeing their lives & no vulgarity or crude drama!

Mary Newton Designs said...

Yay, Jennifer! I don't watch TV at home but I work with patients in a hospital so I see bits and pieces of so many shows. While I'm not 100% against vulgarity I am sick of the superfluous use of it on TV and movies. And really, I don't know any women who scream at each other and use physical violence. Do people really think this is normal or admirable? Obviously, not only do we not want our children watching this but we must be examples for them as well. Thanks for your post!

Erin said...

High five for making this video. I am a Canadian living in London and it is soooo refreshing to see documentary style TV on the REAL issues people face - I'm enthralled by the subjects they cover. THIS is the way reality TV should go…as you said, there really is enough natural drama to document.

Stephanie Hoff Clayton said...

I completely agree with you. I rarely watch tv shows and have never seen this particular one but I've heard of it.
I am often on my own "soapbox" with this very topic. I resided abroad for over a decade and when I returned to live stateside, I experienced how crass and distasteful our popular culture, particularly television shows, had become in a relatively short time.
Thank you for taking a stand, Jennifer.

Rita said...

Jennifer,

Very well said! I agree with Helen's comment as well. I will add one other trend I've noticed - so many people now yawn without covering their mouths. This is so rude, it feels like a slap in the face.

I don't have cable TV - Netflix and Amazon Prime are better choices.

I'm glad to see others feel the same about this issue.

Rayna St. Pierre said...

I agree with you!
But I also take solace in that there are some high quality shows out there (mostly on PBS) that continue to stay on the air because they are so popular and maybe reflect our yearning for a different way of life: shows such as Downton Abbey, Antiques Roadshow (as you mentioned) and even some of the reality family shows on TLC.
I that the moms above who are offering alternatives such as books on Audrey Hepburn and etiquette are on the right track.
Might I also suggest sitting down with your kids as they're watching? My boys always want to try out the new shows on Nickelodeon, many which feature tweens acting rudely. I always allow a trial viewing and even for the shows that we've approved, we sit down with them so that we can say things like, "Well, that was kind of rude!". Believe it or not, they don't always recognize what that is!
And I very much like Evaline's suggestion to teach courses in decency and manners. Even as I decry all that we teachers have to make up for in character education, it is what it is, and if in-school etiquette training will do it, I'm all for it!

Linda LaRoche's Blog said...

I too have written on the subject: http://lindalaroche.com/blog/tame-the-rage-within.html. When it comes to the television, it becomes necessary to let things go, and refrain from judging others since we can choose not to watch. Your not alone, there are others out there who are sensitive and practice a life of aesthetic. Respect for others denotes respect for self.

CherryLips said...

Thank you for your thoughts that have prompted many inspiring comments encouraging us as women to stand as examples of refinement, femininity, and respect.

Your comments reminded me of a talk given by one of my church leaders several years ago. Margaret D. Nadauld gave a talk titled "The Joy of Womanhood" in October 2000. In this talk she counseled:

"Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity."

Tenisha Jonece said...

I LOVE REALITY TV...HGTV ;)

Summer :) said...

I couldn't agree more!!! I give you a standing ovation! Please, keep it up! I'm trying to do my part, it is embarrassing, to hear and see/hear these girls/ladies.

Roberts Tracy said...

I seriously loved in reading this blog reflecting and based on real inner beauty of a women.

Dana Buchmiller said...

I loved this post so much that I shared it on facebook. Thank you so much for talking about such an important topic in today's world. I think we should fight for wholesome, enriching entertainment -the kind that makes us better people. I love you blog. It is one of the highlights of my week. :)

 
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