Wednesday, September 06, 2006

for the record . . .


People on reality tv may be portraying themselves but they have also been edited into characters for a show. As with any other public image they are products of the media, a place where "people" become "media personalities." Individuals are always being defined by external forces that are beyond their control. And those forces shape their sense of themselves to varying degrees. People are always inhabiting -- and resisting -- characters that have been created for them. That is how stereotypes operate. In the media this process is enlarged and exaggerated. Television relies heavily on stereotypes as a kind of shorthand for conveying character to viewers. Audiences respond to these characters, not to what the person is "really" like. We can never know the actual individual if the only way we encounter them is through the media.

That said, the people on reality tv programs have made the conscious choice to participate in this socio-tainment (entertainment in the form of a sociology experiment). They are not hiding from the spotlight. They want to be on television. They want to be famous. They want to be a celebrity. They want to be media personalities. If that character is not an accurate -- or even fair -- depiction then that's just one of the prices they have to pay for their 15 minutes.

And no one is listening to me anyway.

Fair enough.


2 comments:

kim said...

"And no one is listening to me anyway."

i'm listening! you're a fun read. and i'm SO with you on 1. vincent, 2. michael knight, and 3. PR's apparent bias this season against the female designers on the show. auf'ing katie for a design that was too basic and "boring," while vincent's black tunic walked the runway unscathed? auf'ing alison after one misstep when vincent had consistently sent crap down the runway? giving vincent the "loved ones" win for that basic black sheath with the flying nun collar, while ignoring uli's fabulous confection?

ah, well. it's reality television: why should anything about it be real? :D

trixie b said...

Thanks Kim! I appreciate your encouragement. And I agree with you about Katie. I loved her design. It was such a great use of color too. It is one of the PR creations that I would most like to have myself . . and the hoodie too . . . one for me and one for my dog!!
But I figure that since my comments can be rather harsh I would like to make it clear that they aren' personal since I don't know these people personally. I'm really commenting on it as entertainment. And it isn't very entertaining for me to watch the female designers not being treated fairly!