Published on December 12th, 2012 | by Kelie Kyser4
Mean Girls-Are Women Being Brainwashed?
“Any enemy of Kenya’s is a friend of mine.”
This callous confession flowed effortlessly from the lips of former super model Cynthia Bailey when referring to her frienemy during this week’s latest installment of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. What a diabolical proclamation– even if it was made in jest.
Lately, I’ve started to wonder how much this insidious form of “entertainment” resonates in our psyche. Could it be that The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and The Mob Wives of New Jersey are influencing the way women relate to one another?
I also question why we watch?
For what it’s worth, I openly admit I have developed an appetite for the shameful depiction of women cunningly veiled as reality. It’s fun to see ladies with over-the-top personalities, extreme wealth, famous friends and beautiful homes. And it’s amusing to watch them parade around ostensibly projecting an “average Joe” persona.
On top of it all, it’s comforting on a certain level, to observe people who appear to “have it all” encounter embroidered drama. It provides an escape from my own.
From table flipping to hair pulling and bottle throwing; my DVR is overloaded with footage that contends with Manny Pacquiao’s latest Pay-Per-View event. The altercations broadcasted on these shows are outrageous. Exhibiting conduct that far exceeds unladylike behavior – it’s downright savage.
Are women really this mean to each other or is the sisterhood being typecast by mainstream media?
And if art is in this case truly imitating life; is reality TV to blame?
There are two schools of thought regarding this topic. One is that viewers are not foolish enough to accept depravity as chicken soup for the soul. The audience is sensible; surely they will disregard the sinister parade after Sunday night.
Alternatively, a social experiment detailed in the book Blink suggests a different account. The controversial study (conducted by psychologist John Bargh) examined a theory identified as priming on 60 unsuspecting NYU students. Supposedly, when “primed”, an individual’s subconscious mind is influenced by words, visions, and sounds – prompting them to react to people and scenarios according to their obscured experience.
Is it possible the female viewing audience is being subjected to the same type of subliminal persuasion during any given Wives’ episode? Perhaps even encouraging us to disrespect and bully each other in the real world?
And while we’re on the subject, lest we forget, young ladies are watching too.
Real to Me, a national survey funded by Girl Scouts of America champions the argument that the portrayal of women’s relationships on reality television is unhealthy. The statistics in essence reveal the souls of future generations are being unequivocally altered.
And so, I believe, it may not be so far-fetched to conclude:
A correlation exists between the surge of mean girl behavior and reality TV. [Tweet this!]
What do you think?