I Am Famous, Therefore I Am

1044 Words5 Pages
“Far from empowering the viewer – much less the contestant – what these [reality] shows ultimately accomplish is the act of dehumanizing society so that the lowest common denominator is held up as the greatest possible accomplishment” (Sexton). While Timothy Sexton's scathing comments about reality television may be a bit extreme, they are based on commonly held beliefs that reality television is abominable and will be (or is already becoming) the downfall of our society as a whole. Reality television may not be the most intellectual form of entertainment available, but I believe that the shift in societal norms from idol-worship to self-promotion has created an environment in which reality television's takeover is the only natural…show more content…
Why is this pattern of behavior so appealing and pervasive? Because that schedule is the same for everyone from the girl next door all the way up to Kim Kardashian, and it creates a kind of one-sided bonding. The people following celebrities online start to notice a trend. Kim Kardashian had an onion bagel for breakfast, and so did they. She loved the new episode of American Idol, and so did they. If over eight million people want to hear about every little thing that she does, they it stands to reason that they would want to hear about every little thing that you do, too. These “...changing attitudes toward privacy and self-expression” are the norm in today's world. “If you grew up with reality TV and the Internet, your default setting is publicity, not privacy.” (Poniewozik). It is this level of celebrity accessibility which leads to the lowering of standards of what exactly constitutes a celebrity. “Certainly in a celebrity-saturated society we’re more likely not only to be obsessed with the rich and famous, but also to suffer from the pangs of fame-hunger ourselves” (Eichelberger). Reality television is such a spectacular medium to satisfy this hunger because it combines the two extremes of celebrity and average Joe. You can follow famous people at home (a la Newlyweds or the new Ice Loves Coco), and you can watch regular people rise to their own fame (Jon & Kate, American Idol). So are reality shows
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