There is an eye-opening statistic that states that reality television have increased to 57% of all television shows that can be found on our screens. Being as though these shows are not actual “reality” is it good for our youth to watch? I believe that reality television affects our youth due to the stereotypes of women that are shown along with the positive and negative portrayals and how television is changing aesthetics norms. I will be analyzing the reality television series Basketball Wives and how this show displays these ideas.
Basketball Wives is about a group of minority women named Evelyn, Jennifer, Royce, Kesha, Kenya, Suzie, Shaunie, Nia and Tami, who are wives, ex-wives, ex-fiancées, or girlfriends of NBA basketball players. Some of them are close friends while the rest are strangers to one another. They get to know each other, hang out, go on vacations to try to interact and create friendship but when it’s a group of females it tends to get catty. Even though the show is filled with drama, gossip and fights it also has it moments where they’re involved with their children, bring women’s awareness to the show and talk about their pasts with their families and how it has affected them and their outlook on life and love.
Negative and Positive Portrayals
To begin with, one of the major issues with reality television is its’ negative portrayals of women. In a discussion paper The “Reality” of Health: Reality Television and the Public Health (2006), Maria and Peter talked about the negative and positives of reality television and how it can affect the younger audience because these shows have millions of viewers. The language and sexual content of the legal participants in today’s reality television can influence the younger targeted audience. Additionally, drinking and smoking is shown as something normal to do daily.
During almost every episode of Basketball Wives you see the women out at a gathering and they’re drinking and gossiping and that’s where many altercations began. On Episode 8 Evelyn threw a wine bottle at Kenya prior to hearing that she was gossiping about her with another cast member. She was ashamed of her actions because she states that her children could’ve been watching the show and she doesn’t want them to view her actions as okay. Additionally, on Episode 12 Tami bullies Kesha by keeping her purse hostage and not allowing her to have it back. The police were contacted because Tami wouldn’t give Kesha her purse back. Last but not least, during Episode 9 Nia slapped Jennifer and it bought along legal actions because Jennifer then filed a lawsuit. This negative behavior that is being daily broadcasted as reality television is affecting our society. According to Adrien, “This image is a false reality as to who women are. The portrayal of women on television does not accurately represent who women are today and judges their weaknesses, sexuality, appearance, and personalities. My opinion on Adrien’s words is that it’s true in a sense because if you think about it there aren’t many reality television shows about hardworking women but there are so many negative portrayals of women being displayed.
During the last episode of this season the executive producer Shaunie O’neal who is the ex-wife of Shaquille O’neal went and talked with her pastor about her career. She talked about how she feels disgusted with the violence and drama on the show. While talking with her pastor she mentioned that she wonders what her business partners thinks of her based upon this show and she questions herself about if the show should be cancelled due to its content over the years because she feels that it’s embarrassing to the image of women.
On the other hand, there are a few positive portrayals of women that are displayed also. There