We all know that many reality shows can instill bad behavior, but did you know that they can actually be bad for your self-image?
The Girls Scouts Research Institute recently conducted a survey in which they surveyed 1,100 girls ages 11 to 17 about reality shows. Comparisons were made between viewers and non-viewers.
Findings indicated that girls who watch reality shows such as Jersey Shore, America’s Next Top Model, and Basketball Wives on a regular basis were more inclined to focus on their appearance than non-viewers. Additionally, these same viewers believe that the shows are reflective of real life and that the antics, such as lying and being mean, are normal, acceptable, and ultimately the best methods for excelling in life.
Some key results included:
- 73 percent of teen realty TV viewers surveyed believe that the shows demonstrate “that fighting is a normal part of a romantic relationship”
- 70 percent feel the shows “make people think it’s okay to treat others badly”
- 78 percent believe that gossiping between girls is normal
- 63 percent believe that it’s “hard” to trust other girls
The results also found that watchers expect and accept violent behavior and bullying in their own lives.
The study revealed many other disturbing facts, but all lead to one sad conclusion. Reality shows are destructive, and I think it would be wise to suggest that Christian girls steer clear of them–not only because they promote bad behavior, but also because they often cause teens to question their self-worth.
Self-esteem issues are commonplace for teen girls, and these struggles often lead to depression and/or eating disorders.
PI has previously discussed how teens are often influenced by celebrities, so it is hardly surprising that bad behavior is instilled or enhanced simply by watching these shows. The proof, or at least the indication, is reflected in the results of this study.
So why not stick to television shows that inspire and strengthen? Instead of choosing reality shows, pick shows that are educational and informative. Let’s not be influenced or shamed by shows that are shallow and destructive.
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Psalm 139:14