Modern television has been incredibly varied in its portrayals of women in recent years. More and more we are seeing strong women represented. Women that don't exist solely for men but have their own powerful story arcs. These women are becoming more diverse in their sexuality, gender expression, race and more. There is, however, still a lot of the age-old stereotypes of the damsel or the woman that exists as a love interest. These traits even exist sometimes in characters that are supposedly strong and capable, as they end up being thwarted or saved by men at the end of the day and thus cannot be without men. Reality TV stars are even worse as the women are crafted to be very extreme in all aspects, particularly in their sexuality, aggressiveness, and lack of sense. While TV has made more positive contributions to depictions of women that deserve recognition, there are still strides to be made, particularly in Reality TV and how a woman's sexuality and femininity is portrayed and the messages that are sent with that.
Reality TV can be particularly harmful to conceptions of women as women are often depicted negatively within this genre which we are taking to represent real women. Reality TV makes its viewers believe that it is normal for women's sexuality and life to be open to the public for viewing and discussion. Take Blac Chyna and her relationship with Rob Kardashian, featured on the show, Keeping Up With the Kardashians. After Kardashian blasted Chyna online as well as posted nude photos of her, Chyna came in with her own accusations about Kardashian abusing her. Instead of supporting Chyna, many chose Rob's side, ignoring the fact that Chyna is a victim and assuming she simply wanted attention due to the fact that she used to be a stripper and that she was on this show. It is very harmful to women when we assume that they are not telling the truth based off the fact that they participate in shows like this, as well as wrong that people assume they know or that they are entitled to know Chyna and her business just because they get to see into parts of her life.
To play devil's advocate, sometimes there is a reason that women try to put out an overtly feminine image. How many powerful self-made businesswomen do we see that didn't need to use glamour as often in our patriarchal society this is preferred to make women appear less threatening. On top of having to work hard as a woman to be successful in this world, women are subject to societal pressures to look like models and to not push too hard so that they are not perceived as a threat in a society that favors men. In this way, I think that while shows like KUWK do not necessarily positively portray women, the show does make for an interesting critique of what we as a society value in our women who are trying to work and maintain relationships just as we all do.
Ultimately I do not think Reality TV depicts women in a very positive light which is unfortunate due to the fact that this type of television is what we equate real life to being like. Reality shows depict women as dramatic, self-absorbed, bitchy, and with a purpose that lies in physical appearance. While this does bring up interesting points about our societies values and can highlight areas of society that needs more change, I think much of Reality TV paints women in a negative way that leads to negative views of women by its viewers and is not the type of media that we should idolize or put too much focus onto.