Does Reality TV Promote Dangerous Stereotypes?

Does Reality TV Promote Dangerous Stereotypes?

Harmless entertainment or damaging content?
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Shiny bulging muscles, loud and unintelligent screaming, tangerine skin, hair gel, grotesque alcohol consumption, over-sexualized disposition… What reality TV show fits this description? Better question: what ethnicity fits this description?

“Jersey Shore” premiered in 2009, and despite the 3.5/10 rating it received, the reality TV show about a group of young adults tearing it up at South Miami Beach became a huge epidemic. Maybe the show got so much traffic because of how ridiculous its subjects acted; this kind of outlandish behavior has proven to do well with American television consumers. This is why the reality TV industry has become a multi-million dollar one.

But despite how much talk and how many views this program received, the main problem was this: all of the people on the show are Italian-Americans and perpetuate that group’s nastiest stereotypes.

“Jersey Shore” is a prime example of how often reality TV shows promote dangerous stereotypes of certain groups of people, and it is just one of many programs to do so. Everyone remembers “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” How could you not? TLC chronically portrays this featured family, living in McIntyre, Ga., as a bunch of nose-picking, lard-eating hooligans. While some viewers claimed that the show was “must-see TV,” many criticized it for being highly offensive for people residing in the South. This program took hold of a popular stereotype (southern redneckery and unintelligence) and exemplified it, making a laughing stock of an entire region.

People always hear older generations complaining about the corrupt nature of today’s millennials. A special 'thank you' goes out to the creators of reality TV shows like “Bad Girls Club” for perpetuating that stereotype.

Even in reality TV shows that aren’t focused on a specific race or region like “The Kitchen” or the presently popular “Bachelor,” the producers make sure to fill the cast with cheap architypes that reduce the characters to stereotypes. This supposedly makes the plot engaging or easy to follow and enhances humor in some way (the heavy-chested dumb blonde girl that doesn’t respect herself, the headstrong black woman that loves to start fights, etc).

Stereotypes are restricting to our society and stunt the growth and progression of equality. It is evident that some divisions of television have recognized this, but in general, reality TV is unauthentic and corrupt. This is something television consumers should keep in mind when plugging in to their favorite show. Some programs, like "The Biggest Loser," don't utilize grotesque stereotypes because it's not necessary to the plot or message—there's no denying that. For the sake of the groups that are being profiled through this outlet, we must hope that the industry will find a more organic way to provide entertainment in a form that doesn’t perpetually offend people.

Cover Image Credit: Meredith Turney.com

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9 Eligible Princes You Need To Know About Now That Prince Harry Is Off The Market

You too could have a Meghan Markle fairytale
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Prince Harry's royal wedding is officially over and there won't be another British royal wedding for quite some time now, as Prince George is way too young to start thinking about that. Fortunately, there are plenty of other countries with plenty of other princes that are still eligible bachelors at the moment. Lucky for you, I did my research and compiled a list of all the eligible princes you need to know about know that Prince Harry has tied the knot with Meghan Markle.

1. Prince Louis of Luxembourg (31)

Prince Louis is the third son of the Grand Duke Henri and Duchess Maria Theresa of Luxembourg. He has recently become a bachelor again after his separation with his wife of 10 years, Princess Tessy.

Fun Fact: He graduated from Richmond, The American International University of London with a BA in Communications. He can also speak Luxembourgish (the fact that's even a language is fun fact by itself), French, German, and English fluently.

2. Prince Sebastien of Luxembourg (26)

Prince Sebastien is the youngest child of the Grand Duke Henri and Duchess Maria Theresa of Luxembourg, so if you marry him, you'll probably never actually be queen because he's pretty far removed from the throne. However, he's relatively young and single, so best of luck.

Fun Fact: For some bizarre reason, this prince actually went to college in Ohio. He played rugby and graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2015. Now, he is back in his home country and is an officer in the Luxembourg Army.

3. Prince Phillipos of Greece and Denmark (34)

You read that correctly, Prince Phillipos is the prince of not one, but two countries. He is the youngest son of King Constantine and Queen Anne Marie of Greece and Denmark. Unfortunately, Greece abolished their monarchy, so he's a prince in name only there.

Fun Fact: Like Prince Sebastien, Prince Phillipos also went to college in the United States. He earned his B.A. in foreign relations from Georgetown University in 2008. Fortunately, for us American girls, he is actually still living in the US and he works in New York City as an analyst at Ortelius Capital.

4. Prince Albert of Thurn and Taxis (34)

Ever heard of Thurn and Taxis? No? Me neither. Anyways, Prince Albert is from the House of Thurn and Taxis, which is essentially a very old German aristocratic family. He is the son of Prince Johannes XI of Thurn and Taxis and Countess Gloria of Schonburg Glauchau. His family is well known for their breweries and castles, so unless you're gluten-free, you can't really complain.

Fun Fact: He's not just a prince. He's also a racecar driver and 10 years ago he was ranked 11th on Forbes Magazine's List of The 20 Hottest Young Royals.

5. Prince Mateen of Brunei (26)

Prince Mateen is basically like all the guys you already know, except he's royalty. He's the prince of Brunei, which is a small country on the island of Borneo, south of Vietnam. He is one of the five sons of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, and he also has seven sisters. Maybe that's a little different than the guys you know, but one thing he takes very seriously, just like most frat guys, is his Instagram.

Fun Fact: Mateen enjoys playing polo, flying in his private plane, cuddling cute wild animals, and keeping up his Insta game with 890k followers. You can follow him @tmski.

6. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai (35)

Sheikh Hamdan also has a killer Instagram with 6.3 million followers. Anyways, Sheikh Hamdan is the billionaire crown prince of Dubai and the second son of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is the prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and essentially the king of Dubai (Emir). He's actually next in line for the throne because his older brother died in 2015.

Fun Fact: Hamdan's hobbies include skydiving, zip lining, and diving, just to name a few, so if you're an adrenaline junkie, Sheikh Hamdan is the prince for you.

7. Prince Hussein of Jordan (23)

Prince Hussain is the son of the extremely beautiful, Queen Rania and Abdullah II of Jordan and next in line for the Jordanian throne. At 23, he's already a second lieutenant in the Jordanian Armed Forces and he was the youngest person ever to chair a UN Security Council Meeting


Fun Fact: Like Prince Phillippos, Prince Hussain also graduated from Georgetown University in Washington D.C.. Also, like Prince Mateen and Prince Hamdan, he's Insta famous with 1.3 million followers and you can follow him @alhusseinjo.

8. Prince Constantine-Alexios of Greece and Denmark (19)

Like Prince Phillipos, Prince Constantine-Alexios also has two countries. Lucky for us though, he is also living in the US right now attending Georgetown University in Washington D.C. (like pretty much every other prince, amirite?) He is the oldest son of Crown Princess Marie-Chantal and Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece.

Fun Fact: He's Prince William's godson, so that's pretty neat. However, if that wasn't cool enough, you might like to know that this Greek/Danish prince was actually born in New York. Oh yeah, you can also follow him on Instagram @alexiosgreece where he has 88.7k followers.

9. Prince Joachim of Belgium (26)

Prince Joachim of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este is the third child of Lorenz, Archduke of Austria-Este and Princess Astrid of Belgium. Although he bears the title, "Prince of Belgium," he is also Archduke of Austria-Este, Prince Royal of Hungary and Bohemia, and Prince of Modena. Unfortunately, he'll probably never actually be king in any of these countries as he is ninth in line to the Belgian throne.

Fun Fact: Prince Joachim has degrees in economics, management, and finance, but he decided to join the Nautical School in Brugge after completing college and is currently an officer in the Belgian Navy.

Hope is not lost for all you girls dreaming of finding a Prince Charming that's literally a prince. After reviewing the data, my best advice is to transfer to Georgetown where princes are basically around every corner.

Cover Image Credit: @meghantheduchessofsussexstyle/Instagram

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Comics, Mangas, and Graphic Novels Are the Same

So relax and enjoy them for what they are.

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Chances are you've heard of the terms "comic books," "mangas," and "graphic novels." Will Eisner, responsible for popularizing the term "graphic novels," made a goal for comics to be seen as literature with critically acclaimed stories like "A Contact With God." Since then, writers like Art Spiegelman who wrote the classic "Maus," adopted the term to refer allegedly to a more mature form of comics.

Manga is important to Japanese art culture—many will be familiar with the original comics or anime adaptations of "Dragon Ball," "Sailor Moon," and "One Piece." It doesn't change the fact that calling these comics is still correct.

A comic is a story often told with visuals in multiple panels. Comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, and Mangas all have this, making them comics.

Take Charles Schulz's "Peanuts," one of the world's most popular four panels consisting of Charlie Brown and his friends' misadventures. Through decades of change within the characters and numerous re-releases of books, including the fantastic Fantagraphics Books, one could argue that these are comic books, graphic novels, or even manga if you read a Japanese translation.

It does not change the fact that "Peanuts" tells its stories through visuals, accompanied by speech bubbles and panels.

As for Manga—remember that the English translation of Manga (漫画 in Japanese using Kanji characters) is "comics." That means if someone reads Superman, an American creation in a Japanese translation, especially in Japan, they are reading a Manga. That doesn't mean they are wrong for calling Superman a comic, certainly not more so than reading a Dragon Ball comic in English oversea and calling it a comic book. There are no art styles exclusive to Japan, America or any other nations.

It's like arguing that anime is a different media from animation, when the only difference is that anime animation made in Japan.

Further confusing is the false assumption that comic books and graphic novels are somehow different. Doing so implies that comic books is inherently juvenile while graphic novels is the sophisticated medium made for adults. Despite this, nothing stops a comic book from being mature or a graphic novel from being childish.

It certainly hasn't stopped the Japanese comic industry from categorizing their comics into five different sections, kodomo (children), shonen (teenage males), shojo (teenage females), seinen (adult male), and josei (adult women), and still calling all of it comics.

Had Eisner not distributed "A Contract With God" through bookstores instead of comic shops that were popping up (granted not without justifications), there would be no doubt that graphic novels are comics.

There's no shame in calling a comic a comic. Either way, it's the medium that follows the most beloved gang of children being mean to each other like in "Peanuts," or follows the journey of a middle-aged man who lost his parents at a young age and now fights crime against Gotham's worst enemies like in Batman. It's the search for seven mystical Dragon Balls to grant a wish like in "Dragon Ball," or provide thoughtful commentary on the decline of superheroes in "The Watchmen."

So relax and enjoy them for what they are.

Cover Image Credit:

Mariamichelle | Pixabay

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