What I Learned From Shameless

6 Things I Learned From 'Shameless' About Poverty

I found out what the reality is life for some people--and it's not pretty.

6 Things I Learned From 'Shameless' About Poverty

After giving into peer pressure, I finally began watching "Shameless" on Netflix (also partly because I ran out of shows to watch). "Shameless" is about a family of six kids, one father, and their neighbors who live in the projects and are in extreme poverty. The father is a dead-beat dad and an alcoholic who owes money to everyone. The kids are smart: class president, the perfect score on the SATs. Their mother left them and their big sister, Fiona takes care of all of them.

Not many people understand the idea of what it's like to live it the projects or how people live in poverty, but this show puts things in a very clear perspective that have you appreciating everyone a lot more and respect everyone's background.

Here are some things I learned from "Shameless" for those who go through poverty or live in a bad neighborhood:

1. Everyone helps each other out.


In the show, Fiona's neighbors are her best friends, helping each other with everything and borrowing everything from a toaster to a bathroom. Furthermore, people exchange food for babysitting or chores. This system of reliance on each other for trade without money, although ancient, becomes an essential key to surviving. (In the GIF is Kevin--Fiona's neighbor's boyfriend/husband?)

2. Food isn't what it seems.


In the show, many of the characters are seen watering down milk to have it last another day or the OJ (orange juice). Because Fiona's family can't afford to buy groceries on a daily basis, they work their best to make food last every day.

3. Stealing is normal.


Stealing for survival, not for fun. Throughout the show, you see Fiona and other characters stealing from parked delivery trucks or their work--anything left over that is simple to take home to eat to make it to the next day. For example, Fiona steals toilet paper from public restrooms and work.

4. Money is money.


No matter how you earned it--money is money. If you stole it, life's too short to return it or give it back, according to "Shameless". Frank, Fiona's father, is willing to sober up for Here are weeks and change his entire life to earn $3,000 part of a clinical trial even though he's a crazy alcoholic, but for the money, he'll do anything. For a couple of days, he does a complete 360 wanting to remodel the entire house, provide breakfast for his kids when usually he's out late drinking and is never up in the mornings and spends his whole day at the bar or looking for money. He also fakes rib injuries and migraines to get a disability check every month. Furthermore, after his workers' compensation ends, Frank tries to find more work to injure himself

Most of the time we don't think about what we buy or how much it is. In a couple of days most of us will walk by a Starbucks and think about how much we really need the coffee and don't think that $5.00 is a lot, but when we're working shift by shift with a high school education, $5.00 means the world to us.

5. When jobs aren't available, you might have to get down and dirty.

Fiona takes up some jobs that require her to show off her body at a restaurant, kind of like the modern-day Hooter's, where girls dress in a scandalous fashion and guys tip the girls in by placing money into their shorts. After she returns home, Fiona is seen crying in the bathroom, ashamed.

This correlates with modern-day prostitution. Many women find that they make more money with prostitution and keep it as a job since they have to pay the bills, child support, and everything else that goes on in their lives. Similarly, Fiona has to pay off the bills, replace the gas heater, and much more and is forced into a position to use her body for money.

6. Not going to college is normal.


Phillip, Fiona's younger brother makes amazing robotic technologies and scored a perfect 2400 on his SAT. A professor from the University of Chicago invites him on campus and tells him to apply, however, Phillip isn't even sure about going to college and the first thing he thinks of is the debt he'll be in and leaving his family. Furthermore, Fiona dropped out of high school he junior year because her mother left and someone needed to take care of all the kids. During the show, Fiona says something along the lines of how she could get by shift-to-shift and paycheck-to-paycheck to help out her family and it would be perfectly fine.

Education is really important, as many of us know, but for those who struggle through life, the notion of "paycheck-to-paycheck" becomes a serious reality that we consider. So next time you meet someone who hasn't finished high school, middle school, or college, give them some respect and think about what they may have gone through before judging them.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

If 'Hockey Is For Everyone,' Why Is Matt Dumba So Alone In Fighting For Racial Equality In The NHL?

If the NHL is using #WeSkateForEquality, why is Dumba alone in the fight for equality?

On Saturday, August 1, 2020, the National Hockey League resumed play for the first time since March 12, 2020. The season was paused due to the growing coronavirus (COVID-19) spread and a concern for the players contacting the virus and spreading it through the League. Fans and players sat and waited for the hockey season to resume, which took more than 140 days.

Keep Reading... Show less

- Though as a little girl, I had the silkiest, softest hair that would get compliments everywhere I went, since I turned about thirteen I've since had coarse, dry hair no amount of deep conditioning masks or sulfate-free shampoo could fix.

- I started using the Raincry's Condition Boar Bristle Brush several months ago, and while I noticed that my hair had been softer, silkier, and shinier than it had ever been, I didn't make the connection because I never thought a simple hairbrush could make any difference in my hair texture.

- I will be the first to admit that I thought it was ridiculous to spend nearly a hundred dollars on a hairbrush, but this one eliminates the need for me to use any heat tools or styling products on it.

- I put some oil or a serum in my hair when it's wet, brush my hair with the boar bristle brush once it's dry, and end up with the lowest maintenance, shiniest hair I've had since I was 8 years old.


Keep Reading... Show less

Bingeing a romantic comedy is always a good idea, and during this pandemic, these movies bring us one of the only elements of romance we can get. Through all the break-ups, obstacles, and struggles in our love lives, romantic comedies have always been there to make us laugh and keep us company while we cry.

While we love these movies for the beyond gorgeous male love interests, the female protagonists are still the ones we always remember. Although rom-coms are far from reality, it is always fun to imagine what our life would be like if a cinematic studio was behind our love life. So what does your favorite romantic comedies say about your dream guy?

Keep Reading... Show less

Whether you're in an unhealthy relationship currently, you know someone who is, or you just want to have these numbers saved just in case it could one day save someone's life (if not your own), this article is for you. Here are three numbers to save in your contacts ASAP so you can always be safe, both physically and mentally, in every relationship.

Keep Reading... Show less

7 Things You Need To Know About Our NEW Bachelorette, Tayshia Adams

Could THIS be the most dramatic season in "Bachelorette" history?

Bombshell news coming from Bachelor Nation today, Tayshia Adams is replacing Clare Crawley as the bachelorette!

Rumor has it that Clare found her person early on in the process and did not want to continue with the process of leading other men on throughout the season.

Keep Reading... Show less

The NBA is back, and for basketball fans, like myself, it has been the BEST news we have heard since COVID-19 shutdown play indefinitely. I mean, come on, we need to see if James Harden can once again perform so well he has back-to-back 50 point games, Kawhi can lead another team to the championship title, and whether Giannis is going to be back-to-back MVP... among like 500 other things running through our heads!

In the midst of all of the amazing statistics and records that these players are breaking, though, we also just love the NBA because well, there are some pretty good looking guys out there. Here are the 19 hottest NBA players (in no particular order) you would totally let slam dunk on you now that the NBA has returned.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Everything You Need To Know About Macronutrients, Because A Diet Should Be More Than Calories

Pay attention to what you're eating, not just how much you're eating.

Plenty of people are familiar with the "calories in, calories out" (CICO) method of dieting which can be used for losing, gaining, or maintaining weight. This method relies on calculating a person's total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) to ensure that they are not overeating or undereating to achieve their desired weight. TDEE considers a person's height, weight, age, gender, and level of activity to determine what their caloric intake should be — some calculators can factor in body fat percentage as well. When I used a TDEE calculator online, it said that my TDEE would be 1,990 calories if I was trying to maintain my weight, but are all calories created equal? I'd argue that they're not.

It might seem obvious to some of you that 1,990 calories of macaroni and cheese are not healthy at all compared to 1,990 calories of varied foods (fruit, veggies, meat, bread, etc.).

Keep Reading... Show less

Just Because You're Asked To Be In A Wedding, Doesn't Always Mean You Should Say Yes

If you can't invest time, money, and YOURSELF, maybe say no to the offer for the bride's sake!

Being in a wedding is a really big commitment. I personally think if you've never been in one before, you don't understand the time, money, and energy that goes into being a part of it.

Keep Reading... Show less

As any poor college student, a little kick of caffeine for less than a dollar has always sounded great to me. So, naturally, AriZona Iced Tea has been a go-to for as long as I can remember.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Dear Closeted Latina,

You were never alone.

Remember how the Latin world got rocked when Ricky Martin came out?

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments