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Would Your Family Make Good Reality TV?

I love watching reality TV but I wouldn’t want to be on reality TV. It would be too embarrassing. Do I love and trust Stacy and Clinton? Absolutely. Do I want America and Canada to know how bad my fashion sense is? No way. Not even for a $5,000 shopping spree. My dignity is worth more than $5,000 dollars, I think. I’m surprised so many people go for the idea of having their lives taped to see what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real.

It makes for great television, but I can’t believe so many suckers sign up to exploit the worst things about themselves—bad taste, messy house, fatness, hoarding. It’s really kind of surprising. Can you believe The Biggest Loser even exists? It’s like how I feel when the proverbial “fat kid” shows up in a movie. I think, what were the specifics of that casting call? Did a stage mom see a flier for “fat kid” and think, “Awesome. I hope Jr. nails this one.” I guess you could word it positively if you were casting a new movie or show. You could ask for kids who are “robust” or “jolly.” But what about movies that are made from books where the characters are already described in derogatory terms? Like Aunt Petunia in Harry Potter. How do you get around that one? “Congratulations, Fiona Shaw—you’re just horsey enough to pull it off.” It seems mean. And sad. If my house were as gross (and I’m not saying it is. . . ) as some of those people who go on Hoarders I would never invite a TV crew in to broadcast the mess.

. . . Which leads me to Dance Moms and Toddlers in Tiaras. So, those moms know why we watch, right? For the cray-cray? I heard that Whitney Houston’s family has signed on for a reality show and so has Clint Eastwood’s family. I can’t think of a single family who this has been good for. I take it back–The Osbournes. (And you thought Ozzy was endearing before.) Project Runway and So You Think You Can Dance are the highest quality realty shows, in my opinion. The cooking ones are good, too. But the shows that just film families in their so-called “every day life” seem to court disaster.

Isn’t it weird how right on Andy Warhol was about everyone’s 15 minutes of f[sh]ame? (Pronounced “fuh-shame.”)

Read more from Kacy at Every Day I Write the Book.
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