There are a lot of reality shows airing on our TV channels nowadays, so definitely our minds are getting saturated by what our eyes are seeing. And what makes it even worse is the fact that people in my country are now going digital therefore a lot of foreign channels are easily accessible to a larger number of people than before. I personally have been a sucker for these reality shows and still is by the way. But at times i tend to imagine what it would have been like if a couple of these reality shows aired what really is the reality about women’s lives. Forget the Duggar family of 19 kids and counting which is already a `unique’ theme for a reality show. How many women get 19 kids anyway in this day and age? Last time i checked, what was airing on TLC about this particular family, in my country was 18 kids and counting and that was very recent mind you. I want you to imagine a typical conventional family where a husband and wife have to raise their kids the conventional way or a typical single career woman’s life for a reality show.
To be totally honest, most of these reality shows for the sake of viewer ratings, fail to tell you lots about women and here are some of the things they at times wrongly portray to other women…
1. Being Feminine is all about style and beauty.
Of course if you are watching the Kardashian family or Holly has a baby or whichever reality show you are currently watching, almost all the times these women reality stars have stylish clothes on, perfectly manicured nails and pedicured toes, great make up and not a hair out of place. Zoom back to the real world and you will most definitely realize that being feminine is not always about style and beauty. There are times you won’t even afford that hairdo you so want because of other more pressing matters. If you do your house chores manually like in most African homes of course the nail polish never lasts more than 3 days without getting chipped. You have since given up on manicures but might get pedicures regularly cuz they last much longer. Some of us work jobs that don’t require us to be stylish, you know. Perhaps you work in a factory or at a market place or a job that needs you to be in uniform throughout so definitely expensive clothes and high heels are out of place there. Those facts don’t at all make you less feminine.
In the real world, not everybody is able to move with fashion and keep up appearances for others meaning what you can afford are only second hand clothes or affordable shop clothes. You may really admire the original Gucci, Versace, Vera Wang, Dolce and Gabbana, Prada or Armani products but judging from your financial levels, you know that they are way out of your reach. And so to actually live like the way these reality shows try to portray, is actually a fantasy world that may never come true for many women in the real world.
2. It’s very easy to get back in shape after baby.
False. It’s not.
I was recently watching Holly has a baby and immediately after she got her little one, you can already see that she is back in shape and actually looking wonderful in her clothes. What these reality shows don’t tell you is that a lot of women struggle with shedding that baby fat after baby. Most of these reality shows don’t even take the time to follow up on the real weight struggles of these women after giving birth. Some of the new mommies may mention in passing `oh, i’m having trouble loosing weight after so and so…’, but you hardly ever see them sweating at the gym to try shed the weight and giving up because it is too grueling or loosing hope in the process before being cajoled to get back to the work out routine. You hardly ever see them complaining of the pain when they have to use a belt to try trim that tummy that still aches at the slightest application of pressure soon after baby.
Yet in the real world, this is what happens. I have friends who gave birth and added a considerable amount of weight that they haven’t gotten round to shedding and i don’t blame them. In Africa, a lot of emphasis is placed on feeding during pregnancy and post pregnancy. One of my relatives who had a baby about a year and a half ago and surprisingly, immediately got back in shape without much trouble had to keep contending with constant questions of `why are you not eating or drinking this and that yet you are breastfeeding?’ from the elder women in the family. There is just a lot of pressure to keep on feeding cuz you have just had a baby in Africa and then immediately having to get back to work, before you have even thought of joining a gym or something to shed the already piled weight. Plus the unconducive residential estates some of us live in that can’t allow for peaceful jogging in the morning or perhaps other kids needing your attention. The struggle for new mommies is hardly that real in most reality shows.
3. Acquiring riches doesn’t need much effort.
With all the sitting around in reality shows, you wonder how they get to afford the luxurious mansions and lives. What reality shows don’t tell you is that someone had to work their butt off to get all that money. It might not be some of the women reality stars who actually work for it. Others are lucky to get inheritances of a sizeable bulk to be able to afford assistants to run their solo businesses for them. What reality shows don’t tell you is that for you to really make it as a woman in this male dominated world of successfully run businesses, you need to work twice as hard. Stressful business meetings are kept to a minimum and so are the normal work pressures that business people face in these reality shows. Chances are you won’t be hearing of a business deal gone wrong or a significant drop in profits or bankruptcy fears in these reality shows. As a matter of fact, it is the tabloids that fish for the dirty secrets and what is really behind the beautiful veils.
4. Marrying rich is all that counts.
Really?? Think again.
If at all you indeed value marriage, a man’s pocket will be the last thing you will look at in the initial considerations you have to date him or not. Marrying a rich man is not a direct ticket to happiness. You may afford all you have ever dreamed of but really, it is the man’s character , his level of ambition and what kind of family he comes from that matters.
5. Parenting is very easy.
For women in the real world, parenting is never easy and especially if you have extremely bad luck with nannies and kids below the age of 12. I guess how some of these rich women reality stars manage to still have a life after several babies is based on the fact that they have enough money to hire nannies. Nannies can be costly in some countries and the reason why most of the nannies in my country fail to stay for a long period with a particular employer is because of pay issues. But then, you have to be reasonable and spend the money you earn within your means. But for these women reality stars, with all the money they may be making or already have inherited, they have more than enough to pay for nannies to do all the hard work while they sit pretty and deliver a highly viewed show.
For a woman in the real world, you know that you have to give up a lot of what you did pre-mommyhood to be able to live up to the parental expectations of your child. You know how much you have to sacrifice to juggle work, a hubby and the kids. You know how much you have to save in order to give your kids a decent life that is better than what you had in childhood. You know how much it hurts to have to be tough with your kids at times to the extent where they sulk at you and don’t bother speaking to you for days. Parenting is never a walk in the park as some of these reality shows try to portray.