Although television is viewed by millions of people regularly, I find it to be a waste of time. I often hear people gossiping about The Bachelor or Duck Dynasty and I wonder, what is so intriguing about sitting and watching other people live their lives? How does this influence people inside of and outside of our American culture.
Recently, I heard someone talking about a show called “Honey Boo Boo” and how hilarious it was. Unfortunately, I decided to check it out. The show is about a very young girl and her family from Georgia. After seeing only one episode it is apparent that there are many stereotypes portrayed in the show. To start, the young girl is a contestant in beauty pageants. In the first episode she talks about how sad it is when she looses and how important it is to look pretty. For me, this alone gives a negative message to all little girls who watch the show and makes them think that they need to be pretty in order to be successful. To add to this, the entire family speaks very poor English and they seem to be overall unhealthy. This again gives a poor example of what life should be like and what it is like in the lower class population of America. I could keep going but I will only mention one other stereotype provided by this show, which is the pregnant teen sister of the little girl. They make it seem so normal that such a young girl is sexually active and is going to have a baby. This show is on TLC, The Learning Channel. Are these kinds of things really what we want our society to be learning? I feel like these are clearly bad stereotypes to be reinforcing through such a large source of media. Unfortunately, these are the kinds of shows that attract the most viewers and make the most money.
In conclusion, it is the overlying ideology about America portrayed in this show that is an issue. The ideology is that lower class Americans act like this and that it is normal. I believe if people who are not previously acquainted with our culture watch this show, and others like it, they will get the wrong idea about our lifestyle and may even be influenced by it (which I believe many already have). What do you think? Are these goods images for people to be spending hours and hours watching lifelessly on their couch?