When it comes to reality TV Bravo has really taken off. I mean they have the most expensive shows, they have churned out the most “celebrities”, their celebrities have gotten second careers and book deals and significant others through the show (and some divorces too). When it comes to being real, Bravo really is up there.
And honestly I have been an avid watcher. Serious stuff lost its charm many decades ago when life got too serious and so when I want to unwind, I sometimes want to see friendships, conversations and tiffs between women on a reality show.
It’s interesting to see how other people react and live a situation. It’s also eye-opening and has led to my personal awareness of a lot of problems that people can run into by not being careful with their words. It’s widely believed that most of these shows are scripted but honestly, some of it can’t be scripted. It’s just too spontaneous. At least some of it or most of it has to be real and without any preparation beforehand.
But GOSH the stereotypes that these shows endorse. And GOSH how they support the biggest stereotype of all! WOMEN ARE CATTY, LOVE FASHION, MOSTLY NEED A MAN and DRINK ALCOHOL AT ALL HOURS OF THE DAY.
The stereotypical woman is actually what I find the least possible to align my views on with Bravo. There are many stereotypical ideas about women but what Bravo does is endorse every single one of them. Most of these women spend money carelessly on fashion, plastic surgery, moving from one magnificent house to another because the new one’s pool is twenty inches bigger than the current house, throw lavish birthday parties for their toddlers, ride ponies that they own, and are always shown carrying Hermès bags and Chanel luggage. They are always going away on girls’ trips and couple’s trips. They have enough time to talk endlessly over the phone. Some of these women are married to celebrities and are therefore celebrities in their own right (according to their own account).
But the above isn’t what Bravo makes money off of. It basically makes its major money from the controversies that the show generates and guess what’s the most commonly reported occurrence of all? Yes! Two women are fighting and may even get into a physical altercation.
First of all as someone who has had a fair share of girlfriends and who, to this day, has the most friends in women, women don’t fight the way Bravo women do. Women don’t use four-letter words during a fight. They don’t charge at each other and throw wine glasses. They also don’t throw passive-aggressive compliments at each other. What happens in the real world more commonly is two women, if they’re not being completely copacetic with each other over something, take time to cool off and then know usually by the end of their cool-off duration whether this relationship is worth it or not. Sure they might talk to some people during this but usually these people don’t open their big fat mouths to the other party to make matters worse. Of course probably happens in some relationships but it isn’t the norm for adult women to have nothing to do except breach people’s trust all the time .
Another stereotype that Bravo is promoting is how women are always so put together. I know it’s a TV show and they have to look presentable but it is touted to be a reality show. Where’s the reality when most of these women won’t even face the camera without seeing a makeup artist first?
Yet another stereotype that Bravo is trying to lend credence to is how a straight married woman’s best friend is a gay guy who is effeminate and likes to wear women’s shoes. Now I’m sure it happens in some situations where the idea probably came from but I find it odd and derogatory to refer to our gay population as an “accessory to the modern society woman”, or “my gay husband” or “my day husband “. These are derogatory references to our gay population. They have a derogatory connotation. And if you see how these gay men are always hanging out with these women and participating in the gossip, you’d see the gimmick that Bravo is trying to pull. It’s sad and I’m sure not something anyone would call Bravo out for.
But tell me this because I want to know! Women are astronauts, doctors, engineers, teachers, small and large business holders, housewives and decision makers. And we are still portrayed as an object? Why? Why is it so hard for women to not be the butt of all mainstream jokes, even of female stand-up comedians’? Why are women always seen as a gender with limited interests and appeal? Why is it so important for Bravo to draw conclusions about women based on what may be their unique perceptions?
I have solved a part of my questions so here goes! Women make sensational entertainment material. Whether it’s two women fighting in real life or on TV. Whether it’s a woman cheated on in real life or on TV. Whether it’s a woman refused a job in real life or on TV. Whether it’s a woman struggling with motherhood in real life or on TV. She makes the best material. She makes the biggest stereotype that lets men sleep peacefully at night, in the comfort of their flawed knowledge of being the better gender.
For people who take Bravo seriously! Most women in real life are wingers and achievers. They’re mothers and teachers. They’re successful and empathic. They’re upfront and honest. They’re leaders and followers of strong ideas. Yes! Even the woman working at minimum wage has ideas that will impress you beyond belief. That’s the beauty of being us. Gender discrimination, misogyny, patriarchy, poor portrayal of our values on widely televised TV shows fuel us into being better and being more visible. This all spurs us on. It doesn’t faze us. Enjoy it because it was made for your entertainment. But just as Sleeping Beauty wasn’t true, Bravo isn’t all true either.