What even is “reality”?

I am a socialist and a feminist.

I hate our culture of consumerism, and the social pressures/expectations it produces.

I hate the elite circles of those at the top: Jeremy Clarkson, Gary Barlow and David Cameron, Rebekah Brooks and Tony Blair, Spencer Matthews and Pippa Middleton.

I hate the idea of “real men”, and “trophy wives”, but, I love the epitome of it all: Reality TV.

I devotedly follow the lives of couples on “Married at First Sight” and it’s spin off – “The First Year”; shipping Jason and Courtney, feeling sad when Monet and Vaughn argue. I think that one of the Ryans is an arch misogynist but the other should totally stay with Jaclyn forever.

Likewise, I want Lydia to wear the right dress, on “Don’t Tell the Bride” not the one she doesn’t like, the one that’s too “blingy”. I want Binky to trust people again and be happy! And Khloe!

BUT I knowwww Lydia’s dress really shouldn’t, and doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if it’s pure white like a virgin queen or pure white and blingy like a virgin touched for the very first time, (obv you’re also allowed to wear black or red or green or a rainbow but you won’t be as virginal). She’s marrying someone she loves and he shouldn’t mind what she turns up in. In fact *concept for a new reality show* she should turn up in a bin bag having just rolled around in mud (“SURPRISE!”) and see if he continues his vows and that.

Maybe to be happy, Binky should start volunteering at the one of the food banks in London that provided 104,799 people with 3-days of emergency food in the financial year 2014-15. They’re lacking in caviar.

*New Concept*

You know the Come Dine With Me Made in Chelsea specials? What about Come Dine with Binky at a fucking food bank?

“Reality” shows aren’t reality. Clearly none of us walk around with cameras up our arses and in our faces, and I really wish I bumped into exes or crushes all the time but I totally don’t, it’s awkward texting instead. The danger with unreal reality is that totally impossible and ridiculous situations – girls waking up with contoured faces, shopping/product placement-ing instead of working, and young people moving into various large flats in the centre of London but still living on more than -£547 a week – are presented as normal and viable ones.

*New concept* How about we have Kirsty Allsop showing 20-somethings around homes in “edgy” areas of London and then screaming in their face, “YOU’LL NEVER BE ABLE TO AFFORD A SQUARE METRE OF THIS!” That’d be real.

Reality shows that depict “grittiness” are also misleading. Take Benefits Street – There’s a whole TV show based on illustrating those relying on state subsidy as lazy frauds e.g. watching TV on sparkling flat screens.

Even without the consideration that many people on benefits are employed, or can’t be for physical or psychological reasons, this portrayal is stupid – Benefit fraud accounts for £1.2 billion and £16 billion of benefits are unclaimed. On the other hand, uncollected, evaded and avoided tax, accounts to between £30 and £120 billion. [Note: both Cameron and Osborne’s inheritance’ were/are stored in off-shore tax havens]. The depiction of those on benefits is largely unfounded yet is considered “real”.

Why are we made to resent families living in poverty, but empathise with Binky’s woes and consider Cameron a “man of the people”?

P.s. God Bless Harry Styles who rose to fame from reality show X factor he said he was a Labour man and based his style on Michael Foot, ily.

P.P.s. Sorry this is very inconclusive, I thought it was better to waste time writing about TV than watching it.

Rosa

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