The Negative Influence of Reality TV on American Households

Reality TV has become a mainstream form of entertainment pervasive in most American households, Reality TV shows, which are highly rated these days involve real people with real problems in their life Reality TV tends to fall into six main categories, acceptance, family, curiosity, social contact, status and savings Regardless of the category, audiences feel a need to watch these not for “voyeuristic pleasure” but for a sense of self-gratification, According to Jaffe, “reality shows might reflect a desire for viewing humiliation“(367)t In the article, Waite and Booker discuss the notion of “humilitainment,” which they define as a desire for viewing humiliation, The notion is powerful because reality TV is dealing with human life experiences, by glamorizing what can be very painful and embarrassing situations in peoples’ lives.

The name of the reality TV show is Teen Momsl The age grottps are sixteen to nineteen years old, They come from diverse background, single females from middle class family.

The target of the reality TV show is female teenagers to raise their awareness of the responsibilities that are applied when you get pregnant as a teenagerl The characters are Ferrah and her mom Krista; they are always fighting ever since Ferrah had her baby girl Sophia Alli and Michelle is Ferrah’s girlfriend, they are always there to support Ferrahl Maci and her boyfriend Rayan; they find it hard to agree on anything and so they separated, but Rayan still pays child support to Maci to support their baby.

Catelynn and her boyfriend Tyler, both 16 had a baby girl and they gave her out for adoption because they felt they weren’t ready to parent, The reality TV show constitutes positive and negative motives of the TV shows This reality show is a reality check on young teenagers and their responsibilities as a Teen Mom.

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After classifying the scenes from Teen Mom using Jaffe’s classification system, I believe that reality TV shows embody negative motives of TV viewing.

The most frequent motive for Reiss depicted in the reality TV show Teen Mom was family, which suggests that the reality TV stars embodied negative motives for the viewers, According to Reiss family is described as a desire to raise own children which results in love. Teen Moms is a show about how teen pregnancy brings chaos in the family, Ferrah is a beautiful white girl, with a long curly who is still in high school got pregnant at the age of 16. And her mom Michelle was angry with her and says” you know how the situation is in the family and all you had to do is to get pregnant”. Ferrah’s pregnancy brought bad relationship between her and her mom. Ferrah had her baby on a beautiful Saturday around 1:00pm and her mom wasn’t there to support her during the labor, Ferrah felt that her family will never be the same again because her mom refused to be part of her life again. One day, on a sunny day, the weather was shining, Ferrah’s mom wanted to talk to her daughter about the responsibilities of being a single mom Ferrah took offense and it led to a fight, Ferrah fought her mom and the police came in and arrested Michelle.

Ferrah was charged with domestic violence and the court ordered Ferrah to move to the guest house with her daughtert Also another character in the show is Catelynn and Tyler her boyfriend both 16. They were just in high school when Catelynn became pregnant for Tylert Both Catelynn and Tyler are from a lower class family Catelynn moved in to live with her boyfriend so that they can stay and raise the baby, But unfortunately, they both have their differences and they weren‘t able to live togetherr Catelynn and Tyler decided to give their baby, Carley, up for adoption Catelynn says “I think we are not ready to take good care of this baby, let’s give her up to a family who will take good care of hen Catelynn‘s baby was later given up for adoption and cateylnn was kicked out by Tyler‘s mom because Tyler‘s mom felt cateylnn wasn’t the right girl for her son. This example sends a wrong message about family Ferrah didn’t have a great relationship with her mother and therefore it didn’t develop a larger sense of family within her life and the life of the little baby.

According to Reiss, Family is the desire to raise own children and the result is love. Even though Ferrah is always there to show love to her baby, the little baby is seeing the fight between Ferrah and her mother, it will affect the baby psychologically because she wouldn‘t see the family as a place to love. Ferrah’s baby is lacking that love that should exist in the family because she sees her mom fight with her grandmothert This will affect the baby in the sense that she won’t see the family as a place to love. The next most frequent motive for Reiss depicted in the reality TV show Teen Mom was savings, which suggests that the reality TV stars have to learn how to budget money and earn money when being a younger mother. According to Reiss, savings is described as the desire to collect and it result in ownership. In the reality TV show, Teen Mom, Ferrah the beautiful, hardworking, elegant girl, was able to support her baby girl Sophia with the income she makes from her job. Ferrah works as a waitress in a restaurant; she got the job after she had her baby in order to make extra money.

She opened up a savings for her baby in order to provide for her daughter, she also does modeling as a part time job. Ferrah is so proud of what she‘s doing because she told her friend Alli that” I better start now to save money for Sophia’s college”, Amber another character in Teen Mom, whose boyfriend is Gary are finding it hard to save because Gary refused to find a job. Amber, average height, plump and pretty, always working hard to support the family, but Gary is the lazy guy who only wants to be stay at home dad. Amber and Gary is a middle class family, they live in a small apartment with their 18months baby, Amber works at a tanning salon, always lamenting at work that his boyfriend refused to find a job One day, on a sunny afternoon, the couple was in the room watching TV and Gary started to open up a present that Amber bought for their baby. Immediately, Amber says “Gary, I want to talk to you about the job and everything”. Gary replied “would be okay for me to be a home father”. Amber was pissed off because she wanted Gary to work so that he can support the family.

They both started yelling and shouting, Amber was frustrated, she felt that only her income wouldn‘t be enough for the family, Amber told Gary “since I dropped out of high school, I wanted to get my GED, but I took a job at a tanning salon and I don‘t have time to study‘K This implies that Amber was not able to finish up her education because she needed money to provide for her family. She knew that if she goes back to school that she wasn‘t going to have time to work and financially support the family, This example clearly states that providing and saving for a little one can be frustrating and hard especially when you don’t have anyone supporting you. Even though Ferrah was able to save for her daughter by doing two jobs, Amber wasn’t able to finish her high school because it was tedious for her to go to school and at the same time go to work. This sends out a message that saving for a child could be challenging when you are in school and I would say it’s not an auspicious thing to do as a teenager. The third most frequent motive for Reiss depicted in the reality TV show Teen Moms was independent which suggest that TV stars are very independent especially being a Teen mom.

According to Reiss, independence is described as desire for autonomy which results in freedom. Maci, one of the characters in Teen Moms, is a beautiful young girl who had a baby at age 16. She lives with her mom and her 18 months baby and works at a bar in Boatlhouse Rotisseria as a waitress, She works in order to be independent and provide for her son Bentley. Although Maci could decide to depend on her mom, she decided to find a job in other to be independent, One day Maci’s girlfriend Taylor came to the house to spend some time with Maci, they were discussing about the advantages of living without your parents in the house, Maci says “I‘m so mad, I ‘ve a part time job and I think I can afford it”. Maci wants to move out and live on her own, she feels that she can afford to pay rent and take care of her own business without depending on her mom. Ferrah on the other hand, had to move in to her mother’s guest house across the street which is still under construction Ferrah is very rude and disrespectful; she feels that she’s old enough to be independent. She always involves in verbal abuse with her mother that led to a fight, and her mother was charged for domestic violence.

Ferrah‘s fight with her mom was caused by Ferrah’s bad comport to live independently and her mom refused because she felt Ferrah is still a kid ,even though she’s already a mother. On a sunny day, Ferrah‘s friend Alli and Michelle came to visit Ferrah, they drove to a restaurant to hang out. At the restaurant, Ferrah told her friends that she‘s thinking about increasing her hours in order afford money for rent because she’s thinking about moving out. Ferrah states “I decided it would be best to move out of my mom’s guest house”, This statement implies that Ferrah wants to live independently. Even though she doesn’t pay any rent to her mom) she feels it‘s best for her to pay rent to someone because it will show that she can afford to take care of herself and live independently, She also feels it’s a sigh of freedom because she would have [0 get excuse from her mom before doing anything. This example clearly reflects the desire for independent, Ferrah and Maci both want to be independent and take full responsibility of their problems without depending on family. This sends out message to teenagers the hardship of being independent and trying to survive as a Teen Mom. The desire to live independent can be frustrating because you might have the desire to look for a job but your family might not want it because they feel it’s not the right thing to do as a teen mom.

The least most frequent motive for Reiss depicted in the reality TV show Teen Mom was romance which suggest that reality TV stars portray negative connotation about love According to Reiss, romance is described as the desire for sex, and the result is lust. One of the things that happened in the show was that Maci found love in a guy named Kyle, after a painful breakup with Ryan. Ryan was Maci’s first love, they dated for couple of years, but things started to fall apart after the birth of their child After Maci and Rayan broke up, Maci was devastated because she needed someone to love and care for her and her baby. Maci was on her way to work around 9:00pm when she spotted this good looking, tall guy called Kylel Kyle was also stunned when he saw Maci, they both smiled at each other. Coincidently, they met they ran into themselves in the store and Kyle requested Maci’s phone number and they exchanged contact and address Fortunately, Maci found a new love in Kyle; he chose to be with Maci because he loves her and her son Bentley. The relationship grew stronger and Maci was happy to have found a guy like Kylel Even though the relationship is working out for Maci and Kyle, it was falling apart for Amber and her boyfriend Gary.

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The Negative Influence of Reality TV on American Households. (2022, Jul 14). Retrieved from

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