Reality television has become an obsession for many people. Whether the show features housewives, a famous family, a group of professionals or a cast of “amateurs,” there are millions of people with a favorite reality show they watch religiously. The drama, hilarity, and feuds on reality programming is part of the appeal of these shows. However, the stars of these shows often get a lot more than they bargained for as a result of being in the public eye.
Yes, reality shows can be launching pads for celebrity careers. There are several reality cast show members who have gone on to have spin-off shows and acting careers. It’s also important to note that many of these celebrities have also experienced challenges in their personal relationships and finances as a result of being on reality TV. These days, the public is pretty unforgiving when it comes to celebrities. So, once a scandalous secret is out about a reality star, the public remembers it for what seems like forever. Some people believe that reality television is cursed and when you think about it, they may have a point. It seems that something unfortunate happens to most of the people who sign up for these types of shows. But yet, reality TV is still as popular as ever.
12. Short-Lived Fame
Some people agree to be on reality TV in hopes that it will make them famous. However, many find that after a season or two, the public is no longer interested in them. When a person has been longing for fame his/her entire life, gets a taste of it, then has it taken away, there’s no telling what could happen. Some former reality stars get caught up in scandal just to regain the attention of the public. Some go into seclusion and deal with harmful addictions. When their addictions are exposed, they are ridiculed instead of helped. If a reality star isn’t equipped to understand that fame has ups and downs, being a “star” could literally be life-threatening.
Reality stars have to deal with a lot of embarrassment. Their lives are exposed to the entire world, and some things just aren’t pretty. There are several reality show cast members who wish they hadn’t gotten into a fist fight on national TV or exposed certain family secrets. Even stars who wore an unflattering outfit or hairstyle on TV are constantly reminded of their “mistakes.” In order to be a reality star, cast members have to be able to handle public scrutiny, even when it comes to very minor things. The pressure is often too much to handle, and leads some people to make even more crazy decisions. This is evident after watching just one episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians.
One of the biggest curses that comes with reality TV is over-exposure. When a person wins The Biggest Loser, people are watching them closely to see if he/she will gain the weight back. Several contestants have folded under this pressure, and regained the weight they worked so hard to lose. Viewers also get way too involved in the marriages of reality stars. Whether you’re a fan of The Real Housewives franchise, Love and Hip Hop or The Bachelor, you know that news of a divorce among reality stars is always big news. Even people in the public eye need privacy when it comes to dealing with the difficult issues in their lives. As a reality star, the more famous you are, the more exposure you get.
It’s no secret that reality TV show personalities are exploited. In many cases, these people are “innocent” and are simply made out to be something they are not, solely for the entertainment of the public. Reality stars are not “allowed” to make their own decisions without having their choices picked apart by viewers. The people who watch reality shows are also exploited, because some of them are so impressionable that they believe anything they see on TV. The Mental Health Foundation has even stated that reality television “exploits the vulnerable.” Society gives famous people a pass when it comes to bad behavior, and this gives viewers the subconscious impression that they can repeat the behavior of their favorite reality stars.
8. False Sense of “Reality”
Another huge curse of reality shows is a false sense of what is actually real. When you’ve got cameras following you around day in and day out, it can be easy to get into “performance mode.” Even when cast members have to have serious conversations with loved ones, or are dealing with personal issues, the cameras are there to capture every moment, which means that the “moments” are likely not as sincere as they should be. Reality stars can also get the false impression that they are better than “regular” people, and often start to make decisions that show their entitlement. We’ve seen this all too often, and several of these reality stars are no longer able to make money on TV. Former stars like Jon Gosselin and “The Situation” come to mind.
7. Unhealthy Relationships
It’s pretty difficult to be a reality TV star and have a healthy romantic relationship. Stars from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are proof of this. For instance, Bachelorette star Emily Maynard called off her engagement to Jeff Holm after dating him for a short while, but stated that she “had nothing but respect for him and his family.” Bachelor star Ben Flajnik and Courtney Robinson also called it quits after being engaged for nine months. It’s pretty difficult to truly get to know someone when there’s a camera crew around. And after the show ends, it becomes pretty obvious that spending the rest of your life with someone you met on reality TV may not be a good idea.
Several reality TV stars have gone into debt while on their perspective shows. Some of these stars were already in financial trouble before agreeing to appear on their shows, and thought that fame would solve their money problems. Other stars got a taste of celebrity and were unwise in their spending habits in an attempt to keep up with others. There are several Real Housewives that can attest to this, and the parents of the Giudice family have made the news for having to do jail time due to their financial issues. It’s pretty safe to say that in some cases, reality TV can do more harm than good when it comes to money management.
5. The Curse of Fame
The curse of fame itself comes along with being a reality star as well. Remember Heidi and Spencer? Well, they’re pretty much famous for being in reality TV shows and making fools of themselves. Once they weren’t getting as much attention from the public, Heidi put her life in danger by getting several plastic surgeries in one day to improve her appearance. And her fame-hungry husband seemed to be OK with this idea. Some people are willing to do anything to stay relevant in the public eye, and this often leads to their detriment. There are also several examples in the Kardashian family that prove this point.
A cast signs on to do a reality show. The cast members are friends. The reality show producers start to write storylines that pit the cast members against each other. The cast members start to take the storylines too seriously, and friendships are broken. Backstabbing is entertaining for people to watch on TV, but it’s often not a laughing matter for the reality stars who have to live through it. Just think of all the Real Housewives who started off being great friends, but are now no longer speaking to each other. Hollywood doesn’t care if personal relationships are ruined, as long as the ratings are good.
After just a few seconds of Love and Hip Hop, it’s easy to see that fights are part of what keep the viewers coming back for more. The cast members are willing to brutally injure each other just to be seen as the “strong, assertive one” by viewers. And let’s not forget the fights that happened on Jersey Shore. It seems that intoxicated brawls are entertaining for the viewing public. Even though these fights make reality stars famous for a while, there’s still a curse that follows. It’s hard to be taken seriously as a businessperson or respectable parent and spouse when you’re flipping over tables and throwing drinks in people’s faces.
How many times have we seen spouses or significant others become unfaithful to each other after appearing on realty television? The fame is bound to go to a reality star’s head in one way or another, and sometimes, it is expressed in infidelity. Being cheated on is embarrassing enough for people who aren’t on television. So, the embarrassment is magnified when there are cameras, tabloids and news reports about a spouse’s cheating ways. Both the person who cheated and the one who was cheated on have to carry this reputation with them for as long as the public is interested, which could be years.
The reality show TV divorce curse all started with Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson. Since then, a number of reality TV couples have called it quits. There’s the drama with Brandi Glanville, and her ex, Eddie Cibrian (who married LeeAnn Rimes), there’s Hulk Hogan and his ex-wife Linda, NeNe Leakes and her husband Greg (the two have since remarried each other), and we can’t forget Bruce (now Caitlin) and Kris Jenner. It’s pretty logical to assume that the format of reality TV can definitely take a toll on a marriage. If one spouse becomes more famous, there could be jealousy. If rumors of infidelity are swirling, this could be harmful, even if the rumors aren’t true. Constantly being photographed and videotaped isn’t exactly for a marriage, either. But as they say in Hollywood, all exposure is good exposure, right?