I am a reality television junkie. And I don’t watch normal people reality TV like Top Chef or The Bachelor but I enjoy trashy reality TV like Basketball Wives, Love and Hip Hop and the Real Housewives of Every Outrageous City in America. March Madness helped a little but once my Blue Devils got bounced it was back to the smut. BTW, the NCAA championship games should quell all of the people that doubt the quality of women’s basketball…but I digress.
So in comes Pregnant in Heels. The premise is ridiculous enough that I thought I’d love it. Rosie Pope has been dubbed a “millionaire maternity concierge”. The show follows her and her clients through their pregnancy struggles and Rosie’s own (very touching) struggle to get pregnant. I’m watching it as I type it and I might have to finally agree with my roommate who thinks that the people on such shows are completely out of touch with reality. I’ve always considered the idea that maybe their reality is just different. But not wrong. The first episode of Pregnant in Heels was just….wrong. Wasn’t it?
Watching the show I started to consider the way that I view ideas of perspective and reality. Couple number one enlisted Rosie’s help to find a name for their first son that “fit their brand” because they weren’t sure if they had “done the job” with their first two kids. Say what? They were so concerned with what other people had to say about their kids’ name that they called for a FOCUS GROUP. Being tuned into the opinions of others is a very human instinct but they took every possible step to ensure/force their child’s acceptance.
Sometimes we don’t even understand the effect that the opinions of others have on our lives. It seemed that they were just concerned that other people like their baby’s eventual name. And everyone consults family and friends when considering baby names. If it wasn’t for my grandmother’s intervention and my mother’s better judgment my grandfather (Ellis) and my father (Craig) might have conspired to name me some combination of Craigetta/Ellis Mae. 0_o Thank the universe cooler heads prevailed. But taking the advice of family and friends is different than assembling a team of experts, right? I’m not sure. I’m still inclined to believe that everyone’s reality is just different.
Generally, when we speak of reality, we try to speak of the nature of reality (as we see it) and ignore the relationship between human perception or the mind and reality. One of those can’t exist without the other. And to be honest, there will never be a concrete notion of what reality is and what it isn’t because we’re all too mired in our own existence to take true count of what others might believe, think or feel about anything except ourselves. What I am sure of is that our ideas of reality are shaped by our personal experiences, beliefs, cultures, families, and friends, and in some cases, focus groups.
So there you have it. I confess. I am an anti-realist who is obsessed with reality TV because while the people on the shows inhabit a reality that is entirely different from my own, theirs intrigues me.