November 10, 2014
Why We Need Reality TV—and PB&Js
by SARAH DAWUD
Reality TV is a “reality” of our present generation. If you’re seen as rib-tickling worthy
hilarious, along with an unexplainable magnetic personality, then the pinnacle compliment
paid forward is “Wow you totally need your own reality show!” Tuning into an episode of
Real Housewives or The Bachelor is oftentimes seen as the guilty and unspoken pleasure
of most. It’s seen as a bonding technique to dish over the rambunctious behavior patterns,
reminiscent of chameleons, and further the characters’ labeling in a negative light. We yearn to
distance ourselves from epic outbursts, table flipping, vase throwing, and hair pulling displays of
emotion. But are we truly above all of this? How is it that we can readily relate to a protagonist's
passion for her restaurant business, while easily be all in for another character's expletive ridden
fight at a holiday work party. Isn’t that a bit of a contradictory taste?
At an early age, we view contradiction as the “big bad wolf” that we must rid ourselves of.
Even the term “oxymoron” encourages one to zone in on the word fifth graders have at the tip
of their tongue. Nobody ever wants to be considered a moron and perhaps that’s why this term
perfectly points us to the direction of classifying opposite concepts as odd. This is where we
can learn from the often misunderstood sign Scorpio, that being a nut job as well as a composed
and well-mannered adult isn’t weird or unbalanced. If anything, this is what comprises the very
essence of our being. Bollywood actor, Salman Khan, launched his entrepreneurial efforts to
give back to humanity titled “Being Human.” This simple terminology sums up one uniting
force we all share and that is our human nature. And in order to hone our human nature, we must
wholeheartedly embrace the dreaded C word—contradiction.
“Too Much of something is bad enough//But something's coming over me to make me wonder//
Too much of nothing is just as tough.” Confused? Probably, thrown into flashback mode? YES.
The Spice Girls sang it loud and clear—contradiction exists and makes us question everything.
Instead of following the straight and flower-lined path of approaching uncertainty, how about
you throw on those Hunter boots and step outside in the sunshine. Remember, a peanut butter
and jelly sandwich is the biggest yet most delicious contradiction alive. And if its marriage can practically
win over the world, then why not try to create some more smile-worthy and satisfying
Let’s sift through some golden rules that should be turned topsy-turvy in order to embrace
contradiction and make it a part of our sometimes “trashy,” yet mostly fabulous reality
1. Seek advice from younger and less experienced individuals for your life experiences.
This might sound like a recipe for a burnt dish. How could that person, who isn’t even
aware of the joy of AOL instant messenger, possibly give one sound piece of advice. Let’s face
it; older and more experienced doesn’t always equate with wiser. Sometimes asking someone
who has lived through similar ordeals for guidance can be a grave error as one can get
swept away in their rivers of regret and blanketed in their layers of pessimism. The less
experienced might have a less jaded and less bitter standpoint at times. You have your
experiences and coupled with their unparalleled optimism, you can carve out a positive
outlook and approach. So go ahead, and keep your ears open, the younger generation
does have a lot to offer besides tips on taking the hottest “selfies.” For example, as ruthless as Kristin
Cavallari from Laguna Beach was, she risked being labeled as the ultimate villain in order to share her
unsolicited advice. Was she young and naïve and extremely focused on herself? Yes.
BUT she captivated audiences with her go-getter attitude and sometimes questionable
techniques, and the advice she gave her friends and those older than her was eons ahead
of her generation. LC, her costar, was often left with her signature eye roll while Kristin was busy
kicking a** and taking names. Didn’t matter that she was younger than LC and less
experience in many ways, her approach and world view offered a refreshing take on
life and this approach wouldn’t have been relayed to one if they had gone to only the
“LC” of their group of friends. Sometimes going to the predictable and safe option for
advice can put you into more of a rut than you already were in. And that’s why going to
the one friend you would never think of asking for guidance can lead you to a pleasant
destination you never imagined possible.
2. You can have it all but it's ok to not work towards it all at once.
Ok so you are a go-getter, you wake up every morning with a mission to be accomplished. In today’s
fast-paced world, we run across human beings who are practically superheroes. They
are able to do it all, and come out showcasing their pearly whites while flipping their
bouncy, shiny hair. So where is the elbow grease? Remember wanting it all is a huge
commitment. We are constantly encouraged by all sectors of society to pursue our dreams
and to go for it at no cost. And we should want it all! A strong foundation is built brick
by brick, and by viewing these different aspects of life as separate bricks, we can take
a step back and assess our priorities and realize that some areas may need a little extra
help. It doesn’t make us weak or less ambitious, if anything; it makes us more likely to
build a stronger foundation towards one day having it all. But for a lot of us, having it all
takes time and patience. Perhaps Real Housewife Teresa Giudice should have embraced this ideology.
Mother Theresa once said, "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things
with great love.” By focusing on small goals and putting forth passion and positivity,
the perfect bliss is attainable. Yes you CAN be the next Angelina Jolie, but perhaps with
a wedding dress filled with your own artwork. After all, the sweat and tears you put
towards your goals, should be commemorated somehow!
3. Trash talking isn’t a sign of insecurity.
You’ve heard your middle school BFF shout it plenty of times: “She just said that because she's jealous of
you, like look at you!!!” Ok before we get all super obsessed with ourselves lets own it—we all DO it and no
matter how much we hide it, it will always be a part of our lives. And the “it” refers to our favorite guilty
pleasure. Whether it’s yelling at the Kings for missing a shot to expletive-seasoned political debates, we get a
sense of satisfaction from letting it all out. Trash talking shouldn’t be a sign as a negative attribute but as a
bridge of life that must be and will be passed countless times. Think of Dr. Oz’s cleanses as a perfect
indication that it’s important to let the healthy vitals go into our bodies in order to flush out the impurities. And
these impurities have to come out so we can feel new again. Trash talking should be a part of our lives
because it’s the perfect method to vent emotions. Some people choose running to let go of stress, but how
about running your mouth to achieve the same purpose? Trash talking doesn’t have to be reserved for
Monday night football. Practice letting out all of the distaste so you are left with a sense of lightness and
ease. If LC and Heidi can spend a whole season talking about one dirty look exchanged, then what’s holding
the rest of us back?!
4. Love others, before you can wholly love yourself. We have heard it incessantly, loving
yourself is the step to loving someone else. Remember you will always be your own best
friend till the end. Focusing on loving someone other than yourself will shape you into
a compassionate and well-rounded person. Loving someone else allows you to embrace
their weird laughter and their annoying novels in a text message, but also builds your
patience, perseverance, and capacity to endure. Through the misunderstandings, fights,
laughter, and tears you build a bond that is something even Kris Jenner can’t exploit and
market. So if you are broken and shattered from the end of an important relationship in
life or just unable to fully accept yourself for who you are, then spend some time fully
appreciating and loving your near and dear ones. Their quirky attributes and controversial
viewpoints should be studied and fitted into your life like one of those 300 plus piece
puzzles that seem impossible at first to piece together. Once you have pulled your hair
and eyelashes out and put together all of the pieces (yep along with that one piece
hidden under the shag rug) you can be happy that you see the whole picture and boy is
it breathtaking. See how much Khloe Kardashian focused on her family while dealing
with her very public and painful heartbreak? You could see her smile becoming more
genuine as the episodes progressed, or perhaps it was just the result of divine scripting
Next time you stumble upon a golden truth or a fact of life and are stuck trying to follow
it, remember Gandhi was able to defeat one of the world's strongest and well equipped
armies without advocating the use of a single weapon. Life is fast paced and crazy and
filled with a roller coaster of emotion. Instead of always playing by the rules, focus on
altering them and making them YOUR rules. Hilary Duff sums it up perfectly, “WHY
NOT?” Let’s use the Scorpio’s coupling of passion and stubbornness to burn our
own lamps of undying dedication and be focused and unbalanced in
order to tighten our grasp on this very unpredictable beauty called life. Let’s embrace
contradiction because every yin needs a yang, every Blair needs a Serena, and every
Aldrin needs an Armstrong.