The Reality of Self-Help Reality

Last weekend, my family was discussing what could possibly make a family call a show like “Supernanny”.  My uncle wondered how, even if things were that bad, anyone would think it was a good idea to air your dirty laundry on national television.  At first, I agreed with him.  Last night, I realized how one could think it was a good idea.

Every time you turn the channel, it seems like there’s some reality show on, and chances are about 50/50 that the show you turn on will be some self-help show.  The shows are aimed at fixing virtually every aspect of the lives of the person/family being spotlighted, whether it’s their clothes, their hair and makeup, self image, parenting skills, housekeeping skills, money management, spouse relationships, etc. 

For those watching, there are small morsels to be consumed, little things that might help out.  I will admit, there are times when I watch for validation that my clothes or my child aren’t really all that bad.  Mean, possibly, but I know I’m not alone in that.  There are also plenty of lessons I have learned from some shows, such as how to do makeup quickly without looking like I threw it on in the dark and different methods of disciplining peanut.  I would bet that many more parents have “naughty chairs” than in the past, thanks to Jo Frost, Supernanny.

The answer to my uncle’s question is desperation.  People who call these shows feel as though they have exhausted every method of tackling the problem.  They’ve seen these hosts help countless other people and are willing to do anything, even risk humiliation to make things better.  They’re at the point where they don’t care if the world knows that they have these issues as long as someone can fix it.

Would I ever go on one of these shows?  Probably not.  At the same time, if I hit that point, I can’t say I wouldn’t change my mind.  And I’m still waiting for someone to get sick and tired of the over-sized t-shirts and jeans and call “What Not to Wear” on me, so that one I would have to say I’d go on in a heartbeat!

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3 Responses to The Reality of Self-Help Reality

  1. I would go if only because they’d buy you some nice stuff!

  2. stamperdad says:

    I don’t understand how people can open their lives up so much. The pay must be good or else they are desparate for help with the kids. The latter is likely the reason.

    Myself – I have more than enough reality with watching it on TV. Give me escapism!


  3. Stuart says:

    What confuses me more is how these kind of shows are so popular!

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