The harsh realities and simple pleasures of being a single mom are realities that we all have to accept, but what is reality when TV show producers get their grubby little hands on it?
Take for instance two reality TV shows: MTV’s “16 & Pregnant” and “Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp.”
“16 & Pregnant” is entering its fourth season as a show that ‘chronicles’ the lives of single teen moms and the consequences of their decisions in their lives. The show also covers some very sensitive issues about abortion, adoption, drug abuse and parental disapproval. The documentary style presentation gives justices to the life of single mothers, highlighting a varied array of ups and downs that each featured single mom has to face in life. The show can even be considered a significant learning tool for people – most particularly parents – that despise, fear or exclude women that have a child out of wedlock.
Then there is “Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp” which is more about the public’s perverse curiosity with Sarah Palin’s daughter who just so happens to be a single mother. The show will have ten 30-minute shows to be aired at the end of this year, so we all have to wait and see what the show actually has to offer.
“This show will reveal the real Bristol Palin and her journey as a daughter, a mother and a young woman making her way in the world,” says executive VP of programming in Lifetime Networks Rob Sharenow. It does, however, smell very much like another cash cow and self-promotion show in typical Palin fashion.
Reality TV can be a window that shows everyone how single moms live their lives, the challenges they face and the stigma they receive for being a single mom. On the other hand, it can also exploit single moms for better ratings and the subsequent profits, so it’ll be up to us TV viewers to weed out the good from the bad.