Tag Archive: reality shows


Color Me Bright


Ever since I can remember, I have been attracted to bright, bold colors.  Give me bright red, Christmas green, bright orange or yellow, kelly green, royal blue, and vibrant turquoise.  Add jet black to any of these colors, and it’s a perfect combination for an outfit, some art object, or even simple mundane things!  Give me this over the more muted colors of beige, browns, grays, olive green, and even some of the pastels.  Unless combined with something bright, or put together in an amazing print or combination, these colors are just plain boring!

It influences my clothes selections, décor in my house, cars, my blog layouts, as well as simple things like pens or pencils.  All other things being equal, if I see “bright” or “colorful”, I’ll choose them before something more muted.

Certain holidays bring out the bright colors:  Christmas (red and green), Valentine’s Day (red), St. Patrick’s Day (kelly green), Easter (purple and yellow, among other spring colors), 4th of July (red, white and blue), Halloween (orange and black).  I’m also in love with fall foliage – the brighter the orange, red and yellow, the better I like it!  Summer flower gardens are the best.  It’s fun!  It’s happy!

One exception to this is my home décor.  It’s not overly bright (basically white walls, beige rugs, tile or hardwood floors).  One reason for this is that I share my space with my husband who is not as in love with brightness as I am.  However, I try to have at least one thing that’s bright placed there, whether it be a pillow, furniture upholstery, throw rug, bedspread, wall hanging, or knick knack which will draw my eye.  If I get a chance to plan a room from scratch, I plan around those things!  I think that if I was more skilled in decorating, I would go brighter, as I have been to a decorator friend’s house who has made skilled use of reds, bright prints, and other bold colors in her rooms, and I really like it.  I admit that I wonder if I would over the long haul.  Maybe it’s just nice to look at from a distance…  I’m under no illusion that it’s for everyone.

When I’ve had the opportunity to choose the color of my car (and I haven’t always, as sometimes they have come off the lot), I want it to be bold.  My favorite color car to this point was my bright green Taurus back in 1997.  At that time, I vowed to have red car at some point in my life.  I’d hoped this year would be that year, and I ordered one … I THOUGHT.  However, two months later when it arrived, instead of it being red, I found a burgundy car waiting for me.  I had to contain my disappointment, as I didn’t want to reject the car and go through the lengthy ordering process again unless all of the car was wrong, which it was not.

I’ve gotten used to the burgundy and I’ve grown to like it – somewhat.  At least it’s not the non-descript color of silver, gray, black, off white or beige.  My last car was an off white car, and it used to be more difficult to find it in a parking lot seemingly full of way too many other off white vehicles.  At least with my burgundy car, it sticks out among the rest.  But – it would be more noticeable if it was RED!

A few weeks ago it was time to purchase a new laptop.  And, as I was looking through the Dell website at the Latitude computer I wanted, I noticed there was an option to get the top in either red or blue.  I now have a red Dell Latitude Computer!  If I can’t have a red car, I can at least have a red computer!

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I looked in my closet this morning, and noticed the colors of my wardrobe in a way I had not before.  There are more red tops of various styles than any other color.  Then I have black based, but brightly printed skirts, and one pair of red slacks that I am thrilled I found a few years ago.  Now to find the Christmas red skirt…!  If I was a bird, I’d be a Cardinal or Painted Bunting!

I’m a fan of that reality show in TLC called “What Not To Wear”.  The hosts of the show, Stacy and Clinton, deal with women (and a few men) who are wardrobe challenged.  They throw out their old wardrobe, and are given $5,000. to purchase a new one – but only under the guidance of Stacy and Clinton.  A few of their “clients” have been fans of bright color combinations and crazy patterns.  I’m not as exaggerated as these wildly dressed clients, but wearing bold colors and bright prints is something I like to do.

Stacy and Clinton usually try to discuss with the people just why they have chosen the clothes they’ve been wearing.  They want to be noticed, but it often comes out that they are hiding themselves and their true selves behind the colors and glitz, which distracts others from the person behind the clothes.  It’s a way of having their cake and eat it too – to be both noticed, and hide at the same time.  Stacy and Clinton try to encourage the people to dress to accentuate their true self.  Their wardrobe will still incorporate bright colors, but done in such a way as not to distract from the person wearing them….

I have wondered if this is a little like me.  Notice me!  Give me attention!  See my bright, flashy exterior.  But – I’m not sure I want you to get to know the person behind the flash and brightness!

Scary thought!

To be honest I am not as extreme as any of the persons on the show.  But – the fact that I can recognize this is food for thought.

Despite these thoughts, I am not going to check my love of colors at the door.  That is something I know is real and true about me.  In fact, I believe my affinity for bright color is something inherent in me, as it’s been with me since before I can remember!  I just hope I’m using the colors and patterns to enhance me – not to hide me.

And I end with this photo:

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Sometimes less is more!

Message Received.

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Ok … I admit it.  I’m hooked on Reality TV.  However, I am under no illusions that the name for this genre of television programs is accurate.

It started for me with discovering this little known daytime show, “Starting Over”, which I found one random morning when channel flipping.  Headed by Life Coach, Rhonda Britten, six (I think – can’t remember exactly) lived together in a house in Chicago to work on specific issues in each woman’s life.  Various life coaches joined Rhonda, specifically, Iyanla Vanzant, who, at one time, had done a few Oprah shows.  They spent a certain amount of time in the house – and eventually most would “graduate” in a ceremony, where they received some specific “prize” which would help them continue their life’s improvement.  As one woman would leave, another would arrive.  There was always drama between the women, intermixed with working on their issues.

I think the early shows were “real” – and Rhonda and the other life coaches genuinely helped many of the women.  However, as the show gained popularity, it began to have a “fake” feel to it – at least to me.  First of all, the “Starting Over House” moved to the glitzy LA, Hollywood area.  Second – the women in the house seemed to be more “bizarre”, like the show’s producers needed to “top” the problems of the previous women.

I was sad when the show ended, but as I thought about it, I realized it had declined in quality as the show’s popularity increased.

Somehow publicity – at least in my opinion – tainted the entire purpose of the show.  The women became celebrities in their own right.  Not only did they have to deal with the issues that brought them to the house, they also had to deal with notoriety.  Ultimately, I’m not sure how many of the women really DID conquer their issues.

Bring on “Jon and Kate Plus 8”.  I discovered that show before most people knew it existed – also by random channel flipping.  In the beginning Kate was an average kind of woman with a simple pixie haircut wearing either shorts and a t-shirt in summer or sweats in winter.  With 8 kids to care for, who had time for glamour?  She was smart, very organized, and ran a tight ship.  With 8 kids – how chaotic would it get if you didn’t?  But – maybe her hold was too tight.  Jon, who was laid back (maybe too much so?), often got in the middle of that, and the fur would occasionally fly.  But – seemingly – they loved each other.

Was it real?  I think it started out so – or to some extent.

Enter notoriety.  Enter too much money.  Or – that is my analysis of what happened.  Kate became sophisticated, and began sporting various trendy hair styles and glamorous clothes.  Their fights got worse, divorce happened, and Jon is (in my opinion) a rather “lost” single guy, dating various women – bouncing from PA (with his kids) to NYC, and who knows where else, while Kate is pursuing a career in show business.  Both have been dramatically changed by a show designed to document their “reality”.

I just finished watching “The Bachelor” series – another “reality” show.  Since when is it “reality” to get to know a perspective mate in a St Lucia type paradise (where all one’s creature comforts – and more – are provided) while competing for that man’s love with 25 other women??  Does one truly reveal their real “self” with this type of “competition” in place?  Each woman puts their best foot forward, desperately hiding whatever flaws they have, while meanwhile creating drama with the other women. The relationship become “contrived”.  Plus, in such a cloistered environment, how does one ever know how that perspective mate will handle job loss, house repairs, money problems, and even the most mundane things as laundry, cooking, mowing the lawn and house cleaning?

I did some internet research, and I don’t think that there have been any marriages that have come out of these connections, even though many became engaged on the show.  “Reality” kicked in – and they found they were not suited to each other!  And – that doesn’t even touch what I perceive to be the huge mistake Jake made when choosing “raw chemistry” with Vienna over an admitted stronger emotional connection with Tenley.

There are so many other Reality shows I’ve watched:  “Wife Swap”, “Nanny 911”, “The Little Couple”, “19 Kids and Counting”, “The Biggest Loser”, “American Idol”, “Extreme Home Makeover”.  And, that just is the tip of the iceberg.  Add to that all the ones on HGTV – like “House Hunters”, “Property Virgins”, etc.  They are reality shows – of sorts, too.

What’s real about these shows?  The usual stated purpose of the show is to document life as it is, or life in a created situation which the show’s producers introduce.  But – in my opinion, the reality show itself creates it’s own reality, different from what it’s intended purpose was to be.  And – these shows take “prisoners”.  In my opinion, the participants pay dearly for their involvement.  The TV camera, and the resulting media interest, alters them – and the situation.

I do not deny there is good that can happen – and has happened.  I’m sure that there were some women on “Starting Over” who were helped.  And, some participants on “The biggest Loser” finally got their weight off, and have learned how to keep it off.  I just wonder what the percentage of “good outcomes” is.

As I read what I’ve written, I wonder about the ethics of watching these shows, as I contribute to this exploitation when I support the shows.  I rationalize that the participants of these shows VOLUNTEER to do them (or most do – Jon and Kate’s children didn’t get a say – another issue for another time…!).  Despite these concerns, I know I’ll continue to watch.  I’m hooked, and the only explanation is that, like many others, I am a voyeur at heart.  I don’t believe you could not be otherwise and desire to sneak a peak in other people’s lives via this medium.  The fact that these are “real people” and not actors makes it more compelling to me.

But – why?

Bottom line — it’s a distraction from my OWN reality.  I see others who have it worse, or those with vastly different lives from mine.  I can lose myself in their drama – and be glad I’m not them, or maybe admire them, depending on the circumstances.    But – in the process – I can – if only for a moment – forget my own life.

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