Friday, 19 April 2013

Trainwreck TV = bullying

Is it just me, or are more and more reality shows becoming bully generating factories?

Trainwreck TV is the term given to reality TV shows like My Kitchen Rules and Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen, and with so many organisations, government bodies, and authors doing their bit to clamp down on bullying, how is that these shows are even given air time?

Gordon Ramsey can’t cook an egg without telling an aspiring chef how useless they are for bringing him the wrong *$%#$&#% egg. My Kitchen Rules contestants openly ridicule one another over cupcakes!! And don't get me started on The Biggest Loser. Forcing contestants to train till they puke is never going to be considered okay behaviour in my books.
Bullying is typically an act of nastiness against someone else in order to make the bully feel good. Bullying occurs in schools, in the workplace, even in the home. The effects can leave a person feeling alone, unsafe, afraid, even ashamed.

The sense of feeling alone can often mean a person is afraid to talk. When this happens, fiction novels can help as readers are able to relate to the characters, and this relationship can promote awareness and solidarity - ie the sense of not being the only person that this is happening to.

Here's a list of just a few books with bullying as the central core:

  • Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.
  • Everybody Sees The Ants by A.S King
  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Hate List by Jennifer Brown
  • By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters, C.J Bott 

It’s a shame that reality TV producers are turning a blind eye to real issues faced by teenagers. Suicide is the third highest cause of death in young people. Some statistics report that for every one suicide, there are 100 suicide attempts. And a study in Britain found that at least half of suicides among young people were related to bullying.  But when these trainwreck TV shows are viewed during children’s TV watching time slots because they take place in homes, it's like a huge kick in the teeth by those who are trying to stamp it out. But hey, you can always do what I do and switch these stupid TV shows off and pick up a book instead.
D L Richardson
Seriously, if you are a victim of bullying or you're suffering from depression, please talk to someone about it. Suicide is not the answer.


D L Richardson is the author of speculative fiction. She has three teen novels and one short story anthology published. Her first novel reached number 2 at OmniLit and number 38 at Kobo Books. Her second reached number 1 at OmniLit. Little Red Gem is her third novel and recently won 2nd place Best Books of 2013 Paranormal Cravings. She lives in Australia on the NSW south coast with her husband and dog.

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