Sample Public Health Essay on The effects of Reality TV Shows in the Society

Effects of Reality TV Shows in the Society


The reality shows have captured the attention of the world and has been influential to the citizens of the United States. In spite the fact that majority of them have negative influences, many of them have positive benefits such as educational values to human life. Teen Moon and 16 and Pregnant are the educative reality TV programs that give tactics on how to raise a child in high school. The reality TV show existed since the early 1950s though its show became popular in the market in 2002 after the launch of American Idol as well as Survivor. Other shows are ideal for an individual, encouraging perfect body image. This paper entails an anthropological approach to understanding the culture by studying an example of a common culture attributed from two distinct episodes of these reality television shows.

Anthropological Findings

The sixth episode, season one, of the Teen Moms, was broadcast on 14th March 2010 as the final released on 28 August 2012. The show can be followed on MTV series. A larger percentage got pregnant but never featured on any show other than getting an added responsibility that come with raising a child. On the other hand, the sixth episode, season two was broadcast 10th April 2010, as the final released on 2nd September 2012.

There are various of cultural aspects that emerge in the above episodes of the Teen Mom.  The first evident point is marriage as a way of life for the community or rather the society represented in the show. At the introductory level of the sixth episode, season one of the show, we see a lot of issues that comes in as Kailyn and Javi plans for marriage. This clearly shows that in this particular society, marriage is one of the cultural aspects and practices that have been put forward by the members of the community.

Marriage, in this society, comes in place as the members of the commonwealth have reached maturity, and each of them is willing to move and start a family, as a household. As a cultural aspect, marriage in this particular community has been displayed as societal factor characterized by a lot of disputes, fights, mistrust, cheatings and dishonesty among other emerging issues. We see Javi picking up some quarrels with his wife to be, Kailyn, due to the numerous text messages and phone calls she is receiving from her boyfriends.

The overall importance and relevance of marriage in this society has come as we see some of the fundamental factors driving Javi to go and settle the disputes with Kailyn, for the purposes of preparing for marriage. Towards achieving this objective, the two has to involve a third party, who is a friend to both of them, for purposes of intervening and facilitating negotiation as well as reconciliation between the two. Javi claims that he is aging with time, and have realized that it would be of great importance to his life if he settles with Kailyn for marriage so that he can build on his future with her. This clearly shows that in this particular society, as individuals grow and mature up, men are expected to leave their parents’ home as well, as the ladies, so that they can form their new families.

Another important aspect of culture evident in Teen Mom show is ceremonial gatherings and events that take place in some functions. Among the formal function visible in this particular TV show are birthday parties and Christmas festive. The majority of the characters in the shows engage themselves with their colleagues in celebrating the festive among other ceremonial functions emerging in the show.

    In the show, we see Jenelle, conducting a birthday ceremony that is attended by many of his friends and other family members. Nearly all his friends showed for the anniversary, and the same is seen when all of his family members and other relatives bringing presents. The only person who did not come was her mother and her friend, Nathan, though they all sent some birthday gifts.

Jenelle reaches her mother on the phone to inform her on the birthday gift she received from Nathan, despite his absence on the festive birthday day. In the show, Christmas, as a festive season, and a ceremonial event has been portrayed in the show, as well as the represented society when we see the characters eagerly waiting for it. For example, we see Chelsea’s daughter planning for the trips among other fancy activities that they are planning to engage in during the Christmas ceremony.

This clearly shows us that the particular society represented in this show is a Christian community, who seemingly is God fearing and observes all the rituals and festive set for the Christian believers. In the same sense, religion as an aspect of societal components has emerged since the community members tend to follow the expectations of their religious teachings and expectations.


The understanding and general comprehension of societal aspects demands a number anthropological study and analysis. In the reality show, Teen Mom, there are some practices and events that the characters engage themselves thereby showing some of the cultural practices in the represented society.