Reality Stars & Mirror effects

I have talked about this before. Most youth reality shows (count the musical ones out) in India center around an exhibition of foul mouthed crass behaviour. I guess these shows have their huge following in India.

That's such a pity.

More so in the context of what Dr. Drew Pinsky states in his latest book, The Mirror Effect: How Celebrity Narcissism is Seducing America. The book deals with narcissistic levels of American celebrities and the impact it has on impressionable teenagers.

Note Christian Toto; 'Today’s narcissistic celebrities shove their neuroses in our faces. Take Amy Winehouse, the troubled torch singer who inspired a slew of drug-related headlines. Her song “Rehab” was a narcissist’s cry of defiance, according to the book, and a troubling one when teens started singing along without realizing what her statement truly implied.'

Celebrities are part of what's known as reference groups, that have the power to influence behaviour. Today's reality show participants too I believe have taken on overnight celebrity mantles. That they exhibit behaviour that's downright pathetic wouldn't matter to the 'young uns' watching. What's troubling is, there's always a possibility of the 'mirror effect' hitting home. What makes the effect even more potent is if the watcher has had to weather childhood trauma.

Note again; 'Some of the book’s material is alarming, to put it mildly. Childhood trauma, Pinsky writes, makes people vulnerable to “unhealthy levels of narcissistic traits.” And incidences of childhood trauma have increased by more than 40 percent over the past 20 years. The most jarring information involves how teenagers evolve as social beings. Their emotional development stalls in their teens, leaving them susceptible to the flood of narcissistic content heading their way.'

Comments

indresh said…
Yes, i think you are talking about roadies and others. They won't be so popular if they are not so crass. But that's what they are selling, something different, that's why they exist. It fulfills the void. Other shows or movies have much more 'tuned down' language. But one thing that i doubt is why you think it's an indian phenomenon, seriously, don't you watch movies like american pie? What makes them work is a bit of something that's sometimes rather gross, yet, they sell, because they fulfill demand.
Prof.Ray Titus said…
Sure, it does fill in a 'void'. The demand stands testimony to that...

Surely civilisation has seen such 'voids' and how they have been capitalisd on. Post WWI, Hitler for instance capitalised on Germany's need for the Aryan pride to be restored. Its just that in the process he gassed a million Jews...

Oh no, I don't think its an Indian phenomemen. Take the king of twits, Perez Hilton and his response to Carrie Prejean;

( http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=31592 )

'Prejean not only lost the crown, but also opened the gates for ridicule. The insults began to flow like lava from a volcano. The leader of this hate-Carrie crusade was ... Perez Hilton. He marched over to a camera to record a rant for the Internet. "She lost, not because she doesn't believe in gay marriage, Miss California lost because she's a dumb [B-word], OK?" The next day on MSNBC, Hilton issued a fake apology: "I was thinking the c-word, and I didn't say it," he said, laughing.'

Foul mouthed characters crawl out of the woodwork, worldwide... I agree. India's no exception.

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