It may be called reality TV, but as anyone who watches some so-called reality shows knows, what’s on the screen doesn’t look much like real life. The whirlwind romances with rose ceremonies and knock-down fights that make reality shows so addictive may not reflect what goes on in the average viewer’s living room, but they have some lessons to teach.
1. If you’re going to throw a drink in someone’s face, do it fashionably.
The stars of the “Real Housewives” franchise are no strangers to arguments, and although they sometimes lose their cool, they never lose their sense of style. These Drinking glasses with bright zebra stripes look good enough for a stint on television. A thrown drink is much more dramatic when it has ice, and a double-walled tumbler keeps drinks cold. Your own set of drink ware will probably never see anything more dramatic than an accidental spill, but it’s great to know they’ll survive in style.
2. Life goes on after the rose ceremony.
On each season of “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette,” the show leads up to a final decision between two potential partners. The series may take a brief look back at a season, but most of the show is about the buildup to the offering of the final rose. Everything that’s a part of the show is just a prologue to real life, and most marriages last longer than 72 days. In the real world, you’ll spend more time picking out tv furniture together or doing laundry than you’ll spend on glamorous dates. That’s a good thing, too; an occasional balloon ride might be exciting, but curling up on the couch to watch your favorite reality shows together is far more comfortable.
3. Teamwork usually wins.
Loners on competitive reality shows often declare that they aren’t there to make friends, but few of them make it to the show’s later rounds without support. Reality show contestants are after a big prize, but until they get to the final four or five, the successful ones are good at building coalitions. Even if you aren’t competing for a million dollars, you’re part of various teams too. Whether you play a key role at the office, are part of a family or have a favorite NFL team you support, show your team some love, and you’ll be rewarded.
4. Accessories make the outfit.
A toddler without her tiara is just a playful little girl, but give her a crown and a scepter, and she becomes a queen. Finding places to wear a tiara in everyday life is tough, but taking a page from fashion reality programs can show you how to use accessories thoughtfully. As “Project Runway” proved, designers who made the most of their available accessories could win challenges even when the clothes they designed were simple. The right chain or handbag can transform a basic T-shirt and jeans into a date-ready outfit.
5. Pack light.
Contestants on “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race” know they’re going to face living conditions very different from those they had at home, but having a few reminders of home can be enough to make a challenging time easier. You might not travel around the world on your next trip, but you’ll still be glad to have packed your luggage with versatile, useful items. No matter how much you love that linen suit, you’ll get more wear from a simple cotton dress that you can wash in the hotel sink.You don’t have to be a real housewife or come from the Jersey shore to appreciate reality television. Take the positive lessons from what you see, and leave the rest on the cutting room floor; you’ll enjoy your TV time more when you can apply a few of its lessons to your own everyday life.
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