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Reality Teen Shows: Bad For US?

Jul. 30 2009, Published 9:41 a.m. ET

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Have you ever noticed that on the popular teen shows no one EVER does any homework? Yet Blair and Serena got accepted to Yale (then Blair got turned down but that’s a different story line.)

All the youngsters on the teen-centric series such as Laguna Beach, Gossip Girl, and the new train-wreck, NYC Prep, live a care free life of partying, sexual escapades, social extravaganzas, and bitchy backstabbing. Supposedly, they portray a life of an “average” teenager, though we have yet to meet a so-called  “average” member of the breed.

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Parents are worried about the messages these shows are sending to our kids because even smart teenagers , still forming their self-image, can’t always identify real life from the reality life.  Sasha Pasulka, Head Writer and Founder of women’s interest site Zelda Lily and entertainment website Evil Beet writes:

These are teenagers with exceptional resources, personalities, opportunities and lifestyles. As an adult, I can see that. As a teenager with a narrow perception of “reality” and a still-forming self-image, I would not have seen that. I recall, as a teenager, desperately wanting a life of endless partying and love triangles, like Julia Salinger on Party of Five or Valerie Malone on 90210. But I was aware of the buffer between their lives and reality: These were fictional characters, and in real life those lifestyles don’t always feel so glamorous. I understood that. Had their stories been pitched to me as “reality,” I may have felt differently.

Gossip Girl

So kids are getting the message that you can make like Serena (GG of course) and sail into college. And to think we worked our butts off to get into an Ivy League college…



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