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Life Lessons I’ve Learned From Reality TV Shows

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We all have life lessons to learn and we often learn them in the most unexpected of places. Here are 8 lessons I've learned from watching reality television.


Lesson #1: People Love To Watch You Fail – Wipeout

People claim they like the idea of the triumph of the human spirit, but what they REALLY like is seeing failure. Total, complete, slipping-on-muddy-balls failure. The lesson here is almost "don't try," but everything's padded, so why not give it your best shot?


Lesson #2: Make It Work! – Project Runway

More than just a catchy line to be etched onto millions of Project Runway promotional pillows, makin’ it work has become an ethos for the loyal fans that have followed Runway since its original season premiere and have kept the faith of applying this simple concept into their real lives.

Would I have continued to sew my 2006 Halloween costume if I had not had the voice of Tim Gunn channeling itself through me? I think not. Would I have kept on with any bit of homework or daily strife that had come my way if it weren’t for this simple concept? Well…actually, I probably would have figured it out one way or another, but this one particular line is still great to remember when you’re looking your dowdiest.


Lesson #3: More Eyeliner = More Power – Keeping Up With The Kardashians

The fashion of the Kardashians family is one not to be messed with. Together they’re a stylish fashion force, out to conquer the world and strip all high-end boutiques of their low-cut evening wear.

Tracking the sisters through the seasons, it’s easy to see that they become riskier with their fashionable decision making the more they become at ease in front of the camera. It’s no secret that younger sister Khloe only started to come into her own once she applied a thicker line of smoky eyeshadow around her pupils, and with that that’s all it takes. More eyeshadow = more power.


Lesson #4: Jerks Rule The World – Survivor

Nice guys (and girls) really DO finish last. Or, at least they finish without the million dollars. In fact, if you are a nice person, you probably don't even want to compete. And if someone seems like they might be nice, it could just be a clever ruse to take advantage of you. Trust no one. This show is pretty depressing, now that I think about it.


Lesson #5: Smile With Your Eyes – America's Next Top Model

I, like many other devoted TV geeks have been steadily absorbing season after season of ANTM, along for the ride of cat fights, gossip, and outlandish photo shoots. Though if there’s one thing the program would like you to take away, it’s the concept of “smiling with your eyes,” a technique when modeling where you simply widen your stare by lifting your eyebrows. Suddenly, every semi-bad picture of you is transformed into one that’s semi not-as-bad, and you have Tyra to thank for that one.


Lesson #6: Everything Is Better With Bacon – Every Show On The Food Network 

It seems to be the driving theme behind Food Network’s entire programming schedule. You see it on shows like Iron Chef America to less suspecting programs such as Ace of Cakes, this idea that adding bacon to just about anything makes it that much better. Soon your eyes are feasting on decadent images of bacon-wrapped sausages, bacon-topped cupcakes, bacon roll in cinnamon and sugar and dubbed a “Churr-acon” (a churro-ized piece of bacon), the possibilities are limitless. As an avid appreciator of the network as well as a bacon enthusiast myself I can safely say, they’re on to something here.


Lesson #7: Don't Be An Ice Head – Dog The Bounty Hunter

We learn so many life lessons from Dog The Bounty Hunter but I think the main or most recurring lesson is DON'T DO ICE. Ice is Crystal Meth. Aparently everyone in Hawaii does ice and it's Dog's job to arrest them all. Crystal Meth is bad news… lesson learned. Thanks Dog.


Lesson #8: Gym, Tan Laundry – The Jersey Shore

Who knew that a program as allegedly STD-saturated as “Jersey Shore” would become such a supporter of cleanliness? The concept of ‘GTL’ or, ‘Gym, Tan, Laundry’ is one that has spread like wildfire through out our popular culture, and why not? If you go out, you wanna look your best, you wanna feel good because you’re looking your best, and if you meet someone on the dance floor you want them to see you at your absolute best. The whole concept is like a finishing school for the 21st century guido generation, and I kind of love it. 

What kind of life lessons have YOU learned from reality shows? Let us know in the comments!


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