Commodifying Reality Television Stars


“The enterprising self is thus an collaborative fiction, crafted through a swatch of detailed instructions in the spaces where the neoliberal economy meets culture.”


I chose this quote from Ouellette’s reading because I felt as though it summed up how reality television stars are merely commodities. Reality television has become more than just a form of entertainment because nowadays it is hardly reality. The television shows are cut, and scripted so that the people (or more so characters,) are cast in a certain light. For example, on shows like The Bachelor and The Bachelorette there are certain contestants who are cast only because of the way they look, talk, act or because of a job they may have. If they fit the mold that the production team wants to sell then they will cast the person, but without any intention of them winning the show. Another reality television star who is constantly changing herself to fit the culture and economy that consumers want to see is Kylie Kardashian. The picture I included in my post that I think fits the quote from the chapter is a picture of Kylie’s many different hairstyles. Kylie is constantly changing her hair by wearing a wig in order to fit a certain image that consumers will like. If she is trying to sell a certain lip color from her lip kit collection then she will change her hair to a color that will go along with the lip color so that more consumers will buy it. We, as consumers, look to these reality television stars for entertainment and glamour despite the fact that what they are displaying to us is hardly their reality, but a fictitious character they have made to fit the neoliberal economy and culture. Reality television stars are no longer people, but goods that we consume. The audio clip I attached is the song Pretty Hurts by Beyonce. In this song Beyonce discusses how the media culture affects women to believing they need to look a certain way and in turn hurting their self-esteem and confidence. I think this song can relate to reality television stars like the contestants on The Bachelor or The Kardashian women because they feel as though they must constantly fit the mold that the media makes for them and if they do not change themselves to meet the consumers demand then they will not be successful. They force themselves to change so that they can sell themselves to consumers, making them commodities rather than human-beings.