This week, International Women’s Day provided me with a catalyst to discuss some real role models and women who should inspire us. I was curious to look at reality TV since it’s a powerful media tool. Achieving empowerment as a woman can happen in a number of ways, but by looking at certain reality TV stars, I found women whose achievements should be admired.
The Little Couple
Dr. Jennifer Arnold is an attending neonatologist at Baylor College of Medicine and medical director of the Simulation Center at Texas Children’s Hospital. She appears on The Little Couple alongside her husband Bill and two children, Will and Zoey. Not only should she be admired for her work in medicine, but she is one of the best role models and examples of an empowered woman. She appears to be a really great parent and wife. Both Jen and Bill show an enormous amount of love and care for their children while teaching appropriate boundaries and learning in age-appropriate ways that is really refreshing to watch on reality TV. Dr. Arnold sets a great example for young women.
The two women on Shark Tank are impressive. Barbara Corcoran and Lori Greiner are strong women with impressive bios. Their lists of achievements are long. These two women are excellent examples of awesome women on reality TV.
Married at First Sight
I also chose the two experts on Married at First Sight, Dr. Pepper Schwartz and Dr. Logan Levkoff. Both women are the experts on this show and have quite impressive résumés and backgrounds. Dr. Levkoff is an internationally recognized expert on on sexuality and relationships, and Dr. Schwartz is a professor of sociology at the University of Washington and has written numerous books and academic articles. It is nice to see career-oriented women represented in the reality TV world, and Dr. Schwartz and Dr. Levkoff are great role models for their accomplishments in the fields of sociology and psychology.
One of this season’s contestants, Jubilee, is a war veteran and an Army sergeant. She is an impressive woman on a show where looks and beauty seem to be all that matters. It is great to see her accomplishments in the military.
Courtroom reality shows
The legal dramas of reality TV are also filled with strong women. Judge Judith Sheindlin — also known as Judge Judy — is a wonderful example. I also admire Vikki Ziegler, a divorce attorney on Bravo, for the kind of legal work she does with couples in the process of divorce. These two are career-oriented women in the legal field who are pretty much running their own shows.
When we look at reality TV and complain about all the attention paid to the superficial, remember that there are some great women who are about changing lives, helping people, being mothers and wives and making a difference in several fields. We can look at women who are on TV not for their looks or superficial entertainment but for more important things. I hope there are even more women that can be added to this list as the reality TV genre grows.