Warning: 'Real Housewives' May Turn You Into a Bully

Phaedra ParksAs we gear up for the season premiere of The Real Housewives of Atlanta Sunday, all of the ladies are out talking to the media. NeNe Leakes is busy dishing on Kim Kardashian's divorce (she hopes it wasn't caused by "one blowout fight"); Kim Zolciak is all about her wedding plans; and Phaedra Parks is out blaming Bravo and other reality television creators for encouraging bullying. Kind of an odd way to promote the show she's on, but okay.

"Unfortunately I do think that reality TV has spawned a whole culture of bullying," she told the Associated Press. While I think she's overestimating the influence of the Housewives substantially, she does have a point.

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Those ladies are mean to one another both on-screen and off-screen. From Kyle and Kim Richards mercilessly attacking Brandi Glanville on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills to Teresa Giudice of The Real Housewives of New Jersey flipping tables and using her cookbook to slam her fellow cast mates, these women are bullies and they're not role model material by any means.

But we never asked them to be. That's not what we're looking for when we tune in ... or it shouldn't be. You might as well turn off the television altogether if you're looking for shows with good role models, and I don't think we can blame reality television any more than the rest of what's on. If anything, it seems that one would see them acting as they do and vow never to do anything of the sort. As for more impressionable children -- they shouldn't be watching in the first place. 

In an incredibly obvious yet true remark, Parks said, "I believe that the behavior you see on reality TV does not exactly exemplify how adults should be conducting themselves." Of course not, but if they acted the way they should, there would be nothing to watch. As it is now, their antics just make me laugh, or cry, or roll my eyes, and I have yet to flip a table. But beware ... I watch a lot of Real Housewives.

And sadly, bullying has been around long before reality television. As Housewife Kandi Burruss said:

A lot of people try to find reasons or ways to blame people or situations for their grief or sadness. Personally, I think reality TV is a mimic of what's happening in real life, not the other way around. People have always had arguments, and there's always been cliques.

There just hasn't always been Bravo pimping and promoting them. So while I think we can blame the Housewives for plenty of things (like polluting our ears with the horrid records they keep releasing), I don't think bullying is one of them. Of course, I could be wrong, so watch at your own risk. 

Do you think Real Housewives encourages bullying?


Image via Bravo

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