The Pull of Reality TV: Unveiling "Below Deck"

Reality TV could be bad for mental health
on Wed 6 Mar


Reality TV holds a unique place in entertainment. It captivates audiences with its raw, unedited bite-size slices of life it offers. Among these, "Below Deck" stands out to me, offering viewers an intriguing glimpse into the opulent world of luxury yachting mixed with the all-too-human dramas of its crew! This blend of luxury and reality has proven irresistible, but to me it raises questions: What draws us to this kind of entertainment, and what impact does indulging in reality TV have on our minds? Could tools like hypnotherapy offer a way to mitigate any negative effects? One has to be mindful that the editor decides how people are portrayed in order to boost the ratings to a maximum.  


The Allure of "Below Deck"

"Below Deck" and similar shows provide a potent mixture of escapism, voyeurism, and relatability. They transport viewers into a seemingly out-of-reach lifestyle filled with scenic views and high-stakes service, all the while grounding the experience in the relatable dramas of interpersonal relationships. This cocktail makes the show compelling, as it moves between between the fantasy of luxury and the reality of human emotion and conflict.

Escapism: At its core, "Below Deck" offers an escape. The beautiful locations and the luxury lifestyle provide a break from the mundanity of everyday life, inviting viewers into a world that is both aspirational and fantastical, an "I want to be there" feeling.

Voyeurism: There's an inherent curiosity in humans to peek into the lives of others, and "Below Deck" satisfies this by laying bare the triumphs and tribulations of its crew members. This voyeuristic pleasure, combined with the reality TV format's promise of unscripted content, makes the show irresistibly engaging. There is a complex layer of human relationship development, crew to crew, guests to crew, guests to guests, the authority chains within, and all this mixed with the sexual tensions and intimacy which occurs when hard work and free time meet and alliances are made, heightened with alcohol.

Relatability and Human Drama: Despite the extraordinary setting, the emotions and challenges faced by the crew are universal. Viewers find pieces of their own experiences reflected in the cast, making the show's narrative compelling on a personal level.


The Mind and Reality TV: A Delicate Balance

While reality TV like "Below Deck" provides entertainment and a temporary retreat from reality, questions about its impact on mental health concern me. My concerns include the promotion of unrealistic expectations, the glorification of conflict and materialism, and potential feelings of inadequacy or dissatisfaction with one's own life. Excessive consumption can distort perceptions of reality, potentially leading to negative effects on mental health.

Given these potential pitfalls, finding ways to enjoy reality TV without succumbing to its negative impacts is crucial. This is where hypnotherapy could play a role. By addressing the subconscious mind, hypnotherapy can help individuals develop a more critical perspective towards the content they consume. My main Concern is that some may feel inadequate after watching the luxurious lifestyles and picture-perfect appearances on reality TV, unable to live up to the viewed lifestyles and belief in the perfect. Hypnotherapy can help in reinforcing self-esteem, self-worth and confidence, independent of external validation.

Reducing Dependency: Hypnotherapy can also address potential dependencies on reality TV and social media, eliminating or alleviating the need for escapism or external media emotional fulfilment, encouraging more productive coping mechanisms for stress and boredom.

With a maritime background, I have a fascination with "Below Deck" which I believe is because of its blend of escapism, voyeurism, and relatability, offering me a complex mix of entertainment and emotional engagement. While my concerns about the impact of reality TV consumption and social media on mental health are valid, by fostering a critical and balanced approach to media consumption, we can enjoy the captivating world of reality TV while maintaining our mental well-being.


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