Reality shows constantly show how the other half lives. The Amish. Druglords and prostitutes. Celebrities. Families of 15 kids or more. So why not show how the other half parties? One show is not enough to showcase the gross misappropriation of funds that the rich use to party. And so we have My Super Sweet 16 on MTV and Party Party on Bravo. Pull up a bucket; this one’s a doozy.
My grandma’s Sweet 16 party consisted of four people, including herself. One of her friends was named Pipinell (which is somehow a nickname for Josephine—what can I say? Italians are crazy). She can’t remember the names of the other two. But she can remember that they danced in her parlor and her mom (my great-grandma) baked for them.
If this were the plan for any of the 15 year olds on My Super Sweet 16, they would not only have a tantrum, they would probably go to jail for maiming their parents. Because these 15 year olds are not shy about having their feelings heard. Usually, they express themselves in the not-so-quiet way of screeching, crying, and then cursing. They mostly define “spoiled rich kid.” They use the word “daddy” a lot.
High school kids are not usually as cruel as movies make them out to be, but shows like My Super Sweet 16 urge the creation of cruel. So now if teens have a Super Sweet 16, they are the cruelest. They use party invitations as social status. They are manipulative and swing their party power to knock down all those they claim are not worthy to be spit on. Then they treat their parents in the same way. And for the most part, the parents allow their children to scream and curse at them. Because kids are supposed to be in charge.
Why do they need to wear three dresses? Why do they need celebrities? How can their parents afford the party and the cars as birthday presents? If I got a party like that, that would be it. I wouldn’t get a car too. I would never get any presents again for holidays or birthdays for the rest of my life. It would be either have a Super Sweet 16 once or get a few presents each for the rest of your birthdays in your lifetime. And I would have to buy everyone in my family a car.
A few exceptions exist. Two girls used their party to raise money for charity. One mother threatened to call off the party because her daughter got bad grades. So some parenting and some good heartedness is involved. But that, again, is the exception. Mostly this show is about inflating the egos of spoiled 15 year olds. And sometimes 14 year olds in the Hispanic cultures where they celebrate turning 15.
Which brings me to that episode in particular in which the 14 year old girl has a photo shoot in a bikini that barely covers any of her goody gumdrops. And the other outfits of some other girls where boobage is in high profile and butt cracks are traceable through fabric. These are GIRLS, not women. Can we please put them into pretty pink princess dresses with lots of tulle and let them be kids? Stop sexualizing everything that’s supposed to be good fun. Also, stop with the fake martini bars. Even though lots of teenagers drink, you don’t have to glamorize it and make it okay.
And now for Party Party. This show follows two families at once to celebrate the same kind of occasion in two different ways. They did an episode about Sweet 16s. One in particular featured a mother who was pretty much drunk or drugged up the entire time and acted more like a 15 year old than her own 15 year old who acted as if she were 35. For the party, they went to Costco and loaded up on booze. For a bunch of teenagers. Read above rant about booze again here. And during the party the mother has to go around to the tables and tell the kids, “If you have a drink with booze, dump it because the cops are here.” There should really be a test or something that people need to pass before they have children. Also in the episode, she smacks her son in the head and pushes him out of a room. Nice.
The even more extravagant episode was the Bar/Bat Mitzvah episode. The West Coast family had a budget of 10K so they were doing most of the decorating on their own to cut costs. The New York family was spending 250K on food alone. And the mom, a party planner, was making a menu with unpronounceable Japanese foods while her daughter wanted fried chicken. Because even though it was the daughter’s party, it was a reflection on mom, who has the money and the reputation. That’s right, use your daughter’s religious and spiritual passage into adulthood as a huge PR event for yourself.
The one redeeming quality about either of these shows is when the actual party happens. The guests are amazed. The guests eat and drink and dance dance dance. They smile. What would be even better, though, is if everyone had a bad time. Well, at least it would be if you have a wicked sense of humor as I do. Seriously, though, gathering family and friends in one space at one time to celebrate an occasion is important for anyone to do at least once in his or her life.
[b] And THIS is why I love reality TV [/b]: Celebration. Despite the arrogance, spoiled pretty baby attitudes, over extravagance, materialism used to show love, sense of deservedness, and brattiness, it’s nice to see people having fun. Everyone needs to let loose and be happy. Though these partiers do it in a way that verges on wasteful, they still know how to have a good time (except for a few brats on My Super Sweet 16 who STILL find something to complain about even during the party—shut up and enjoy life!).
Who would win in a knock-down, drag out fight between Party Party and My Super Sweet 16? Well, Party Party IS on Bravo, and those Bravo people tend to stick together, which means that the boys over at Queer Eye would come packin. Party Party wins hands down.
Drinks on me! Christina@realityshack.com or visit one of my blogs: http://theunromancingofroma.blogspot.com or http://christinamrau.blogspot.com