Irvine, CA (PressExposure) July 31, 2011 -- Millions of viewers tune in to Bravo TV's Real Housewives shows each week. But what exactly is it about this series that's so intriguing?
"It's the fantasy," says Judy Joseph Hamlin, author of the book "From Riches to Happiness." "The Real Housewives present a world full of luxury, drama, and sex appeal. They always look good, with designer clothes, fancy cars, and the means to stay young and beautiful. They're what so many of us want to be, and that keeps us tuning in week after week."
Americans spend one-third of their lives watching TV, with up to sixty-seven percent of that spent watching reality shows. With series set in Orange County, Atlanta, New York, New Jersey, and Beverly Hills, the Real Housewives undoubtedly garner a large portion of that demographic.
"The problem," says Ms. Hamlin, "is that fantasy is all these shows are. So many reality stars-Real Housewives included-are just putting up a façade. Behind the surface is heartache and unhappiness, and money can't cure either of those."
While many people think reality TV shows are just harmless fantasylands, actual reality tells a much different story:
* "Flawless" reality show stars have inspired more than 9.2 million plastic-surgery procedures
* Since the reality TV boom of 2000, eating disorders in girls as young as thirteen have tripled
* More and more people every season are willing to sacrifice their privacy and even their dignity for a few fleeting minutes of fame
"If your self-esteem is low or you're unhappy with your life, the Real Housewives' fantasy world can have a detrimental effect," says Ms. Hamlin. "The key is to remember reality TV is not real-it's a form of escape just like any other show."
About the author:
Judy Joseph Hamlin, a former Orange County housewife, earned a master's degree in special education. She is a teacher in Newport Beach, California. This is her first book.
"From Riches to Happiness" is available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.
("From Riches to Happiness" by Judy Joseph Hamlin; ISBN: 0615310362; 5½" x 8½"; 84 pages; paperback: $7.95; e-book: $2.99; Sunriver Pub)