GMO Commentary: My Take on Reality TV

Monday, 03 September 2012 19:42 Written by  Hiba Abdillahi

In a world where you keep up with the Kardashians, watch bad girls go crazy and observe the daily lives of basketball wives, you’d think there was absolutely no hope for good television. I’m not going to lie, I do find myself a victim of RTD (Reality TV Disorder), but the first step is admitting it, right?

I remember being home one night and flipping through the channels to see if anything was on. I stumbled across the Lifetime network and started watching “The Conversation with Amanda De Cadenet.” It has literally changed my life and my view on television today. The new show gives a different spin on celebrity interviews, makes it more personal and talks about things that matter to women. Aging, body issues, money, working in a “man’s world,” sex, love after loss and love in general. Whatever it is, these women are talking about it. Some of the women featured on the show included Crystal Renn, a plus-sized super model; Alicia Keys, a musician and mother; Jane Fonda, an activist and actress; Junior U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), and many more celebrity women––from actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Zoe Saldana––to businesswomen Glenda Bailey and Donna Karan.

I saw the episode that featured Eva Longoria, and Amanda asked her about how she recovered from her previous relationship to NBA star Tony Parker. Her answers were so real and raw, and from that moment I was hooked. Every episode I’ve seen since that one inspired me, gave me such insight on being a woman, and showed me someone else is feeling the same way I feel. At the end of the show, the host asks all her guests what would they tell their 14-year-old self, and that part of the show really gets to me. My younger sister is 10, and if I could protect her from what’s to come I would, but I can’t. Each guest has her own piece of advice, but it usually goes back to “it’ll get better” or “don’t dwell on it, just be you,” and all I could think of was what a positive show this is for our younger generation. I'd rather have my sister watch these successful women talk about the struggles they faced to get to where they are, what they would have done differently or how they deal with the world––as opposed to watching basketball wives live off their ex-husbands’ money or girls living in a house going out, drinking every night and then fighting afterward.

This show inspired me to want be a better person. It showed me if I have dreams, I can achieve them. Whether it’s becoming an actress, an activist or a designer, whatever I set my mind to, I can do it. Not many talk shows today represent women in this light. The conversations are so raw and they literally move you. There hasn’t been a time where I didn’t get teary-eyed while these women share their stores about love or loss.

The interesting part about this show is they ask the same questions to regular people on the street, so you get to hear the opinions of everyday women, as well as the celebrities. I advise all women to check out this show and get into the conversation. This show is for women made by women, and MAN does it feel good to be a woman.



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Hiba Abdillahi

Hiba Abdillahi

Hiba Abdillahi is a student at Columbia College Chicago, majoring in broadcast journalism. She aspires to be an international correspondent.

Hiba can be contacted at