Reality TV is Inclusive?

Mar 04, 2011
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This summer my mom told me that she was surprised that I didn’t watch that reality show The Amazing Race.  She said it seemed like something I would like.  I admitted that the only reason I didn’t watch was that everyone else seemed to watch it and it always won the Emmy every year and I tend to be one of those people that doesn’t like to jump on the bandwagon.  I mean hey, I loved the Atlanta Braves when they were horrible and then happily adopted the Chicago Cubs in 2000 where I proudly watched them finish dead last in their division.

BUT, I caved on this one.  I started watching last season, when the first ever all female duo (those endearing doctors) won.  So yes, I LOVE The Amazing Race now.  I’ve already talked to my husband about whether it would be better for our kids if he and I were on the show as a team, or if he should stay home in case I did really well so both of us wouldn’t be away from them for so long.  But then it’s a matter of deciding which of my friends would be the best partner.  The one who isn’t afraid of heights (because I am), or the friend that seems to know obscure trivial pieces of information that would probably be able solve the most mysterious of clues in seconds flat.  OR the friend that would keep me laughing the whole time and whom I would never argue with, but can’t read a map to save her life.  But anyway . . . I digress.  And that’s not why I’m writing this.

I remember hearing that Sarah Reinertsen had been on the show a couple of years ago.  She was the first female with a leg amputation to complete the Ironman Triathlon World Championship in Hawaii and has been the spokesperson for Challenged Athletes and Ossur (prosthetics) and has been on numerous magazine covers for her many athletic achievements.  I hadn’t really thought about her being on the show since, but now that I’m an avid watcher, I noticed that this season includes individuals with disabilities as well.

It’s all “All-Stars” season so they’ve obviously been on before, but they are new to me anyway.  One guy has Asberger’s syndrome which is part of the autism spectrum and another guy is deaf.  Side note:  I also happen to be a bit obsessed with sign language and still hope to “grow up” to be a sign language interpreter at venues like the Paralympics/Olympics one day.  But I digress again . . .

Anyway, I like the way disability has been represented, from what I’ve seen, so far on the show.  Unless I’ve missed it, there’s been no stories that are obviously intended to elicit pity from the viewers or pull at our heart strings.  We are given the opportunity to decide who we are going to cheer for from our couches based on the short and simple facts and characteristics given by their introductions (i.e. “dating goth couple” – one of my favorites) and also on the behavior we simply witness from each individual.  So it really seems like a good representation of being inclusive.  There are people of all sizes, ages, ethnicities, races, sexes, sexual orientations, professions, interests, AND abilities.

There are teams.

They are competing.

And everyone is different.

Isn’t that refreshing?!

If you have a differing opinion of the show from watching previous seasons or something, please share.  It may burst my bubble, but I can handle it!

Author: Blythe