Viewers seem to gravitate to every moment of authentic raw behavior from real people on reality shows. However, on the flip side of that, producers are often scrutinized for revealing or showing too much when producing this content. Not to date myself, but I remember Tami Roman having an abortion on Real World back in the 90's and being shocked that someone would share something so private on national television. Then ten years later, Joseline arrives on the scene on Love and Hip Hop -Atlanta and has her a good ole' abortion storyline. I'm not pointing fingers or condemning either of these women, but I often wonder, were these people willing to be that transparent, or were they just not self-aware?
To understand if a person is being transparent or not self-aware, we should analyze the difference between the two. From my observation and my experience in producing talent, I think individuals who choose to be transparent are very clear of their flaws and active participants in their evolution and growth.
Take Nene from the Real Housewives of Atlanta; she exerted levels of transparency when she purposefully shared the fact that she was once a stripper; however, I am not so sure that she was aware that she would also be conceived as a bully. Another example is Bethany, who is very transparent and comfortable with all the good and bad outcomes. In my opinion, Tami evolved over the years, and on Basketball Wives, she was one of the most transparent women in the series. I think transparent characters are quite comfortable with their imperfections and choose to be honest and share that with the viewer.
So who are the "not self-aware" characters on reality TV? I would say the other large percentage of individuals I didn't mention. Honestly and unfortunately, mainly females. They appear to be hamming it up for the camera, but they fail to see themselves and their many character flaws. This epidemic of not being self-aware also explains the overwhelming divorce rate among these people.
The camera is like a mirror, and once the show airs, everyone is forced to look at themselves and their mates and see the REAL person. Unfortunately, the scary thing is that people often look at themselves on the television and convince themselves that's a character and not their true selves. LIES! Unfortunately, those who are not self-aware are delusional and not clear about who they are and what they represent. These people are also typically the ones blaming the producer for how they appear on the show. My reaction – "No, honey, this is not a scripted series; that's you, and my dear, you are just not self-aware!"