Reality television creates stars people love to hate

By Heather Horton/entertainment editor

Society is becoming more consumed with pop culture, and reality television stars are becoming famous for, well, being famous.

Let’s face it, in the hierarchy of stardom, reality stars are like day-old discounted pastries in the supermarket bakery section. The natural reaction is to walk over to the clearance aisle and see what goodies can be procured at a cheaper rate.

One reason the public is attracted to these “stars” is because their celebrity status may be more tangible than the upper echelon of Hollywood’s elite.

Potentially, anyone with a hope, a dream and the desire to go without food on a deserted island for 45 days with 12 other hopefuls could be a celebrity.

Shows like Survivor and The Amazing Race tend to cultivate hero personalities who get cheers from the populace.

In a few instances, those idols turned their 15 minutes of fame into longer-term gigs. Elisabeth Hasselbeck was a contestant on Survivor: The Australian Outback (2002). She landed a gig on The View (2003), received a daytime Emmy and last year (2013) moved up to Fox and Friends’ news commentary.

Next is a reality celebrity status that isn’t quite as attainable although it can still be quite entertaining.

For instance, how are Kourtney, Khloe and Kim famous and for what? Is it because they are rich? Or is it because of their rather large derrieres?

There is something compelling about watching the drama of the beautiful people’s lives play out in front of a national audience, no matter how produced it may be at times. It’s the stuff that sells magazines and fuels TMZ. It’s a guilty pleasure.

Then, there are the unfortunates, where the train has derailed completely off the tracks, and viewers can’t help but watch the disaster unfold in front of them.

Teen Mom, Bad Girls Club and even Big Brother are top picks for people behaving badly. These shows produce characters that America loves to hate.

Reality stars garner a generic form of fame. However, it is still fame just the same.