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Reality Bites Back readers wonder: what’s scarier, reality TV, Fox News, or skeletons?

jpozners Icon Posted by Jennifer L Pozner

October 23rd, 2010

I was much quieter here at WIMN’s Voices for the last year or two while writing Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV, than I had been in the past. Now that the book is done and pre-orders have shipped (only one week until it hits shelves on Nov. 1!), I’ll be posting more regularly again. Come Dec. 2, after my book tour is over, I’m itching to get back to writing about gender, race and class in news media, broader entertainment media, and politics again.

Meanwhile, how much do I love your enthusiasm for this book? Your pictures keep rolling in, showing that Reality Bites Back readers are a diverse group — women and men, kids and adults, and people from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds and geographic regions. I particularly enjoy the way some of you seem to be having fun with this Readers Gallery community over at the book’s official website and on Facebook. For example:

It takes a lot to scandalize someone whose work regularly has them negotiating with local politicians in Washington D.C. Nevertheless, here’s historic preservation expert Kristen Harbeson at the Capitol, shocked–SHOCKED!–by what she’s reading in Reality Bites Back:

Kristen Harbeson, astonished, at the Capitol

As it turns out, Kristen can’t figure out what aggravates her more: sexism and manipulation in reality television… or anything at all on Fox News:

Kristen Harbeson is almost as annoyed by reality TV as by Fox News

Just outside Los Angeles, professor Melanie Klein’s son, Atticus, wonders which is scarier: reality TV “Frankenbites” (see page 27 in the book, or read my explanation in this Macleans interview) — or little curly-haired skeletons?

Atticus Klein wonders which is scarier, reality TV or skeltons?

If our Twitter conversations have told me anything, I predict that Danielle’s raised eyebrows hint at both the bemusement and the ire this New Jersey resident is sure to experience as she reads about degrading depictions of women of color on dating, modeling and makeover shows:

Danielle says she's excited to read Reality Bites Back

Speaking of women of color and reality TV, Raudel Sandoval, a biology research assistant and professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, says the first thing he did when he got the book was immediately jump to chapter six to learn about the tyranny of Tyra Banks, during a period of down time in his lab:

Raudel Sandoval analyzes Tyra Banks for science

And at Santa Monica College, Elizabeth Pool Chavez says, “I was hooked reading the introduction. As a society we never take into account the importance television has in our lives and how it shapes our beliefs as a whole. I can’t wait to continue reading and meeting you at the LA launch on Sunset Blvd.” Elizabeth Pool shows off Reality Bites Back (I can’t wait to meet you, either, Elizabeth.)

Check my calendar for more information about the L.A. book reading on Nov. 17th (where I’ll be sharing the mic with author Shira Tarrant and activist Morgane Richardson), and other Reality Bites Back events in NYC, Philly, Denver, San Francisco, Boston and Washington, DC — and RSVP at the relevant events listing on the official Facebook page, or on here in the comments of the calendar pages.

If you’d like to join the Readers Gallery, send a photo of yourself to info[at]wimnonline[dot]org, or upload a photo directly to the Facebook page for the book. (And while you’re at it, “Like” the FB page and talk about the book with fellow readers there.)

And, as always, I’d love to hear what you’re thinking about reality TV and representations of gender, race, class and more in pop culture, whether directly related to the book or not. Weigh in in the comments below.

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