The Most Disturbing Truths Of Being A Reality Star

We often look at reality television as a quick way to fame for the desperate and talentless. But desperate and talentless aren't the only adjectives you might want to apply to those seeking reality fame and fortune. After we found out some of the more disturbing aspects of being a reality star, we figured you'd have to be crazy to want to become one...

Lack Of Privacy

Most everyone knows that when you sign up to be on a reality show, it means your entire life is going to be recorded from the beginning of your contract until your contract ends. It may sound great, but after a while, it becomes a tad demanding. Even reality star Kim Kardashian has complained over the lack of privacy in her life. Kim K has said, "Everyone is always watching me, I'm under constant observation, everywhere I go there's a camera following me." And yes, this is the same Kim Kardashian who began her career when a sex tape featuring her and then-boyfriend Ray J was "leaked."

Constant Scrutiny

As a reality star, not only are you constantly watched, but everything you do becomes the subject of everyone else's judgement and opinion. For instance, in an interview with Fault Magazine, Kylie Jenner said that she finds that she closes herself down a lot and doesn't show people the real Kylie, despite the lingerie and bikini selfies on Instagram. This scrutiny affects not only the stars themselves, but those around them as well. Jenner also mentioned that her friends "get freaked out when they come into my world," adding that many people who come into her family's life "can't handle it." It sounds like the life of a reality star can get quite lonely, and yet, she probably never thinks of walking away from it.

Much Of It Is Scripted

Despite the fact that we refer to it as "reality television," a lot of it is scripted, meaning it's not all that real. And not only is it scripted, a lot of it is edited to appear however the producers want it to look. Take ABC's The Bachelor and its season 19 contestant Kelsey Poe. A recent widow when she taped the show, Poe alleges that producers "twisted the plot" and used the story of her husband's death in order to get ratings, according to Radar Online. Just how did they twist the plot? Producers edited and manipulated footage of Poe talking about her husband in order to imply that she had something to do with his death. Poe claimed this caused her a lot of emotional damage, and it's not hard to see how.

It's Degrading, Especially If You're A Woman

If you're a contestant on a reality dating show, it's assumed (often unfairly) that you have little to no self-respect. And that's putting it kindly. Just such a thing happened with Lacey Conner from season one of Rock of Love with Bret Michaels. In an open memo to Lacey's father, a writer at Jezebel referred to Lacey as a "slut." That's a tad harsh, especially considering the blog it comes from. Meanwhile, men who appear on such shows, like Bret Michaels himself for example, receive no harsh criticism whatsoever. Of course, he's practically a senior citizen, so maybe that's why people go easy on him these days.

People Are Willing To Put Their Children Through Anything

When a parent can't hack it, they have no trouble subjecting their children to all the pressures of success, no matter how young they are. And some of these parents, usually the pageant moms, don't hold back on exploiting their children either. Take TLC's Toddlers & Tiaras, for instance, which has been likened to child abuse—and for good reason. In one episode, pageant mom Lindsay Jackson dressed up her then four-year-old daughter Madisyn in a hyper-sexualized outfit featuring fake breasts and a bulbous posterior for the sake of winning a competition. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Other moms have dressed their daughters up as hookers, force-fed them sugar and energy drinks to keep their energy up, and forced their children to smoke. Ah, motherhood.

Stars Can Essentially Become Prisoners

When you're in, you're in, no matter what. Iron-clad contracts often prevent reality stars from walking away when the stress of a show becomes too much for them. That happened with the Lifetime series Dance Moms, which features young girls in the very early stages of performance careers and Abby Lee Miller, the belligerent dance instructor tasked with helping them by throwing chairs at them and berating them constantly. And because of this behavior, dance mom Christi Lukasiak attempted to quit the show, according to International Business Times. After Miller screamed at her daughter Chloe, an audience favorite, for losing her hat in a season three episode, Lukasiak tried to get herself and her daughter out of there, but they couldn't because of their six-season contract. It took another season for Lukasiak to say enough was enough, and she managed to quit the show. Since then, Chloe has taken up many business endeavors and causes, such as the anti-bullying campaign #NobodyisYOU. Gee, we wonder what inspired that...

It Can Leave Emotional Scars

Quite a few reality show stars need psychiatric help once they step away from the shows and have to return to real life. And it's not just because the judges didn't like their singing. Lorrie Arias, a contestant of the extreme-makeover show The Swan, claims that her time on the program left her with several psychological problems, such as bipolar disorder and depression, according to the New York Post. And it's sad to say, but hers might be one of the least-traumatic experiences. Since reality television became the go-to genre for most networks, about a dozen or so reality stars have committed suicide, including The Contender's Najai "Nitro" Turpin and Paula Goodspeed from American Idol.

You Could Die And The Producers Won't Care

Some reality competition shows feature stunts so dangerous that contestants often get hurt. Such was the case with ABC's Splash, in which celebrities like Kendra Wilkinson and Katherine Webb perform high dives—because that's something an amateur can do. Of the 11 contestants, six suffered injuries, some as serious as concussions and ruptured eardrums. But sometimes it's even worse. In the case of Wipeout, another ABC show, contestant Tom Sparks died during a 2009 taping. And the show continued airing until 2014. How's that possible? Well, networks avoid any wrongdoing in cases like this because contestants have to sign waiver after waiver that basically says it's their fault if they get injured or killed, and not the network's. But hey, that's show biz...