OK, reality television, the gig is up. We’ve reached peak ridiculousness, and it’s time to shut. it. down.
A group of ordinary, compassionate human beings (us, it was us) have pinpointed the exact moment the genre of reality TV went too far.
Network executives have decided it’s be a mad cool idea to put heavily pregnant women in the jungle and film them giving birth on a pile of leaves. That’s when.
Lifetime Television (in the US, obviously) have just announced a reality TV program called Born in The Wild. As the name alarmingly suggests, real actual tiny baby humans will be born in the wild – with absolutely no medical assistance provided. It’s “inspired by” a youtube video called Birth In Nature, that was viewed 20 million times (featuring the woman you can see in these photos).
Here, read Lifetime’s borderline-pathological summary of their bat-shit crazy television program:
“From the mood swings and false alarms to the crazy food cravings, learning to expect the unexpected becomes a way of life in the final days leading up to birth…. But what happens when the craziest experience of a woman’s life becomes truly wild, and soon-to-be parents decide to take on an unassisted birth in the outdoors? ‘Born in the Wild’ will document the journeys of young, expectant parents who have chosen to give birth ‘in the wild.’”
‘Unassisted birth in the outdoors’. Meaning there will be a full camera crew surrounding a naked woman squatting on a patch of swamp/dirt/exotic lilypad to perform the casual task of popping out a human being. Without medical assistance of any sort. On television. Having signed away any legal liability or risk in the crazy-ass contract given to them by the network. Who will profit from the show no matter what the outcome.
And let’s be real here. The outcome could be completely devastating. Childbirth might be beautiful and miraculous, but it’s also one of the most dangerous things a woman can do. Children die, women die, and there are any number of dire medical complications that could arise. What are they going to do in such a situation, ask the sound guy to stop the bleeding? Yell at the dude holding the boom to perform emergency resuscitation? Rely on the director to prevent a woman dying from eclampsia?
In 2013, according to the World Health Organisation, 289,000 women died giving birth. For every one of those deaths, there were another 20 women who suffered injuries during childbirth, became infected, or contracted a disease. 10 million women a year are gravely affected by giving birth.
This TV show is an insult to every single one of them.
Women and girls in developing countries have no choice but to give birth unassisted and ‘in nature’. Yet, here we have a group of privileged American adults volunteering to give birth in squalid conditions, consenting to have it filmed and broadcast on television for the purposes of entertainment. If that’s not the most perverse, repugnant indictment of our crazed desire for televised “reality” I don’t know what it is.