Idol Today Idle Tomorrow: Is It Sensible To Allow Children To Participate In Reality Shows?

Posted on August 4, 2013 in Specials

By Neelabjo Mukherjee:

An impeccably decorated stage. Check. An esteemed panel of judges. Check. An ever obliging studio audience. Check. Oh-so-proud parents. Check.

In the middle of this, you find a body-hugging, cleavage baring number covering the lesser part of a female torso, as she gyrates provocatively while emoting with the perfect blend of oomph and appeal through her heavily made up, kohl lined eyes.

Now, now before you call me conservative or narrow minded I must clarify that those in question are not adults or young adults, who definitely have the right to choose or decide what to wear or simply what to do. I have been solely referring to children or rather toddlers, as young as six or seven, who emulate and imitate adults in every other reality show of the day. When a child sings an item song or dances to a raunchy dance number with such perfection, then she has to go through the entire ordeal of understanding the song and emoting accordingly, which is undoubtedly not a desirable thing for any child to learn at such a tender age.

reality show

The worst part is that they are often reprimanded and rebuked by the esteemed panel of judges if they do not match up to the show’s standards and this has a devastating effect on these young minds. A very tragic example is Shinjini Sengupta, one such dance reality participant who never quite recovered from the shock of being chided publicly. She went into depression and lost her speech as a result of the extreme pressure that she had to face.

In most other cases the problems start brewing after the end of the show, when the child is no longer in the limelight. He becomes so used to being a ‘celebrity’ status, that it’s difficult to settle back into normal day to day life and obtain a proper education or interact with one’s peers. They are often friendless and lonely and it never really does any good to their talent if they simply perform on stage shows instead of honing their craft and talent. The ones who do focus enough to practice regularly miss out on their education which creates a major void in their lives because without basic education it’s difficult to progress in today’s world.

One understands that every talented individual needs an exposure and a reality show definitely provides the perfect platform to showcase your talent. But despite that, is it still sensible or judicious to allow children to participate and chase this short lived period of fame and success?