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Getting these shots and followers sometimes ain’t that glamorous! Some shots take forever to get, some are accidents, some are planned, and most are heavily edited. And most of these shots also got me a lot of weird stares while I was taking them. Here’s a bit of backstory:
Don’t let that smile fool you, I was pretty much a zombie after not sleeping because I decided to camp alone on a deserted island the night before, but I needed a shot of the paddle board for a blog post I was doing. I’m sitting because I have a gash on the bottom of my foot, and because I couldn’t balance to take the picture, and was terrified of falling in. Notice how you can’t see my left arm? I was using it to (carefully) hold my iPhone to see a preview of the shot with my GoPro.
I specifically went to Horseshoe Bend because I really, really wanted this shot. Again, notice how you don’t see my left arm, and I’m looking down; it’s because I can see the preview of the GoPro shot on my phone, which I was purposely angling so you couldn’t see the dozens of tourists staring at me like I was crazy for hanging my feet over the edge to take a “selfie”. To be fair, I was slightly terrified, and I did fit in with all of the tourists using selfie sticks for their phones. My travel companion was slowly starting to hate me for taking photos instead of “enjoying the moment”.
This picture actually was a really awesome moment for me. It was not only one of my first solo trips, but also the first time I realized I could see underwater because I had just gotten Lasik. But, I still did not mean to get such an awesome shot. I had my GoPro on a timer and happened to get this one out of like 30 really weird ones of me looking like a drowning cat. It was actually cloudy and raining so I also had to edit the shit out of this just so you can see me.
Angel’s Landing is the highest/hardest hike in Zion National Park…guess who didn’t know that until they were half way into the hike? I was not prepared at all. Also guess who had never climbed a freaking mountain using mounted chains and ropes? This girl. That being said, you can probably imagine why my hair (which I only took down out of a bun for the pic) is wet. I also waited about 10 minutes for a guy to hike down so he wouldn’t judge me for using a selfie stick. On a cooler note, two girls stopped me at the top because they follow me on Instagram! #humblebrag.
I had been dying to get shots of Antelope Valley, but apparently so were a lot of people, because both tours I attended were full of people. The guide made fun of me every time I’d take a picture, making me look like a self-absorbed princess to the others, so I had to lag behind or run ahead to get shots when no one was around. Everyone kept asking if I wanted them to just take my picture, but it’s hard to explain that I don’t actually want a photo of myself, but I have a specific angle and shot that I like, and have to be in the photo to a certain extent otherwise it won’t do as well on Instagram. I also changed outfits in the car to differentiate between Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon.
There’s a lot going on here. First of all, I paddle boarded all of my camping gear to a deserted island in Arizona because the guy at the paddle board shop said it would be “a great adventure”, and since I was pissed that the dude I was dating had just crashed my road trip then left, I figured, “f*ck it, why the hell not”. That “glow” on my skin is from the hour it took me to get the stupid blue two-person tent up by myself, and the pink princess tent was brought specifically for my amusement and photos. Yes, that is a knife in my bikini, yes, my left arm is again holding my phone with a preview of shot, and yes, I was scared shitless the second it got dark outside.
This is the product of an attempted handstand-shot on Railay Beach in Thailand. I have my GoPro on a timer, and have the stick shoved in the sand and propped up by beer bottles. That being said, I was also drinking, and extremely rusty on my gymnastics skills, so couldn’t keep my legs straight up for the life of me. I believe my mother even said, “Wow, I had no idea you could even still do that!” Also, like usual, I was extremely sunburnt. A few days later I got my debit and credit card stolen, had to fly Malaysia Airlines (it was empty), and still had a week left traveling sunburnt and solo in Australia.
Here’s another specific location I really wanted to go to to get a cool picture as I knew it would do well on Instagram, and only an hour or so from where I live. I didn’t exactly look too much into it besides the drive. I got stuck doing a steep incline hike in the blazing California sun, only to get to this potato chip looking rock that only looks impressive in photos. Sorry for the spoiler alert, but everyone who sees it for the first time goes, “that’s it?!”
The moments before this photo it was filled with tourists, gawking at me for being there alone and thus influencing me to write my lovely little rant, “Yes, I’m Pretty and I’m Traveling Alone.” Luckily one of the gawkers was also a worker, who let me stay back as everyone was exiting. While he took my picture, and I froze my ass off.
Australian teenager with more than 612,000 Instagram followers radically rewrites her ‘self-promoting’ history on social media (and launches new website)
First published on Tue 3 Nov 2015 02.41 GMT
An Australian teenager with more than half a million followers on Instagram has quit the platform, describing it as “contrived perfection made to get attention”, and called for others to quit social media – perhaps with help from her new website.
Essena O’Neill, 18, said she was able to make an income from marketing products to her 612,000 followers on Instagram – “$2000AUD a post EASY”. But her dramatic rejection of social media celebrity has won her praise.
On 27 October she deleted more than 2,000 pictures “that served no real purpose other than self-promotion”, and dramatically edited the captions to the remaining 96 posts in a bid to to reveal the manipulation, mundanity, and even insecurity behind them. O’Neill did not respond to requests for an interview.
A photo of her wearing a bikini, once captioned “Things are getting pretty wild at my house. Maths B and English in the sun,” has been edited: “see how relatable my captions were – stomach sucked in, strategic pose, pushed up boobs. I just want younger girls to know this isn’t candid life, or cool or inspirational. It’s contrived perfection made to get attention.”
A selfie posted by Essena O’Neill to Instagram 21 months ago. She edited the caption in late October. Photograph: Instagram
“Why would you tell your followers that you’re paid a lot to promote what you promote? Why would you tell your followers that you literally just do shoots every day to take pictures for Instagram?” she said in a 22-minute vlog posted to YouTube, titled “HOW PEOPLE MAKE 1000’s ON SOCIAL MEDIA”. “Like, it’s not cool. No one thinks that’s radical, or revolutionary.
“Yet I, myself, was consumed by it. This was the reason why I quit social media: for me, personally, it consumed me. I wasn’t living in a 3D world.”
“I remember I obsessively checked the like count for a full week since uploading it,” she wrote of her first-ever post, a selfie that now has close to 2,500 likes. “It got 5 likes. This was when I was so hungry for social media validation . Now marks the day I quit all social media and focus on real life projects.”
A photo posted by Essena O’Neill to Instagram 21 months ago. She edited the caption in late October. Photograph: Instagram
This includes letsbegamechangers.com, O’Neill’s new site “aimed to inspire constant QUESTIONING”, where there’s “no likes or views or followers … just my content as raw as I want”. In her first post, dated 31 October, she challenged her followers to go a week without social media, and recommended Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now.
The site will cover “veganism, creative imagery with purpose, poems, writing, interviews with people that inspire me, and of course the finical reality behind deluding people off Instagram” [sic]. She will continue to post videos about vegan eating to YouTube, but Vimeo (“made to help not to get views or $$”) will “host all the new quality content”.
According to a recent study, half of the American public endorses at least one conspiracy theory. Photograph: Ali Smith/The Guardian
What happens to those caught up in the toxic lies of conspiracy theorists? The Guardian spoke to five victims whose lives were wrecked by falsehoods
Last modified on Mon 18 Feb 2019 15.49 GMT
C onspiracy theories used to be seen as bizarre expressions of harmless eccentrics. Not any more. Gone are the days of outlandish theories about Roswell’s UFOs, the “hoax” moon landings or grassy knolls. Instead, today’s iterations have morphed into political weapons. Turbocharged by social media, they spread with astonishing speed, using death threats as currency.
Together with their first cousins, fake news, they are challenging society’s trust in facts. At its most toxic, this contagion poses a profound threat to democracy by damaging its bedrock: a shared commitment to truth.
Their growing reach and scale is astonishing. A University of Chicago study estimated in 2014 that half of the American public consistently endorses at least one conspiracy theory. When they repeated the survey last November, the proportion had risen to 61%. The startling finding was echoed by a recent study from the University of Cambridge that found 60% of Britons are wedded to a false narrative.
The trend began on obscure online forums such as the alt-right playground 4chan. Soon, media entrepreneurs realized there was money to be made – most notoriously Alex Jones, whose site Infowars feeds its millions of readers a potent diet of lurid lies (9/11 was a government hit job, the feds manipulate the weather.)
Now the conspiracy theorist-in-chief sits in the White House. Donald Trump cut his political teeth on the “birther” lie that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, and went on to embrace climate change denial, rampant voter fraud and the discredited belief that childhood vaccines may cause autism.
Amid this explosive growth, one aspect has been underappreciated: the human cost. What is the toll paid by those caught up in these falsehoods? And how are they fighting back?
The Guardian talked to five people who can speak from bitter personal experience. We begin in a town we will not identify in Massachusetts where a young man, who tells his story here for the first time, was asleep in his bed.
V alentine’s Day 2018 was Marcel Fontaine’s day off. They slept late into the afternoon, having worked a double shift the day before. When they woke up, a wave of happiness washed over them – they were in a relationship, had a job they loved at a local concert venue. Their life was good.
By the time they roused themselves, the deadliest high school shooting in US history was already over. A 19-year-old with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle had entered the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida, and opened fire. Seventeen had been killed, though Fontaine, who has no cable TV or radio, was oblivious to the tragedy.
Then they received a text from a friend. A photo of Fontaine was flying around the internet and they were being accused of carrying out the terrible Florida shooting.
Their immediate response was bewilderment. What shooting? Where? Fontaine was in Massachusetts, 1,500 miles away. It would take a four-hour flight to reach the school. They’d only visited Florida once when they were a little boy to see Mickey Mouse.
Fontaine, 25, describes themselves on Twitter as a “non-binary gay queer autistic commie that loves horror movies and metal!” They were diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum as a child and for years has struggled with anxiety and a debilitating stammer. At moments of heightened stress, they flap their hands like a bird.
In short, Fontaine is a vulnerable leftwing individual who would not harm a flea, which apparently makes them perfect fodder for the sadistic mockery of 4chan, the anonymous message board that hosts alt-right activists and other extremists.
A few days before the Parkland shooting, a photo of Fontaine wearing a T-shirt of Marx, Lenin, Mao and other communist luminaries dressed in party hats had been grabbed from his Instagram feed and posted by an anonymous user on 4chan, where they were promptly derided as a “lefty dimwit”. The T-shirt, Fontaine protests, was a joke, a pun on Communist party.
In the conspiratorial bubble of 4chan, it was but a small step from ridiculing Fontaine to casting them as the Parkland shooter. Within two hours of the massacre, the image had been reposted on the bulletin board, now saying: “Florida Shooter Was A Commie!”
Marcel Fontaine was horrified to discover that they were accused of being the Parkland gunman. It upended their life. Photograph: Ali Smith/The Guardian
From there, Alex Jones’s conspiracy theory site, Infowars, leapt into the fray. Its “reporter” lifted Fontaine’s photo directly from 4chan and, without any attempt at verification, ran with it on the front page. “Shooter is a commie. Alleged photo of the suspect shows communist garb,” the outlet screamed. The false rumor quickly spread from Miami to Beijing.
Fontaine was horrified. “I knew a lot about the Alex Jones fanbase – that they were radical extremists who believe every word he says, and that a lot of them hold firearms. I knew my life was at risk.”
The first death threats landed via Facebook messenger by nightfall: “I hope someone throws you out of a rotary aircraft, you commie!” Another made a direct reference to the concert venue that employed them. “They knew where I worked, what I did. It just got me so afraid.”
Death threats and autism spectrum conditions make poor bedfellows, and exacerbated Fontaine’s condition, ramping up their anxiety, insomnia and social isolation.
“I wasn’t able to function, to cook, do basic tasks. I went days without taking a shower. I didn’t want to go out, I just wanted to be with myself.” Soon, they started having frequent panic attacks.
Over the past six months, Fontaine has slowly pulled themselves back together. They are in therapy to combat the bouts of panic and sleeplessness that still trouble them. But they have become less trusting of people and freezes whenever they see someone dressed in camouflage or wearing a Make America Great Again hat. Do they read Infowars? Fontaine wonders. “I get very nervous because they might recognize me and want to actually pull something out on me. Or like beat me to a pulp.”
As the anniversary of the shooting approaches, they find it hard to understand why they were singled out. “It makes me sad. This event got me to a point where I just can’t be myself again.”
L enny Pozner, 51, is preparing to pack his bags, again. A few weeks ago, “hoaxers” – as he calls conspiracy theorists – reproduced a map of his Florida neighborhood with a dropped pin marking the precise location of his apartment. It will be the eighth time in five years he will have been forced to move home as he strives to keep one step ahead of the fanatics who relentlessly hound him.
Pozner’s crime, in the eyes of conspiracy theorists, is being the father of one of the 20 children who were gunned down in the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012. Noah was the youngest of all victims. He had just turned six.
Within months, conspiracy theorists, egged on by Alex Jones and Infowars, went to work. They generated thousands of web posts and a 426-page book called “Nobody Died at Sandy Hook”.
Their thesis: the shooting at the elementary school never happened. The 20 kids who died were “crisis actors”. The tragedy was a con. Noah had never even existed, he was a construct of Photoshop.
Within a year, it had reached such a pitch that Pozner knew he had to do something. “I agonized about the situation for several weeks. But ultimately I felt I owed it to my son to protect his memory.” He posted on his Google+ page his son’s birth and death certificates and kindergarten report card.
“I was extremely naive. I believed that people were simply misinformed and that if I released proof that my child had existed, thrived, loved and was loved, and was ultimately murdered, they would understand our grief, stop harassing us, and more importantly, stop defacing photos of Noah and defaming him online.”
Instead, he watched his deceased son buried a second time, under hundreds of pages of hateful web content. “I don’t think there’s any one word that fits the horror of it,” Pozner says. “It’s a phenomenon of the age which we’re in, modern day witch-hunts. It’s a form of mass delusion.”
Lenny Pozner has been fighting to prove his son’s existence and has moved house multiple times to escape death threats. Photograph: Ali Smith/The Guardian
Pozner is extraordinarily controlled. His voice is flat and preternaturally calm, as though all emotion has been pummeled out of him. His apartment has the same pared-down, antiseptic quality. “I’ve gotten good at moving, I’ve adapted to it,” he says.
He left Newtown for Florida in 2013 with Noah’s mother, his now former wife Veronique De La Rosa, and their two daughters in the hope of rebuilding their lives. (He asked the Guardian not to identify the town he now lives in.) He has deliveries sent to a separate address and has rented multiple postal boxes as decoys.
The most serious of death threats came from Lucy Richards, a Florida resident who was so fervent in her belief that the Sandy Hook massacre was fake that she left messages on Pozner’s cellphone saying: “You’re going to die. Death is coming to you real soon, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” In June 2017, Richards was sentenced to five months in prison, followed by a further five months under house arrest.
Pozner sees this outpouring of hatred as a product of digital technology running ahead of society’s ability to contain it. “Social media hasn’t matured. We lack a segment of law enforcement specializing in it. There really is no one to help.”
But he reserves his staunchest criticism for Alex Jones, who he blames for amplifying conspiracies in the pursuit of profit. In a lawsuit suing Jones for defamation for more than $1m, lawyers for Pozner and De La Rosa chronicle how Infowars baited them over many years: the shooting was “staged”, a “giant hoax”. The school was an elaborate film set. It was all a “soap opera”.
But in targeting Pozner, Jones picked on the wrong guy. Since 2014 Pozner has made it his life’s work to confront the conspiracy theorists. Through his organization the Honr Network, Pozner has systematically challenged those who he believes cross that line, forcing moderators to delete posts. In 2018 alone, he reported 2,568 videos to YouTube and had 1,555 of those expunged.
Pozner’s lawsuit against Jones, which mirrors a similar legal case brought by Fontaine, is making its way through a federal court in Austin, Texas. Earlier this month they received a legal boost when the judge granted them access to Jones’s financial and marketing documents under discovery.
Jones denies defaming anyone, though he has so far failed in having the suits dismissed on free speech grounds.
Regarding the free speech argument, Pozner says: “You have the right to express yourself and your opinions, no matter how offensive they may be, until your chosen form of expression impedes my rights to be free from defamation and harassment.”
What shocks Pozner most, he says, was how alone he was when he began this fight. “I was the only one standing up to the hoaxers, and other than the loss of my son that was my biggest disappointment at the time.”
At least he has brought his son’s memory back to life. If you search Noah Pozner on Google you will find hundreds of articles about the boy’s life and death, and virtually none of the bile from those who questioned his existence.
By Pozner’s reckoning, one in five people around the world are suggestible to conspiracy theories, and their obsessions are amplified by the crude logic of digital algorithms. “There is just no more truth, there is just what’s trending on Twitter,” he says. “Used to be, you had to burn books to keep people from finding out the truth, now you just have to push it to page 20 of a Google search.”
D r Paul Offit strode into a dispute over the safety of children’s vaccines in 1998. Twenty years later, he is still embroiled in it. His latest death threat arrived only about a month ago, when someone wrote on a forum frequented by vaccine skeptics that Offit was “dead already so they might as well assassinate him”.
Offit’s worldview, as a pediatrician at the Children’s hospital of Philadelphia who has himself created a vaccine against rotavirus, had always revolved around the scientific method and evidence-based reality. “The assumption was that if you publish good papers in good journals, truth emerges and people abandon ill-founded beliefs. Didn’t work that way.”
Ever noticed the necklace that Josh seems to wear all of the time? There’s a Facebook page dedicated to it — creator of the page unknown! — and there’s actually a great story behind the necklace (no, it’s not a microphone!).
Josh told DT Fan Radio that he has had that necklace since he was a kid but didn’t wear it much. When he started traveling as an adult, he put the pendant on a new “hemp-y” chain and now wears it every time he travels, and only when he travels.
“It’s magical,” he said, jokingly.
Also? There’s a Facebook page dedicated to the scarf (or scarves?) he wears often on expeditions.
Sometimes, all you want to do is watch people walk through houses.
There are certain reality shows that have, thanks to endless repeats 24/7, become the kind of show you can turn on at any time, especially if you're in the mood to yell at some idiot home buyers, or idiot chefs, or idiot judges with weird taste in fashion. The drama is so much fun, but as we all now, not everything we see on reality TV is actually reality.
Some shows are guiltier than others, basing their entire premise on a lie, while some shows just fudge some portions with some scripted lines and creative editing.
We took a few of our favorite frequent time wasters and dug into what we know about what they're actually like, thanks to accounts from people who actually appeared on them.
So if you really want to know, scroll on down.
Premise: A couple tour three potential houses before choosing the one they want to buy. It's been airing on HGTV since 1999.
Most of the time, the homeowners have already bought or at least picked their house before they even consider being on the show. This makes a lot of sense, because it would take forever to film if the show had to deal with financing and eskrow and the ups and downs of buying a house. It's the same for House Hunters International, too.
A homeowner from the show revealed this back in 2012, causing quite a scandal, and HGTV released a statement to EW at the time:
"We're making a television show, so we manage certain production and time constraints, while honoring the home buying process. To maximize production time, we seek out families who are pretty far along in the process. Often everything moves much more quickly than we can anticipate, so we go back and revisit some of the homes that the family has already seen and we capture their authentic reactions."
"Because the stakes in real estate are so high, these homeowners always find themselves RIGHT back in the moment, experiencing the same emotions and reactions to these properties. Showcasing three homes makes it easier for our audience to ‘play along' and guess which one the family will select. It's part of the joy of the House Hunters viewing experience. Through the lens of television, we can offer a uniquely satisfying and fun viewing experience that fulfills a universal need to occasionally step into someone else's shoes."
In the years since, people who appeared on the show have been careful not to discuss this particular aspect, but it does sound like the show specifically wants people with sometimes insane opinions about paint colors and carpeting, and highly encourages any and all disagreements, especially if a couple already bought a different house anyway. Plus, a source tells E! News that at least one couple actually used their friend's house as the house they were supposedly buying, and had no plans to live in it at all. Everything is a lie.
Premise: One person gets a full makeover, a wardrobe clean-out, and $5,000 for an entirely new wardrobe, as well as some self-confidence advice from stylists Stacy London and Clinton Kelly. The show ran on TLC from 2003 to 2013 (but lives forever in our hearts).
According to multiple respondents to a Reddit thread asking for people who had been on the show, participants are actually people who could use some help with their fashion and their confidence, most of their clothes are actually taken away and given to charity, and they're actually given $5,000 to spend on a new wardrobe. They don't even have to spend the full $5,000, which is encouraged because they do have to pay taxes on the new clothes, and sometimes they also have to pay for their hair services. They also had to pay for tailoring, which was the true secret to how good those final outfits always looked.
The Reddit thread also revealed that Stacy and Clinton were accompanied by a stylist who actually did most of the styling work, and that it was kind of disappointing to have all of their clothes thrown out, but not enough money to replace an entire wardrobe.
Premise: Four chefs compete by cooking food they find in a fake grocery store called Flavortown Market, with challenges given to them by Guy Fieri.
By all accounts we could find, Guy Fieri is a delight, and while Flavortown Market is not a real grocery store, it's stocked like one. There's no fake aisles, all the food is real, and any that doesn't get used is donated to local organizations in Sonoma County, California.
So basically what we're saying is we'd like to compete on Guy's Grocery Games, please. Or at least go grocery shopping there.
Premise: Chip and Joanna Gaines show a couple (or a single person with a typically sad backstory) around three houses in Waco, Texas that are severely in need of repair. The couple chooses one, and then Chip and Joanna renovate the house, with Jo putting her signature farm chic touches on it before the big reveal. It aired on HGTV for five seasons.
The show is really about watching this enviable couple renovate houses seriously in need of repair, customized for individual clients. And in the end, that is what they do. even if there are a few caveats.
Like with most house shows, homeowners have already bought the house before filming even begins, meaning they aren't really picking between the three houses at the beginning of each episode. None of the furniture or decor that Jo so carefully arranges is included in the budget, so the homeowners only get to keep it if they want to pay extra. Not all the rooms in each house get redone, and there have been unsubstantiated claims that Chip only actually works on the house while cameras are rolling.
But at least we can rest easy that the fixer uppers do get fixed up, and Chip and Joanna are a real-life couple, and shiplap is a real thing, so there's at least some reality here.
Premise: Four chefs have 20 or 30 minutes to create delicious dishes from a basket full of weird ingredients. The show has been airing on the Food Network since 2009.
The time limits are real, the food is real, the backstories are encouraged, and filming takes forever. Since judging often takes 90 minutes for a round, the judges can taste the food right after it's made instead of waiting for it all to go cold or for the ice cream to melt by the time they get to taste it on camera.
Sometimes, the reactions to the basket ingredients are actually just the contestants making a face, because they will film basket openings multiple times with the ingredients still covered up, just to get the perfect shot. And yeah, sometimes, contestants are kept because they're good TV, and not necessarily because their food was up to par.
The pantry has gotten to be a little bit less of a problem over the years, as contestants are now given the chance to walk through and look for ingredients before each round, but producers used to hide things or put out only one stick of butter, for example, to cause problems among the contestants.
Premise: With help from a real estate agent, people tour bargain beachfront homes before deciding which one they want to buy. The show airs on HGTV.
One realtor who was offered the chance to film an episode was told she needed a client who was already under contract for a home or had already purchased one, and it had to be waterfront or with a water view, and had to be under $400,000. The realtor couldn't find any actual clients, but she had just recently bought her own house with a water view, so she asked if she and her husband could be their own clients. It was March, but they had to pretend it was the middle of summer, wearing swimsuits while shivering. So basically not a single bit of it was real other than the fact that they owned the house they chose, but at least she had fun.
Premise: A decorator redecorates a homeowner's current house while a realtor finds them a new one, and then the homeowner has to choose at the end whether they want to stay in their house or list it. It aired new episodes from 2008 to 2015 on HGTV.
It's apparently not very realistic at all. The show was sued in 2016 by a North Carolina couple who claimed the series hired a contractor they didn't agree to, didn't use their deposit for the repairs, and left their home with holes in the floor, spots missing paint, and multiple windows painted shut.
In a Reddit thread asking for people who had been on reality shows, one user claimed their aunt and uncle had been forced to record both endings for their episode of Love It or List It, so the show could choose which one they liked better. They stayed in their home, but in the episode, they listed it. Another user said that a friend whose home was on the show discovered that the producers did whatever they felt like to the home, ignoring the homeowners' wishes.
Premise: With help from a consultant and input from family and friends, a bride picks a dress from a boutique in New York. The show has aired 16 seasons on TLC.
SYTTD makes shopping for a wedding dress seem dramatic and glamorous and somewhat life-changing, and brides really do get to work closely with the show's consultants and pick a dream dress. Unfortunately, the show makes shopping at Kleinfeld look like a much different experience than it actually is.
The store is much smaller than it looks on TV (as are most things, TBH), and not nearly big enough for all the brides who now want to go there because of the show. Appointments are 90 minutes long, and brides are not allowed to look through most of the dresses, which are stored out of sight. Consultants also appeared to be pulling the same dress for every bride, regardless of their wishes, just to make a sale. So just don't head to Kleinfeld expecting the true Say Yes to the Dress experience, because you will not get it.
Premise: After touring their dream home and being told they can't afford it, buyers are shown around potential fixer uppers by Drew Scott. They choose one, and Jonathan Scott leads renovations to turn the fixer upper into the dream home. It airs on HGTV.
The Scott brothers are truly charming and delightful in person, as we can whole heartedly confirm, and they've got some serious house-flipping skills. The problem is that like with most other house shows, homeowners have to "be buying or renovating a fixer upper" to be eligible to be on the show, which invalidates that entire beginning of the show where they're supposed to fall in love with a house only to discover they can't actually have it, and doesn't actually give the real estate brother a ton of stuff to actually do.
The show also films in multiple states, and the Scotts are not licensed as realtors or contractors in every state, meaning they sometimes can only serve as a face for the show, and Jonathan can't actually act as lead contractor on every project. But that's actually pretty understandable (and typical for reality stars), since the Scotts do have like 5 different shows on the air and multiple projects in the works at once.
Premise: A group of amateur fashion designers compete in timed design challenges. The show is heading into its 17th season, currently on Bravo.
Being a contestant on Project Runway sounds like quite the grueling experience, in the workroom until 11 p.m. with a wake up time of 5 a.m. and pretty much non-stop work. Even judging takes about seven hours. In the end, while only three or four designers are considered actual finalists, nine or 10 of them get to show at Fashion Week as a way of preventing spoilers.
While some contestants, like season four's Jack Mackenroth, have accused the judging of being more about good TV (helped by manipulated editing) than the actual designs (which we've totally suspected just from watching it), no one can deny that the work is incredible and the designers are legit, even with so little time to get things done.
Be sure to stay tuned for updates as we dig even further into the world of reality television, whether it's good for us or not.