Monday, April 20, 2009

Jon & Kate + 8 = Bad.

Like much of America, I was originally transfixed with Jon, Kate, and their 8 rambunctious offspring. The 411 for those folks tuning in who don't know the score on this show: Jon & Kate are a married couple who had two sets of multiples (twins followed by sextuplets). Supposedly, Kate had trouble getting pregnant and turned to fertility treatments. Upon learning how many children were growing in her womb, Kate and John (Christians not keen on abortion) had the babies.

Upon first glance, it seemed like a wholesome show. I found myself oddly drawn to it, partially because it made me appreciate my life so much more knowing I didn't have that level of constant bombardment at home. It was interesting to see these little people trying to discover the world with so many distractions. After watching the show more, I became incredibly disturbed.

While some insist that these two parents are wonderful, Jon & Kate have raised quite an eyebrow with their parenting techniques and personalities. Kate has become one of the most disliked women on television, largely thanks to her overwhelming neurosis and treatment towards Jon and her children, which is unbearable. Overly domineering and controlling, she didn't let her children chew gum or play with markers as she insisted their clothes would all get dirty and she'd have to wash it, as if that's not what would ultimately happen anyway...

There was an odd absence of other family members present in their lives. The only one that seemed to be involved in the rearing of the children from their respective families was Aunt Jodie, who subsequently disappeared off the show. Supposedly, members of her family have spoken out against Jon & Kate and claimed that they were getting upset that Jodie was part of the series and started blaming her for trying to cash in. If that isn't the tea pot calling the kettle black... it seemed that Aunt Jodie gave the children a freedom that Kate couldn't provide and she chucked her as I'm sure kids preferred Auntie time. When Jon & Kate were asked why their parents were more involved, they gave a vague answer - something to the effect of having bad relationships with them. What kind of family has 8 children and no help from their family? But sure, they'll expose them to strangers and camera crews. It seems that Jon & Kate have done a great job alienating the people in their lives from wanting to have anything to do with them. Let's assume that Jon & Kate don't like their parents. Those children have every right to have grandparents and any parent who would deny their children such an experience has every right to be seriously questioned. It's not about them, it's about what's best for their kids.

Kate's unhealthy habit to berate her husband constantly (particularly in front of the children) is annoying and resorts to not just emotional abuse but also physical abuse by smacking Jon when he doesn't do what she wants. Kate's controlling nature and Jon's passive aggressiveness make for a very unhealthy combination.

Part of what upsets people so much about these two is their constant complaints and insistence that they are poor, just to get sponsors to send them free stuff they can publicize on the show and send them on vacations. They make over $70,000 AN EPISODE and are millionaires. Jon & Kate don't do much to hide it anymore, having recently been spotted at a very pricey LA celebrity eatery. Kate complains anytime she does chores and cleans up after her family, meanwhile when the cameras are off they have a personal organic chef who cooks for the family and maid service. (I eat organic and I can tell you it costs about three times as much as the alternative, I can't imagine their food bills. While I'm happy to see anyone convert to organic, no poor family can afford it, nonetheless a large one.) They didn't even have to pay for their house.

The worse part is the exploitation of those innocent kids. Some people argue that they watch the show "for the kids". That's like watching a train wreck and saying it's for the good of the people in the crash. Watching isn't helping and giving this show ratings contributes to an awful cycle these children should be freed of. California and New York, given the entertainment hubs they are, have very strict rules involving children working in the entertainment business, i.e. Coogan Laws, etc. Given that Jon & Kate live in Pennsylvania, their children aren't subject to the types of protection they would have if they lived elsewhere and are taped far more than should be allowed. Yes, that is work, and it does stress them. The show is taped several days a week and the children are constantly filmed. There aren't rooms in the house that are off-limits, the bathroom is fair game. Sadly, these children are even taped using the potty or bathing, NOT the actions of parents that care about the welfare of their children. The exploitation they already receive is bad enough, but exposing them to perverts across the country is unacceptable. The toll on these poor kids must be tremendous, who are all going to need therapy. Imagine their embarrassment growing up knowing that their most private moments were shown to millions of people. Hopefully the Gosselins will invest the money they made off of their children on their psychological well-being one day, but it's doubtful. The stress will inevitably topple these children. Already affected is Maddy Gosselin, i.e. the kid from hell. This poor girl is so constantly negative and miserable it's painful to watch. I don't blame her, I'd be screaming to get outside of there, too, and she's clearly a product of a highly chaotic environment. Being that she's one of the oldest (the twins), the negativity will have a trickle effect on the younger ones who emulate their older siblings. If you think Jon & Kate have it bad now, just wait. And it will be a prison of their own making. I am reminded me of a scene in which Maddy placed a sign on her door with explicit instructions that no cameras enter and a giant frowning drawn face. It was a cry for help if I've ever seen one. All children need privacy to grow into healthy adults, these children don't even have a room in the house they can disappear to if it all becomes too much. That's because they'd spend all day in it.

Unsurprisingly, photos of Jon completely drunk at a party surrounded by women (sans Kate) surfaced. He was uninvited.

According to town locals, Jon makes his way to many of these shindigs and has no shame hitting on the town meat. I don't advocate infidelity, but being married to Kate must be a living nightmare. Not having the balls to stand up for yourself in the world must be pretty bad, too. Nonetheless raising a huge family and being on a show he supposedly doesn't even like. Of course, the Gosselin's came out swinging fists and denying any problems. Even Jon & Kate's renewal of wedding vows sounded like a ploy for a nice free Hawaiian vacation. They didn't look thrilled then either. These two don't seem happy with their lives or children at all. This is typical reality TV fakery at it's best. Someone call Dr. Drew, quick. So that he can exploit them too. Don't worry, I'm doing a story on him ASAP. You knew it was coming...

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, folks, but Jon & Kate are NOT good parents. They are not healthy, they are not happy, and they are destroying their children's lives. So are you if you continue to watch, I change the channel now. Why contribute to that? It is NOT cute. The fact that it got picked up for yet another season despite the public catching on to their inappropriate behavior is sad. Once again, America lowers it's standards. If you really care about the kids, STOP WATCHING.