I stopped watching soap operas when I was fifteen. I used to watch as many girls of my age did, Mexican soap operas and the Brazilian ones. We got ‘tons’ of them on national TV here. If you turn on local TV at 9:00 pm for instance, there is a soap opera on each national channel. You can´t escape them, there is nothing else to watch. Now they got Colombian, Peruvian, American and even South Korean soap-operas. That´s unless you have Cable TV. But believe it or not, there are still out there many people that even with Cable TV still choose to watch soap operas, and even worse they look for the Mexican soap opera channel on Cable TV (soap operas the 24 hours!!!). My aunt arrives at home at evening with the sole purpose of turning on the TV and catching her 7:00 pm soap opera, there is another one at nine, and another at ten. I think she also watches one in the morning… but I won´t go into boring you with my aunt´s TV habits.
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Sometimes, I would sit for some minutes at the kitchen while making some tea and watch glimpses of my aunt´s soap operas. She would try to explain them to me but I won´t pay any attention because I know I won´t get attached to them. But when I watch for some minutes, I only see fakeness. Soap operas are supposed to be realistic, but they aren´t. And the worst thing is that people watch them and take them as reality and even apply them to their daily lives. For instance, all these Latin American soap operas featuring female actresses that are so perfectly presented, esthetically I mean that it makes me want to punch the TV. Perfect hair, all the time, perfect makeup, clothes and bodies. They all look like a version of Sofia Vergara. Not once have I seen them wearing sneakers, trainers or sports clothes or a hair put out of place. And what about the ‘Evil bitch’? Because all of these soap-operas have one, so full of hate and vengeance, that it makes her so unreal.
I went to the movies with one friend the other day but we´ve become so apart that I failed to sync with her. She told me about a soap-opera she was seeing and how “different” it was from the others, having sensed my total disconnection with the genre. I listened to the story and it was more of the same but I didn´t tell her. I came to understand why we were so disconnected now as friends. The truth is that most of the people that watch soap operas believe in what they are presented with, they believe in these perfect “Sofia Vergara’s” and intend to copy them.
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They believe in these “evil characters” and therefore are apprehensive of the people that surround them, always thinking the worst of everybody´s intentions. They intend to spot these characters in their real lives. They make a drama of their lives.
Why am I different? I never expect to spot evil people. Of course, I´m aware of the existence of criminals, murderers, but I´m sure they are nothing like that the soap-operas portray them.
Does this mean that the rest of TV shows are good? No, but they are better, I can confirm that. Everything is better than a soap opera, from my point of view. And I believe that it truly influences people, especially children, who watch them from very young age. I am sure that girls age 10 in my country most likely watch at least one soap opera a day. Since society does not tend to condemn this TV-genre for violence or mature content, children of all ages watch them and their parents allow it. A distorted sense of “real life” is showed to them. A child, age 8, can tell that Pucca is not real, but how about if you ask him about the things he watches in a soap opera? He/She won´t be able to discern.
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