UNITED STATES—I love reality TV, there is something about seeing another person’s life front-and-center that can be quite interesting. With that said, I wouldn’t say I had an epiphany, but I recently encountered something on two reality series that I found fascinating. When you get a touch of someone’s personal triumph or battle, it makes you sympathize more and wonder what it is like to walk in someone else’s shoes. For example, I have been a fan of “Big Brother” for quite some time, and for the first time ever there is a hearing-impaired contestant this season. His name is Matt. Matt is a physical presence and an accomplished swimmer who just happens to be deaf. With hearing aids, he notes that he can hear about 50 percent, without them he can’t hear much, but he can lip read.

Matt doesn’t use ASL as he noted, and the game of BB is a social experiment that has a ton of moving pieces. So, there are tons of conversations happening at once, and for Matt it is difficult for him to take that in, even though he has expressed that to several houseguests. No one seems to be going the extra mile to try to help Matt pinpoint exactly what occurred during a group conversation so that he is on the same page as everyone else.

Matt has voiced this to several people, but I really want to see someone come in and give that extra guidance to Matt because not only would it make him more comfortable in the house, but it could also help a houseguest develop a tight bond with Matt who could be useful to them in the game. Matt does thrive with the one-on-one chats, the group settings not so much and I want to see the houseguests put themselves into Matt’s shoes. I feel like the only person who understood was Luke, but Matt has also voiced this to Kirsten, but she’s headed out the door, and neither of those two are in the large alliance.

Seeing Matt’s tale just makes you wonder what it would be like to be in his shoes. Not having that clear ability to hear fully and how you have to navigate the world without that vital sense that so many of us take for granted. We dismiss people sometimes who have disabilities and it’s a sad reality that needs to be talked about more. Simply because someone has a disability doesn’t make them less important than other people. We need to treat all people with respect and dignity no matter who they are and what disability or plight they may have suffered as a result.

Why? We don’t know what it is like to be in their shoes and vice versa. A lot of the times we sit here and complain about our lives and half the time the stuff we’re dealing with is nothing compared to what others may have endured their entire lifetime. This brings me to an episode of “The Real Housewives of New York” that I recently captured that tugged at my heart. It involved two characters, Ubah and Brynn. Ubah was sharing a tale about losing her mother and how she wished she had more time with her. It was so heartfelt and the fact that she noted it is vital to not be on bad terms with family because if they die you don’t have a chance to remedy that. Listening and watching Ubah’s confession just tugged at my emotions.

However, it was Brynn, who shared her experience growing up bi-racial in Indiana that delivered the waterworks. She talked about her grandmother, who happens to be white, who was raising Brynn and her two siblings and the difficulty her grandmother had with styling her hair. Brynn chatted about that experience with her hairdresser, how going to the hair salon was vital for her development as it was a community for her where she learned a bit about the black culture, a side of her heritage that she didn’t know growing up as she had no connection to her father or his side of family.

It is an eye-opening experience and a slice of life that some people have no idea about. That was nothing compared to the final moments of the episode which witnessed Brynn breaking down in tears as she did her best to share a bit about her upbringing with the other ladies that was just devastating to hear. Brynn has been thru some stuff and when you see the REALNESS of our reality stars it makes us like them even more.

This just forces you to think about how it must be to walk in the shoes of a biracial person. When they come from mixed races our society forces you to pick a side because you are PERCEIVED one way in the real world. It is sad, but that is the world we live in, you have to be placed in a box whether you want to be in that box or not. It is a hard line to walk and balance and that fear of ostracizing one race or ethnicity over another is something I’m sure plagues them. How could it not?

Bravo was really hitting on all cylinders this week, as they tackled the issue of sexual assault on the series “Below Deck Down Under”. As I was watching, I was horrified, but unable to stop watching as Luke walked into another crew member’s room without permission, naked and attempted to get into her bed while she was passed out. Thank God, Aesha and the producers witnessed what was unfolding and stopped him because who knows what the hell would have happened. Aesha was comforting to Margot who was a complete wreck with the events that unfolded, not to mention, Captain Jason who took immediate action to deal with the issue by immediately firing Luke.

No questions asked it was the right decision, but I couldn’t understand Laura, another crew member’s logic. She wanted to say goodbye to Luke and thought he deserved another chance. Like, girl are you crazy?! She was blaming Margot for what unfolded, and what’s worse she confessed she would have allowed Luke to crawl into her bed naked, unattended. I was speechless watching Laura; how could this woman think this way. She later had a conversation with Margot, and it just was the most cringe-worthy thing I have ever witnessed. It made Margot feel even worse about the situation like she may have been at fault.

That was not the only hammer that dropped, as Laura had been harassing Adam, a deckhand, in a sexual manner against his wishes. Aesha addressed both issues with Captain Jason, who did the right thing, fired Laura on the spot. That girl was toxic energy and the fact that she had no compassion for someone who had encountered something unacceptable screamed a ton about her character. As a viewer, you got confirmation of Laura’s character, when Aesha who has only tried to be the leader that she is expected to be, tried to assist Laura with packing her belongings.

She coldly noted she needed no help. Yeah, I was glad to see Laura and Luke booted, but it just goes to show you the delicacy of a situation of that magnitude and how some people can’t fathom what unfolded, while others immediately put themselves into the shoes of the victims Margot and Adam and how they would respond. I gave a round of applause to Bravo for depicting that situation in a graceful, but educational manner on the right way to deal with such matters.

Rarely do you see such a thing on reality TV as it’s all about the drama, but this was important to be depicted for the viewer and confirms that you can sometimes see a lightbulb flash with reality TV where you’re forced to walk in the shoes of another person for a few minutes or hours and think how you would navigate a situation if that was you. It is fascinating to watch.

Written By Jason Jones