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Tori Spelling Needs a Reality Check

Photograph by Instagram

Quick: Someone give Tori Spelling a reality check. Make that a reality TV check. Actually, it seems as if she needs a full-on intervention. Just not a televised one. Please.

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Spelling’s name was trending recently following a preview for the premiere of the second season of her latest reality show, "True Tori," in which she teases that she might be pregnant again. If it’s true, that would make it Baby No. 5 with Husband No. 2 — although for him, it would be Baby No. 6, unless you also count Baby No. 7 for him, although you probably shouldn’t since his Wife No. 1 made sure when he left her for Wife No. 2 that his named was wiped off the adoption records of their own Baby No. 2 (a.k.a Baby No. 7).

This all comes after it was revealed on the cover of the tabloids late last year that Spelling’s husband, Dean McDermott, cheated on her while filming another reality show, which is how "True Tori" was conceived — so we could see if they could make their marriage hold up under the scrutiny of his affair that went public. So they subjected themselves to even more scrutiny by making their private life even more public.

Did you follow that? Is your head spinning? And do you get that this is really happening to them? That while most reality TV shows are scripted or partially fabricated, in this case, there really isn’t a script and there are at least six or seven kids involved in all of this, all of whom are totally or partially affected by what’s being aired on TV for all us of to see, discuss, judge and laugh at?

You could argue that writers (including me) also put our kids out there for public consumption. I make a living writing, in part about parenting and, yes, sometimes my own children. However, go ahead and Google my kids’ names and all you’ll come up with are Petunia and Peony, which, of course, aren’t their real names. You’ll find their real pictures in lots of places, but I choose not to reveal their actual names because I want to afford them some amount of privacy and protection.

Maybe it’s now a legitimate career to simply make as much about your private life as public as possible, but that doesn’t make it right — especially when there are kids involved.

You could argue that I’m still wrong for writing about them at all or showing their photos. Some writers name their kids but don’t show their pictures. Some writers don’t write about their kids at all. For Tori Spelling, though, there is no limit. There. Is. No. Limit. If there is a paycheck and a chance for publicity — there is no limit. Her kids’ birthday parties, their tantrums, victories, struggles and sadness are all filmed for our entertainment, and for her warped need for any kind of fame and, of course, her ever-expanding bank account.

Maybe you just think of her as Donna Martin or Aaron Spelling’s daughter, which is to say a larger-than-life character who exists solely for our enjoyment. But the fact and reality is that she is a mom of four (or maybe five or six, depending on what’s true and how you look at it), and these shows are very much real for them. And we know entirely too much about them.

I admit that I watched "True Tori." I grew up on "Beverly Hills, 90210," I’m one of many who rooted for Donna Martin to graduate. I also like plenty of other reality TV shows. I watched when she and Dean started their family (on reality TV), and "True Tori" is a continuation of it all — fiction and reality combined. I watch different shows for different reasons — and really, "True Tori" is one where I find comfort that my own marriage, parenting skills and kids are, if nothing else, so highly functional compared to hers. No paycheck she’s getting compared to mine makes that any better.

For the sake of her kids, she really needs to stop. It should surprise no one in 2014 that people can be addicted to watching reality TV, and that reality TV stars can be addicted to getting attention (hello, Kim Kardashian). Sure, maybe it’s now a legitimate career to simply make as much about your private life as public as possible, but that doesn’t make it right — especially when there are kids involved.

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Look at Jennifer Garner and Reese Witherspoon who actually helped legislation get passed that doesn’t allow paparazzi to photograph their kids under many circumstances so as to ensure their physical and emotional safety. And then look at Tori Spelling, who subjects the emotional trauma of her kids to the scrutiny of cameras and people like me.

Seriously, if you actually know Tori Spelling, it’s time to step in and give her a reality check so that her kids can learn a new reality, which is one that is away from the prying eyes of our TV sets.

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