By Marquesa LaDawn
NNPA Columnist

Autumn Veatch, the 16-year-old young lady who survived extreme odds when her grandparents’ small plane crashed last week en route from Montana to Washington state, credits reality TV with saving her life. Unfortunately, her grandparents didn’t make it. Autumn thanked her dad for forcing her to watch survivor shows with him because they taught her she would find civilization if she followed water – a tip that led to her survival – according to King5.

“She’s just an amazing kid,” David Veatch, her father, told reporters outside a hospital in Brewster, Wash. “There’s more to her than she knows. ‘Survivorman’ should be very proud of her,” he said, referring to the Discovery Channel show that chronicles Les Stroud as he travels alone through the wilderness.

Why does this excite me so much? I’ve heard time and time again, reality TV is fake, stupid, shameful and several other less than flattering adjectives. I will agree, some reality shows have no boundaries, but not all. Kinda like people. There are good men out there and bad ones.

I, too, have learned lessons from Reality TV. Heck, I realized I got frustrated easily after seeing a reality TV person with a similar vibe.

In my professional speaking circles, folks are impressed when they learn that I’m a syndicated columnist. But when I tell them I write about reality TV, they grow silent.

This reminds me of The Real Housewives of NY. In one episode, I learn about friendship, communication skills (good and bad) and dealing with the loss of big love.

Heck in this week’s episode, the real personalities were front and center. Ramona, needs attention, even when it makes no sense. Dorinda, the newest housewife, is loony with liquor and extremely emotional.

Then all hell breaks loose, one group of ladies hangout all night, the others, turn in.

Next morning, there’s a naked man in the bed, in the adjoining room near Heather. She freaks out, loses it and rips the partying girls into pieces for being so immature.

This argument takes on a life of its own! Luanne, normally the diplomatic one, lost it.

Her words: If I want to bring a man home I can! Yep, you can, but put him near you or better yet, with you.

Okay, so a question for you? Do you think you were spoiled as a kid? I was and loved every minute. However, I can see how that can mess you up. This exact situation played out on The Real Housewives of the OC; Vicki’s mother is very ill, so I will give her break, this time.

Now, I do not feel the same way about Lisa, on Married To Medicine, who loses control when it comes to her husband. Clearly, he has a cheating past that would make any woman crazy. Heck, a stripper shared unwanted information that her husband is a regular visitor to the strip club and Lisa did not take the news well. She’s haunted by her husbands, you know.

One more life lesson that proves reality TV can be good for you comes from the Braxton’s reality show. It’s no secret that the sisters are struggling to get along. The tension is so thick, you could cut it. But, they were smart enough to bring in Bishop TD Jakes to help with  their family issues. Boy, did he live up to his reputation; he gave the sisters a reality check and called them spoiled. Let’s face it. Only he could get away with that one. But I was true and that was the lesson.

Bottom line: Stop dissing reality TV because it may save your life. Just ask crash survivor Autumn Veatch.

Marquesa LaDawn is a professional businesswoman who escapes the pressures of living in New York City by retreating into the real world of reality TV. Follow me on twitter @realityshowgirl and subscribe to her podcast at


Did you like this story?
Would you like to receive articles like this in your inbox? Free!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *