Is Bullying the New Black?

I'm a somewhat reluctant watcher of Chopped (Patrick watches it and I admit I get sucked in...but it's no Property Brothers!), so last night I figured I'd give Top Chef a try. It was fine--until the insults started. I watched as two of the judges (I know--bad TV watcher--I don't know their names) ripped into several of the contestants, hurling insults and food that wasn't up to par in their opinions. Honestly? It just made me sad...because it's clear to me that while we talk a good game about teaching kids not to bully, reality TV clearly promotes bullying, and lord knows we love us some reality TV in this country.

Not to be all over-analytical about crap TV, but seriously--think about it. What are the most-watched shows now? Reality shows. Who are the most popular, talked-about reality TV stars? The mean ones. Simon Cowell.  The nasty housewives who fight and pull hair and insult each other constantly. Snooty chefs who tell amateur chefs that they're useless and dump their food in the trash. Why is bullying cool when every week it seems we read another heartbreaking story about the consequences of teen bullying? 

I know I'm not the first one to have this thought, but honestly--where does it stop? When do we stop making bullying the new black and do more than pay lip service to telling teens that bullying isn't ok? 

I know one thing....I definitely won't be watching Top Chef ever again.