Fame and fortune. The adoration of millions. The ability to stage a photo op where you punch a cameraman for invading your privacy. Let’s face it: Everybody wants to be a star.

The road to super-stardom is long and difficult, and takes talent, ambition and hard work – something that millions of would-be stars couldn’t find in the dark with night vision goggles. Fortunately, Hollywood has created a shortcut to stardom for the untalented lazy masses- reality TV.

After countless hours of research, Black Like You has identified the keys to reality show stardom. Follow these guidelines, and the next time someone says “How the hell did that guy become famous?”, they could be talking about YOU!

1. Be a douchenozzle.

Normally, in the course of life, rudeness, belligerence, narcissism and willful ignorance will get you ostracized from most social activities, and your ass possibly kicked. However, in the bizzaro-world that is reality television, the combination of these traits will make you a star faster than you can say The Situation.See, reality TV thrives on conflict and drama –  otherwise it’s just a bunch of nobodies in a house together. So, if you become the individual on a show who can’t be reasoned with, creates conflict at every turn and makes every event about his or herself, you become the catalyst for all of the show’s drama – and no one provides conflict better than a giant douchebag.

Example: Tiffany Pollard, AKA New York

Let’s face it: it takes someone pretty special to outdo the orgy of embarrassment that is post-Public Enemy Flavor Flav. Tiffany Pollard took the reality-success-via-total-douchebaggery model to new heights, leveraging an acerbic personality, fugly looks and an annoying voice into not merely one or two reality shows, but six, including a spin-off featuring two castmembers of her own series.

2. Be Rich.

If you fit into this category, you already have a lot going for you: An inherited fortune, the ability to travel the world on a whim, all of the expensive trappings that wealth allows. Who cares if the only reason you got these things is via the genetic lottery, or by blowing some aging East Texas oil tycoon/ Arabian prince/gay playwright in need of a hot beard? Your status means you deserved to be lavished with fame, and nothing says undeserved fame quite like a spot on The Trophy Wives of (Insert enclave of rich people here).

Their husbands’ other balls are in Andy Cohen’s safe.

The glamorous life plays to one of reality television’s other appealing traits: escapism. Most who enjoy these shows live ordinary lives, and the allure of shopping sprees and trips to exotic locales is captivating. Besides, no one wants to watch a show about ordinary people – They’re the ones bothering you at Starbucks every day. In addition, the fact that most of the stars of these shows are not accomplished, hard working or particularly smart adds to the idea that one day, you too could live this life – if only you knew where to find a Saudi Prince…….

3. Get Naked.

In reality television, nudity is like the holy grail. Even on shows that have over the standard 65% women viewership, you have to find a way to get men to watch. Guys might not give a crap that Mindy and Caitlin have beef on The Skank Patrol or whatever, but we’ll all stop and watch a pair of tig-ol-bitties.

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“You’re right honey, the drama on this show is totally captivating!”

The reason is pretty self explanatory: Sex sells. So, for the aspiring reality show star of tomorrow, it’s clearly best to leave your modesty and inhibitions about nudity and sex in the terminal before boarding the plane to Tinseltown. Grab your body paint and stripper heels – you’re going to Hollywood!

Now, some of you might look at these suggestions and think them unseemly or undignified. We understand how you feel – which brings us to our most important rule:

4. Have no shame.

In regular life, we all aspire to be respected. No one likes to be embarrassed, or looked upon with disdain. We want to make our families and friends proud, we want the respect of our co-workers, we want to walk down the street with our heads held high. No matter what they take from us, they can’t take away our dignity.

In the reality show world, they have a name for people like that: waiters.

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Pictured: Millionaires. Not Pictured: Dignity.

For America’s Next Top Spectacle (aka you), dignity is like kryptonite to Superman. It falls into the main reason researchers have identified for the enduring popularity of reality television: The ability to watch people make complete asses of themselves. At it’s core, almost all reality TV revolves around the concept of degradation and humiliation of fellow members of the species. This, in turn, makes ordinary people feel better about themselves, and their own crappy lot in life.

This means that by engaging in the myriad of degrading and humiliating activities one must participate in to become part of the realityverse (i.e. public drunkenness, eating bugs, acting slutty, or having sex with Ray-J), you are not only advancing your own career prospects, you are helping improve the self esteem of your fellow citizens.

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Hooray for helping!

There you have it folks: You are now well equipped to conquer the world of reality television. Now get out there, take off your tops, find Flavor Flav and be somebody!

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