Parents' Guide to

Chelsea Settles

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Emotional journey of chasing dreams in fat-conscious world.

TV MTV Reality TV 2011
Chelsea Settles Poster Image

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MTV tries a softer approach to reality TV with this emotional story that centers on a very likable college grad who takes more than her share of emotional baggage with her to L.A. Not only is she overweight and susceptible to all of the insecurities related to that, but she's also struggling with being away from home for the first time, not being there to care for her diabetic mom, and feeling uncertain about her relationship with her boyfriend. Not to mention that she's attempting to break into the notoriously image-conscious world of fashion, and no amount of self-confidence can prepare her for the knocks she'll take on her job hunt.

As much as this story is about Chelsea's battle to overcome her food addiction and improve her lifestyle, it's even more centered on a coming-of-age journey that's reflective of most young adults'. Her issues with self-esteem may be more exaggerated than others', but they still exist to some degree for everyone, as do her struggles with mixed emotions about leaving home and uncertainty about the future. In other words, her story will appeal to a range of viewers, and its positive messages about respect, tolerance, and perseverance are worthwhile take-aways. This show raises issues about body image and stereotypes that, with a little prompting, can jump-start discussions with your teens about how society influences our impression of both.

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