Why Fans Are Obsessed With Judging Kody & His Wives

Of all reality TV stars, the Brown family seems to take more than their fair share of criticism from fans. What is it that makes them targets?

If there’s one thing fans love about Sister Wives, it’s the chance to criticize their every decision. Whether it’s where the Browns choose to live, what business endeavors the wives pursue, the fact that Kody doesn’t seem to work, or how the parents raise their children, viewers seem to have strong opinions on everything the Browns do. What is it exactly that makes Kody, Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn such frequent targets for fans to critique?

Season 15 of the series left fans hanging and wondering if the family would continue to stay one family. Audiences have seen Meri and Kody’s relationship die a slow painful death since season 1. Though Meri hasn’t left the family, she and Kody have both given up on their relationship. For a while, Meri’s was the stand-out failed relationship. Now, however, all of polygamist Kody Brown’s marriages seem to be struggling. Christine wants to move back to Utah, Janelle agrees with Kody that the family should all move into one home, and Robyn feels that her sister wives blame her for all the problems.

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Related: Sister Wives: Why Meri Brown Gets So Much Sympathy From Fans

The Browns have expressed that they decided to do the show in order to show people the benefits of polygamy. The fact that the family decided to promote this lifestyle when they aren’t even really happy in it opened them up to judging. When people promote beliefs that they don’t practice or that they only pretend to be happy with, audiences are quick to criticize. Why would this family think they could ingratiate people to their beliefs when all four wives are obviously miserable and with Kody unable to put anyone’s feelings before his own? No one likes to feel lied to and what the Browns say polygamy truly is doesn’t seem to line up with the reality. Even the name Sister Wives is misleading. These women aren’t loving spiritual sisters, but jealous wives who can barely tolerate each other.

Fans know that most of the Brown’s problems seem to stem from two obvious sources: Kody’s immaturity and the flaws of the polygamous lifestyle. While it’s always easier to see solutions to problems when you’re not the one on the inside, the wives all repeatedly express frustration at Kody’s behavior and jealousy with his other wives. So they do recognize the problem. Still, they chose to remain in an unhappy, unhealthy marriage at the expense of their own well-being and their children’s well-being as well. Because the wives choose to stay in this environment, viewers lose sympathy for them and judge them instead.

To make matters worse, the Browns try to come up with alternative solutions that don’t address the real issues. The family seems to think living in a certain location will solve all their problems. The family fights about where to live, each party arguing that their solution will lead to happiness. Like a person shouting, “Don’t go in there!” at the screen as a character in a horror movie decides to walk through a creepy door, audiences can’t help but shake their heads at this family and their poor life choices. Perhaps season 16 will see at least some of the wives decide to finally make the smart choice.

Next: Sister Wives: Christine May Thrive in Monogamy According to Fans

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