Spotted @ The Single Father’s Blog…
Vibe magazine interviewed four of reality television’s biggest stars for it’s June/July issue. The cover of the magazine reads “Meet Your New Role Models: Kandy, Tamar, Evelyn & Chrissy”. If you have never heard of these women, they are featured on some of the most popular television shows on cable right now. Shows like The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Basketball Wives, Braxton Family Values, and Love and Hip Hop receive high ratings week after week as folks sit in front of their TV watching the latest and greatest drama and escalated cat fights.
Now I must admit that I am somewhat of a reality TV junky when it comes to certain shows. I have watched a fair share of each of these shows and at certain times have found myself being amused and slightly addicted. I watched the first three seasons of the Atlanta Housewives, the first two seasons of Basketball Wives and both seasons of Love and Hip Hop. Each show provided a different kind of entertainment for me. It was good to see women of color on TV who seemed to be down to earth and easy to relate to. What man wouldn’t want to watch every day beautiful women of color on TV every week.
Over the years though my interest in most of these shows has started to decline. As of late I haven’t catching many episodes of these shows. Mainly because I have become concerned with the way that some of these reality shows have been depicting women of color. Or should I say I have become concerned with the way that these women of color have been depicting themselves. It seems as though almost every reality show that comes on TV with a predominantly female, African American cast has to be filled with violence. And I’m not just talking about the occasional scuffle between two people who don’t like each other. I am talking about grown women standing on tables in restaurants, spitting on each other, slapping each other, bullying one another because of hearsay, throwing bottles of wine across restaurants and more. I guess in a sense I got tired of the foolishness. It just started to seem like every week I would be shaking my head at the cattiness that took place between these women.
In the Vibe article each woman discusses her role on her respective show, but when they are questioned about some of the negative things that they have done on their shows each of them seems to pass the buck and blame it on the way that the show is edited or give the excuse that they are standing up for people who don’t know how to speak their mind. When Evelyn was asked about an incident where she threw a wine bottle at someone her reply was “Yeah, happen to be throwing a few things. It’s frustrating because, on the other hand, I’ve also done positive things like charities with kids. It’s unfortunate because those things don’t seem to mean anything.” I can’t seem to grasp how a grown woman can justify throwing a bottle of wine by saying that she was frustrated but speak about positive things that she has done with children in the same breath. No type of remorse, no regret, just a reply that in so many words says “yea, I threw a bottle of wine…So what…But I do good things for kids.” It is this same type of indifferent attitude that leads to so many people being shot, stabbed, and killed. Later on in the interview she says “the bottle incident was one of those things where I was like, “That was wrong.” The producers of the show could have edited that out but I take full responsibility. I mean, [Kenya] has kids at home.” A part of being an adult, whether it be a reality television star or not is accepting complete responsibility when you do something wrong and figuring out the best way to right your wrong. Not saying admitting that you did it but blaming it on someone else because they chose not to edit YOUR actions.
In reading the interview it seems to me that these women lack the responsibility to be any one’s role model. As a parent it is my job to protect my child from people like Evelyn Lozada, NeNe Leaks, and Tamar Braxton. But at what point do these people begin to take responsibility for their own actions and realize that it’s not the networks who are editing the shows that make them look like crazed maniacs. The networks can only edit what you give them. If you give them violence, vulgar language, and hysterical antics, guess what they are going to air! But I get it, no network is going to pay $100,000 to air episodes of black women actually getting along, living life filled with minimal drama, raising their children, and actually being productive members of society…That would just be too much like right.
I know the term “role model” doesn’t mean that one is perfect, but it does mean that a person is worth imitating. With the exception of Kandi Burruss, I don’t know why anyone would want to imitate these women. I sure as hell wouldn’t want my daughter looking up to them. Before these women are classified as role models I think they must first study half of Steve Harvey’s book and learn how to ACT LIKE A LADY…
Please leave a comment and let me know…Do you think Reality TV stars like these women should be considered as role models?