All Articles Tagged "reality tv"
Lisha Lee and Bethany “Queen B” Bell are two beauty entrepreneurs who have amassed a large following in a short period of time. Lee’s Hair Insanity, Lisha Lee Cosmetics brands and Queen B’s majestic hair artistry have put them both in positions of “ones to watch” in the worlds of beauty and art. MadameNoire talked with both women to find out their secrets to business and creative success in an already crowded industry.
Madame Noire: Please talk about why you decided to get into your respective fields in the beauty industry?
Lisha Lee: With hair extensions, I thought about starting my business (Hair Insanity) about four, five years ago. My hair is very coarse and my hair was breaking off due to flat ironing. I was trying to get my hair the same texture as a friend of mine, who has virgin hair, which is very fine and silky. I thought to myself that there has to be something different to achieving the same desired results for my hair without damaging it.
I started doing research and that’s when I [read] about Brazilian and Malaysian hair. I thought to myself, “Hmmm, what if I got some of this so I can see what will happen.”
Then I came up with Lisha Lee Cosmetics to expand on the success of Hair Insanity. I kind of did it for myself because I love nail polish. I’m not going to sell you something that I won’t wear myself. I wear nail polish, hair extensions, and lip gloss. These are things that I wear on a normal, day-to-day basis. Then you see other women out doing the exact same thing. I just basically took my business ideas from there.
Bethany “Queen B” Bell: I actually never wanted to be a hairdresser. It was something that I was never passionate about. I didn’t grow up braiding or coloring my girlfriends’ hair or anything like that. I wanted to go to school for fashion and changed my mind during my senior year.
My mom had a little heart attack. She was like, “This is my oldest daughter. I can’t spend 50 grand a year while she still can’t decide what she wants to do.” My mom was also getting married that year and where she was getting her hair done they had a school upstairs. So I went to check out the school and decided to try it out and it stuck.
I was only halfway through school and I had a position behind a chair. I built an awesome book and a salon out of the experience. About seven years into my career, I got really bored and needed to play around because I’m an arts kid. I decided to play around with my business of making hair art and ended up on Oxygen’s “Hair Battle Spectacular” (Season 2). From there I pushed myself even further to create the pieces that I have today.
MN: Lisha, did you have a start-up funds before creating your businesses?
LL: Honestly, I started my business in 10 minutes. I had no money. I had no job. I did all of this on my own, with no help, no boyfriend, no family, nobody but just me.
A few years ago, I got laid off and I thought “Oh my God, what am I gonna do?” Then the hair came in and I did my research. Every time I got money in my hand I would buy samples (of hair). I just put everything into the business.
I spent money on the logo, business cards, brochures, samples, bundles. Of course I was struggling. I was completely struggling. Then in 2012, my mom ended up with lung cancer. At that stage, I kind of put the business on hold for a little bit. For some strange reason in 2012, all of a sudden people just started ordering and I was just making it from there. I didn’t even have a website, only social media links. In 2012 I made $80,000 and in 2013, I made $120,000.
Great news for former “Flavor of Love” fans. Season one winner Nikki “Hoopz” Alexander is returning to reality television!
The show, which will be airing on Oxygen is titled “Aunt Nicki” and will showcase Hoopz’s “chaotic modern family.” Check out a brief description of the series, which has been provided by the network below.
“Nikki ‘Hoopz’ Alexander gives viewers a look into her unique and chaotic modern family, living with her five younger sisters and her 11 nieces and nephews on a ranch in rural Knoxville, Tennessee. With an unparalleled bond, the Alexander sisters, ages 24 to 31, have been together through thick and thin.
Their exploits back home are legendary and these ladies are ready to embark on a new journey down south. Under one roof yet again, their relationships will be tested as Nikki, known as the ‘Mama Bear’ of the family, pursues her dream while also helping her sisters accomplish their own goals.
Will this new chapter in their lives prove that they’re better together, or will sibling rivalry get in the way? Can Nikki do it all — keep up a long distance relationship with Shaquille O’Neal, while being the head of the household, older sister, world’s best aunt and business owner?”
With the exception of seeing her out and about with ex-boo, Shaquille O’Neal, we haven’t seen much of Hoopz since “Flavor of Love.”
Does this series sound like something you’d be interested in seeing?
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Chris Brown just turned down BET’s offer for a reality show. And he’s not the only one who’s passed on a chance for TV time. Find out which one of your favorite celebrities will never do reality TV, and why.
Chrissy Tiegen and John Legend
The Networks have been begging this adorable twosome to do a reality show for years. But Chrissy told Cosmo that she was afraid they were too normal and boring to pull any ratings:
“I never wanted to go down that route. People think we’re friends with really famous people. We’re not, really. Most of our friends are bankers.”
We think these two could be underestimating their star power.
Legal troubles, love triangles and bad habits are always a good recipe for reality TV. And apparently, Chris Brown has had all of the above at some point in his life, so I guess it was only a matter of time before networks would realize that the troubled singer could potentially be reality TV gold. ‘
According to TMZ, BET is currently the most determined contender when it comes to the networks that are vying to cast Chris in a series. Sources close to the situation are saying that BET has informed several production companies that they are totally down to air a show that focuses on the young R&B crooner’s life after jail and his attempts remain drug free and stay out of trouble following the experience.
If reports are correct, then the network has already gone as far as to hold a focus group earlier this week to see if viewers would be interested in watching the program. The focus group, which was reportedly held in San Fernando Valley, consisted of all African-American females.
Chris has yet to sign a deal with any of the production companies, but in the event that he does, sources say the show will be put on the air.
Would you watch a reality show starring Chris Brown? Do you think this would be a good move for him?
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The last time I did this article topic, I thought that I would have just enough for a slideshow. However, I didn’t realize how many reality stars tried to pursue singing careers. So here we are again, with more.
Now, like last time, there are some good ones, some not so pleasant sounding ones, and ones whose ambition might be a little misplaced. However, let’s acknowledge the fact that it takes a lot of courage to make yourself vulnerable and say: “Hey world, this is an avenue that I’m going to pursue,” so let’s keep that in mind.
“Truth is I’m tiiiiiiired”–of reality TV that is. However, we might get to see something more positive but still entertaining with the reality TV show that gospel singers and acting couple, David and Tamela Mann, have planned for BET.
The couple, both known for their work on Tyler Perry’s Meet The Browns (and Tamela’s “Take Me To The King” was a #1 gospel song back in 2012), will reportedly showcase their large family, including their five children, eight grandchildren and extended family on the new BET reality show. The two seem excited about the new venture. They put out a joint statement confirming the show and the big plans they have for fans:
“We’re excited to announce our new television home is with BET. BET is a great fit for the Mann brand and the perfect place for this new show. There’ll also be some news and reveals we’re saving to share on the show – you’ll have to tune in to find out what’s in store.”
The show will be called Meet The Manns, and according to EurWeb, it will premiere sometime next year. In fact, the reality show is already in production.
Speaking last year about doing reality TV in an interview with Sister 2 Sister, David says they were apprehensive about it all at first:
“We really didn’t want to do it at first. And not knocking any other reality shows, but we just didn’t think we had the drama for a reality show. So we were like, ‘No, because we don’t fuss and argue with each other and go crazy.’ So we said, ‘If you can let us resolve issues in the family and show positive love, then we’ll do one.’ We just want to show people that you can have a great relationship between husband and wife. If you put us in any situation, it’s gonna be crazy!”
I like the Manns (who have been married for more than 25 years by the way), and I’m excited to see what they will do with such a show. But what about you?
Those Braxton sisters stay with some drama, but have they finally reached the end of the road? WE tv recently debuted a teaser for season four of the popular series and it looks like the Braxton women have all reached their breaking point. For starters, Tamar basically quit the show during a super dramatic scene with the Braxton family therapist, Dr. Sherry.
“This is not who I am,” an emotional Tamar can be seen telling Dr. Sherry. “This is my last scene and season.”
Of course, we all know that Tamar can get really dramatic at times, so it’s hard to tell whether or not she was merely speaking from a place of hurt or if she actually plans on abandoning the show. So far, no announcements have been made regarding her future with BFV, but her departure wouldn’t be a complete shock. As you may recall, her WE tv spin-off, “Tamar & Vince,” caused a lot of tension and even seemed to stir up a bit of jealousy amongst the sisters. I suppose we’ll have to stay tuned to see what’s really going on.
The other sister who seems to have reached her tipping point is Towanda. In another scene from the teaser, Towanda goes into complete meltdown mode.
“Nobody cares! Nobody cares about me,” she screams before knocking a bunch of drinking glasses off of a table.
This season is definitely going to be an interesting one. “Braxton Family Values” returns to WE tv in August.
Watch the teaser below. Will you be tuning in?
You know…I think half the reason Netflix is winning so much these days is because the few shows they create and stream online are original. Not feeling the pressure as TV networks do to get Nielsen ratings through the roof, Netflix can focus on trying to make scripted programs that tell a wide variety of stories. Sadly, many networks are putting all of their eggs in the basket of reality TV, which is encouraging anybody and everybody to put together whatever shows they can think of. Rapper’s wives, drug rehab shows, and so on and so forth.
A show hoping to build a big following online to subsequently be picked up to enter that reality TV realm, is Preachers’ Exes. From executive producer Cheron K. Griffin, it follows six women who are trying to heal and move forward from relationships and marriages to preachers. In the trailer, I learned that one woman found out that her husband was gay, while another had to leave soon after her husband created a profile on Christian Mingle after she had gone through two miscarriages. In the program, the women will seek out therapy and try to find peace while bonding with one another. A description on the Facebook page for the show breaks things down:
What happened to these marriages that were “supposed to be” ordained by God? Why does the Christian church have the greatest divorce rate even compared to the atheist? What has happened to the women that once labored in prayer for their husbands? Are these women closer to God now or have they completely walked away from God? Where are they? And who are they?
Let us look into the lives of six (6) cast members as they come together to celebrate their freedom or maybe not. Will they be honest with America, each other, and themselves? Are they psychologically prepared to date and live their best lives? Or have they swept all their dirt under the rug? Are they afraid to face even their own demons? Forgiveness is a journey, but sometimes we need to forgive ourselves before the journey can begin. Each woman will have to look in their own mirror and face what they see. Let’s follow those who have much to say after life on the pulpit. Are they all former wives? And are they all women?
Check out the trailer and let us know what you think. I will say, it’s extremely choppy, but I was definitely shocked by some of the things I heard that these women went through. However, this is all a little too much for television, as I’m personally not a fan of preachers, their wives, their ex-wives, their cousins or whomever, hopping on television. Would you watch a show like this if it’s picked up? Talk about it below.
Will Reality Shows And Films About HBCUs And Black Greek Life Do More Harm Than Good To Their Image?
Black greek letter fraternities and sororities, it seems, have become the inspiration as of late for lots of film and television productions.
As reported by Black Enterprise, actor Forest Whitaker and producer Reginald Hudlin are teaming up for a film about extreme hazing of students pledging to be in a black Greek fraternity at an HBCU. While there is no word yet about the cast or potential release date for the project, some folks are not too keen on the film’s premise. Most notable is Jarrett L Carter, founder of HBCU Digest, who in a piece on the Huffington Post, said that he wanted to know why Whitaker would want to cover such a negative topic. In particular, he writes:
“…HBCUs can’t afford more bad attention piled on to growing misperceptions about their relevance, academic rigor and cultural value. These are secrets HBCUs are desperate to get out to the public, but without the enrollment numbers, the athletic profile and the marketing budgets to do so, they remain relegated to the memories of alumni and the students who catch glimpses of HBCU value, and decide for themselves that it is an experience worth the four-to-six-year investment. In the most optimistic of visions, we could depend on our Black artists to protect this sacred stronghold of Black communities, and not to betray it for shock value and a quick dollar yielded from controversy.
A movie on HBCU hazing will not eradicate the power of one person throwing a punch, calling for a late night food run, or cursing someone out in the name of pledging, or the beliefs of a person willing to absorb such for the privilege of membership. It may be dramatic, it may be a box office smash; but it won’t do what filmmakers will likely say it is designed to do.”
Interesting to say the least. And yet, Carter is not the only one concerned about what a production on black greek life might do to the image of such organizations. Just last week, folks were up in arms about a trailer for a new Mona Scott-Young production called Sorority Sisters. The trailer didn’t stay online for long (and I haven’t seen it), but according to published reports, the show allegedly focused on chapter members of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta and Sigma Gamma Rho organizations – and they might have been captured behaving less than traditional and ladylike.
So of course, there is a petition. More specifically, a Moveon.org petition addressed to the president, board and media subsidiaries of Viacom, requesting the following:
“Stop the spread of ignorance and stereotyping of our beloved Black Greek letter organizations. Our founders amongst EVERY organization worked extremely hard to allow us to unite and flourish not only on college campuses, but as a people well beyond our college days, and Mona Scott-Young now threatens to demolish those aims and goals we all abide by.”
The petition already has 19,587 of the 20k requested signatures.
As a graduate of an HBCU, I totally relate to the immediate reaction of defensiveness in regards to our beloved institutions. We as alumni get weary of dispelling myths and stereotypes about the quality of our education, and by default, our intellects – mostly from other black folks, who feel like their predominately white institutions make them super-special and swell when compared to us. Those individuals forget just how extensive and involved HBCUs were in educating large groups of the black community during the Reconstruction era and beyond in this country, including (and most likely) a bunch of our great grandmothers and grandfathers, who would become the foundation for our future education endeavors. And aside from the more elite institutions, most HBCUs continue to embody the principals of the Talented Tenth by serving, supporting and academically lifting up disadvantaged student body, who might be ignored by other educational institutions.
With that said, there is a respect for the institutions, which I feel is more deserving within black history and cultural honorariums. And this includes black greek life too. But in spite of what I feel has been a disproportionate emphasis on black greek hazing in the media as of late, the reality is that hazing is a cultural problem, which manifests itself in all arenas of society from the world of sports to even the corporate world. Because of that, I don’t think that our institutions are above criticism and reproach. Not if we want them to be continue to be around.
Despite their tremendous contributions to uplifting black folks from deficits of slavery, many of our institutions are entrenched in lots of outdated and even counterproductive ideas, which need to be eradicated if we’re ever going to truly “get free.” Like respectability, and also like hazing. I think the willingness to brush it under the rug tarnishes the HBCU and black greek letter image more. On a related side note, Byron Hurt, director of the 2012 documentary Soul Food Junkies, has just released the trailer to his upcoming documentary, Hazing: How Badly Do You Want In? and it also takes a look at the rites of passage into many black greek letter organizations. Hurt has been known to produce some pretty fair and well-researched work and I don’t doubt the same for this production. Nevertheless, all of these productions might provide an opportunity for those within the organizations to unpack lots of dysfunction and to do the work necessary to correct the issues they don’t want people talking about.
Not to mention, how are some folks going to tune in every week to watch less “cultured” black women bicker and claw at each other – and call it entertaining – but have a totally different standard because these folks have their colors? I call bougie-shenanigans…
When we were first introduced to Peter Thomas on “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” we were also introduced to his financial troubles. He was on the brink of losing his lounge, Uptown, but Peter argues that this had nothing to do with his skills as a businessman.
“When Cynthia and I joined the show, viewers all watched me lose Uptown. People acted like I lost it because I am somehow a bad businessman,” he explained during a recent interview with Uptown mag. “Uptown (Lounge) closed due to the recession. I wasn’t immune from that shit. No one was. Banks closed. Department stores went under. Real institutions, like General Motors, were about to shut their doors. But remember, they got bailout money. Who bailed the black businessman out? Nobody. Bailout money went to white CEOs.”
Despite that setback, Peter didn’t give up on his dream of providing his community with an “upscale place to have a drink, to socialize and to have intelligent conversation centered around quality lifestyle entertainment.” He recently opened a new venue in Atlanta, barOne. But unfortunately, this business venture came with its share of trouble as well. On the day of the interview, Peter was supposed to have a meeting about purchasing the building that houses the popular nightlife spot, but the building owners never showed up.
“See, this is that bullsh*t. They’re not coming,” he said. “They don’t want me to have this building. They want to play games. In the end though, barOne will survive whether it’s in this space or another.”
The “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star’s commitment to being his own boss extends beyond owning nightlife venues. He’s also in the process of producing his own line of Jamaican gourmet coffee.
“Coffee is the number two commodity is the world behind oil and there are not many people of color in the business who are roasting their own beans and packaging their own coffee products,” Peter said. “It’s a lucrative business and one that can make a lot of money. We’ve done a very small soft launch online and sales of the Jamaican Rum flavored coffee have been steady. A much larger launch is coming and people are going to be quite impressed with the brand.”
While it seems like he’s doing the absolute most as far as business is concerned, Peter says he’s determined not to be broke once his reality TV ride comes to an end.
“Ninety-nine percent of the people who have been on a reality show have absolutely nothing once the show is over or their no longer on it,” he adds. “Peter Thomas and Cynthia Bailey are doing exactly what we were doing before this reality show and will be doing the same thing after, only bigger because we have bigger numbers and bigger ambitions.”
But it doesn’t look like Peter’s reign as Atlanta’s beloved reality TV husband will be coming to a close anytime soon. As previously reported, he’s pushing for a spin-off that will center around barOne and his new venture with former RHoA hubby Kordell Stewart, SportsOne.
“This last season of the show, the husbands were very vocal and very visible, and there is no doubt we helped to contribute to the enormous success of this season ok? We were as important to the show as our wives this season,” he continued. “If people want to call me a b*tch for creating this opportunity and giving America the chance to see four black men talking about our marriages, how to make them work and supporting each other through our own sh*t, then they really don’t get the big picture.”
Catch Peter’s full interview over at Uptown.
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