All Articles Tagged "reality tv"
During this past episode of “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” Kandi and Todd have been on two different pages. There were several communication issues that seemed to trip them up. Kandi’s play was canceled and in response Todd asked her if she “did her research.” And though he might have been trying to provide a solution or rationalize the cancelation, it came off as dismissive and insulting. Of course she did her research! Kandi is a businesswoman. But I digress.
Then when the two were in LA filming, Todd decided that he was going to hang back for a few days afterward and kick it with his boys.
This compounded by the fact that they’d only had sex once that week, led Kandi to believe that he might be stepping out on her. And Kandi told her friend Carmen that she suspected Todd of cheating. Sadly, all of this took place on camera.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times; when it comes to relationships, sometimes it’s just better to keep your drama and messiness behind closed doors. And as a newlywed, Kandi is also learning that lesson.
As soon as Todd and I got married he had to leave for LA to start production on his show. We went from being together every day to going weeks without seeing each other. It took some time to adjust. Things were tense for a short period of time, but we’re great now. I do regret talking about it on TV. I’m a very open person, but I’m learning that it’s not always a great idea to be an open book when it comes to your marriage.
Let the church say Amen!
We could go on and on about the couples whose marriages have failed with the help of reality tv. Though most of us don’t have cameras in our homes, the same concept applies when you consider telling your friends about every argument and issue that arises in your relationship. Sometimes…no, most times, it’s better to work it out amongst yourselves, or with a neutral third party, and keep it moving.
Basically, when you tell your friends and family about the drama in your relationship, they’re listening as people who are loyal to you…not your man or partner. They’ll be looking at him crazy from now until eternity if you ever mention anything he might have done wrong. Even after you’ve moved past the argument and the dust has settled, your people will still be holding a grudge. Not to mention, you conveniently forgot to tell them how you were acting a fool. They weren’t there for his apology and the resolution and you didn’t update them on how his behavior has changed for the better. One, because those make up stories aren’t as juicy and two, because they’re not in the relationship and have little incentive to forgive his offenses.
That’s just what happens when you invite outside opinions into your relationship.
And that’s what Kandi is doing by discussing her relationship with Todd, not only with her friend, but with millions of viewers around the country and world. Inviting them to cast judgment without knowing even half of the story. As one of my coworkers mentioned, it also adds fuel to that very messy fire Mama Joyce started. God knows the world doesn’t want her to be right about Todd. But I’m sure listening to Kandi discuss what seem like normal communication issues is making her feel really validated right now.
But it’s hard not to discuss your relationship when you roll deep with your man and cameras are following you around all the time. As we were discussing this at work, someone suggested that it might be time for Kandi and Todd to step away from RHOA in an attempt to preserve their marriage. I’ll be honest, my first reaction was “Nooooo.” I don’t even watch RHOA anymore but when I did, I always appreciated Kandi’s levelheadedness and her ability to avoid the cattiness that has been associated with the show. If she leaves, doesn’t it seem like all hell will break loose? Who is going to bring the ackright?
And while the show might take yet another dip in classiness, it just might help to keep Kandi and Todd together.
These celebrities say reality TV is their favorite guilty pleasure. Read on to find out the stars addicted to reality TV, what they watch and how they got hooked.
“Sorority Sisters” wasn’t liked from the jump. Folks were ready to boycott Mona Scott-Young and VH1 the moment they saw the previews. Enough was enough already with portraying Black women in such a negative light. Even though some of these reality shows are now off the air, there have been many more over the years that have given Black women a bad look. Unfortunately, these shows are just a few portrayals of Black women we find on television.
There used to be a time that after all of my hard work throughout the day I could come home (or to my dorm), kick my feet up, and veg out to some reality television. Yes, some of the people involved were incredibly petty, and didn’t seem to have a full grasp on reality, but it was entertaining.
But now… I don’t know. Maybe I’ve gotten too old to enjoy it? They say that most things in life will have a season, and maybe my enjoyment of reality television is coming to an end?
However, until I stop tuning in every Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights, can I just say that I’m getting a little annoyed with this reality season’s shenanigans? The year, literally, just started and my eyes are already exhausted from eye rolling. Let’s go through the list, and feel free to add your own. Let’s commiserate together!
Not everyone’s reality show ride takes them all the way to the top. When these stars’ 15 minutes were up, they looked up and found that they’d lost it all.
Now that we’ve said goodbye to 2014, it’s natural to use some retrospection to help guide us in the new year. Well, reality television can be a catalyst, not only for foolishness, but for lessons learned.
With that written, here are some of the lessons that reality television taught us last year.
My mind sometimes wonders about how some of my favorite people from the past would fit into this current world; a world that seems to value controversy over talent. The thought of some of my favorite writers, painters, activists, and leaders stopping what they were doing to take a selfie, or hashtagging pictures of their meals with the caption “#foodporn” is funny, but also sad to me.
In this world of popcorn fame that seems to value looks over substance, with actual guides of how to be “Instagram Famous” it can make you feel a little poorly about yourself, society, just everything.
There was a time when personality based reality television were seen as the lowest form of entertainment (right after dog racing). People would relegate these “stars” to the d-list and lower. However, something changed. Maybe it was the shift from dating reality shows to life-based ones. Once people stopped vying for the affections of rappers and rockers and people’s glamorous lives were being shown, reality television was a haven for people to be discovered.
People who were initially brought on “Bad Girls Club” to change their ways were now being offered a few thousand to do appearances, calenders, photo shoots. The need to be an upstanding person paled in comparison to the profitable road of tomfoolery. Heck, some of your favorite reality stars have multiple degrees, and aren’t doing a blankity-blank thing with them.
But with the advent of Instagram and Vine, everyday people are finding their way to getting their names out there. A few pictures or short videos can allow a person to become a lucrative presence and gain followers, and if they’re lucky, endorsements.
However, if you’re considering following this path, can I encourage you to pursue a talent? Something that coincides with your desire to be known for something, instead of being known for your looks? The reason why I say this is because that fame is incredibly fleeting. Why? Because once you get older no one is going to care. Or better yet, when someone younger comes in, they’re gonna replace you.
Why do you think some reality stars keep on doing more reality shows? Or the exact same reality show when they enter into their 30s… Just sayin’.
There are some Instagram people who are famous off of talent, along with their media personalities, like my favorites Mankofit, Maria Kang, TameikaG and others. People who were able to use their love of fitness, coupled with Instagram to inspire and help people.
This post isn’t meant to down anyone, especially reality stars. It takes a lot to make yourself vulnerable to criticism, even if your behavior is completely abhorrent.
However, nurture your talent while you’re also nurturing your ego, because at the end of the day that’s what’s going to essentially nurture you. That’s what’s going to allow you have longevity and a career, rather than just a name.
Now that I think about it, there have always been attention-seeking people. Along with the invention of the printing press and photography, the early age of tabloids featured people who were so popular at their time, but we don’t really remember their names now. We do, however, remember the names of the people who put in work and used their talents to made an impact in one way or another. You have more to offer the world than how you look, make sure the world knows that about you.
Oxygen, in an effort to rebrand itself with more multicultural content, is releasing four new series that will feature more diverse subjects and characters.
The most impressive show is “The Misty Copeland Project,” a series that will follow the ballerina while she trains and mentors upcoming and dancers, from diverse backgrounds, who have hopes of beginning their ballet careers. Learning from Misty will certainly be a step in the right direction.
This is one of just a few projects that Copeland has in the works. In addition to the reality show, she’ll also be the subject of a Nelson George documentary, which will follow Copeland, the first Black woman in twenty years to become a soloist at the American Ballet Theatre.
There is also a scripted film about Copeland life coming to theaters. New Line Cinema optioned the rights to Copeland’s autobiography Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina, which details her early struggles as a dancer living on welfare, in a motel with her family.
With all the foolishness going on with reality shows these days, I’m really looking forward to this one.
“From the unbelievably inspirational and talented Misty Copeland, to the bold young women experiencing life abroad, the new development slate appeals to a multitude of female viewers,” said Cori Abraham, Senior Vice President of Development & International for Oxygen Media. “These projects embrace the new Oxygen programming filter, which focuses on real characters who are on a journey to seek out new experiences and follow their true passions in life.”
At some point, you really have to question whether or not people have personal standards. Does everything about your life need to be displayed on television for all to see? At what point does a reality star decide enough is enough when it comes to drama, gossip and altercations? Apparently some don’t seem to mind so long as we continue to watch the train wreck. Here’s a look at some reality TV shows that keep us talking.
Sil Lai Abrams, journalist, domestic abuse advocate and founder of Truth In Reality, doesn’t have any grand delusions that people will completely tune out of reality television. Nor is she really looking to shame anyone with a moralist message about virtue and respectability.
With that said, she does believe that reality television is creating a narrative around womanhood, particularly Black womanhood, that is both damaging and dangerous.
And through the Redefining HERstory Campus Social Action Program and Education Tour, Abrams is looking to inspire young people to – at the very least – think critically about what they are consuming.
On her campus tour, which began late last month at Grambling University and will be making its second stop tonight at 7 p.m at Kent State University tonight (Kiva Auditorium). The aim is media literacy. And during tonight’s event Abrams says she is looking to engage students in conversation on how sexist and racist stereotypes sometimes play themselves out on many of these shows.
After the event, the conversation will continue online for weekly #RealityInTV Twitter chats, where Abrams along with guest experts and media personalities including Roland Martin, discuss topics related to rape culture and institutional oppression, sexism in the media and male accountability. And it will continue on campuses as well, with watch parties and guest speakers, who will drive home messages related to anti-violence and women empowerment.
While the aim is to raise awareness and to alert young adults in particular to what she believes are destructive themes, the ultimate goal is to get young people, particularly young Black women to create counter narratives of their own to what they see in the media.
“Since folks are going to be watching it anyway, you might as well watch it and analyze it with them. It’s not about shaming or passing judgment. But as media consumers, you have to know what you’re watching and what the potential impact is having on how you view situations in real life,” said Abrams.
Like violence against women.
As Abrams suggest, the fairly recent rise in smack down and drag out relationship-themed reality television, like “The Bad Girls Club” and the entire “Love & Hip Hop” franchise, has created a narrative, which appears to both condone and normalize Black love steeped in violence and dysfunction. We laugh, mock and make snarky comments about how these women “deserve it” on social media, but rarely do we consider the context.
Like Mimi Faust from the wildly popular “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta,” who was stuck for 16 years in a traumatic relationship with music producer and fellow cast member Stevie J. Many people ridiculed her for staying in a clearly emotionally manipulative and abusive relationship for so long. However rarely did anyone consider that prior to landing a spot on the series, it was likely Faust was a pretty economically insecure single mother and that alone made her more susceptible to Stevie J’s exploits.
And then there was the much publicized domestic abuse incident involving former “Basketball Wives” stars Chad Johnson and Evelyn Lozada. Since Lozada was known for jumping on tables and basically bullying her fellow “wives” on the show, viewers had trouble seeing her as a victim in her real life relationship with the former football star.
“Basically most of the commentary around these incidences sided with the abuser and her perceived lack of proper behavior and decorum were viewed as the culprit. That is a direct result of conditioning,” said Abrams, laying out the connection between reality television and abuse. “There is extensive research, which suggests the viewing of violent images against women increase male aggression towards women. So these reality television shows, which feature violent images of women of color are contributing to the normalization and reinforcing of negative stereotypes that men who are violent or predisposed to violence use to justify and rationalize their abuse.”
There is also more nefarious correlation stemming from these images, which has little to do with abuse, said Abrams. In particular, the White gaze. She recalled a friend’s story about being in Eastern Europe and being confused with “Real Housewives of Atlanta” television star NeNe Leakes – in spite of looking nothing like her.
“It was the only point of reference they have for a Black American woman. So we have to remember that for lots of people, who never come into contact with Black people, this is the only narrative that they see. And that shapes perceptions of us,” she said.
Abrams said that she is no stranger to the lives lived by many of the characters on these reality programs (you can watch this short tour promo clip, which explains more her personal story). Her past includes being a former high school drop out, who struggled with an alcohol dependency issue before going into modeling and eventually the music industry, She was also a single mother with little education as well as a survivor of sexual assault and violence. Those vulnerabilities are the major reasons why she does not sit in judgment of their choices.
But she is concerned about whether or not, these images, which are highly edited, filtered and even scripted, are really letting us see these women’s full humanity or are these women just caricatures, being exploited for cheap entertainment. “There is a lack of balance in the portrayed. When go across all media, we are portrayed as centers around historical racist stereotypes which have been recycled and rehashed for entertainment today,” she said.
With violence infiltrating every aspect of popular culture and media including sports, film and music, It’s hard to say if the onus of these negative images lands squarely at the feet of Mona Scott Young. However Abrams is certain that violence has been a driving narrative of young women, between 18 to 49. She notes that “Love & Hip Hop” is tied for number three in ratings besides WWF wrestling.
“So when the top shows we consume are centered around patriarchy and pushing patriarchal themes, it’s easy to see how abuse is normalized and even how this culture of rape is shaped. That’s why it is imperative that we address the young people, particularly women, to let them know that this sort of behavior is not okay.”
Although a final itinerary has not been finalized, Abrams said the Redefining HERstory tour will be making a number of stops on campuses across the country. She also hopes to work with local organizations in vulnerable communities to reach out to even younger-aged women and men.
In the meantime, Abrams is offering a free downloadable media kit, which was created by developmental psychologist Dr. Scyatta Wallace of JANISAW, a consulting company specializing in leadership development and life skills programs for teen girls and young women, to help educators, youth counselors and other folks have similar conversations with young people in their own communities.
“Even before we take action, first we need people to understand that there is a problem. And then you have to engage them and then they have to become personally invested in the issue. Because what we are talking about here is personal agency. We can’t say that we want greater and more varied public images of Black women and women of color in the media, if we keep supporting those images we don’t want.”