All Articles Tagged "reality tv"

Embracing Your Talent, Ignoring Your Vanity

December 10th, 2014 - By Kendra Koger
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Image Source: Shutterstock.com

Image Source: Shutterstock.com

 

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 KangTameikaG 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.

 

Misty Copeland Is Coming To Reality Tv

November 19th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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misty copeland under armour commercial feat

Source: YouTube

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.

Oxygen says:

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.”

Good For Television Or Team Too Much? 10 Reality Shows Trying To Make Waves

November 11th, 2014 - By Tanvier Peart
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WENN

WENN

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.

Is Reality Tv Desensitizing Us To Violence Against Women?

November 10th, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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Is Reality Tv Desensitizing Us To Violence Against Women?

Source: sepiaprocess.com

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.”

I’m Done: Women Who Left Their Men After Reality TV

November 10th, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
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It seems like there’s a curse for couples who go on reality television. Before the cameras started rolling, it was all good but these women eventually chucked up the peace sign and left their mates after starring on reality television together.

A photo posted by PHAEDRA (@phaedraparks) on

Phaedra Parks

When Phaedra Parks and her husband Apollo Nida joined “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” the newlyweds were in love and welcoming their first child together. But a few years later, the authorities came knocking at their door and accused the former felon of stealing $2 million from more than 50 victims. Nida ended up pleading guilty and was facing 20 years in prison. However, he cooperated and ended up sentenced to eight and as soon as he turned himself in to start serving his sentence, Parks served him with divorce papers.

Are We Selling Sex Or Is Sex Selling Black Women?

October 31st, 2014 - By TaMara Griffin
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Selling Sex

Source: WENN

With all the buzz that was surrounding Nicki Minaj’s video “Anaconda,” I have to wonder as a Black women is this all we want for ourselves? Is this really a representation of Black women and our sexuality? Why must we continuously be the focus of hypersexualized videos in order to be relevant? Why must we allow ourselves to continue to be exploited like Mimi Faust and her infamous sex tape? Is this five minutes of fame worth our selling our souls and destroying our people? What statement does this send to our young girls who watch videos and reality TV shows and think that this is a way of life?

While many women are empowered enough to realize that this buffoonery is a form of “entertainment,” many women are not able to make that connection. Unfortunately as a result, many women and young girls end up modeling their lives after these reckless, negligent and thoughtless images. These images don’t represent nor promote sex positivity nor do they denote owning and embracing one’s sexuality. In fact, it’s just the opposite. These images actually represent a conflict of values, morals, and a lack of self esteem
and self-efficacy that contributes to putting oneself at risks for mental health issues, interpersonal violence, substance abuse, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, etc.

Black women’s sexuality is already stereotyped, stigmatized, taboo and bogged down by layers of negative intergenerational patterns and ideologies that have been passed down from slavery. These ideologies were used to validate the inhumane sexual treatment of enslaved women. They were also used to imply that Black women were despicable and inferior. Unfortunately, these ideologies are still present. Today, the media uses these images in music videos, movies, television shows, and other forms of entertainment to continue to brainwash people into believing the negative stereotypes of Black women.

The prevailing images of Black women in the media include jezebels, baby-mamas, video vixens, chicken heads, gold diggers, angry Black women, and hoes. These images and ideologies, with their highly sexual undertones, helps to influence the way in which Black women view themselves. The more Black women see images of themselves getting famous for fitting into one of the aforementioned categories, the more likely they feel inclined to model what they see. In addition, these images helps to influence the way others value and interact with Black women.

While rappers, actors, entertainers and “reality” TV stars may not have signed up to become role models, they are! Once they step into the spotlight, they become a model for what is considered to be trendy and acceptable. These “celebrities” in many ways, good or bad, set the standard. But what standard are they setting and at what cost to Black women?

Unfortunately, Black women have become desensitized to seeing themselves portrayed negatively. While there aren’t any signs of these unhealthy images disappearing any time soon, there is definitely a need to counteract them in the media. We are in need of a cultural shift in sexuality, one that restores the dignity of Black women. It is time for Black women to reclaim our sexual images in society. We must ask ourselves the following questions: 1)Do we care about the type of women our girls grow up to become, 2) Is their public image worth defending, and 3) Is their sexual integrity worth protecting?

No longer can we sit in silence or stand idly on the sidelines while the images of Black women continue to be destroyed in the media. However, in order to change the trajectory, we need to begin with restoring Black women’s sense of value, worth and sexuality. We need to transform from the “ex’s,” “jezebel,” “angry Black woman,” “video vixen,” “gold digger,” “baby mama,” “chicken heads,” and “‘hoes” to self-respecting women, wives, mothers and leaders in our community. Once we do, we will be able to see a shift in our society that will begin to embrace and celebrate the true authentic essence of Black women’s sexuality.
Dr. TaMara G10517587_10152337526693315_3514000000734284521_nriffin loves nothing more than talking about sex! At the age of 13, she told her mother she wanted to be a Sex Therapist! Her passion is deeply rooted in spreading messages about healthy sexuality. Dr. TaMara is a sexologist, sex therapist, educator and motivational speaker with more than 20 years of experience speaking, writing and teaching about sexuality. She travels the country helping individuals embrace and honor their sexuality. Dr. TaMara has published numerous books and articles. She is the owner of L.I.F.E. by Dr. TaMara Griffin, Live Inspired Feel Empowered LLC-L.I.F.E. www.drtamaragriffin.com. She is also the Director of Project Create S.A.F.E. {Sexual Assault Free Environments} www.projectcreatesafe.com.

So Vaughn Is Mad He Won’t Be On The “Married At First Sight” Spinoff

October 1st, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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“Married At First Sight” was a hit! And we loved it and learned quite a bit about attraction, commitment and it was absolutely fascinating to watch. So it comes as no surprise that the couples are getting a spin off.

The New York Post reported that FYI ordered a follow up show called “Married at First Sight: The First Year” which will follow the couples who decided to stay married.

But it’s only for the couples that stayed together.

Duh, right?

And yet Vaughn seemed to have an issue with the fact that he and Monet weren’t invited to participate in the spin-off.

Here’s what he posted on his Instagram account.

Nothing against the other couples but people keep asking why @monetbell and I aren’t on the spinoff. If y’all feel some type of way about that feel free to let@FYI and @officialmarriedatfirstsight know

Umm… apparently, Vaughn doesn’t seem to understand that the show “MARRIED at First Sight” ended when he and Monet decided not to to stay married. So no, y’all might get a nice montage or vignette about your self improvements and new boos but not a whole spin-off. I will admit that Vaughn and Monet were entertaining to watch but that was because people were so invested, anxious to see if they could make their marriage work, despite their terrible, horrible, no good, very bad communication. And now that we know the two are getting a divorce… well, the thrill is gone.

In the words of Willy Wonka…

What do you think, would you want to see Vaughn and Monet on the “Married at First Sight” spinoff?

Where Are They Now: The Cast Of College Hill Part 2

September 30th, 2014 - By Kendra Koger
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Let me just say:  WOW!  I’ve been doing these “Where Are They Now”s for a minute, and I wasn’t expecting the reaction from the first part of  the”College Hill” article.  But when I asked:  “Tell me which ones you wanted to see for part 2 in the comment section,” you all did not fail to deliver.

So, my gift to you, is the second part, including Virginia State University cast, South Beach cast, and Atlanta cast.  Now if I included everyone that you all asked for, this article would be 19 pages and I know how you all feel about the multiple pages.  So, I’m going to focus on the most requested, and the ones that I could find the most information on.

I hope I make you all happy, let’s get it started with:

Everything Ain’t For Everybody: Celebrities Ruined By Reality TV

September 18th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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These celebrities thought their reality shows were going to be their ticket to stardom or at least a career revival. But this time the exposure didn’t work in their favor. Is reality TV really a career killer? Or should we wait for these Hollywood hopefuls to bounce back?

Karlie Redd

Love and Hip Hop star Karlie Redd thought that her stint on reality TV would open industry doors. But when she went to audition for a Tyler Perry movie, they told her that no reality stars need apply. And Karlie Redd says it’s not the first time that this has happened:

“There’s been roles that I auditioned for and then they found out…literally I’m on my way to set to work, got the role and everything and then they find out I’m on the show and then they’re like, ‘Uh, no.’”

Celebs Who Broke Into The Industry After Reality Tv

September 12th, 2014 - By Kendra Koger
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Derrick Salters/WENN.com

Derrick Salters/WENN.com

 

For many people, when they first get on reality television, it’s because they feel as though they have some talent, but haven’t been discovered yet.  It’s a way to make yourself be seen by the right people.  But, too many of those people forget their reasons for getting on their chosen shows in the first place, and find themselves stuck to the allure of infamy, because it’s easier.

However, there are some people who the entertainment industry took notice of, and didn’t hold (some of) their ridiculous behavior against them.  There are also people who focused on their talent, and kept a cool head in manufactured drama.

So, here’s to these participants of reality television who the entertainment industry looked beyond the reality shows that they were on, and gave them a chance regardless.