The ability to conceive and deliver a child is a true blessing. Any woman who has given birth would say that. Any woman who has ever struggled at one point or another to do so would say that as well. It’s a beautiful thing. It can also be a sensitive thing. With that in mind, why women who are given a platform on national television choose to weaponize fertility is something I still can’t really understand.
I’ve touched on this topic in the past, and was reminded of how much of an issue it can be when I watched the most recent episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta and Eva Marcille, who is known for throwing about the more problematic shade, threw some Kenya Moore’s way. When Cynthia Bailey told Eva before her BaileyQue that Kenya was upset with her about not initially being allowed to bring her daughter Brooklyn to the event, Eva remarked on the fact that she was given such a hard time about where she should and shouldn’t bring her children.
“Welcome to motherhood, ladies! I know she’s having a late in life baby, but welcome, over the hill,” she said. “This is what happens!”
I know what you’re thinking. These ladies throw whole shade trees on a regular basis, including about their relationships, finances and more. And sometimes, yes, I’ll say Marlo Hampton, specifically, deserves a reminder that she should go and have her own kids before criticizing Eva about her ability to breastfeed her own and how she carries them. I’ll give her that. Still, I tend to find it a tad icky when the go-to response to being called out for things is to na-na-na-boo-boo the fact that you were able to have multiple children with ease, and do so relatively young in comparison to others. Our finances and the men we choose to date and marry we can control, making that fair game for reality TV squabbles, but our ability to have children is not always so simple. You are not the Golden Child because you were able to forgo the conception struggle.
Eva is certainly not the first to make fertility struggles shade, though. We’ve talked about Basketball Wives and the cast’s habit of throwing back and forth jabs about people struggling to conceive due to cancer treatments (Sundy Carter vs. Brandi Maxiell). We’ve also discussed Tami Roman and Evelyn Lozada’s back and forths about each other’s fertility issues, and Feby Torres on the most recent season, implying that an unmarried (but in a long-term relationship) and childless Ogom “OG” Chijindu may or may not be able to have kids. Former RHOA star Phaedra Parks has even gone there with Kenya before, and the way she dragged her about the possibility of having to seek out a sperm donor to have a child (in retaliation for comments made about then-husband Apollo Nida), was also uncomfortable to watch. In addition, people’s alleged infertility being put on blast in front of others was a topic on Married to Medicine recently.
All that being said, talk about “rotten” and “spoiled eggs” has been a pretty consistent jab on reality shows centered around women, specifically Black women, and it’s been rough to see. Speaking as someone who has battled fibroids and because of that, had my own issues, it just hasn’t sit well with my spirit the attempts people have made to prop themselves up in comparison to their co-stars they’re at odds with because they’ve been able to have children with no issues. My assumption is that they have had no issues, because if they had, they would be more careful with how they speak on TV.
Call me sensitive, but I just feel like there is plenty more to talk about and more facts to put out there to shut people up than to go after the health of one another, in this case, reproductive. It’s especially confusing when so many of the women on these particular shows have opened up about what they’ve gone through in order to have children or to not be able to (often due to fibroids), and yet, they always remain quiet about these jabs. It’s a lot. Not only that, but people tend to not realize that when they go below the belt in such a way, they’re not only offending their intended target, but everyday women who watch and have similar stories.
The good news is, Kenya, at least, seems to not be too affected by her co-star’s comments. She took to IG to talk about battling infertility and feeling “alone and depressed” about it before eventually overcoming it.
After sharing a positive message, Kenya being Kenya, you know she had quite a bit of shade ready to throw herself.