The Nene Leakes Growth
As someone who has been watching “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” since season 1, I’ve followed Nene’s portrayal faithfully. There were times where I rooted for her, times when her behavior made me roll my eyes, but all-in-all I’ve only wanted to see the best in her.
On the previous episode of RHOA I was in awe of her growth as she sat down with Dr. Jeff and expressed how she wanted to do a group therapy session and wanted to be held to the same standards that the other girls were. I was like: “Yes, Nene! Yes!”
But then, on the Ides of March, I felt like I’d been betrayed. I had this grandiose article planned on singing her praises, but when the episode of the actual therapy session aired I felt like I set myself up for failure. Why, Kendra?!
But then I realized that in the end all wasn’t lost. Why? Because Nene has indeed grown.
Here’s the thing about humans, we’re not perfect. We’re going to set standards for others, and want grace for ourselves. We’re going to have laser focus on where others have missed the mark and have very convenient amnesia when we do as well.
But the thing that I feel is very true about Nene’s portrayal is that she has shown the propensity for growth.
Now, I know what some of you might be thinking, but just follow me with this.
Granted, Nene missed the mark in that therapy session, but she was the one who brought it up. She set it up, and I feel as though her intentions might have been noble in doing so.
There are a lot of time when we might mess up, and even fewer times when we might try to openly fix it. Even if Nene allowed herself to become too defensive, and miss an opportunity for improvement, I can’t knock her for opening the door to that opportunity.
Something that has stuck with me from a psychology course in college is that a person’s personality is usually set by the age of four. Not meaning that they’ll always act like a four year old, but if you are consistently selfish at four, then you’ll probably stay that way for the rest of your life. If you’re consistently giving by the age of four, you’ll stay that way. So I’ve always kept that in the back of my mind when interacting with other people, and with raising my own daughter.
But seeing this emergence of Nene was proof to me that no matter how old a person is, they still have the potential to move beyond their initial state.
Age is a funny thing because sometimes it can make us feel as though time is running out. However, I feel that if you can look back on your life, see things that you want to change, and then attempt it, that’s admirable.
Nene started off on the series as a wife (though she was auditioning for acting roles, we didn’t see that on the series). Then she was advocating for women’s health and offering a hand to domestic abuse victims. We then saw her get her first mainstream acting role, then hosting gigs, and then star on Broadway.
Even though Nene hasn’t always been a beacon of maturity, she has been a light to those who might be afraid to change their lives. Though her behavior has been disappointing at times, she has still made the effort to attempt a change. For me, the important thing is that even if you do fail, it’s important to at least try. Take it from Nene, it’s never too late to make an effort.