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I am not going to lie, I am a reality TV fanatic so I could be contributing to the problem. But it seems as if Black Women and Reality TV just don’t mix. Maybe it is just me but it seems like all the major reality TV shows that feature black women, the woman are always fighting, arguing and having a crap load of drama. I mean lets not even get into the Love and Hip Hop Atlanta, all of their drama is beyond ridiculous to the point I cannot even watch it anymore.
Being a black woman myself the portrayal that television is doing to black women is starting to not be entertaining but insulting. Love and Hip hop are one of those shows. No matter what Love and Hip Hop you are watching a fight is going to break out, a women is going to appear needy and allow herself to be disrespected, or drinks of going to go flying toward one another. And anytime a semi positive black woman comes on the a reality show (For example Kim on Real Housewives of Atlanta). Their screen time is cut short and they are kicked off the show for being boring and not having a story line. It is like promoting ratchet behavior trumps actual positive functioning black people.
Now I am going to take this a step further. Looking at the shows Married to Medicine and Real Housewives of Atlanta all of which who have achieved some level of success on their life. But yet and still they stoop down to the stereotypical level of fighting, degrading, and throwing drinks on one another for no real apparent reason whatsoever other than ratings.
Now many people might say that no one wants to watch a reality show were women are sitting around singing kumbaya to each other and it is this controversy among women that sells. That is a possibility but how would you ever know what can become popular unless you try?
As a black woman I do not go around fighting people in public and throwing my drinks on people. For what? There may be a select group of women who imitate this lifestyle but MOST black woman are not like that. In fact Black women are not the most educated group of people (percentile wise) over any other group of people. So why can’t we show more of that?
What do you think this everyday stereotype that media is feeding to us do to our community? We always want to complain about why we get racially profiled or black people get treated a certain way. And of course it goes beyond just how black women are portrayed in media but when you really think about it, imagine for white people who do not have much contact with black people, seeing these popular reality shows in which all of the black women act crazy (no matter if they are educated, well off, or not) they automatically assume that all black people are like this. And therefore when they encounter black people they chose to perceive us in a certain way based off of how we portray ourselves in the media.
And further there is a generation out there who learns from media and somehow thinks that since these women on TV act this way AND they make money for it, then it is okay for them to act the same way. This further perpetuates the stereotypical “angry black woman” persona.
I am guilty of giving these shows ratings. But each and every person on the show has a choice in whether they are going to feed into acting ignorant all for a “storyline” or if they are going to keep their integrity. Does the price of money and fame mean that much to you where you lose all of your senses and look both desperate and angry on television for the world to see? If so, they are contributing to the racial divide on how black people are perceived and not helping it.
No matter if you feel that I am exaggerating or not media has a huge influence of what we perceive as reality and can shape how we behave. And by black women continually being portrayed in this light, how can we is anyone else begin to take us seriously? Black Women and Reality TV can mix, but instead of them doing in a way that disrespects black women, maybe we should have more shows that portray black women in a positive light. Food for thought.
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