Does Reality TV Shape The Way Black Women Are Viewed by Society?

I am not going to lie, I am a reality TV fanatic so I could be contributing to the problem.  But putting all that aside I am going to take a moment to get philosophical for a minute to discuss the perception that television is putting on black women.

Being a black woman myself the portrayal that television is doing to black women is starting to get beyond ridiculous.  To some degree there are shows were you expect the ratchetness to let loose.  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.  In the last two seasons I notice Omarion and Apryl joining the cast portraying something positive and normal.  But yet it seems as if their screen time is being cut short and now they are off the show.  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 for the most part most black women are not like that.

So what does 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 the way we put ourselves out there.  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 then it is okay for me to act this 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?  Food for thought.

About Sophia Reed (314 Articles)
I am a single mother of one, Christian, and Lover of Life. I have a Master's degree in marriage and family therapy, I am a National Certified Counselor, and I am currently a PhD candidate in Human Behavior. I love motivating others and encouraging all women to be beautiful from the inside and out. To get in contact with me, you can email me at

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