Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Is The Real Housewives Of Atlanta A Guilty Pleasure Or Embarrassing As Hell For Black Folks Particularly Black Women?

I can't stand reality television, but I have caught bits and pieces of this show. And it sure has the interest of white folks. I am curiously horrified. It's like watching wanna be upscale ghetto delusional divas on parade on planet fruitcake.

17 comments:

ch555x August 19, 2009 at 9:14 AM  

Never seen it, probably never will...

Keli August 19, 2009 at 10:14 AM  

I admit, I am guilty of watching...

but I also cringe. It's like watching the surgeries on TLC...I don't have the stomach for it, but I just can't seem to turn my head either.

I think it's a horrible representation of women period...especially black women!

And yes, it is completely and utterly embarrassing. From the outside looking in...It makes me wonder what the ATL scene is truly like. Is it really a black mecca or just a bunch of ignorant pretentious wannabees?

BLKSeaGoat August 19, 2009 at 11:43 AM  

Bravo is making money hand over fist by showcasing the dysfynction that is the Real Housewives of ATL.

Each "real" housewife has faced EVICTION, FORECLOSURE, and financial ruin, yet they are still able to purchase 3,000.00 shoes and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry? Methinks Bravo is shelling out some duckets to keep these women on TV... and I don't mean the salaries the women are actually paid. I think Bravo is renting their homes and cars and probably their jewelry.

The vendors get product placement and free marketing and Bravo gets to keep pimping these women (two of which were skrippas) for making Bravo a relevant cable network again. I hate the show and I hate the representation of black people and black women on the show.

This is yet another not so sublte attempt at TV attempting to validate that black/black relationship are dysfunctional, unequal, shallow partnerships.

Keli,

It's a combo of both. ATL has some black movers and shakers, but for the most part you wouldn't be invited into their circles because they insulate themselves from anyone who ISN'T a part of that exclusivity. ATL has the highest number of Jacks and Jill families, several jurisdictions of "The Links" and many other social clubs where class, breeding, education, family history, and money determine which ones you get an invite to if you weren't born into it.

ATL also has the pretentious wannabes... and that is what you see on the RHOA.

roslynholcomb August 19, 2009 at 11:51 AM  

Haven't seen it and never will, but I operate from the assumption that any and all representations of black women in the MSM will be negative a venal. They haven't disappointed me yet.

Kjen August 19, 2009 at 3:09 PM  

Embarrassed? Why because there are black wanna be socialites? I don't think so. Are you all watching this show in "mixed" company and feel the need to explain every so called crass behavior away? Now that could be embarrassing. But just like I wasn't embarrassed because of the people existed who did things that got them on BET's "we got to do better" aka "hot ghetto mess."
Black people come in all different shapes sizes and socioeconomic brackets. It is what it is. And what it is is nothing to be embarrassed about.

Tracy August 19, 2009 at 4:07 PM  

" ATL has some black movers and shakers, but for the most part you wouldn't be invited into their circles because they insulate themselves from anyone who ISN'T a part of that exclusivity.

ATL has the highest number of Jacks and Jill families, several jurisdictions of "The Links" and many other social clubs where class, breeding, education, family history, and money determine which ones you get an invite to if you weren't born into it.

ATL also has the pretentious wannabes... and that is what you see on the RHOA."

EXACTLY!! The first season, I was wondering where were the J&J's, where were the real ATL black rich?
It certainly isn't these clowns!

But...if you follow the other RHO...none of the women represent a true depiction of high society or even upper-classness. The New Jersey broads are a prime example -they actually made ATL look good by comparison.

Naima August 19, 2009 at 5:48 PM  

I am guilty. I watch ATL, NY and NJ Housewives.
I think all the housewives shows make women look like petty high school girls.
And Blkseagoat is right, I truly believe Bravo is actually paying for these womens lifestyles except for Kim (who whores herself out) and Kandi who has a decent singing and songwriter career. Nene and Sheree are definitely being held up financially by Bravo, those women have no job or careers to speak of that produces income and both have husband going through financial difficulty. How does Nene get kicked out of her old house and ends up moving into a bigger and better one, and she never has furniture in her house like the other ladies do.

I am not embarassed by the way they act on the show,all the Housewives are crazy women and if people don't get that its "reality tv" then oh well. I am more embarrassed by their off TV issues that are just downright ghetto. The bankruptcies, foreclosures and accusations of violence are just so stereotypical. Kandi is the most embarrasing being engaged to a man with 6 kids and 4 baby mommas.

Professor Tracey August 19, 2009 at 8:37 PM  

@KJen -


Sorry, but that is just bullshit. If you counted the positive and negative portrayals of black folks on television, you would definitely have more negative presentations. These presentations are not indicative or representative of African Americans.

These portrayals become stereotypes that white folks and others struggle to not accept as the "norm" for African Americans. I work in a heavily white setting in a predominantly white small town. I am questioned about BET and crap like the RHOA like I have some personal knowledge about this crap.

And I don't watch BET and have not watched an entire episode of RHOA. It is embarrassing to be expected to be the "expert" for behaviors of a small group of African Americans. Particularly when that is not the way you live your life.

And clearly your head has been in the sand for many years. This why when the Cosby Show was first released there was article after article talking about the show was unrealistic because black folks lives are ALWAYS more like Good Times than like The Cosby Show.

How did that happen? And that's our problem as a racial group. We think this embarrassing crap is cute or no big deal. And that's because we live in our own bubbles unconcerned about the effects of our behaviors on others.

RainaHavock August 19, 2009 at 9:18 PM  

I'm guilty I watch ROHA it's a mess yet I can't turn away.

Christopher Chambers August 19, 2009 at 9:53 PM  

Come on Auntie. This is pure theater. Hardly "reality." I thought Michelle Obama was the antidote to this mess. I swear black people are their own worse enemy. Notice on NONE of these Real Housewives shows are the husbands plain doctors, attorneys, engineers. Nope. They're "entrepreneurs" real estate scammers, professional athletes, income indeterminate.

Indeed, wasn't one of them kicked out of their typical ATL McMansion due to foreclosure?

The Muse August 19, 2009 at 11:28 PM  

Reality TV is trash TV. That is why people watch it. People behaving badly on television is very entertaining..to a point.

I loved all the Housewives episodes be they Orange County, New Jersey, New York or Atlanta.

Please break from the "representing the race" mentality. It stunts your grow and narrows your view.

Do any white people express shame or embarassment for the silly, stupid, ignorant or crazy nonsense another white person does? NO. NOT. NEVER!

So why on earth do some blacks take ownership for the behavior of people they don't know? Embarrased? Shame? Uhhhh...why?

If white people are asking you stupid race questions respond slowly with "We are individuals who don't all know each other" or "this white guy stole $20.00 from me, since you are white you have to pay me back. Just get the money from him when you see him again".

Anyway, I like the shows regardless of race. Keep it in perspective.

Househusbands of Hollywood is showing promise.

Diallo August 20, 2009 at 10:39 AM  

"These portrayals become stereotypes that white folks and others struggle to not accept as the "norm" for African Americans. I work in a heavily white setting in a predominantly white small town. I am questioned about BET and crap like the RHOA like I have some personal knowledge about this crap."

I agree with some of this, though I'm not sure how much struggling goes on. (not sure how it was intended, internet is not great for conveying tone, please feel free to correct me if you believe I've misinterpreted)

While if we lived in an ideal world everyone would realize that reality TV in general tends to be a 21st century freak show. I mean what type of ratings would you expect from broadcasting the mundane? However, I believe there is a very different reaction in much of majority culture when they observe foolishness (RH of OC) compared to when they see foolishness that is racialized (racialized in their mind via representation of blacks & browns) like RH of ATL. In the former they tend to think of it as anomalous or a subsegment of a wider population, whereas with the latter it becomes etched in the mind as representative, the rule or the norm. Couple this with the skewed negative portrayals of some groups, Black Women in this instance, and it contributes to a subtle yet persistent bias that in many cases goes unexamined and unchallenged by the people who carry them...

Georgia August 20, 2009 at 8:53 PM  

As an overly educated black woman, I enjoy these shows just like I enjoyed The Gong Show back in the day. They're entertaining. I would rather associate with any of these characters that an African American elite (a la Links or Jack & Jill) that would exclude anyone from their social circle based on money or breeding. I find that infinitely more appalling.

FunkyStarkitty50 August 20, 2009 at 11:51 PM  

It's over the top and that's how it's supposed to be or no one would really watch it, I agree with that point, definitely. In the first season,DeShawn was the only classy one on the show and they got rid of her because she was too boring and not riddled with high school drama like the others. Smart people will be able to distinguish between that and what educated, successful and wealthy Black people are really like. I'm an Atlanta Housewife and business owner but they do not represent me, so I'm not worried about it.

DaisyDeadhead August 21, 2009 at 6:01 PM  

Can't help it; I am terribly addicted to all that shit, every one of those "Real Housewife" shows. I love NeNe, and believe she could be a real star of a real sitcom--she has great comic timing.

The women on RHOA are no different at all from the white hosuewives on the New York, Orange County or New Jersey shows... they are just as silly and narcissistic and money-obsessed, etc. All their men are assholes, too... again, no difference! I believe the RHOA formula is identical to the others. But I do realize now (just read Tami's blog!) that audiences single out RHOA in racist ways. But the antidote to that racism is to consistently point out that all of the women on all of these shows are similar, which is why they were chosen in the first place.

Also, agree w/Tracy about New Jersey: Teresa bringing her husband to pick out her new boobs for her, and then in the finale flipping a table over and shrieking, was the pinnacle of everything.

New Jersey Housewives win the
Crude-and-Crass sweepstakes, hands down, no question!

Social Butterfli Media August 23, 2009 at 8:14 PM  

I'm also "guilty" of watching this show. I have mixed emotions about it mostly due to my being excited to see african american women getting a chance to shine on a show that pretty much ignored our presence before.

On the other hand I don't like the fact that all of this madness surrounds each of the womens lives. Their finances being one but the main thing that gets me is that they found women who aren't even considered high society or wealthy.

They are all associated with music, athletes or stripping. That's so not the case for the affluent african american wealth based in Atlanta.

We have much more to offer than this. While Atlanta is widely known for having a lot of athletes, music moguls, stripping etc. There are also business moguls, entrepreneurs,politicians and so on that would better represent Atlanta.

Bravo played us on this one. The women act as though money and price tags are all that matter. I've not seen any real substance. Blame it on the editing but in my opinion, again Bravo played us on this one and America is laughing at who they call "The Wannabes"...

Lori September 12, 2009 at 12:02 AM  

Loved your description, LOL. I can't watch. Reality TV, in general, gives me a headache. Reality TV that claims to feature "us" typically makes me sad . . .

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