The world of entertainment is in the news this afternoon as the discussion of whether or not the television has ultimately become the black woman’s latest enemy continues. Why is this an issue for the ladies? Well, if you look closely, the recent upswing of reality television series have given us a variety of viewpoints into the lives of women from all over the world – some good, some bad, some just downright crazy.
From the Real Housewives saga to Frankie and Neffe‘s constantly catastrophic arguments on their daughter/sister’s show (Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is), from all of the divas doing dirt on the now defunct Girlfriends and all the way down to Ms. Chilli‘s love affair with her long (and ridiculous) laundry list of make or break qualities on her show What Chilli Wants, all of the aforementioned shows have had ratings suddenly skyrocket due to more of the ladies tuning in. So what’s up with that if half of us say we don’t like it or appreciate it? Executives at VH1 even say that their channel has had a 9 percent increase in black women prime-time viewers between the ages of 18-49 in this past year alone with the success of their reality shows. Yet, the fascination for some seems to be related to the out-of-body experience, not the major life lessons learned from shows like these and so many others.
Far too often, black women are depicted as fast, easy, drug-addicted, dramatic and desperate on camera. Major networks consistently promise every season that we’ll begin seeing a change in the women that are supposed to represent our culture. Instead, we’re captured acting a fool in the streets or barely raising our babies at home. Many of the good vibes from the same networks who have given us unique perspectives that have encouraged us as women to be better versions of ourselves every single day don’t always outweigh the bad or the negativity. Story lines on VH1 and BET are claiming to emphasize less petty conflict and more of the daily struggles of black women: being mothers, looking for romance, healing family relationships and striving for lasting careers in new seasons to come, but I digress.
Today, I stopped by TheRoot.com for a sneak peak at what the ladies are saying over there and much to my surprise, lots of young women of color have mixed feelings. Visit TheRoot.com now to check out the latest conversations on the topic. Find out what people are saying, but don’t forge to chime in yourself right here by posting in the comments section below. To all my Cincinnati women, do you watch any of these shows? If so, tell us why and let us hear your thoughts on whether or not you find yourselves and the women around you reflected well on the television screen. We want to hear from you, too.