Sunday, July 15, 2012

Your New Role Models (Not Mine)

Definition of Role Model - A person looked to by others as an example to be imitated.

I am trying to figure out if the author of this featured article used the term "Role Model" for "lack of a better term" or if he/she was really serious about the women on this cover being Role Models.  The cover consist of  Kandi (Real Housewives of Atlanta), Tamar Braxton (The Braxtons) Evelyn (Basketball Wives) and Chrissy (Love & HipHop).  All of these ladies are now stars of reality tv.  Two (Kandi & Tamar) have known success before reality television became a hit.

Now, I am not saying I hate these women and they should not be liked.  I am saying however, the term "new role models" scares me.  To be a role model, means someone aspires to be just like you.  As the proud aunt of two little girls, a God sister to an impressionable teenager, and a cousin and confidant to several younger women, I do not want these ladies to be who they aspire to be.  Although, Kandi & Tamar had fame and success before reality tv, their current claim to fame is Reality television.

The bad thing about reality television is that more people than not, take it for more than what it is suppose to be, ENTERTAINMENT!  There may not be a script (although after watching Love & Hip Hop Atlanta, I think there may be) but a lot of the incidents and feelings that transpire on the camera were created for your entertainment.  The more drama, the more television time (just ask Sheree, Jennifer, and Royce, all of whom were recently let go from their shows).  The women may do good things on the show (charity, awareness, etc.) but that is not why viewers tune in.  Drama is what drives reality television.  Therefore, in order to be a big part of reality television (enough to keep your job on the show) you must also be driven by drama.

If you think that is a stretch, listen to any interview these women ever do (or read this article), and they will say, "People only see a snippet of our true lives" or "People think they know us from the show" or "I want to show people who I really am".  So, if all we see or most of what we see and know about these women come from their television shows (drama), what about their situations makes them someone we should imitate?

Like Andre 3000 said "Someone like you, more like someone unlike you".

Not saying everyone is perfect, but role model, in this situation, is a STRETCH .... Whose to blame, the writer of this article, reality television watchers, ourselves???  Amy I overreacting?  What was your reaction when you saw this cover?


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