I’m back giving you “Toni’s Take” on a pop culture trend that has made its way onto E! Entertainment Network, otherwise known as the virtual Bible.
I’m all about indulging in reality television, and most would say I do it too much. In the past I have provided recaps, reviews and updates. However, this article is about something that is truly bothering me: The E! television show “WAGS.”
This is one of the most recent shows that E! has graced us with, with the title “WAGS” standing for “Wives and Girlfriends of Professional Athletes.” The show premiered in 2014, and quickly made its way to the top with excellent ratings, prompting its renewal for a second season, which just ended, as well as the creation of a spin-off called “WAGS Miami,” premiering October 12th.
The show chronicles the lavish lifestyle of the women who stand by their men as they take on the court, field or rink. We see their family life, which is comprised of expensive homes, cars, vacations, new business ventures, new babies, and new teams. Viewers also get to the see how these women get along with their fellow “WAGS.”
When the show first premiered in 2014 we were led to believe that being a “WAG” was like being a part of this small support system, filled with women who lead this unique life filled with travel and notoriety. While some of the cast members seem to see the show this way, the other women are more passive aggresive and catty.
The main issue that bothers me about this show is the so-called “hierarchy” the cast has established. Cast members such as Autumn Ajirotutu (wife of NFL free agent Seyi Ajirotutu) and Sasha Gates (wife of San Diego Charger Antonio Gates) made it clear that there is a hierarchy among the women who enter the world of being with a professional athlete. These two women, as well as others in the cast, made it clear that it takes proper behavior, connections, and the stage of the relationship you are in to determine if you are to be accepted or not. If a women coming into this world doesn’t meet these expectations then she is not to be spoken to or accepted as a friend or acquaintance.
The “WAG hierarchy” places wives, fiances, and girlfriends at the top of pile, with those casually dating athletes, or ex-girlfriends of athletes, at the bottom.
After witnessing the way that these women treat each other, I have some thoughts.
I do think that being involved in a relationship with a professional athlete requires some level of composure and sophistication due to the fact that you are in the public eye, and your image does affect the person you are with. Like any relationship you are there to help the other person in any way you can. However, for these women who are so called “high up” in the hierarchy to not be there for the others, to not show them respect, to talk badly about them, or not be a resource of communication is beyond my comprehension.
We are in a society that is working hard towards women and men having equality on all levels. Women today have to lift each other up, not bring each other down, especially in a group that everybody is in for similar reasons. The wives in the hierarchy are the women who are most guilty of exclusion, and that is the worst part. These are the women who have been through every level of this hierarchy that they go by, so they should be the most open to women who may be new. There are so many people in this world who need to work on being more inclusive for reasons that really matter, and this “WAGS” hierarchy has no reason to even be in existence, let alone for the women to be as catty at they are.
I want to see females be there for each other, instead of tearing each other down. As much as this show does provide entertainment, which I am all for, the exclusion and petty behavior that is being displayed isn’t something I stand for, not just in the “WAGS” world, but anywhere.