Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Is Reality TV A Bad Representation of Black Women?

Reality Television is my guilty pleasure. I am truly a fanatic, you name it, I watched it, and probably more than once. I am also a Black woman, and do I always like how I see the Black Women acting on these shows? No, but if there wasn’t drama, let’s be real, most of us wouldn’t watch. Black women aren’t the only ones acting a fool on reality television, and women period aren’t the only ones on these shows, so my question is, why is it always stated that reality television is a bad representation of Black women and no other races or gender?

Since I love reality tv so much and have seen so many different types of “reality” I’m going to tell y’all my honest answer to the question. Let’s stick with the real tea now, I’m going to use The Real Housewives franchise for explaining purposes. The Real Housewives of Atlanta is definitely the most popular of the franchise, and also the one that happens to have an all black cast, (besides The Real Housewives of Potomac but they’re still new).

Is it more popular because we’d rather see Black women in drama or is it more popular because they just happen to be the most entertaining?

The other more popular ones are The Real Housewives of New Jersey and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Those casts don’t have any Black women on the show and those women act just as “crazy” as the RHOA cast (sometimes worse)….yet you never hear anything about them being a “bad representation” of white women…

Personally, society as a whole has to keep that same energy. Men are “acting up” on TV too but you’ll never hear anything about them, regardless of their race.

Yes,  Black women stereotypically are “more” aggressive and have attitudes, but reality tv didn’t create that stereotype, and with or without reality tv, that perception is still going to be there. If they were all holding hands and singing cumbuya the new thing would be “that is not real, they know they don’t act like that.” 

Another thing, we know reality tv isn’t really reality majority of the time, it’s more like an exaggeration of “reality.” 

For example, the Love and Hip Hop franchise make up a majority of their storylines, and it’s obvious sometimes. The one thing that is real though, is that people fuss and fight, and have ups and downs in their relationships, that’s life and we’re human, it’s bound to happen. Just because a few Black women are on a show arguing, doesn’t mean it has to be a bad representation of our whole community. Let them make their coins and bring in the ratings. People like to watch the drama but then when they’re given it, “It’s a bad representation,” no it’s entertaining and it’s not actually real life so sometimes, not all the time, it’s almost like watching a scripted drama series. 

One more thing, there are some real-life boss ladies, who are Black women, on these shows, but everyone just wants to focus on the negatives; so I’m going to go ahead and name a couple for y’all real quick, also naming everything “positive” in their lives.

Kandi Burruss- The Real Housewives of Atlanta : A former member of the R&B group XSCAPE. She is an award-winning songwriter, (No Scrubs – TLC) . She owns a restaurant, The Old Lady Gang, which has three locations. Has a sex toy line, a makeup line, and a clothing boutique. 

Dr. Simone Whitmore- Married to Medicine: Earned a degree in Biology/Pre-Medicine at Spelman then got her doctorate from East Tennessee State University. She is a successful OBGYN and is a solo practitioner and owns North Perimeter OBGYN.

Dr. Jacqueline Waters- Married to Medicine: Earned her doctorate from the University of Mississippi and is an award-winning OBGYN. She is a breast cancer survivor and uses her personal experience to help others. She’s an advocate for women’s health and is a philanthropist. 

Dr. Holly Hatcher-Frazier- Dance Moms: Earned her doctorate in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. She’s also a former principal, but resigned to be there for her daughter and support her dance. She was the only black mom on the show majority of the seasons and was labeled as “The rational one” of the group. 

Now these don’t sound like bad representations to me. Majority of the Married to Medicine cast are doctors, the RHOA women have some type of business, some of the women on Love and Hip Hop also have businesses, they aren’t just women fighting on television 24/7. I could list all of the bosses on reality tv but that would take too long because whether people want to believe it or not, all reality tv stars aren’t just one dimensional. So is reality TV a poor reflection of the black community? Only if you let it be and refuse to ignore the facts beyond the storyline. That’s the real tea.

I'm a sophomore, Mass Media Arts major with a concentration in Radio, Tv, and Film with a minor in Theatre Arts at Clark Atlanta University, from Tampa, Florida. Writing is one of many things I enjoy, along with anything that has to do with the tv/film industry. Also I love dancing and eating food and my zodiac sign is a Scorpio :)
Similar Reads👯‍♀️