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The Faults of Diversity in Reality TV

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FIU chapter.

I started my obsession with reality TV with Rachel Lindsay’s Bachelorette season; The first Black bachelorette after 33 seasons. While I dipped and dabbled casually as my mom watched, seeing someone that looked like me have an opportunity to find love and be loved publicly brought me in.

A dark skin Black woman taking the lead in a dating reality show has never been heard before 2017 and throughout the following three years, we have seen the casting reflect the American melting pot more accurately. Spending the summer binging Love Island UK, I was excited to finally experience an interactive Americanize series and immediately was dawned toward Justine until I noticed she was the only black woman on the show. She has been overlooked for the other cast members who are non-black, told she was “intimidating” to the other guys when she has only shown to be welcoming and kind, humiliated by stepping up to a couple with a fellow black man just for him to pick someone who was not even checking for him, and talked down upon behind her back by black men by saying alluding to her being ugly, but covered it up by “praising” that she has a great personality.

Seeing Black women getting shoved over by non-black men is a norm on reality TV, but to witness Black men fighting over the same girl rather than even taking the time to get to know her in a romantic manner and seeing their tweets degrading Black women come out with their colorist tweets is disheartening. Watching Justine’s confidence break down and seeing her cry over the experience so far has reminded me that shows like this never go well for Black women, we are used for token points and portrayed as a sassy loveless character that helps everyone else with their journey. While seeing diversity is nice, it means nothing when Black girls are constantly placed in an environment they are not meant to thrive in, it kind of makes me prefer not seeing Black women who are darker than a paper bag on these types of shows, so we are not constantly reminded that dark skin Black women are not going to be treated and viewed in the same manner as the other girls, just because of the shade of her skin.

I am a journalism student at Florida International University who hopes to work for a major news site in New York or Washington, D.C. I hopes to use my passion for writing to provide a voice for the public.