Does ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’ stereotype black women?

'The Real Housewives of Atlanta,' NeNe Leaks, Kandi Burrus, Kenya Moore, Cynthia Bailey, Phaedra Park and Porsha Stewart may encourage derogatory stereotypes for black women in today's society. (Image from rollingout.com)

‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta,’ NeNe Leaks, Kandi Burrus, Kenya Moore, Cynthia Bailey, Phaedra Park and Porsha Stewart may encourage derogatory stereotypes for black women in today’s society. (Image from rollingout.com)

By Diamond Smith

Staff Writer 

Loud, ghetto and trashy are just a few of many words used to describe “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”

“The Real Housewives of Atlanta” is a reality television series that premiered on Bravo in the fall of 2008. Like any other reality television, the show is filled with backstabbing and tons of drama.

The cast consists of six wealthy African-American women: NeNe Leaks, Kandi Burruss, Kenya Moore, Cynthia Bailey, Phaedra Park and Porsha Stewart. These six ladies live in Atlanta, Georgia, where many of them own their businesses, while others are supported by their husbands and grandparents trust funds.

NeNe Leaks is one of my favorite cast members. She is an ex-stripper who has completely transformed her life. She is now a well-known television personality and actress starring in popular television shows like “Glee” and “The New Normal.”

Kenya Moore, the craziest cast member, is my absolute favorite. She is the former Miss USA 1996 and was the second black woman to win the competition. Many of the cast members think that Kenya is “nuts” and has an alcohol problem but I just think that she is fun and crazy.

Last is Porsha Stewart. Stewart is a young and attractive woman who is married to ex- NFL star Cordell Stewart and is the granddaughter of civil rights leader Hosea Williams. She is the only housewife who does not have a job.

While the show is a great source of entertainment, many people, especially African-American women, feel like it degrades black women.

CSUB student Kimberly Jackson a Freshman said, “I love ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’, although sometimes they can be a bit much. But overall, the show is extremely funny and has lots of drama, and I love that.”

According to acessatlanta.com, many critics of the show say that the show is “awful” and they wouldn’t “show their faces in public after it has aired.”

Bethany Frankel, the cast member of “The Real Housewives of New York” which is also on Bravo, says, “This show is a mixture of ‘MTV Cribs’ and ‘Jerry Springer’.”

This show may be a source of entertainment for some people. But others feel like it places a negative outlook on the African-American society. I agree to a certain extent. Not all African-American people are ghetto and loud, but since they see these women behaving in this type of fashion, they begin to stereotype black people.

Although I do not approve of their behavior, I absolutely love the show. “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” is one of the few shows on television that follows the life of everyday African-American women. I look up to some of these women because I see how hard they work and how successful they have become, and it only makes me want to strive and do better in my life.

You can watch “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” on Bravo on Sunday at 8 P.M.

2 thoughts on “Does ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’ stereotype black women?

  1. I don’t think this show is reflective of black women. I think it’s reflective of the people on the cast. If people want to look at shows like these, and generalize an entire population then that particular person is ignorant. Do people look at shows like Honey Boo Boo and generalize the entire white population? I do think there should be more shows that portray African Americans in a positive light, but it doesn’t seem like there’s a market for that. These types of shows should be looked as pure entertainment, nothing more. I actually wrote an article similar to this, http://tylatimes.com/2013/01/07/shawtyloandallhisbabiesmamas/

  2. Everyday African-American (Black) women? I’m a Black women, regardless of the Non American part, this show is “Reality TV” and does NOT represent the lives and personality of the everyday woman AT ALL. How many Black women do you know in real life that act like this? Yes, you will continue to like this show because, you are not part of a race that is always ridiculed, stereotyped, judged and represented in a negative light. You will never know what it’s like to see shows like this from a Black woman’s or Black person’s perspective.

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