When I first saw promos for one of the newest Bravo reality shows, Blood, Sweat & Heels I became excited and immediately thought about the now defunct VH1 reality show, The Gossip Game. Like BS&H, The Gossip Game displayed women striving to make a name for themselves in their careers (except for Kimberly Osorio, Editor-in-Chief of The Source magazine, who is currently at the top of her game). Unfortunately like The Gossip Game, Blood, Sweat & Heels is fast becoming just like its Bravo and VH1 reality predecessors complete with catty behavior, backbiting and mean girl tendencies from grown women. Can there be one reality show where a group of Black women can refrain from the nastiness that was seen on yesterday’s episode?
I understand that reality shows are not, in fact, real. They are edited and manipulated by what producers want and what the personalities are willing to exude. But which is worse: for producers to encourage shifty, shady behavior on all, if not the majority, of reality shows starring Black females or for those participating onscreen to sign on the dotted line and collect payment in exchange for unsavory conduct?
The above pictures alone underline a big reason as to why I don’t watch TV shows like Real Housewives of Atlanta (even though I highly appreciate the delightful Nene Leakes), the many incarnations of Love & Hip Hop, and possibly now, Blood, Sweat & Heels. They may be entertaining but speaking from experience, I have had to defend myself (and I prefer doing this via hard work) against people who automatically assume I’m a character. Not the shucking and jiving type, but the hair-pulling, neck rolling type.
Of course, we don’t know these women and we don’t know their whole life stories. Yet, in the stories that they are helping to craft to a large audience to be immortalized forever, my children’s children are going to wonder how we got from Dorothy Dandridge to a fair amount today’s Black women on reality television and where it all went amiss.