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Open ‘Reality’ Season: Is The Media Hunting Black Women?


Cast of VH1’s Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta

College Hill said it best in their opening theme song, “It’s about to be some drama!”

The stereotypes Black women have to endure have become so commonplace that no one even cares who the negative tag is placed upon. In the article “Open Season on America’s Black Women” by Dr. Melody T. McCloud, she discusses the negative uses of Black women in the media and poses several questions: “Why are Black women so increasingly ignored, abhorred, disrespected and rejected in this country?” “Who declared ‘open season’ on us, and why?”

The term ‘open season’ refers to hunting, destroying. This raises the question: Is the media hunting Black women?

From ‘College Hill’ to ‘Love and Hip Hop Atlanta’, Black Women are increasingly becoming the subject of entertainment gossip and scrutiny.  Every reality show displaying urban women has drawn the masses with violence, obscene language and sheer disregard.

Where did this all come from? When did Black women start proudly showing themselves off as a booming stereotype for other people’s entertainment?  When did we stop being the backbone of a nation in order to become the neck-rolling, weave snatching, B---- calling trend people all over the world recognize as the Black Woman?

Each year, new shows are released starring mainly Black women, and each episode is more drama-filled than the last, spawning a new breed of old ideas about the behavior and personality of the entire Black female race.

Blowing off the behavior of the women in shows like ‘Basketball Wives’ and ‘Love and Hip Hop’, we aren’t even looking at the effect it has beyond the idea of an “attitude”.

The premise behind these shows is all the same: Single Black Women balancing life and career. However, somewhere in that mix, they left out the life and the career and have created a single shot of their unrealistic lives as single, angry, seemingly bitter women.

The bigger question is why does a large percentage of women tune in to these shows?  Why is it so important for us to watch and support the disrespect and humiliation of these women?  And why don’t we fear it?  Shouldn’t it bother us that we are given a title that has the potential to destroy an entire empire of greatness?

Have we failed to notice that every show is centered solely on Women?  The men are rarely shown. Men give a cameo and stating a few lines, but the line is drawn by the ladies.  It is the women who are throwing the drinks.  It is the women who are throwing punches and calling each other out of their name.  It is the women who are forever tattooed as angry and violent.  In the 1993 article in USA Today (Society for the Advancement of Education) “Black Women on TV Still Stereotyped”, it states that “Only when these stereotypical images are replaced with more accurate representations will we see changes in societal perceptions and expectations of African American women.”

If every Black woman on reality television is this way, then realistically, are all Black women this way?  Are we okay with this?

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