The world of television has changed significantly over the past decade or more. We have been consumed with the concept of “Reality” shows. They now rule our choices of tube entertainment. It is very difficult to find a decent program to tune into without having a host of Reality shows as the dominating selection of already limited options. Reality TV is supposed to be unscripted lineups that represent actual occurrences featuring mostly previously unknown cast members. The agenda is marketed as nothing short of real to its viewing audience. The concept has caught on like wildfire; captivating watchers from all walks of life.
Although I am not an avid TV watcher I can admit that I too have gotten caught up like most. During a time between my school classes I began to tune into a very popular weekly Reality show. It’s supposed to depict a group of married women living the fabulous life style and their day-to-day activities on how they define, reach and maintain success. After 7 seasons, this show has an estimated weekly viewer count of nearly 4.5 million people. DIVAhood at its very finest!
At first watching felt like mindless amusement. I looked at it as a way of mental escape from the pressures of work, relationships, bills and other life priorities. But as the weeks went by I allowed the show’s content to seep into my psyche in a negative way. The shift was subtle and I can’t quite pin point when the turn began to happen; but it did.
The women on the show are all in my age range. Each one has the classic Diva mentality; (The original description I described in Definition of a Diva I). Some personalities are much more exaggerated than others. None would dare to be caught on camera in anything less than fabulous concerning their hair, makeup and attire. They are always adorned in designer clothes, hand bags, and jewelry. They live in grand houses, drive fancy cars and attend upscale events. They constantly treat themselves to pampering sessions and cuisine at fine restaurants. As I got deeper into my views of the show I hate admitting that I began to feel a bit envious. I could not understand for the likes of me why these particular women deserved to live their lives in a way I had only dreamed of. Who in the world decided these women were interesting enough to get noticed at this level and given the opportunity to live above the middle class? (Yes, I was a momentary “Hater” but have no problem admitting this. Again, I am here to keep it REAL!)
Now don’t get me wrong, there are a couple of them on the show where their hard work and accomplishments give them a notable edge. They deserve their props. Then there are others that made me wonder, “Why is she on the show?” I also began to wonder why I was never considered “That Girl” who deserved similar things. Did the women on the show have some kind of divine luck that just has not been in the cards for me? This irrational thinking did not last long but it was disturbing to me how I allowed it, even for a moment and wondered how many other viewers would even admit that they have felt the same at times.
When it finally dawned on me that my original purpose for tuning into the show had shifted adversely, I began to look closer at the individual lives of each woman. The show is packed with constant drama which is one of the main reasons I suspect that people keep tuning in week after week. The women often demonstrate themselves as friends, but they constantly stab each other in the back in their actions, words and sometimes physical altercations. They can be the epitome of phony when they get into the company of one another. Half of them are not even married adding to my confusion of why they are even on the show in the first place. Some that started off committed to specific values have now compromised them for the sake of a continued spot on the show, ratings and ultimately a check. Others have come from past experiences that reflect the good old fashion way of a woman using what she has in order to get ahead. Some still do this on the set today. I forgot to mention that plastic surgery is at an all-time high in order to keep up the image of youthful, sexy perfection.
Beyonce Knowles, defines “Diva” as a Female Hustler in a popular song entitled by the same name. According to the Urban Dictionary, Hustlers are people who make money by any means necessary. Another documented definition is someone who knows how to get money from others in the form of illegal drug sales, rolling dice, and pimpin! If I had to consider this alone, I guess the “Pimpin” describes the women on this show precisely!
When considering what’s truly real, do we really have to conduct ourselves this way in order to make a name for ourselves or get ahead? When I directed this question towards myself I have to admit that my conscious would never allow me to disgrace my standards while influencing others with this false reality. I could not live with myself knowing that I am making a loud statement that these choices are the only way to experience prosperity.
I also feel strongly that shows like this give the false perception of friendship among women which is already a very sensitive and complicated matter as it is. Reality shows disgrace the position of womanhood and how we should conduct ourselves and resolve conflict. I know this self- righteous position is not popular and would never sell. But I would rather work three times harder than these women in a positive way to position myself than to reduce my standards down to my lips, hips, tits and ish! I know that sex sells but frankly, I’m not that desperate.
I will still be watching with the majority but making sure that I never lose sight of my own agenda and goals to maintain balance in the right direction. Anyone who puts more efforts into knowing the lifestyles of the characters on their favorite Reality show than their own situation, probably deserves to be broke and stuck in envy. They already have theirs; the rest of us “Divas” (By the latter description in Definition of a Diva I), have to get ours by our own classification! Until next week; GIRL BYE!