By: Dea Win, Pretty Girls Rock Dresses™
This afternoon, Atlanta’s DJ Ryan Cameron of V-103 had local teachers on his show discussing the effects of reality tv on our youth. As I listened to the radio show, my mind took me back to my impressionable teenage years. I remember my shero was T-Boz from TLC. I wore a short “Halle Berry” haircut; my jeans stayed baggy; and I kept a fresh pair of white Reebok classics. On several occasions I dragged my mama to the mall to find colorful suits like ones Pam and Gina wore on Martin. I wanted to embody the persona of the 90′s woman, a woman full of class, intellect, independence, and success.
Fast forward to 2011 and the once regal persona has turned into one of tackiness. We have young women emulating the unlady like behavior of the characters from the Basketball Wives. There was an incident over the weekend, reported by TMZ, where a group of young women took out their negative behavior on Trey Songzand his date. These young girls, attempting to get close to Songz, attacked his date by throwing their drinks on her. The attack resulted in a fight that is now viral on the internet. What a way to get Trey’s attention! It is disturbing to see young women behave in such a way.
I wonder where did we go wrong? How did our branding shift from one of empowerment to one of crudeness. We have very grown women misbehaving poorly on national TV. We have constant scrutiny on our lack of healthy relationships. Just last Friday, I saw a horrific billboard in the middle of downtown Atlanta suggesting that “ABORTION IN THE HOOD” is a real problem. I am sick of black women being branded as classless, rude, and ugly. Our young men and women are soaking this crap up on a daily basis. According to the teachers that called into the radio show so many impressionable girls are taking on the negative characteristics of the characters of the reality shows. These characteristics includes promiscuity, chasing after the trappings of the good life, relying on the external instead of refining the internal, and not loving themselves. One teacher spoke about several of her young girls desiring relationships with “ballers” in hopes of getting the “good” life. Is this normal for young girls, or is this the impact of our depictions in the media? I sometimes wonder where would I be if there were Basketball Wives and Real Housewives back in 1996.
Where do we go from here? I suggest we let our voices be heard. Demand positive representation in the media. Act as role models for young women and young men in your community. We need to counteract the negativity that bombards us constantly. A branding face lift is a must. We should boycott such depictions. Sure it’s entertaining to see the drama but are our girls worth the expense?
We are the CHANGE we want and need in the world.
Dea Win, owner and founder of Pretty Girls Rock Dresses™. Motivating women of all ages to embrace beauty, charm, and intellect. There’s POWER in the DRESS, PURSE, and STILETTO. ™