In the currently running sixth season of RHOA, portrayed are the lives of six African-American women in Atlanta. This collection of possibly Atlanta’s most powerful women includes Kenya Moore, a former Miss USA winner, and a current CEO of her own media conglomerate. In addition, the show features Kandi Burrus, a Grammy-winning singer and songwriter, as well as Cynthia Bailey, a working model and owner of her own Fashion School. Nene Leaks is a working actress, breaking out in several other television shows, as well as Phaedra Parks, who is one of the leading attorneys in Atlanta, as well as aspiring to become a well-respected mortician in the city. As the newest and youngest member of the RHOA cast, Porsha Stewart offer s a positive portrayal of a newly-divorced single woman, aspiring to create a beauty empire within the Atlanta area (The Real Housewives of Atlanta Season 6).
This remarkable diversity of roles and professions led by the cast of women in the show, account for one of the most unique collection of successful minority women in prime time television. The connecting thread of professionalism and independence, interwoven throughout the lives of these women, creates a vastly different portrayal of women than was seen on the hit-TV show All In The Family only thirty years ago.
|Edith Bunker from All In The Family|
|African-American Portrayal of Rosie the Riveter|
This notion of non-conformist minority female representation in television relates to the current wave of Feminism we see in the United States, focusing on the equality of the sexists not just politically, but socially, culturally, and romantically as well. The writings of 3rd Wave Feminism proclaims, “BECAUSE we are angry at society that tells us Girl=Dumb, Girl=Bad, Girl=Weak… BECAUSE we are unwilling to let our real and valid anger be diffused and/or turned against us via the internalization of sexism as witness in girl/girl jealousy and self-defeating girl type behaviors” (Freedman 396). The women in RHOA greatly represent these 3rd Wave Feminist ideals, countering the stereotype that women are dumb, bad, and weak. Not only are these actresses going against many sexist ideals in society, but also are asserting their success as achievable, overcoming the boundaries that come with having a minority status in the United States.
|3rd Wave Feminism|
- Vinny Battaglia
Freedman, Estelle B. The essential feminist reader. New York: Modern Library, 2007. Print.
"The Real Housewives of Atlanta Season 6." Cast Info. Bravo TV, n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2014.
Thompson, Ethan, and Jason Mittell. How to watch television. New York: New York University, 2013. Print.