The Real Housewives franchise over the years has become some of the most popular television shows on cable TV. The premise of the show is to take a popular/exciting city and find a group of women who either are self-made millionaires or either married someone with money and has them show off their beautiful homes, cars, and take us into their day to day lives. The cities include Orange County, CA, New York, Beverly Hills, CA, Atlanta, GA, and New Jersey. These women have colorful personalities that match their million dollar homes and Jimmy Choo shoes. All the women from day 1 have said they want these shows to be a positive influence on its viewers, and have them believe that if I came from nothing and are extremely successful, you can do it to. Or just marry someone rich. Sounds inspiring, right? Well, as the show gained millions of viewers, more problems came with their newly acquired fame. From suicide to being on trial for bank fraud, these women keep us on our toes throughout the week. As more issues came up, that meant that tempers flared and fists were flung. More and more women and even their husbands were getting into physical fights on camera. Was it real or just for the show? Either way, it is not giving a good image to the viewers. And the press goes crazy over things like this and will never let them forget it.
The majority of these women on the shows are white, however that changed when the Real Housewives of Atlanta debuted with an all-African American cast, excluding Kim Zolciak, who quit the show in the beginning of season 5. The show without a doubt has become extremely popular with its outrageous and hilarious cast members. In its 6th season, the show stars Starring NeNe Leakes, who has starred in Glee and The New Normal, Phaedra Parks, who is one of the most successful family attorneys in the country, Kandi Burruss, which wrote songs for Destiny’s Child and TLC, entrepreneur Kenya Moore, former super model Cynthia Bailey, and former football wife Porsha Williams. Along with the other housewives from other cities, the show wanted to have a positive influence on its viewers, but Atlanta seemed to have all eyes were on them when it came to their behaviors on camera. Since the show was predominantly an African American cast, it seemed that there was more pressure on them to be on their best behaviors on the show in order to have a positive influence on their viewers and the young black community across the country. The Atlanta women wanted to get rid of the “typical black stereotypes” which some people in American still believe. However, in its 6th season, it showed 2 episodes where a physical fight broke out and the women were ashamed and embarrassed of what happened. But wait; haven’t there been fights on the other Real Housewife shows? When Theresa Giudice flipped a table in season 1 of the Real Housewives of New Jersey, we all called her crazy. Also in New Jersey, when brother-in-laws Joe Giudice and Joe Gorga had a physical altercation in its last season, we called it a misunderstanding between family members that needed to be hashed out. When Tamra Barney throws a glass of wine into her friend Jeana's face at a party, but we just said that she was on her last fuse and she just couldn't handle her marriage anymore. But when Apollo Nida, husband of Phaedra Parks gets into a fist fight with a friend of Kenya Moore’s, it is reassuring all of the black stereotypes that people in America have. In the same episode, Kandi almost gets into a physical altercation, but gets restrained by her boyfriend. No one bats an eye when other housewives are ready to fight, but when the Atlanta cast does it; everyone pays extra attention and always has something to say about it. So does America put the Atlanta cast on a higher pedestal when it comes to how they act on television? Are the women on the other housewives shows not held more accountable for their “un-lady” like actions? The ladies of Atlanta are trying to make the show interesting, but at what expense? As successful African American women, they are trying to move past the stereotypes that they grew up with and that have stayed with them throughout their adult lives. They truly are trying to make the rest of society realize that all African Americans are not all the same, but the show makes it harder for them. I do believe that we need to hold all of the housewives accountable for their actions. Violence is never the answer, and it is not the most flattering look on all of the real housewives. The color of someone’s skin shouldn’t exclude them from their awful behaviors. Also, Bravo should think of other ways to promote their shows instead of “suggesting” that cast members should fight in order to boost their ratings.
In the end, the Real Housewives franchise is something that millions of people look forward to every week, and inspires people. No matter where you come from or what race you are, you can turn your life into a success story. Who knows, you may be on one of these shows one day.
-Theresa Giudice Table Flip; Season 1 2009
-Apollo Nida and Brandon fight; Season 6 Jan . 26, 2014, continued on Feb. 9, 2014 Episodes 13&14
-Kandi Burruss fight; Season 6 Feb.9, 2014 Episode 14
-Tamra and Jeanna Fight; Season 5 2009