Hoop Ho Diaries: In Defense of Evelyn

Ah Basketball wives…how do I love thee…..let me count the ways….

Basketball Wives is everything great about bad reality TV: conspicuous consumption, beautiful women, melodrama, sex, gossip, enough cats fight to rival your local all girls parochial school, and if that wasn’t enough; they even gave us a little Al Reynolds this season to boot.  The show chronicles the lives of women who are married to or in most cases divorced, separated, or otherwise presently/formerly copulating with NBA players.  We watch them argue, back bite, and generally go at it for an hour each week, with no clear path for redemption , growth, or other identified higher purpose.  The show more or less plays like a post-post-adolescent mean girls, but yet I really dig it.

The intellectual in me realizes that this show is fraught with problematic images for minority women, and for that matter women in  general.  The characters are petty, superficial, and oft-times morally debased.  Nevertheless, it provides a  perverse and painful adrenaline rush, somewhat akin to popping a pre-date zit.

I’ve said only half in jest that Basketball Wives is the only sports that I’ll willingly watch.The recently aired reunion specials had all the spectacle of a championship basketball game with better shoes. There was man-to-man defense with little Royce outmatched by the lengthy Boricua show-stopper Evelyn, with host John Salley playing the referee.

Since bedding Cincinnati Bengals Chad Ochocinco on their first date (***clears throat*** 5x) and admitting to sleeping with co-star Tami Roman’s  then husband Kenny Anderson, Evelyn has been catching a lot of shade for being a ho, trash box, alley-cat, or any other synonym one might come up with for a so-called loose woman.

Yet, I find something fascinating about Evelyn.  I kind of admire how she has strategically positioned herself as the show’s archetypal villain; the move shows a unique kind of genius.  All good reality shows need a “bad guy” and on Basketball Wives Evelyn has earned her place among the Natalie Nunns, Omarosas,  New Yorks,  and Jade Coles of reality TV’s past.  She has leveraged her sexuality, fire-sharp tongue, and power over the other women to create her brand.

Mark my words she will leverage this brand into her own reality series, which will more than likely co-star her newly-minted fiancée: none other than  Ochocinco, another reality TV star.    Apparently, ho-dum has its benefits because she is sporting one hell of a rock.  The extent to which the engagement is spectacle or a publicity stunt is anyones guess, but I can appreciate a woman who goes after what she wants.  As  she so rawly put it: who I f**ked and how I f**ked him is none of your motherf**king business.”

I mean even considering that she has exposed her life to the cameras of a national reality show, she still has a point.  It amazes me that a American’s still maintain highfalutin airs around this sort of artificial puritanical sexuality, which is ironically set against the back drop of a culture driven by an orgie of sex, commerce, and power. For all intensive purposes, Evelyn is operating within a culture that values and rewards beauty, and in which  sex can be more than marketed.

Sex has become entrepreneurial.

I’ll miss Basketball Wives until next season, but I’m waiting with bated breath for Evelyn and Ochocinco: Married to the Green.  It will be as artificial as Astroturf but it will be entertaining.   Sports, sex, and entertainment; it’s the American way.

So what do you think?  Anyone else out there willing to admit they are on #teamevelyn? Is Shani O’neal wrong for promoting these characterizations of black and minority women to enrich herself?  Does anyone view Evelyn’s moves as empowering rather than classless?

Sports, Sex, and Entertainment: One Girl’s Search for Fandom

I wish I was one of those girls who could feign interest in sports.  Even more—I wish I could evolve into one of those women who are legitimate sports fans.  You know the girl who has season tickets for the home team, doesn’t have to rush to Modells and buy a jersey for a sports themed happy-hour.  The girl who does not mind watching ESPN ad nauseam, and picks her team not because her boo loves them or they have nice colors, but because she followed them year after year and actually knows the players.

Unfortunately, watching sports for me falls somewhere between  an OB appointment and a 8:00 Friday meeting.  I do it because I have too.  Boys like sports; I like boys and the joy for me ends there.

The all-encompassing comprehension my male friends have for sports of all kinds amazes me. These seemingly average guys from all walks of life—blue-collar and white-collar, black and white, Jew and gentile, gay and straight—are like a legion of idiot-savants able to spit sports statistics with the encyclopedic knowledge to rival that of a paid sports commentator.

Which brings me to my other issue with sports: its ubiquity. This time of year you have the NBA, NFL, NHL, and college seasons intersecting into a veritable sports orgie.  ESPN, MASN, and Fox Sports will bring you sports 24/7. Get the NFL Sunday ticket and you can watch football games all day, everyday.

Then there is not just the watching but the sports betting, sports video games, and fantasy sports leagues that give men their sports fix when real sports aren’t being aired (whenever that is).  And don’t get me started on the adult sports leagues, which are a whole other issue entirely.  Grown men subjecting their bodies to punishment and pain to live out their unrequited hoop dreams.  For me, men thirty and over playing basketball and football Saturday morning is akin to me and the girls going out in the yard doing cheerleading stunts;  despite my high school regrets I can tell you unequivocally there will be no basket tossing on my watch.

Nevertheless, I want to find that passion for sports; the all-consuming lust that captivates every man I know from age 9 to 69.  The extent to which the men and even a few of the women in my life love sports suggests to me that there must be some sort of life improving quality to them.  I just haven’t identified what it is.

I can subscribe to the whole clash of the titans, metaphor for life, poetry in motion,  triumph over struggle rationale for why sports are so ingrained in American culture and really cultures world-wide.  As stated by Cosell, “Sports is human life in microcosm” and  at its best, it shows human beings conquering their physical and mental limits.   Accordingly, I can appreciate the way sports reflects the culture and I truly value the contributions Owens, Ali, and Robinson have made to civil rights.

In fact, sports as a narrative for the stories of our life and our collective history is endlessly fascinating to me.  I can watch marathons of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, and I truly enjoy the HBO 24/7 documentaries. However, sports and I reach an impasse when its time to sit down two halves or four quarters.   The games are long  and  the rules are arbitrary.  I am a verbal person so you would think the color commentary could sell me, but so far it has yet to do the job.

So ladies and gentleman if the key to a man’s heart is truly sports, sex, and food, and I can’t get on board with one of these major categories, am I destined for eternal singledom?   If the extent of my sports knowledge ends at naming the cast of NBA and NFL Wives, am I a hopeless case?  To my ladies who love sports, how did you become a fan? Is faking it a real option?  How can I become one of the fans?

Redemption Song: Why Chris Brown’s Man in the Mirror Performance Will Save His Career

Chris Brown has had a rough year: 1,400 hours of community service and a dropped endorsement with Wrigley;  banned from the UK and blasted by Oprah; the nation was turned against this guy. A platinum selling artist out the gate, his last project Grafitti sold fewer than 100,000 units.  So now, a little over a year after pleading guilty to assaulting pop princess Rihanna, he has done the impossible.  He has redeemed his career.

Browns’ performance did what an appearance on Larry King and a scripted video apology could not do.  It showed the frailness of humanity and how our moments of greatest weakness can be the dawning of our greatest days to come.

To me Brown’s performance was a purely redemptive moment that sent chills up my spine and I was as mad at Chris as anyone. Prior to the BET awards, he was in R. Kelly territory for me.  And there was little to nothing he could do to get out because I just could not wrap my mind around how he could batter this girl in this way. Young, gifted, and Black, he was throwing it all away. I’ve had friends tell me various versions of the “he didn’t beat her, they were fighting” line, but I just could not get past it.

Brown’s tribute to Michael Jackson at the BET Awards was nothing less than transformative.  An insanely talented dancer, Brown mimicked the late superstars moves with the perfect combination of pinpoint accuracy and breathtaking artistic freedom.   As Brown tried hopelessly to croak out vocals to Jackson’s Man in the Mirror, he was overwhelmed with absolutely genuine emotion. I mean I can’t listen to that song without crying, much less trying to sing it live in front of a audience, perhaps less hostile to you than the general public, but still skeptical.

Yet watching him  stammer across the stage lost in emotion, I can say without the slightest doubt that we were watching a humbled and talented man emote in a way that is so rare in our culture, but particularly within Black community.  The collective experience those who watched performance had was transformative in many ways. It showed “black maleness” in all its strength and frailties to a Nation.  Therefore, this moment means  more than just forgiveness for Chris, it will represent seminal moment in the re-launch of a career destined for superstardom.

In our community, it is often said that Men Cry in the Dark.  Yet Brown cried in the light.  No doubt his tears were for the pain he caused his mother, the disappointment he brought to his fans, his personal foibles and failings, challenges throughout year—and for the loss of one of his mentors—Michael Jackson.

His performance left me asking, how often do we see Black men cry in our lives, much less in the media? Last Year, in an article for Black America Web, Tonya Pendleton asks: Can a Black Man Cry Openly Without Ridicule? She names D.L. Hughley, Ne-Yo, and Stephon Marbury as notable Black male celebs who turned on the tears, only to be mocked and scorned by the public:

“Since black men in particular are encouraged from childhood to show a stoic face to the world, is it possible that their pain is viewed as unimportant? Could that be why black men tend to die earlier than white ones, and are often disproportionately violent towards women and others? Is the inability to express pain keeping black men from healing from various wounds” (Black America Web 2009).

The cynics will say that Brown’s tearful and broken effort was a ploy for the nation’s forgiveness and regain his career.  This conclusion marginalizes Black male pain and illustrates a disdain for any kind of weakness shown on their part.  But let it not go unsaid that he was entirely wrong for beating Rihanna.  He was more than wrong.  What he did was absolutely unconscionable.  His behavior showed an immature spirit carrying demons that one will hope were released with this cathartic performance.  I don’t doubt that this man carried and continues to bear a lot of anger and pain from childhood and beyond; ironically having expressed this pain in a  wholly different way than the Rihanna beating, he is now being questioned and doubted.  I’m am convinced this is unfair.

Ironically, the same folks questioning the Brown’s authenticity, condemn President Obama for not showing enough emotion for the Gulf Oil spill.  When it comes to emotional expression, Black men face a difficult catch 22.  Show too much emotion and you are angry or somehow damaged, and too little you are haughty, professorial, and unfeeling.  Go figure.

Americans want to forgive talented people: Kobe Bryant, Robert Downey Jr., Bill Clinton, Ron “I want to thank my psychiatrist and hood” Artest, and any number of celebs and politicians have, through the continued execution of their genius, overcome the darkest of moments.  Tiger you’re up next if you can win another green jacket.

This is Chris Brown’s moment to say: “America, let me transform you; I’m about to do genius.  Watch”.

Chastity Chic: Can Celebs Like Lady Gaga Make Celibacy Cool?

The word of the day is CELIBACY.  Yes kids; you heard me correct: CELIBACY.  From Lady Gaga’s  recent promulgation on the benefits of chaste living to public demands to free Catholic priests from the ties that bind, celibacy is becoming an increasingly  important component of this cultural moment.  So  let’s talk about not having sex, those opting out and those that may want to think about opting in.

This week both CNN.com and the Washingtonpost.com are featuring stories about celebs abstaining from sex.  In addition to Lady Gaga, celebs who have gone on the record about their chaste lifestyles include: Adriana Lima, Lenny Kravitz, Jordin Sparks, and Miley Cyrus.   Gaga’s celibacy contradicts her sexualized image and lyrics.  Her music video for the hit dance single Telephone  features a full frontal crotch shot; a move that does not exactly inspire modesty. Gaga, who is Catholic, often invokes Madonna in her styling and image, an artist who wrote the book on “Sex“.  Ironically, early in her career Madonna riled the Vatican faithful; her erotic videos were laden with symbols of her Catholic childhood.  I wonder if Lady Gaga’s pledge of celibacy will result in a Papal endorsement:

It’s OK to be whomever it is that you want to be,” she said. “You don’t have to have sex to feel good about yourself, and if you’re not ready, don’t do it.

Celibacy’s place in the modern Catholic church is also under scrutiny. as the massive domestic and international sex scandals dominate recent headlines.  Many critics suggests that celibacy within the priesthood has led to this institutional problem of child sex abuse.  However, research as shown sexual abuse rates in the Catholic Church is not higher than in society, other public institutions and other religious denominations.   However, one must wonder if the vows of celibacy have a place in the modern world?  The more progressive Episcopal church allows priest to marry and have recently allowed gay clergy to serve in the memory.  Is such an approach more aligned to this cultural moment? 

Whether pledging purity out of religious, moral, health, or any number of motivations, I hope abstaining finds a place in the world of gratuitous sexual exploitation.  Perhaps Gaga’s advice may save a few more teenage girls from starring appearances on MTV’s Sixteen and Pregnant.

So what do you think?  Is abstinence the new sex?  Does celibacy sell?

Top Cheating Songs of All Time – Musical Musings on Infidelity

Is it me or is cheating the new black?  It seems like everyone is getting their “creep” on.  The long list of public officials, celebrities, sports icons, and other noteworthy individuals engaging in this—at times—extremely tawdry behavior has made cheating uniquely part of this cultural moment.   We all know the infidelity is older than David and Bathsheba, however, the media saturation, public interest, and hyper speed revelations of mistresses, porn stars, call girls, and prostitutes have created new spectacle around the act. While JFK’s philandering remains largely mysterious and surrounded by myths, now we get Twit Pics, YouTube confessionals, text message transcripts, and enough tabloid fodder between the newsstands and cyberspace to fill a landfill the size of Texas.

Take a look at today’s Google entertainment news.  The top stories include the Sandra Bullock and Jesse James debacle and Oprah’s planned interview with former John Edwards mistress Rielle “skankalicious baby-mama” Hunter.  Lest we forget  the peripheral cheating news of the week, Tiger Woods is returning to golf after a five month absence stemming from the fallout of his well-reported extra-marital trysts.   Over the last year, the list of cheating hearts has been epic: Eliot Spitzer,  Kwame Kilpatrick, Mark Sandford, David Letterman, Steve McNair (R.I.P.), David Patterson, and even country music sweetheart LeAnn Rimes have all be caught up in the media scandals involving their reported philandering.  When what’s done in the dark come to light, there are tears, lies, hurt feelings, and countless numbers of broken marriages that illustrate the repercussions of infidelity. 

For all the hurt, this basement of the human experience that is infidelity has also produces some pretty good tunes.  Songs about infidelity run the gambit, from the campy and sardonic, to the emotional and lyrical, to the morally ambiguous. So with no further ado, here is The Kabosh’s countdown of the top cheating songs of all time:

As We Lay – Kelly PriceKelly lays bares her soul on this soaring ballad about a night of passion with a secret lover. While I prefer this version, the original sung by the legendary Shirley Murdock is also yearning and breathtaking. 

Resentment – Beyoncé: B’s take on the inner conflict of staying with a cheating lover builds to a roaring crescendo of heartbreak and pain.  

Fool of Me – MeshellNdegeocelloA barebones confessional that emphatically asks, “You made a fool of me, tell me why?  If you have ever been cheated on, you may need the tissues for this one.

G.H.E.T.T.O.U.T. – Changing Faces: When a woman’s fed up, brotha you betta get to steppin because, as the song states: “I can do bad all by myself”. 

In My Bed – Dru Hill:  This soulful breakout hit, which along with the then controversial single’s video, put Dru Hill on the map. 

I Can Be – Aaliyah: A bass-driven funky boast of a woman who is ready, willing, and able to be the other woman. 

Love Should Have Brought You Home – Toni Braxton : A hit from the Boomerang soundtrack, this song always reminds me of when in the film Halle Berry responds to Eddie Murphy’s declaration of love stating, “…love shoulda brought your ass home last night” and proceeds to smack him silly.

Secret Lovers – Atlantic Starr:  A philandering classic of star-crossed lovers kept apart by their current relationships. 

Everything I Miss At Home – Cherrelle Featuring Alexander Oneal – The duo famous for Saturday Love recounts an affair of the heart.

Me and Mrs. Jones Not much to say about this one, they had a thing going on.  Strangely enough, in blue-eyed soul news, I found out Michael Bublé has a version of this song, as well.  Something about this feels wrong…blasphemous even!

Creep – TLC – Everyone’s favorite keep it on the down low anthem—the lyrics to which my mom still manages to mangle:  “just keep it on the downside“.   

Down Low – R. Kelly – Don’t mess with Mr. Biggs’ Woman Kells; Ron Isley will get the reach on you.  Nuff said. 

Not Gon Cry – Mary J.  BligeSome of us are still waiting to exhale.  Listening to this Mary track should get you at least half way there.

O.P.P. :  Naughty By Nature – This song is without a moral thermometer, but it sure does rock the club. 

Laundremat – Nivea & R.Kelly Soap, Powder, Bleach, Towels, Fabric Softner, Dollars, Change, Pants, Socks, Dirty Drawers I’m Headed To The Laundromat

Now give me your favorites.  Which cheating anthems get your blood boiling? Which help you cope with the pain of a wayward lover?  Do you blast them in your room in the mirror? Or do they provide the soundtrack while you bust the windows out his car?  Also, what does this cheating moment mean?


Hip-Hop Economics 101: Sponsors and Other Such Tom Foolery

Teairra Marí is back with a new single “Sponsor“.   If the title alone makes you in incredulous, hold on to your hats. 

Do you Remember Teairra Marí?  No.  Well if not, I’m not terribly surprised.  If the name is vaguely familiar, she first appeared on the Hip-Hop/R&B radar back in 2004.  Formerly signed to Roc-A-Fella, her most successful hit was the single “Make Her Feel Good”, followed up with such gems, as “No Daddy” and “MVP”.  Additionally, her resume includes leading lady cameos in music videos and “hosting” gigs at The Park at Fourteenth (a Washington DC night club).   Mari is not an overwhelming talent in terms of her vocal prowess and dance skills, however, her songs our rather catchy and she is a cute girl in a kewpie doll sort of way—two qualities that have skyrocketed many a pop career. 

Absent from the music scene for the last several years, Teairra Mari was as much a victim of questionable talent, as she was unfortunate timing.  She hit the scene around the same time as future powerhouses Ciara and Rihanna.  The latter of which was also a Roca-a-Fella artist and thus  Ms. Mari was unceremoniously dropped from the label.  However, now signed to Warner Records, her new single is a nod to materialism, ignorance, and possibly some weak form of prostitution. 

According to Wikipedia, “Sponsor” is the second single from Teairra Mari’s second album At That Point.    Written by Balewa Muhammad and Ezekiel Lewis of The Clutch and produced by LRoc, Ezekiel Lewis, and Balewa Muhammad, the song features largely talentless—but nonetheless infectious and ubiquitous—rappers  of the moment Gucci Mane and Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em.    The song is Mari’s ode to her boyfriend, boo-thang, significant other, or quite possibly pimp who pays for the things she wants, including but not limited to: gas, manicures and pedicures, Dominican blow-outs, and Italian shoes.  Now, Hip-Hop’s material culture is well documented and references to ice and designer labels are common fare.  However, the psychology of this song troubles me. 

In light of 50’s recent hit “Baby by Me” and most recent single “Do You Think about Me” as well as songs like Ne-Yo’s “Miss Independent” and Mario’s “Break Up”, intersections of finance and interpersonal relationships are again peaking in this hip-hop cultural moment. Accordingly, I believe “Sponsors” goal—however misguided—was to be a girl anthem in the style of TLC’s “No Scrubs” or Destiny’s Childs “Bills, Bills, Bills”.  However, the song misses the bar of these earlier hits because its lyrical content is not nearly as developed and it is does not celebrate girl power in any measurable way.  Unlike these hits of yester year, “Sponsor” does not critique a particular incarnation of manhood (term used loosely), it simply suggests that this man buys me things—presumably in return for my affection—and that is enough.  The most disturbing lyrics state:

Every weekend I see Dominicans in the chair just to bring out the features in my hair. Add a couple of tracks for flair my sponsor he go and buy buy buy. He must be a rapper, baller, doctor, dentist, corner boy, cook/chef  chemist(yeah). I don’t even care just as long as he don’t say bye bye bye.”

So conceivably, as long as she is getting material items of her desire this man’s occupation is of little to no importance.  Nor apparently, is his moral thermometer, intelligence, emotional stability, or any other measure of manhood.  Under this premise, Mari accepts anyone from the successful rapper to the local drug dealer, as long as he can “put the Louis” in her lap.   Granted she has not worked for a while, but why not buy your own Louis, Teairra?  You don’t need a sponsor when you’re Miss Independent.   

I am not naïve. I know a lot of women operate this way.  Hence, why in one single 50 is encouraging a woman to upgrade her lifestyle by having a child with him, and in the next song berating another woman for only thinking of him as a paycheck—a sponsor

I am not sure why the song “Sponsor” bothers me so much.  In the long scheme of things, Teairra Marí is not at the center or even measurably on the radar of cultural relevancy. However, I wonder do songs like this have real life consequences or are they just reflecting what is actually happening in our real relationships. 

Recently, a guy at a bar—during a feeble attempt to finagle my number—asked me something like, “You do make him pay for it, right?”  Supposedly, suggesting that any man I was seeing or would see in the future should be sponsoring me.  How this man was in the position to do so—with four kids and blue collar employment—is questionable.  Nevertheless, when I responded that I was perfectly able to purchase anything that I needed or wanted and was neither intrigued by nor attracted to such an arrangement; he left.  Go figure. What happen to “I love her ‘cause she got her own”?

Nevertheless, “Sponsor” raises the cultural question—should women require men to buy them things as a means to obtaining their affection?  Morally, the answer is clearly no.   However, with men increasingly suspicious of women’s intentions and chicken heads like LisaRaye (you will always be Diamond to me), now owning the term gold digger; I believe this pay for play dynamic is ruining the conversation between Black men and women.   Many men are willing to spend money to attract the arm candy of their desire.  An equal number of women are perfectly content with such an arrangement, despite the superficial fraudulence of it all.

I wonder is this dynamic hurting men and women seeking real connections in the dating scene?  Ladies are sponsors something we aspire to or is independence the true route to happiness?   Gentlemen, have you experienced a woman wanting the sponsor treatment?  If so, how did you respond?  


Girls Behaving Badly – Blogging the Bad Girls Reunion

There is nothing remotely socially redeeming about Oxygen’s The Bad Girls Club.  It is trashy reality T.V. at its finest.  If it were the Real World, the housemates opening narration might state: 

This is the true story of seven, no six, perhaps five, no four… self-proclaimed bitches…picked to fight in a house…party and drink together…make out with each other….and have their lives taped and poorly edited…to find out what happens…when a network manipulates a group of young egomaniacs with a variety of mental, emotional, and social disorders and no moral compasses ….into moving in to a huge tacky white mansion…. to see what happens…when said bitches stop being accountable, responsible, or reasonable and start getting exploited…THE BAD GIRLS CLUB, LA

Perez Hilton is hosting the two-part reunion special which will reunite: Portia, Florina, Natalie , Kate, Kendra, Amber, Annie, and Lexie.  The season has been filled with cat fights, blackouts, bleeps and blur-outs, eating disorders, bad bikini bodies, binge drinking, hangovers, sucker punches, random hook-ups, D-List celebrity cameos, racism, manipulation, and above all screaming.  Seriously, this show should be sponsored by Motrin for Migraines.

Thus far, the reunion is pretty much standard reality reunion show fare.   Hilton recaps the season showing highlights or low points of the past season.  His hosting—not unlike his blogging style—is snarky and even downright mean.  He tells casts member Kate that she is prettier on T.V., going on to state that he found her to be ugly on the show.  In this hello pot this is kettle moment,  he equates sleepy eyed Kate to an uglier Ashley Tisdale.  Hmm.

The promoted fireworks began as controversial cast member Natalie Nunn  sashays the catwalk to the set, attempting a one woman coup d’état of the broadcast.  She assaults Kate spitting in her face; basically showing herself to be  a common trash box, without an ounce of class or dignity. 

Little Miss Natalie’s egomania is epic.  Her name was all over the blogosphere prior to the season premier of  this seasons show.  Gossips sites had her hooking up and/or partying with Chris Brown.  In his post Rihanna haze, he might have mistaken her for a potential boo-thang, but I highly doubt it.  Yet, jump-off status is not out of consideration.  Her mantra being “I Run L.A.”, Natalie’s other claims to fame include hooking up with a member of the Celtics warm-up squad, befriending Moesha’s little brother, and getting her full-sewn in removed on national T.V.—quite the resume. 

Natalie got her kicks this seasons strong arming, beating up, and otherwise intimidating her roommates—nay Portia who at ninety pounds soaking wet kicked Natalie’s ass and was promptly booted from the house. Natalie then took the immature, sheltered, and apparently hot in the draws Kendra under her tutelage, whose getwit proclivities made her the perfect target for Natalie’s manipulation. 

Star struck, fame hungry, cute faced, and laced with a new weave, Kendra did manage to accomplish something her sensei has not thus far, landing new reality TV gig.  She landed a starring role on the new Oxygen series Bad Girls Clubs: Love Games.  In a classic case of student teaching the master, the Charlotte N.C. native is clearly looking to make her mark on L.A.  Who runs L.A. now Natalie? [Clearly Antonio Villaraigosa and not Kendra, but hey it was fun to say).  Nevertheless, BET is reporting that a reality show staring Ms.  Natalie Nunn  may be in the works.  I for one am waiting with bated breath for this one.  Perhaps, Olamide might get in on the fun.

The reunion show quickly devolved into more contrived cat fights, as “the claws came out”.  The girls continue to belittle, berate, and bash each other for a full hour.  I guess one remotely positive moment was when cast member Amber shared in a sincere and heartfelt moment her joy in the fact that she was several weeks pregnant.  Of course this news can only be welcomed as positive, if you think any of these women possess the maturity and wisdom to parent a productive member of society.  What’s more, she did not help her ongoing case to not be considered trailer trash, when lifting her billowy empire dress to her navel at Hilton’s request to see her pregnant belly.  One word: tacky.

I’ve been wanting to blog about this show all season.  It prevails upon me a profound sense of disgusts in so many ways, but simultaneously I find its train wreck aesthetic absolutely intriguing.  By a certain age most women have had our sloppy drunk, bad hook up, cat fight, flying off the hinges moments.  Yet, the mentality of an individual who would  exhibit this behavior in exponential proportion, while on national TV is beyond me.  No doubt they must see this kind of exposure as a catalyst for fortune and fame.  Yet, I wonder how Florina will explain her psycho tantrums to future employers.  Sure Natalie plans to marry money, but her dating pool may be shrinking after any decent man gets a whiff of her on air debauchery.  Similarly, Annie showed herself to be a neurotic weirdo, with poor social skills.  Boston native, Kate showed a propensity for either racism or stupidity, when suggesting she did not want to go to a sweaty Black club.  I’m still not clear if she had a problem with the black people or the sweat, but it’s neither here nor there at this point.  Employers may also have a problem with her getting the reach on poor Annie, with reality TV’s best/worst sucker punch, since Snooki got flambéed.  In a sensible and warranted move, Annie filed charges against Kate for punching her in the face without provocation or cause.  Despite Kendra’s illogical protest, Annie was right; actions do have consequences.  Accordingly, Lexie may, in fact, find it difficult to say get a security clearance, after spending much of her abbreviated season [Lexie replaced cast member Portia] nude.

When it said and done, I am sure these women will try to leverage there appearance on this show into opportunities to generate money.  Perhaps other reality shows, endorsement deals, and hosting gigs may be in their future, but the price they may pay for fame could be high.  Their visions short and consequences seemingly a non-issue, their poor choices seem like good clean fun today. Yet I can pretty guarantee that Natalie will never have the opportunity to “run L.A.”, not only because she is running herself into the ground with these antics, but her reputation is ruined.  People will negate the fact that she was a star athlete and good student at USC, a highly respected and venerable institution.  Yet, they will recall  her biting, clawing, spitting, and bloviating her way into the annals of reality TV history. 

So is the Bad Girls Club harmless fun or dangerous exploitation? Are the women agents of their own image creation or are they being manipulated for money-making corporate entities?  Does this hurt women’s relationships in the real world?  Can the damage to reputations be repaired or will video follow these young women forever?

Is it worth it?


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