I saw this magazine cover the other day and literally almost vomited in my mouth. No, I wasn’t offended by the scantily clad women on the front of the magazine, but I was appalled with the accompanying headline, “Meet Your New Role Models”. This headline is from the cover story about the bad girls of reality television, namely Chrissy Lampkins (Hip Hop Wives), Evelyn Lozada (Basketball Wives), Tamar Braxton (The Braxtons) and Kandi (The Real Housewives of Atlanta) and how they are basically taking over television. Now for someone who does not watch reality television might not have any idea WHO these ladies are, but I from one not only know them but am CERTAIN they could NEVER be a role model foe ME or MY daughter.
You see these women represent the stereotype of African American women in reality television. These women are money hungry, violent, vile mouth chicks who don’t stand for anything I want my daughter to emulate. On television you better believe they wear the hottest fashions and carry all of the expensive bags but if their character is determined by their actions, then these ladies should be committed to a mental institute.
As a mother of a daugter and with the line of work I am in, I am careful about the images I present to my child. I make sure that she understands that yes she’s beautiful but there’s so much more to her. She’s intelligent, she’s caring, she’s a critical thinker and more importantly she’s to be respected and give an equal amount of repect when dealing with others. Never is she to bully anyone or think it’s okay to be a “mean girl”. All of these things I SHOW my daughter because right now she’s three and has no idea about the ugly side of people that can rear it’s head in arguments. As a child my mother did an excellent job of teaching me and my younger sister that you should NEVER want to be LIKE ANYONE else. She showed us how to treat people and that’s why today I take my job of parenting a girl so seriously.
On days were I am leaving for work, I will take extra time and hug her an extra amount of time or allow her to wear my necklace to preschool. I let her crawl in the bed with me and “talk my ear off” about everything Preschool. But most importantly I spend time with her–quality time. We go and get pedicures together, we go to the mall and shop together and late at night we sit and read to one another. In 15 years I want my daughter to understand that women like the “girls” on reality shows are not mean to be role models, but are meant to be models of what not to do.
So tonight as I put her to bed, I hug her tight, say a prayer for her and pray that her role model might be Condeeleza Rice, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama or me, her loving mom!