Reality TV & Social Implications (Extra Credit)

I just saw this article and thought it connected well to what we have been talking about in terms of the social implications of the constant stereotypes of Black women we see in the media. If you are behind on your postings this is another great way to get credit for just expressing your thoughts. Feel to connect other reality tv shows that present various stereotypes of Black women, please add or connect references to the readings and some of the films we have seen in class.

VH1’s New Show Bye Felicia! Should Be Called Rent a Sassy Black Girlfriend

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13 thoughts on “Reality TV & Social Implications (Extra Credit)

  1. Um.. Black women helping white women change their ways.. Using key words “Bye Felicia.” I’m not too sure how to feel about this show. I mean it seems like a good show in regards to women receiving help from other women, and I think that’s exactly what it should have remained.The conflict in this is going to come in the fact that they are using ”black lingo” and only focusing on putting their help into the hands of white women. Are they not any black women who need help with a lot more than their wardrobe and hair, because I can name a couple. Not to mention this brings up the idea of whose image are they changing these white women to become. Is it what they deem acceptable as black women, or what white women would like as their public image. There’s just a bunch of things wrong with shows like this, starting from the name. Good idea behind it, but wrong way to go about it..just my opinion.

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    • It seems that MTV Networks and VH1 are constantly looking to either reinforce old stereotypes or create new ones. This show sounds like a cross between “The Help” and every bad reality show like Love and Hlp Hop and Basketball Wives. You said, “good idea, but wrong way to go about it.” I have to disagree. Nothing about this sounds like a good idea. I think the whole goal is to push these stereotyes for the benefit of ratings and advertisement dollars. The only people this show will help are the producers in becoming richer!

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  2. I had to re-read twice on what they where actually going to do in this show…So are they going to help WHITE women to get their sassiness? Why? Why they got to call it Bye Felicia? The only question, rather not a statement really over this whole situation is “why” because that’s the only thing that pops into my mind. Would they accomplish something putting this idea over people who are just going to watch the show? I think they would be expecting something else, not that really. It’s rather disrespectful and it’s like going back to square one, and it’s rather sad that the women that are supposed to be against such are the ones making profit of it. I guess they just have the capitalistic mentality, and would do anything to have some cash in their pockets. That’s one of the main reasons why I even stopped watching reality TV. Because I would add money to their pockets to watch pure stupidity.

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  3. I initially saw the commercial for VH1’s Bye Felicia a few weeks ago. It instantly reminded me of Lifetime’s Girlfriend Intervention that the article briefly mentioned, which starts each episode with the line, “Trapped inside of every white girl is a strong black woman ready to bust out.” Needless to say I was in disbelief but I was even more shocked that ANOTHER one of these shows, Bye Felicia, was picked by VH1. Although the premise of the shows is positive in that it is for women uplifting and empowering other women, the fact that there is such a focus on race is pretty disturbing. To me, these shows suggest that white women are weak in comparison to black women and that black women have something white women need. Also an insult to black women, in my opinion, these shows send the message that the only useful advice white women can gain or take away from black women are about superficial things such as hair and fashion. There is an emphasis on looks that implies black women are shallow and the only thing they know about are these seemingly trivial things.

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  4. Yuelisy, in answer to your question what is the purpose of this show, as I stated in response to Korede’s post. The only goal is to make money. A normal self help show is not sexy and wouldn’t draw and audience. Latesha, it is very disturbing to focus on race but these shows have the same or similiar purpose as the NY Times article did in calling Shonda Rhimes as “an angry black woman,” its to make money. People are curious because the concept sounds so crazy and unbelieveable that they feel they have to watch, its a sad but successful marketing ploy. The angrier we get about the show, the more their target audience grows and is anxious to see it. It’s a vicious cycle.

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  5. After watching a brief clip of the new show “Bye Felicia” I feel that the show is pointless and shouldn’t be aired on television. The concept of the show doesn’t make any sense to me. On one hand its a good idea that they are trying to make a show where they want help other women empower themselves and get rid of any bad habits but I feel that they are doing it the wrong way. The two woman who are the main characters of the show are the typical black stereotypes that we want to break ourselves free from. I’m even outraged that vh1 allowed a show like that to air with a title like “bye Felicia”. But I am sure the show will probably do well because people find it entertaining to watch black people be loud and obnoxious in film and television. If it was up to me I would have the show canceled.

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  6. For some reason when I read this article it reminded me of the “mammy” characters portrayed in films such as “Gone with the Wind” and “The Secret Life of Bees”. These woman are seen as the heroes and caretakers of the white protagonists and I feel like If i were to watch this reality show, this is all I would be able to picture because this is what I am getting from this article. I agree with Korede in that there are many black women who need empowerment from other black women, I mean remember that other reality show on VH1 “The Flavor of Love”? It was obvious what all of these women were on the show for: either for attention or for money. These women made complete fools of themselves and were the talk of the night for many Sunday nights after the show officially ended. The majority of these women were black and appeared to have no morals. “Bye Felicia”, in my opinion, would not do any justice for the black community, however the producers apparently think it might. Guess it is up to whoever ends up watching it to find out…

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  7. Curtis and Stephanie, great input. Curtis, I agree that it would be nice to have shows were women just encouraged and uplifted each other but that would probably be boring and not want VH1 wants. Stephanie, I also agree with you that it does have a very Mammy feel to it. VH1 seems to go from one extreme to the other. Black women or women of color can’t be whole people, they have to either be a Mammy or a Jezebel. We should be long past these stereotypes but if a buck is going to be made than I guess it doesnt matter who gets hurt in the end.

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  8. After viewing VH1’s new show Bye Felicia trailer my initial response takes aim at VH1’s titling of the show. The title which oddly references F. Gary Gray’s cult classic Friday seems to exhibit VH1’s desperate eagerness to continue attracting and reel in their highly sought after black demographic. The title and premise of the show have no connection or relationship to each other. The creation of this show further magnifies how it seems mainstream media tends/trends to exploit and piggyback the shoulders of the Hip Hop and Black community and culture.

    At its core Bye Felicia strikes a resemblance to OWN Network’s Iylana: Fix My Life but with slight differences. Black women exclusively helping white women turnaround their lives. Just from watching the trailer alone it looks as if Bye Felicia will have a more humorous angle then the more serious angle Iylana: Fix My Life aims and achieves. The two main characters or life coaches Deborah Hawked and Missy Young both thread and blend the lines of the Millennial Mammy and Superwoman characters in film. Putting forth a personality of sassy, outspoken and confident. While also taken care and shaping the live of someone else other than their own and those part of their race. I’d rather see black women uplifting all women of many races with some humor to bring light to any situation that they’re in. Bye Felicia isn’t the type of show that would hold my interest and it will be interesting to see the ratings in this show and if it will stay on tv line up.

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    • Ephiphany, great catch that this show is modeled after and probably mocking Iylana: Fix My Life. That was a good observation. I also like your use of the term Millennial Mammy and Superwoman. Unfortunately, these stereotypes still sell so even when they are refashioned and remodeled they cause the same damage as the old version did. Its just the same mess with bow on it.

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  9. For starters, Bye Felicia is a reality show set to air on December 9th, 2014. The series aims to motivate, elevate and renovate the women of L.A. Starring Atlanta-based life coaches Deborah Hawkes and Missy Young who are imparting their wisdom and humor on the women who need it most, as they urge their clients to say “Bye, Felicia!” to their former selves. Each closed-ended episode aims to empower two different women who could use a dose of honesty in order to turn their lives around. As a pair, they see through the excuses, break down the barriers and give girls the tools they need to conquer just about anything. As we know stereotypes are heavily depicted in shows and film which makes the assumptions of the black female much more evident. According to class discussions, projects and readings, we have analyzed the roles of black women. With this being said, Bye Felicia! can be easily related to other shows. Take the show “Girlfriends” for example– a sophisticated comedy series that invites viewers into the lives of three professional African American women living in Los Angeles who are struggling with the weighty issues of life – men, love, money — and more men. Girlfriends returns for its triumphant final year, providing an open, honest exploration of the hot-button issues about family, friends, relationships and life facing women today. With fearlessness and sincerity, the show takes on universal issues that interest all women. Whether it is being recently engaged, exploring your career or balancing friendships and a new baby, Girlfriends treats them all with tenderness, care and respect. One of the characters on Girlfriends (Mya) is recently married, working a full time job, and trying to be the best mother she can be. For me, it is clear that Mya embodies the role of a superwoman. According to our class readings a women displayed as a superwoman possesses qualities such as aggressive, dominant, determined, skillful and wise. I would say that Mya embodies all of these characteristics much like Claudine. Claudine is a film that we previously watched in class that tells the tale of a woman named Claudine who tries to provide for her six children in Harlem while on welfare. She has a romance with Roop, a cheerful garbageman she meets while working on the side as a maid. With doing all of this, she must still work extremely hard to maintain the images of a strong mother, sensitive woman/ companion for Roop as well as studious for her business endeavors. For me, all of these women are the prime examples of a superwoman. All of these women were faced with the hardship of balancing the many faces of a woman all while trying to keep a straight face for the outside. As for Bye Felicia! the two main characters can be seen as the superwomen. In trying to maintain their own issues with a level head, they are still the women that broken women come too in order to seek advice. As for Mya from Girlfriends, she displayed actions of a superwoman in that she was a single mother at a point trying to answer life’s questions not only for herself but for her child as well. Lastly, Claudine is the ultimate superwoman in the way that she has not one but 6 children who she must be a positive figurehead for. Unfortunately, throughout films and reality shows the female woman has always been displayed as a sexual object. They are always hyper sexualized, seen as sexual deviants, emotional and dependent. Hopefully women will transition into being seen as more of a superwoman and figures that possess more positive qualities instead of continuing on in this vicious cycle displayed through media.

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  10. The show “Bye Felicia” is just another example of VH1 playing on stereotypes. VH1 seems to be the constant network that enjoys exploiting and exaggerating stereotypes just for money. I agree with the above comments that they are giving a “mammy” feel to it and it’s interesting that they are only helping the white women “bye felicia” their old habits; going back to the mammy caring for the white woman. It’s a difference between trying to show women empowerment and using negative stereotypes as an advantage.

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