The idea that black women must always be perfectly well-behaved — or risk shaming the community-at-large – is both unrealistic and unfair. We are fighting a battle that is unique to women of color in this country, and that is the duality of asserting our individual identities separate from stereotypical imagery, while fighting for the elevation of our communities as a whole. This places us in the precarious position of not being able to ignore the pervasive effects of reality television, while still recognizing that every, single one of these women has the right to present themselves to the world as they choose – whether anyone agrees or not.
Here’s the thing, these show runners fire anyone that doesn’t play to the stereotypes. That’s been shown again & again, so let’s not pretend that these women who are getting paid to be on these shows have many options about how they are presented to the public. And frankly train wreck TV is what viewing audiences tune into in the first place.