The Business Of Real Housewives - Not Real Role Models
The first episode of Housewives of Atlanta aired on Bravo cable network on October 7, 2008. Aside from the obvious protests about any reality show, not a single one of these "housewives" can truly be called homemakers (which is synonymous with "houseiwfe") at least not in the sense of the traditional stay-at-home mom, or even under the general definition of "trophy wives." All the women featured in any of the "Real Wives" series are, by default, business women. One cast member does not even have children.
The Business Of Selling Yourself -- And Your Family
All of the Housewives own their own businesses, have a successful career, or are starting or hoping for new careers. Some currently have husbands, some do not. But the one common thread among all the Housewives is, just like Kate Gosselin and Abby Lee Miller, they are now a commodity. Admittedly, RHOA does not brazenly exploit family members the way the Kardashian family reality series does, but the drama is still just as rich and far more ugly -- and with a lot fewer sappy moments. At least the Kardashians appear to love each other; the Housewives seem to generally be at war with each other all, if not most of the time.
Kardashians are young, beautiful, flirty, and wild - their shows are about selling sex. The RHOA is not about portraying inspiring successful African American women -- it is about selling angry women -- angry black women and I find that extremely stereotypical and offensive.
Are They Employed?
Yes. Every single one of them are. Housewives get paid by the episode. In my book that means you are employed.
Google "definition of housewife" and you will find the following answer among search results that does anything to define Bravo's "Real Housewives" women:
"A married woman whose main occupation is caring for her family, managing household affairs, and doing housework."
The very definition of "main occupation" as being family caretakers excludes all of the Housewives from that definition -- they are all pursuing other things ahead of their families. The only exception might appear to be Kim Zolciak, who quit the show to focus more on her family, including her new baby ... except that, she is getting her own spin-off show. So much for stay-at-home mommy-dom. Kim left the show after a bitter confrontation (with Kandi, Phaedra, and NeNe who acused her of faking her pregnancy) over why she refused to travel with the RHOA to Africa will 32 weeks pregnant. For putting her baby first, Zolciak was criticized and condemned, however, one has to think this was pure scripted drama (or at least largely scripted drama) so we would all tune into her new show to see what ever became of poor Kim Z.
Only some of the women are married, and can you imagine Kenya doing her own housework? These women should not serve as examples or role models for "real" housewives who actually do spend time mopping oatmeal from their babies mouths while donning their favorite pair of ratty sweats.
So, enjoy the show. Reality TV is for entertainment -- not for role models, and certainly not for real housewives.
Current RHOA cast members:
- Nene Leaks - Seasons 1 through 5.
- Kandi Burress - Seasons 2 through 5.
- Cynthia Baily - Seasons 3 through 5.
- Phaedra Parks - Seasons 3 through 5.
- Kenya More - Season 5
- Porsha Williams-Stewart - Season 5
Former RHOA cast members: