Evelyn Lozada, Kandi Burruss, Tamar Braxton and Chrissy Lampkin from the reality shows that has garnered much hype in-part because of its drama are gracing Vibe magazine’s June/July 2012 Sexy Issue with the tagline “Meet Your New Role Models.”Kandi of “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” Tamar of “Braxton Family Values,” Evelyn of “Basketball Wives,” and Chrissy of “Love and Hip Hop” (who may not be returning) all showcase their sexy sides in black scantily clad outfits with spilling buxom on the cover.
Star Jones started a petition, lashing out against women and violence on reality TV. What’s your reaction?
Evelyn: [Bursts into laughter] I think she’s going to have to get a whole lot of names. Actually, I like the petition and I like the controversy because I’ve learned controversy is good. But I think she’s irrelevant. And she’s using our coattails to get relevant again. Nobody gives a f*ck about her.
Do any of you see yourselves as role models?
Chrissy: I guess if somebody is afraid to speak their mind and wanna stand up for themselves, then yes. I want people to realize that they can have whatever they want. You can be respected in your relationship exactly the way you want to be. It’s up to you to go get it. Some of the stuff is a little heavy, but you’re not going to be exposed to crazy situations in life just by watching reality TV. You can go to the corner store and see crazy shit going on. You can go to school and see crazy shit. Don’t put it all on me.
Kandi: You would never imagine how many people come up to me on the street: “How could you be a part of that? It’s a disgrace to Black people.” I’m on a show called Real Housewives and I’m not married so I guess I represent single mothers out there who are handling their business and trying to take things to the next level. So when people say, “You shouldn’t be on the show, it’s like, “Well, who do you want to go on there? More people you don’t like?”
So you’re saying the producers orchestrated the violence?
Chrissy: Absolutely. They would go as far as telling the new girl, “Chrissy thinks she’s Queen Bee around here so we need you to step up because nobody here has a strong enough personality. We need you to shut it down.” They were feeding people this negative energy from the door. I have no reason to lie.
What surprised you most about the reality TV experience?
Kandi: Being a part of Housewives brought me so many opportunities that I would’ve never imagined. With the Kandi Factory spin-off, it was a dream of mine to be on one of those shows developing artists, and here it is, I [have] my own show.
Evelyn: For me, it was that so many people cared. They’re so emotionally involved and interested with what’s going on in your life. I watch shows but I’m never like, “Let me find this person’s Twitter or Facebook page so I can comment.” Even before the show it just wasn’t me. But people get so emotionally involved with what you’re doing, what you’re saying, what you’re wearing, how you handle this situation, so that surprised me. You think everyone watches TV the way you watch TV.
Well, Evelyn, you especially invoke a lot of emotion. On television, you seem as passionate as your fans are about you.
Evelyn: When I first signed on to the show, I said I’m going to be me whether the cameras are on or off. So you’ll see me crying, you’ll see me fighting, you’ll see me happy. You get to see everything. I think I show every aspect of who Evelyn is. Of course people only remember those moments when I happen to be…
Hurling a wine bottle.
Evelyn: Yeah, happen to be throwing a few things. It’s frustrating because, on the other hand, I’ve also done positive things like charities with kids. It’s unfortunate because those things don’t seem to mean anything.
Chrissy: It bothers me [too] because it’s not all of who I am. It’s a part of who I am. It’s also something that I’m working on because who am I to put my hands on somebody else?
Tamar: I just wanna address the biggest misconception with Evelyn. She’s not just beautiful on the outside; she’s a beautiful soul. I believe that people who want to make a difference in our community should be shown [doing so]. Sometimes, with our shows, you only see that [negative] side, but Evelyn will give you the shirt off of her back.
Evelyn: It’s tough because if we were only doing positive things, people wouldn’t want us. But if I say, “Tamar, you’re a stupid fucking bitch,” people love that.
Kandi: That’s because we’re a real life soap opera. You know how your family watched All My Children for 20 years? That’s what we are now.
Check out the full cover story when the issue hits stands next week.
Would consider any of the reality take-no-prisoners ladies role models?
Even though, this was obviously meant to be a joke... are these woman really becoming what younger women, or women in general have to look up to? Is it right? Is television orchestrating negative stereo-types about women, and most importantly Black woman? Are our little girl's thinking this behavior is the norm as long as the check is right?. What does differentiate this from soap-opera's we all watched growing up? Are these woman responsible to be role models?