Recently, Kandi Burrus sat down with Hello Beautiful to discuss the Real Housewives of Atlanta, her new reality show the Kandi Factory, and how Black women are portrayed on reality TV.
Although the Real Housewives of Atlanta is a fan favorite, many have been critical of the way the women are portrayed on the show. The Atlanta cast–with their catfights and cuss outs–have become the most popular Housewives series, but many wonder if they promote a negative portrayal of Black women.
According to Kandi, it’s unfair to criticize the ladies for damaging the reputation of all Black women because they are just representing themselves.
Kandi told Hello Beautiful, “Before I even joined the show everybody was talking about how it brought down the image of black people and black women. But I always tell people when you come on a reality show you’re not trying to represent for a whole race, you’re just doing you. You hope people think you’re interesting and people like it.”
While Kandi admits that there is a fair amount of stereotypical neck rolling and finger popping on the show, she argues it’s unfair to hold the Atlanta ladies to a higher standard than their White counterparts.
She continues, “Yes, it does play into the stereotype of what people say black women are with the neck rolling, finger popping or whatever but I don’t feel like it’s any different than the New Jersey Housewives where it’s mostly Italian Americans on there. What they do on that show? It’s a lot of hot headed Italians on that show but I don’t see their communities saying “ Oh, they’re not representing us Italian Americans correctly or they’re not representing white women correctly.”
Kandi attributes the criticisms of her show, and others, to Black folks being overly critical.
Kandi laments, “I feel like we as black people can be very critical of our own race and I don’t even think it should be a thing of ‘How are they representing us?'”
What do you think? Do you agree with Kandi or should networks be forced to offer more diverse images of Black women and not just rely on old stereotypes?