Reality show stars set negative examples


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After “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta” reunion part two, the show should change its name to the “Stevie and Joseline Show.”

The “Love and Hip Hop” reunion aired the first of three parts on Aug. 25 and the second part on Sept. 1. During the taping of the second part of the reunion, things began to heat up between Stevie and Joseline and Benzino and Althea. Comments were made and words were exchanged until Stevie and Joseline decided to attack Benzino and Althea. Although security was there to break up the fight, that did not stop Stevie and Joseline from continuing to throw punches

It became so severe and uncontrollable that police were called and Stevie and Joseline were asked to leave the reunion while Benzino and Althea chose to leave the reunion following the incident. In the midst of the fight, Joseline also attacked Tammy Rivera, rapper Waka Flocka Flame’s wife, and Mimi Faust, the mother of Stevie’s child.  There were many mixed reviews and opinions on social media about the altercation from fans, viewers and cast members. Some people agreed with the claim that Joseline was just tired and fed up. However, others, including cast members, disagreed and believed that it was “ratchet,” unnecessary, and inappropriate. 

With that being said, is Joseline’s behavior the type of behavior that African American women tend to mimic, whether it is consciously or unconsciously? The social learning theory is the view that people learn by observing others. In many cases, African American women fall victim to the social learning theory because they are easily influenced and have a desire to mimic celebrities like Joseline. Some African American females refer to themselves as “bad bit**es” and will go anywhere prepared for a fight. They desire to live the glamorous lives that they watch on television and some will use any means to reach that level of fame. 

When young African American females watch shows with such behavior, it becomes highly influential. They, too, want to be “bad bit**es,” exploit themselves, and marry hip-hop stars, just like the “Puerto Rican Princess,” Joseline. Does Stevie and Joseline represent our relationship goals that we work so hard towards? 

On the other hand, some African American women watch these types of reality shows filled with obnoxious behavior purely for entertainment.  In such cases, this can serve as a catharsis effect. The catharsis effect is the purification and purgation of emotions through art or any extreme change in emotion that results in renewal and restoration. It is the process of venting aggression in a socially acceptable way to get rid of emotions. They could possibly be tuning in to LLHH to forget about their day, relieve any aggression, and get a good laugh. But, does that mean that they are not being influenced by what they are amused by?

That is when the third person effect comes into play. The third person effect predicts that people will tend to overestimate the influence that mass communication has on the attitudes and behavior of others. They also deny that the mass media have an impact on themselves. Those who fall under the third person effect believe that others are more influenced by media than they are. 

Do African American women believe that these types of shows do not influence them? If that proves to be true, then how do we explain the “bad bit**” trend?  Where did the desire to marry a hip-hop star derive from? Did we come up with the long weave and nails, the celebrity makeup, and even some fashion trends on our own? 

I am not encouraging you to stop watching reality shows like this, but I am encouraging you to be mindful of what you are absorbing. Pick up a book every now and then; get ahead on your homework instead of sitting in front of the television or on the phone gossiping about Joseline and Stevie’s fight. Educate yourselves, black women, so that you do not fall victim to the media and the many traps it has set for us. 

  • Mija Gary Register Reporter