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VIBE: Meet Your New Role Models

Reality TV show drama has been in the news a lot lately. Petitions urging the networks that produce these shows to reconsider have gained a lot of traction. The masses are finally growing disgusted with the petty, sometimes violent behavior of reality TV stars.

While it seems many are finally ready to dismiss the violent behavior of these women who are on television arguing with one another week after week, VIBE has named them “Your New Role Models”.

VIBE Magazine muses that while the women have their bottle-throwing, sailor-mouthed moments, they are also mothers, daughters, and successful businesswomen. I take nothing away from these women and laud their personal achievements. But calling them role models seems to be a serious jump from recognizing that they are more than the catfighting name-callers that we see on TV night after night.

The snippet of the article that I read brought three questions to mind. First are we indeed THAT desperate to see Black faces on television that we will support even the most debasing shows just because the characters look like us? Second, are the standards for role models really that low these days? I’m sorry but Evelyn Lozada is a grown woman, mother and businesswoman who apparently threw a bottle at a person with whom she was having a disagreement. A BOTTLE. And she, according to VIBE, is one of your new role models (yours, not mine). Third, should we even care that VIBE has appointed these women role models?

When I was in college, one of my favorite activities to do with the girls in our mentorship program was a beauty lesson which allowed them to flip through magazines, find images that they felt were beautiful and then evaluate why those images could be considered beautiful. My gut reaction is that I wouldn’t want my girls looking up to these women as role models. I wouldn’t want them idolizing women who physically assault other women, throw things when angry and act out in any number of ways. But that’s what I was there for, to teach and show them otherwise. So why should I be concerned with the women who are on the cover of that magazine? My real concern should be the type of mentor and example that I am.