Vh1’s Love and Hip Hop Atlanta, a spin-off of the original Love and Hip Hop New York, premiered on Monday, June 18th. At first I was reluctant to watch the show, but after reading so many tweets and facebook updates about the series, I decided to tune in.
I watched. And I sighed.
I blogged about the Basketball Non-Wives before, and Love and Hip Hop Atlanta is not much different. Most of the reality shows that follow women focus on ladies who are attached to men who repeatedly disrespect them; the series include women who are vociferous and belligerent; the series have women who, I think, just want love.
The “men” on Love and Hip Hop Atlanta feel a sense of entitlement because they are ultimately buying the women. Bad boy producer, Stevie J, openly cheats, called a woman a b**ch, threw a drink at a woman, and on the flip side buys a house for one woman, produce a few beats for the other…he says “I love you…you’re beautiful…”etc. These men prey on women with low self-esteem. They know a few nice words or kind gestures would make the woman tingle inside. She would feel loved and not question his actions because he’s displaying his “love”. So now she’s not mad at his behavior anymore, because he said a few, sweet…nothings.
Stevie J’s women gave him chance after chance. He constantly cheats on his girlfriend of 15 years, MiMi, but bought her a house to keep her quiet about all of his wrongdoings. In a confessional, MiMi says, “Sometimes I wish I didn’t LOVE him so much”…Sigh. I wish she didn’t either.
Stevie J threw a drink at his artist Joseline, aka the side chick, and he still left the club with her…and she allowed it. Her reaction to the drink? She said something along the lines of, “He messed up my fur coat… he’s going to buy me a new one.” SIGH. There was no anger about the action, but moreso anger because of her ruined outfit. Throughout the episode, she stays on hush about her relationship with the producer, which made a lot of viewers angry. But why would she speak up? He’s her provider. He’s helping her with her music career, buys her gifts and shows her attention…so I’m sure she feels loved. It’s not right, but it’s okay in her eyes. She would lose everything if she speaks up. So instead, she sucks it up and shuts up.
Lil’ Scrappy’s girlfriend, Erica, has the same “I need love” mentality. She got pregnant by the rapper-> his music career blew up and he cheated on her with the rapper Diamond-> Diamond cheated with someone else -> Lil Scrappy went back to Erica…in that order. And yes, Erica allowed him back into her life because she ultimately wants to feel loved.
The female characters represent a lot of women who stay in bad relationships, because she loves the guy more than she loves herself. But when you love yourself more, you know what is and what is NOT acceptable. When you love yourself more, you have a very low tolerance for disrespectful behavior. When you love yourself more, you know when to let go.
So to the women on LOVE and Hip Hop Atlanta, put more emphasis on LOVE and less emphasis on the Hip Hop entertainers who disrespect the word, love.
“Learning to love yourself…it is the greatest love of all” Whitney Houston