I said to myself, “ Self...” (because that’s where I start all my internal dialogues) — “Self, you will not write about Love & Hip Hop Atlanta.” I knew I was lying, because I’d already told myself I wasn’t going to watch it. I ignored the pleas from top-notch marketing machine Vh1 — say what you want about the programming, but they know how to spread the word about a show. I intentionally stayed out of my house when the show came on, and I stayed off Twitter during the initial airing. I tried and I failed.
I got home in time for Single Ladies, which I also don’t watch and which airs the hour after Love & Hip Hop Atlanta. But even then, it seems those who had tuned in were still aghast. According to Twitter, the ladies of Single Ladies were smack in the middle of some bourgeoisie ball and guest star “Shug Avery” was looking like she hadn’t aged a day since The Color Purple originally debuted in theaters in 1985. But amazingly, that was just a blip on my timeline. Everybody was still talking about Love & Hip Hop Atlanta and how it practically made a pox like Basketball Wives look like a classy affair.
Near everyone in my timeline was typing about whether the person who presented herself as a woman was actually a woman. Then there was somebody’s grandmama who was an ex-pimp and suggested to over 3.5 million viewers that some poor girl, an ex of her son’s, get some Massengill (that’s just wrong… and cold). Then there was chatter about some desperate, lost woman begging her man not to walk off from her and leave with another woman. (Why a man would have his woman and his next woman in the same space baffles me.)
I tweeted that I was tuning in to see what all the fuss about and to evaluate for myself. Several people told me not to; one suggested I have a strong drink beforehand. How I wish I had listened! When my grandmother, may she rest in peace, used to spot some of God’s children behaving in ungodly ways, she would grunt and say, “Lord, that is somebody’s child.” That popped in my head in the first five minutes of the episode, in which miraculously no fists or bottles were thrown.
Oh, and the person everyone thought was a man masquerading as a woman actually is a woman. Since there was so much confusion, in the wee hours of the morning Joseline (pictured) tweeted a picture that exposed her breasts and intimate lady parts to clear up any confusion. A childhood picture would have proved her point all the same, but that just tells you the type of women being featured. The next morning World Star Hip-Hop posted a soft-porn video of her self-pleasuring.
Volumes could be written on the outrage over Love & Hip Hop Atlanta. But a public dressing-drown of these women probably won’t have much effect. Many of them are too far gone, chasing men or chasing fame, to hear a moral appeal to do better on behalf of Black Women United, or at the very least themselves. They need therapy — off camera — and just maybe medication. And prayer. Lots. And a hug — but not from any of the men who they have allowed to suck their self-esteem dry and got them on camera acting plumb foolish. Take it back to grandmama — as long as she wasn’t a pimp too.
Demetria L. Lucas is the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. Follow her on Twitter @abelleinbk