Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kenya Moore will be all about inspiring women this summer as she’s set to be one of many speakers at the ESSENCE Festival this July. We caught up with the Booty Boot Camp diva to get her take on how reality television portrays Black women and to hear what she’s most looking forward to enjoying in New Orleans this year.
ESSENCE: You’re coming to the ESSENCE Festival this summer. Why are you excited to be a part of this year’s festival?
Kenya Moore: ESSENCE represents the voice of Black women. I’ve always looked up to ESSENCE because it has made us feel and look more beautiful than the world had ever seen us prior to the magazine coming out. It’s such a positive image of Black women. It helps us to maintain our spiritual health, our lives at home as well as at work.
ESSENCE: At the festival we have empowerment seminars and it’s a really uplifting vibe. There’s been some talk that maybe reality TV has worked against empowering Black women What’s your take on that as a reality star?
Kenya Moore: I completely disagree. As a Black woman in the entertainment industry there aren’t a lot of representations of us period. Reality television, especially for women over 40, has been great for us and it has empowered and encouraged us to build our brand and be business women and be able to do it all. You can be a mother you can be a business woman, you can be a stay at home mom. It empowers you to be who you are as a woman. I really make no apologies for it because that’s who you are and I think that it’s positive in that regard. Anyone looking at any type of programming will find fault with it. There will be people with an opinion but I think at the end of the day it’s all entertainment and you have to get the positive and negatives from any programming.
ESSENCE: Have you ever been to New Orleans before?
Kenya Moore: I have and I love New Orleans. Trust me I can’t wait to come!
ESSENCE: What are your favorite spots?
Kenya Moore: I don’t know the name of them, I just know how to get to them from my hotel, because I usually always stay at the same hotel so I know exactly what street to go down. The food will get you in trouble because it’s so good. My family is from Louisiana so I love Creole food.
ESSENCE: So it sounds like we are going to need your Booty Boot Camp workout DVD when we go down there and eat this fried shrimp, right?
Kenya Moore: [Laughs] Yes!