by Carmen Van Kerckhove Those of you who are subscribers to Addicted to Race may…
Month: April 2007
by Carmen Van Kerckhove By now you’ve probably heard about Rush Limbaugh’s “Barack, The Magic…
by Racialicious special correspondent Latoya Peterson
If Flavor Flav is the modern day “Steppin Fetchit,” Mo’Nique seems determined to end the minstrelsy.
In her new show, Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School Mo’Nique desires to reverse the damage done to the girls while they were contestants on Flavor of Love by forcing them to reform. She employs the assistance of Mikki Taylor, the beauty & cover editor for Essence magazine, and Keith Lewis, director of two California beauty pageants and the director of a talent agency.
Now, initially, I was skeptical of the show’s concept. Mo’Nique was going on VH1 to teach the girls about etiquette? I love Mo’Nique – but I felt like it would quickly descend into the stereotypical “black woman telling it like it is” with her squawking outdated “sistah-isms” and her keeping it real in the neck popping, eye rolling kind of way.
[Note: This is not a reflection on Mo’Nique’s personality. Reality TV, as “unscripted” as it may be, still encourages everyone to act like they have lost their minds in order to create “good TV.” And if the characters fail to act up to their roles, creative editing is employed.]
However, I was happily surprised to find that this is not the case. (I still watched two full episodes before deciding to blog though.)
Already, the show has piqued my interest. The show seems invested in changing the girl’s attitudes about life and fame. In stark contrast to Flavor of Love, where the girls were encouraged to confront each other, Charm School intends to make the girls confront themselves. By forcing the girls through challenges that require both team building and competition, VH1 has managed to reveal some very interesting personality quirks in the contestants that were not revealed on Flavor of Love.
During multiple points in the show, I almost choked to death on my sparkling water. There are major race issues in that household – and you almost don’t see them coming. Standouts from the first two episodes:
– Larissa (aka Bootz) gets confrontational from the jump, saying that she thinks Brooke (Pumpkin) was racist for spitting on New York. She quickly gets Shay (Buckeey – why the hell can’t Flav spell? He could spell alright the first season!) to join in on a thinly veiled reason to exert their dominance over Brooke. Brooke ends up in the bathroom in tears, with both Larissa and Shay holding on tight to their justification. Read the Post Racism, Conflict, Hypersexuality, and…Personal Development? Lessons from VH1’s “Charm School”
by Carmen Van Kerckhove In case you haven’t been checking out New Demographic’s latest blog,…