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Keepin' It REAL About 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta'

Have you seen this television show? I missed the premiere episode last week, but as a housewife in Atlanta, I felt a cultural imperative to check it out last night. Within the first 5 minutes, it became clear - to my complete dismay, and contrary to all I have known for the past several years - that I am not a REAL housewife of Atlanta, after all. Either that, or the show is taped not in the same Atlanta, Georgia, USA, where I reside, but instead in some freakish parallel universe unfortunately known by the same name.

You see, according to the show, the REAL housewives of Atlanta:

- live in mansions;
- have personal chefs, personal assistants, personal stylists - in short, personal household staff;
- spend $18,000 (not including additional thousands for lavish gifts) on birthday parties for their 11 year old daughters;
- drop $6,500 on a whim on designer shoes; and
- are married to, divorced from, or negotiating seven-figure divorce settlements from professional (NBA/NFL) athletes.


So I couldn't possibly be a REAL housewife of Atlanta...I'm too underfunded, understaffed and underaccessorized. The reality that I live everyday is nothing like the one represented on the show. And, hey, I'm willing to concede that there are women in the Atlanta metro area for whom this lifestyle is a reality. I mean, technically speaking, fake nails, fake hair, fake breasts and fake friendships are to some extent REAL. Plastic, yes, but also REAL...depending on how rigidly you define and use "real." Here's how I'll define and use it, in the context of this television show: REAL misguided, REAL superficial, and REAL sad.

But that's just my humble opinion. What's yours? Comments are Open!

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Comment by Renée aka Mekhismom on November 14, 2008 at 3:49pm
All of the "Housewives" shows have highlighted women that live over the top lifestyles. But I am in total agreement with you regarding this particular show. As an African American women I am offended that the only "housewives" they could find were married to ballers. In Atlanta? There are so many successful African Americans here that are not in those "stereotypical" professions. I am betting they they all refused such a superficial show.

All of my friends and I agree that these are not the "Real Housewives" of Atlanta.
Comment by Jenn D on November 4, 2008 at 10:57pm
These "ladies" don't even spend much time with their children! I don't understand it at all. Personally I have fertility issues and currently no children, but I spend more time with my sister's children than all the families combined on this show it seems. I get a laugh out of the show and have been home sick. On tonight's show Kim the blond chose to drink and drive to her botox doc and then to buy underwear. After that she continued with her open container driving around town to lunch where she drank even more. She was telling a story and spelled CAT, (the one we all learned young, not to be confused with the girls name that really could go either way) KAT. She then drove around some more. I have been watching Bravo for a while now so I'm waiting for the recap show and sent in 3 questions for Kim, 2 about drinking and driving and one because she thought she deserved the mother of the year award for taking her child out to the aquarium. She said she was "just trying to get through it." Have you ever heard anything as nuts as that? Why have kids if you don't want to spend time with them? If I had that big of a house and could afford help, I would probably have it, but I would be spending my extra free time with my kids, homework, helping at the school, anything to be with my kids and build that vital relationship!
Comment by Sally Kays on October 20, 2008 at 6:51am
I watched it too, and all i could think about was the wife that says "people don't like me because of my success" and im thinking "what did you do? you married and are currently in the process of divorcing a football player and expect to get 7 figure settlement?" i dont know how they measure success but for me that would not be it. i have watch the other ones, but not sure im gonna watch this one. course then again its like watching a train wreck! i know some ladies from atlanta, and they are nothing like this lol... just regular ole moms like me.
Comment by Christie on October 16, 2008 at 10:59am
I have flat out REFUSED to watch this show. As soon as I heard about it, I immediately deduced that it was not worth my time! But I love Michelle's interpretation. It was exactly what I was expecting...a HotLanta mess!
Comment by Carrie on October 16, 2008 at 10:06am
Its sad that the only way to get viewers to watch a show is to find people with over-the-top lives and over-the-top bank accounts to follow. How about a show that follows women in REAL careers - teachers, doctors, community leaders? Lets actually inspire people instead of making us wish for the glitzy and glamourous life that is hardly attainable.
Comment by Stacey on October 16, 2008 at 9:45am
That would be a show truly worth watching. I am glad to hear that they are using some of their money on a worthy cause.
Comment by Michelle Avery Weston on October 16, 2008 at 8:07am
I hear you, Stacey...it sounds like your "reality" is similar to mine! To be fair, one of the housewives featured in the show mentioned she has established a charitable foundation, and the episode contained a minute or so of footage of her behind the desk in what appeared to be her office there. I also know that producers of so-called reality shows like this one edit and shape taped footage to up the drama factor...I just wish these same producers recognized that housewives & moms like us who aren't awash in money and luxury are also phenomenal in our own right, and equally deserving of representation in a program touting itself as a reality show about our demographic. Personally, I'd much rather spend an hour of my (precious) free time watching a reality show about "average" housewives & moms who were gamely facing the same challenges we all face - managing multiple schedules, budgeting finite family resources, and balancing diverse family member needs (emotional and otherwise)....I'd find a show like that REAL-ly inspirational.
Comment by Stacey on October 16, 2008 at 6:39am
That totally blows my definition of a REAL housewife. I'm the personal chef, personal assistant, and personal stylist in this house. My husband has a fit if we spend more than $200 dollars on party and gift combined for any one of our kids parties. As for shoes, well I love shoes but I don't love them that much. A good pair of Yellowbox and any cute shoe on sale would do just fine. I guess when you have that much money to spend you just have to spend it on something. Feeding the thousands of homeless children, or donating to children's families who can't afford their child's next chemo treatment would be a more sound and selfless way to spend some of that excess of money. Who's to say they don't throw some change their way but if they aren't talking about it on air I would guess the chances of that are very slim.

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