I should be embarrassed at watching the latest reality TV shenanigans, but I’m not. I revel in watching delusional people act out their behavior. I find lousy social skills, unhinged narcissism and life cluelessness FASCINATING! There is nothing better than a reality show marathon to help me power through apartment cleaning or accounting chores.
Imagine my glee on a recent Sunday when TV One offered up non stop hits of R & B Divas lunacy. For me? Yes, yes, yes. My straight no chaser exposure to these women sparked so many thoughts, sane and otherwise, that I decided to share via my own narcissistic delivery system….
- I’ve renamed the show Beyonce Stole My Career Like a Thief in the Night. I’m excepting Angie Stone from this classification because she has a sustainable songwriting/producing career and also excepting Monifah Carter, Faith Evans and Latocha Scott because they seem well adjusted but the others? I can smell the lust that Nicci Gilbert, Syleena Johnson and Keke Wyatt have for Mrs. Carter’s career, life, EVERYTHING through my TV screen! There is nothing that would convince them that they are not owed a multi-hyphenate existence in pop culture. The scene of Nicci preparing for the sad, pathetic Brownstone reunion concert and mentioning Beyonce’s Super Bowl performance was….hilarious. It made me question if Nicci actually saw the performance:
- And speaking of Nicci Gilbert — the fake charity, the fake reunion tour, the fake fashion line. And on some level, her fakery should work in this context but it doesn’t because she’s so prickly when her bullshyt is exposed. If Nicci knew authenticity and honesty, there would be no ragefests when she’s questioned about the words that come out of her mouth. Of course, she may be crafting a villain narrative to build a ‘brand’ but can she be more Bond villain than cretin villain?
- Oprah has built a brand. Martha Stewart has built a brand. Paula Deen has built a brand, even if corporations are scurrying away from it like rats, it’s still a brand. Not one of these women has a brand, no matter what snake oil Rufus from Atlanta is trying to sell to them. They have voices and a reality show. Keke Wyatt’s wide eyed assertion that she has a brand clarified two things for me: 1. She doesn’t know what a brand is and 2. She doesn’t know what a brand is. Keke’s confusion seems to stem from a belief that her desire to be fascinating automatically means that she is and that fiction can be converted into albums, tours, books and other pop culture platforms. Syleena has the same problem — what kind of mogul in training hosts an event with a captive audience but without product to purchase? I wish there was an understanding from Syleena and Nicci of the baby steps required to build a brand out of a mid-level R&B singing career.
- Finally, what amazes and befuddles me is how these women are stuck in the time of their past glories. The collective mindset on display seems to be that the marketplace hasn’t fundamentally shifted and they can still have sustainable careers just because they want it. I don’t watch to laugh/mock them; I watch because I like being able to identify lunatic behavior so I can manage it.