Hello, my name is Deya, and let me be direct: I am addicted to watching the train wreck that is reality TV. I admit this with both shame and slight glee.
First of all, I am a fine arts major who graduated from Howard University with a degree in theatre arts, of all things. By definition, I support the theatre, and the skill set and art form that comes from real actors, real production and real talent. Not only did I spend four years studying my craft; I took the leap to Hollywood and pursued my career in TV and film for seven years there. Needless to say, I have invested a significant part of my life in the traditional entertainment industry and continue to do so. I love it.
Having said that, I admit that on nights when “The Real Housewives” or “Basketball Wives” franchise respectively come on, I get heart palpations as I prepare my food and adult beverage in anticipation of the drama and foolery that will take place. My very educated friends and I then usually start our show recap conversations with “Girl, did you see that?”
Admittedly, I wrestle with why I like these shows so much. Could it be the weekly catfights, the fashion choices, the interaction between black women on parenting, love, struggles with divorce or girlfriends/associates/coworkers working through how to get along? It may be a little of all of the above, but I respect the hustle too. Love them or hate them, we are talking about these woman in our homes, on the phone, at work and yes, even on the radio. These woman are on TV making a living and branding themselves as personalities.
Now, to address the issue of poor images on TV that shape the worlds opinion about black women: I am not convinced that they are the prevailing image-shapers. I would argue that Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Mary J. Blige, Angela Bassett, Tyra Banks, Mo’nique, Wendy Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd and even the TJMS’ own Sybil Wilkes are far more significant as image makers. Of course, they are not the only ones, and not all images are positive. To be direct, every black woman in your family is not a Ph.D, and I’m sure not everyone is a hoodrat. Some are, though, and we are everything in between as well. That’s reality.
I enjoy seeing all kinds of women and black women on television, ones who would have never had this kind of opportunity were it not for reality TV. They make me laugh and shake my head in disbelief as they make interesting choices and missteps in their lives. I feel like I know some of these women. Some of these scenarios are heightened, but what woman can’t relate to trying to fit in with other women? Who can’t relate to laugh-out-loud moments together or dealing with cliques and fakery? It’s drama, albeit produced drama.
Judge me if you want. I judge myself, and I accept, that it’s my guilty pleasure. And even though one male friend thinks that these shows influence women to mimic the behavior of some of these women, I argue that I’m grown, intelligent, and I make my own choices. I will confess to getting shoe ideas from them, though.
Sure, I may be addicted. My name is Deya Direct, and I love my reality shows.
Deya “Direct” Smith is a producer on “The Tom Joyner Morning Show” and host of “Girlfriend FM,” as well as “Beyond the Studio” celebrity interviews on BlackAmericaWeb.com. She is also a motivational speaker, actress and social commentator. She can be reached at DeyaDirect@aol.com.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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