“Have you seen ‘BAPs’?”
“That movie with Halle Berry?”
“NO! That crazy new tv show on Lifetime.”
“Oh…no. Why? Should I?”
“It’s a mess. But you can decide for yourself.”
This is normally how conversations go with my friends when I ask them if they’ve seen the new summer drama series. According to Wikipedia, a BAP, or Black American princess, is “a pejorative term that refers to black women of upper and upper middle class background, who possess (or are perceived to possess) a spoiled or materialistic attitude.” There is even a book about BAPs, a book that I read cover to cover numerous times when it first came out. And according to The BAP Handbook: The Official Guide to the Black American Princess, a BAP is described as “1 : a pampered female of African American descent, born to an upper-middle or upper-class family 2 : an African American female whose life experiences give her a sense of royalty and entitlement 3 : BAP (acronym) : colloquial expression 4 : an African American female accustomed to the best and nothing less.” (I like to think I’m more of definition 4, which is less based on material things and based more on life experiences, relationships, being a go-getter, etc.) After watching just two episodes of “BAPs”, I can honestly say that the majority of the stars are not BAPs.
The show follows a group of friends in St. Louis. The two main
characters stars are Anisha and Kristen, former friends who take stabs at each other all of the time, even if the other woman is not in her immediate presence. You may have arguments and/or disagreements with your friends. But when you spit in someone’s face…so not cool. And yes, you read that correctly. During the series premiere, Anisha and Kristen got into it during a welcome home party of a mutual friend. Words were exchanged, and as Kristen was telling Anisha her breath stank, Anisha spit in Kristen’s face. And as Kristen walked away, she could be heard saying, “Did she just spit in my face?!” Yes she did, and while I do not condone violence, spitting on someone is assault. And my mother always told me I need to defend myself if someone attacks me.
Besides spitting, there are numerous reasons why the majority of these people are not BAPs. Let’s go through a few:
1. If you have to say on camera every 5 seconds that you are a BAP, you’re probably not one. Just like if you’re a lady or classy or what-not. You should not have to tell people; they should be able to tell from the way you carry yourself.
2. Yes, according the handbook, if a Black girl is raised in an upper-middle or upper-class family she’s a BAP, but money does not provide class.
3. BAPs are not condescending to others. While Anisha dates Kendrick, a man that was not raised the same as her and owns a store in the “hood”, she belittles his niece, Rai Rai.
4. Lastly, expanding on number 3, while BAPs realize they may have grown up privileged, they do not fault it. They help others in their community. On last week’s episode, Anisha, Gina, and Jason were on a radio show to discuss BAPs. While I wish they had shown a little more of the interview, it was clear Anisha was overly dramatic, as she has a tendency to be, and Jason was way down to earth and realistic with his responses.
All in all, I am SO not impressed with this show. But I will continue to watch until I can’t anymore. I truly believe the BAPs on this show, in addition to being too old to behave the way some of them do, give true BAPs a bad name. Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.