You Are Not A B.A.P.

“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.

Marriage is Sacred

I know you might be thinking “DUH!” with the title, but with the way things are going with pop culture nowadays, I’m not so sure.

There were numerous things that inspired this post.  Earlier this week, TyAnthony and I were having a discussion about the number of African-American children that were born out of wedlock, specifically in the last 5-10 years.   Now, before I you all go getting on my case, I KNOW that is a sensitive subject and something we don’t talk about.  And at the risk of sounding like “I have tons of black friends, so I can’t be racist”, I have family members, friends, and sorority sisters that fall on both sides of this demographic.  Some ended up marrying their child(ren)’s parent while others decided to end their relationship.  And because of the sensitivity of this topic and the fact I might offend some people, Ty suggested I shy away from this topic.  So I’ll move on.

Another factor was an e-mail I received from friend of SGITC, Paul Carrick Brunson.  If you don’t know, Paul is a successful matchmaker, husband, and father of two.  This week, Paul made an appearance on “Good Morning America” to discuss the new reality show “Married At First Sight”.  Basically, the premise of the show is that four experts  (in different fields) pair of couples, the first time they meet each other is when the bride is walking down the aisle, and they are given one month to make things work.  If they discover they love each other and everything is honky dory, then the experts did a good job.  If they discover they are too different and believe they aren’t a match, they get a divorce.

Lastly, today, LeBron James, star basketball player (for those of you who don’t know who he is), decided to leave the Miami Heat and go back to playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Apparently, in an interview some time ago, James stated that he would weigh his decision on whether to stay with Miami and have conversations with his wife and mother to decide what was best.  And a number of my friends on Facebook, most who are married, indicated that he had a discussion with Savannah, his wife, and she wanted to go back home.  If that is the case, because only LeBron and Savannah know what their discussion was like, if indeed there was one, can confirm if it was a decision based on what would be best for their family.

Marriage is sacred.  Marriage is important.  Marriage is a partnership.  Marriage is about compromising.  Marriage is about being unselfish.  Marriage is love.  And marriage is a lot of other nice words that I could type.  I think it’s one thing to date someone on tv (a la “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette”-although the premise the main ‘character’ will marry the last wo/man standing, it’s not a requirement”), but when you have to marry a stranger, and then if things don’t work out after 30 days you can end it, where’s the sanctity in that?  Marriage is a commitment.  And serious business.  And to make it seem frivolous and meaningless on a television show is…pathetic.  You know, I get it.  There are some people who want to get married and find a lifetime partner, and because of bad dating experiences or relationships that didn’t last think they will never find The One.  I’ve had that thought a time or two myself.  But I don’t think I could ever marry someone sight unseen.

So what have we learned here today?  Marriage isn’t something to play with (to use a term stated numerous times by Southern Dad).  It’s about partnership and compromise and love.  It is not about reality television and getting a divorce after 30 days if it doesn’t work.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

Kenya Has Fallen

It’s amazing how I have not blogged in over a month, and the first thing I decide to blog about is the foolishness that I watched on tv last night. But I have a very strong opinion about the fight between Porsha and Kenya, and what I have to say warrants more than a Facebook status update.

When I was thinking about writing this post last night, the original title was going to be “Miss USA Has Fallen”, but I thought it would be a little disrespectful to the current title holder, so I had to regroup.

Since hearing about the infamous fight that took place between Porsha and Kenya and seeing a portion of it last week, I was really interested in seeing what happened.

First, let’s be upfront. Kenya has been antagonizing Porsha since last season. She found various ways to dig at her and antagonize her. Even when asking valid questions about Porsha and her relationship with Kordell, which (honestly) is none of her business, Kenya always had a catty tone in her voice and really has no concern for Porsha one way or the other. As I was trying to explain the events prior to last night’s reunion to Southern Mom, you really have to have seen their relationship over the past two years to fully grasp the built up animosity between these two women.

When I heard that Kenya Moore was joining the cast of the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” I was SO excited! I think every little black girl that grew up in the 1990s was familiar with Kenya and who she was and what she represented as being a former Miss USA. She was beautiful, she was poised, and she was able to keep herself relevant over the last 20 years. But once she joined the cast, I was thoroughly disappointed with her behavior. To put it simply, she was rude, condescending, and inappropriate.

So as not to rehash the past two seasons of RHOA, let’s talk about last night. Kenya was inappropriate. The nerve of her to not only pull out a scepter, but she had the audacity to wave it in people’s faces. THEN, she pulls out a bullhorn and proceeds to yell in the ears of others; I was watching on tv and wanted to tell her to kill that noise. (Kudos to Cynthia for not reacting to Kenya being in her personal space and yelling in her ear.) I do not condone violence…but Kenya had it coming. The bully never likes it when their victim has turned the tables. And while Kenya made a statement regarding the event that took place earlier this month, now is not the time for her to act like she is Miss Innocent.  Part of her statement (“…there are little girls who look up to me. I would never want those girls, my nieces, or my future children to see me fighting anyone.”) makes me wonder if she cares about them seeing her belittle someone, scream at someone, and really just behave in a manner that is unlike a pageant winner.  It also makes me wonder about the people in her circle, particularly her pageant coach and anyone else that she have known in the pageant world, told her that her behavior was unbecoming of a queen.  Yes, Kenya is 40+, but we all have a circle of elders we go to, regardless of our age.

At the end of the day, Porsha was wrong for becoming physical with Kenya.  She should feel somewhat embarrassed (I know I would).  But does she owe Kenya an apology?  I say “No”…not unless Kenya returns one of her own.

Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

I Am Not Mary Jane

Tonight is the season finale of “Being Mary Jane”. This show has sparked much conversation in regards to black women and how we are portrayed on television. Some people are impressed with the strong heroine, admire her for having a great job and being a career woman, for helping her family in their times of need-despite their bad decision making, for being financially independent, and for just being a go-getter. On the other hand, you have those who are disgusted, upset, and pissed off with this character. As I stated in my review of the movie that premiered last summer, I was happy to see a character like her…but at the end of the movie, I was totally disgusted when she saved David’s sperm. And that was just the beginning of how any similarities between MJ and myself began to deteriorate. She began making awful decisions. From going back to Andre, her married boyfriend, to having a pissing contest with Avery, Andre’s wife, I realized that I am not Mary Jane (despite BET’s attempt to encourage women from all walks of life to send in videos proclaiming “I am Mary Jane”).

But, let’s not forget this is a fictional show; though, suffice it to say, I’m sure there a few people out there that can relate to a few scenarios. Let’s be real for a second. We put SO much pressure on writers and directors and producers to show black people in general, black women in particular, in positive lights. There was even a post how the world has evolved from Claire Huxtable to Mary Jane Paul. We slam these women on “Real Housewives of Atlanta” and “Basketball Wives” for fighting and cursing and basically just being an embarassment. We villify them for not setting positive examples and being roles models for young girls and young women. But…shouldn’t WE be doing that? The woman that goes to work everyday. The woman that volunteers with non-profit organizations in her city. The woman that teaches Sunday school. The woman that serves on the city council. The woman that teaches chemistry and math and English. The woman that is a great neighbor that speaks to everyone and helps keep the streets clean. My point is, if we, the women that these children see and interact with everyday, are doing what WE should be doing, these young women would not look to a tv character, whether she’s on a scripted show or a “reality” show, to figure out how to become a woman and a lady. She would view you-her mother, her mentor, her teacher, her neighbor-to decide what makes a woman. Yes, we are all flawed, and that’s fine. But should our aim in life be to become a caricature character we see on television?

I mean, I am not Mary Jane Paul; but I am not Claire Huxtable, either.

Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

“Scandal” Re-Cap: YOLO

So, it has been a good little minute since I’ve written about “Scandal”.  The episode from 2 weeks ago was great.  Last night’s episode had a lot of nail-biting, bug-eyed, pass out moments.

First, can we just acknowledge the fact that I was right and called it WEEKS ago that Maya Lewis aka Marie Wallace is a terrorist?!?! I almost lightweight believed Eli/Rowan/Byron Douglas when he told Charlie he doesn’t enjoy killing people.  Because he could have EASILY let Maya stay on that plane and get blown up…because I think there was a bomb on that plane, and Maya put it there.  But I am also slightly annoyed and find it highly unbelievable that after ALL this thinking back Olivia did that she remembered in the 11th hour that someone called the house asking for her mother by a different name… That’s whack.

Also, some people keep talking about how Liv was sitting like a bump on a log for a few minutes during the beginning of the episode.  Well how would you feel if your mother, a woman that you believed died in a plane crash over 20 years ago, just magically showed up at your home talking about, “Hey, Livvie!”  O_o Say what now???  So I can expect her to be a little shell shocked.

And I knew Huck was going to torture Quinn.  I was kinda anxious to see exactly what he was going to do, because I knew that he wasn’t going to kill her.  But to extract a tooth, leave for a little bit, and come back and do it AGAIN!!!  That’s just cruel.  But well deserved, because she should have never gotten caught up with the likes of Charlie.  And their love scene??? YUCK!!!  But she is not going to kill Eli/Rowan/Byron Douglas.  Liv needs him to get her momma back and to find out exactly why she’s been locked up for 22 years…besides the fact she’s someone that can eat her own flesh, kill a doctor, and escape from a maximum security prison.

I am REALLY surprised about James.  I thought he was smarter than that.  He figured out that Cyrus set him up; so why didn’t he also figure out that Cyrus had a way to get proof of Daniel-Douglas’ double life???  And to answer your question (and James’) on why Cyrus didn’t hire someone?  Too risky.  He knew from Mellie’s cocktail party that DD had an attraction to James.  Or they were at least connecting.  Even though I would NEVER condone setting your spouse up to cheat on you, James knows the type of man he married.

But the BIGGEST shocker of the night was Sally calling Cyrus saying, “I have committed a sin.”  Ma’am, is this the same man you just read and told him that he and his husband would spend the rest of their lives in purgatory because of their relationship???  And he is the FIRST person you think to call???  I can’t wait to see the flashback of this argument (because you know there will be one) and to see how Cyrus cleans this up and spins the story.  You know that he is going to make Sally agree to forget about running for President against Fitz and to get on the Grant bandwagon.  I’m sure he’ll make her sign an agreement, too.

Some other mentionables: Cyrus breaking down in the Oval Office.  Mellie totally looked like she wanted to say, “Awk-ward….”  I DIED when she turned and gave Cyrus a minute to compose himself!  Jake and Fitz will ALWAYS fight over Olivia.  Point blank and the period. They should just mud wrestle!  (Kidding! But isn’t that what dudes say about girls??? Anywho…)  Fitz let Jake know he can try to be her hero, but it’s not going to work.  Oh, another thing that I think is major-Olivia has not and does not tell ANYONE that she loves them.  At first, I just thought it was Fitz.  But in the flashback, Maya tells young Olivia, “I love you”, and Olivia does not respond… My co-worker said that she told Edison she loved him, but I don’t think that’s accurate?  (So who’s right???)

Some of my co-workers wanted me to share a few things on my blog, so here goes: One, was Maya trying to insult Olivia when she told her she didnt’ see any laughter in her life and that she was more like her father than her?  I just thought it was an innocent comment and Maya meant that in terms of who Olivia THINKS her mother is.  What say you?  And my other c0-worker thinks Olivia is in a particular sorority.  What do you guys think-IF Olivia was Greek, what would be her organization??? Just a thought and hopefully we can share some laughs, because last night’s episode was intense.

I am anxiously awaiting next week’s winter finale.  What did you think of the episode?  Who’s really the bad guy?  Who can be trusted?  Is Cyrus going to help Sally?  And will James leave or stay?  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Everything’s Coming Up Mellie

Yes, this post is about a week late (don’t judge me).  I was so focused on “The Best Man Holiday”, not to mention the fact that I had already decided that I wasn’t going to post about “Scandal” because I have been less than impressed with the episodes so far this season.  But Shonda & Co. made up for my lackluster interest during last week’s episode!  So let’s dive right in!

First, I kept trying to tell you all I don’t like Quinn, and I think you finally see why.  AND I called it-Charlie and Eli/Rowan/Byron Douglas were trying to turn her into B613.  And because she’s naive and tries too hard, she totally missed the fact that Charlie was playing her and NOW she’s a part of B613.  Huck can’t save you now, girl!!!

Cyrus and Mellie are beyond devious!  So Daniel Douglas, VP Sally Langston’s husband is possibly on the down low.  Ten dollars says that they are going to try to use James to seduce Daniel Douglas.  And they will probably use the angle that James has recently lost his job and his uncovering of this scandal could be the break his journalistic self needs to possibly get his job back.

So Maya Lewis LIVES!!!!!!!!!  I’m not surprised.  I think Omar Dresden is a made up person, Eli/Rowan/Byron Douglas is the federal agent that took “Omar” off the plane, and CLEARLY “Omar” was created so Maya could get off the plane without anyone knowing she survived.  She may very well be a domestic terrorist, the type of person that B613 was created to get rid of.  And maybe Eli/Rowan/Byron Douglas couldn’t allow his wife to be killed, so he saved her instead.  He had to get rid of her (and sent Olivia to boarding school) so he could stay/become a part of B613.

I understand Mellie SO much better now!  Fitzgerald Thomas Grant III will NEVER understand the sacrifices she made for him to get to where he is!  Big Gerry was a BIG BULLY!  And it appears that Liv and Fitz have daddy issues; maybe that’s another reason why they bonded so well.  To anyone that may be questioning, no rape victim EVER “asks for it”, “encourages it”, or “seeks” to be attacked.  Yes, this is fictional television, but to anyone that is insensitve, rape or any kind of attack has nothing to do with the victim; it has to do with the perpetrator.  There are probably women in real life that relate to Mellie more than we will ever know.  One cannot say what they would do if they were in that situation unless they actually lived it.  Mellie kept quiet because she wanted to protect her husband, whom she loved…and still loves.  And their oldest son, Fitzgerald IV, may not be Fitz’s…I wonder if that will ever come out.  I am glad that Fitz stood up for Mellie in the interview; it was about time he started treating her like a human being and like his wife, in spite of the fact he may not be in love with her anymore.

With Episode 7, this entire season has been redeemed.  There are only 2 episodes left until the Winter Finale.   I’m excited to see tomorrow’s episode.  Most importantly Quinn’s foray into the dark side and Maya and Eli/Rowan/Byron Douglas’ relationship.  What are your thoughts from last week’s episode?  What are some of the things you think will come out in the next few episodes?  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

P.S. So I COMPLETELY forgot to mention that Fitz now knows that Eli/Rowan/Byron Douglas is Olivia’s dad!!!!  When Liv mentioned Rowan’s name during her call to Fitz, she didn’t respond when he asked her how she knew about the head of B613.  I can’t wait to see what Fitz does now that he knows about their connection!

Nothing is Getting Resolved

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. And it’s been an even longer while since I’ve posted on a consistent basis. I guess that’s what happens when you get older, things that you did on a regular basis change.  I do have a ton of things to share my own little commentary on, like Jordan Davis and Michael Dunn, these people who think dressing up as murder victims and painting their face to look like other races is a great idea for a Halloween costume, and even what’s going on politically.  But today’s post is going to be about “Scandal”.  I mean, it’s Friday; what else did you expect?

All of my friends, IRL and on Facebook, even you guys, know I am a “Scandal” fanatic.  (I’m sure I’ve posted that a time or two as well.)  Anywho, I have been totally underwhelmed this season.  Except with Episode 2 “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”.  (I actually might re-watch that this weekend.)  One of my co-workers thinks my expectations are too hight; I told him it was Shonda’s fault.  She should not have set it up that way.  My take-aways from “Scandal” have been minimal this season.  After each episode, when at least ONE thing should be tied up and resolved, I have more questions.

We can start with Quinn.  When she called out Liv for her affair with Fitz, I wanted somebody to kick her in her throat; she’s becoming SO disrespectful!  And the fact that Charlie, the man who taught Huck everything he knows, has sunk his claws into her will only lead to some mess.  And I should not have been surprised that Eli/Rowan/Byron Douglas was involved.  But the main question is WHY is he trying to turn Quinn into B613?  To replace girl Kate???

Speaking of Eli/Rowan/Byron Douglas, he seemed genuinely upset and sad when Maya died.  And if he didn’t make the call to take down the plane that killed her, then who did?  And, some people seem to think that Maya knew about the call to shoot the plane down, didn’t board it, and is alive somewhere.

Also, let’s talk about Harrison and this Salif business.  Yes, Liv saved him from his insider trading case, but I also think Harrison was a whistleblower and turned in old Salif.  We all did this moaning and groaning and complaining about wanting to know about Harrison’s background; well it’s about to come full force in a mighty way!  But I don’t want Harrison to get hurt…

In short, I need to know about Operation Remington, I need Fitz and Cy to figure out that Eli/Rowan/Byron Douglas is Olivia’s daddy, I need Quinn to sit down somewhere, and I need Cy and ‘nem to figure out that Sally is setting them up for failure and is about to go rogue on the White House.

Thank goodness my friend KK came over last night to watch “Scandal” with me, because I was SURELY about to be knocked out around 9:30; but this time I was going to set my alarm to go off so I wouldn’t miss my show.  I tried to get Southern Dad to watch “Scandal” (like Southern Mom), but he could just not get into it.  And I kept wondering why.  Now I think I know.  If my very first introduction to “Scandal” was this season, I would probably be psuedo-bored and not interested, too.  I mean, the show has great moments, but I remember being on the edge of my seat for 60 minutes, 70-75 if you include the minutes I had to slow my heart rate down and get my life together after it went off.  Hopefully the remaining 4 episodes before the Winter Finale will take us back to the “Scandal” of old.  Because now, it’s not the same.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.