The Pimp Chronicles: Black Women Pimpin’ Black Women (Shaunie O’Neal Edition)

As Reality Television continues to dominate ratings, some black women have resorted to pimpin’ out their entire race for a profit. Has the recession bred sell outs, or are we just that addicted to fame?

By: Amanda Anderson

As reality TV continues to reign in ratings, black women are at the center of a sick joke that just never seems to get old. Shaunie O’Neal is not only the executive producer of an embarrassing spectacle centered on baby mommas and basketball groupies, she is a certified pimp who’s managed to make a living off the oldest target in America: the black woman.

Despite the increasing number of educated, corporate reigning African American women, we are still considered to be everyone’s bitch, which is completely fueled and funded by the new age media. This time, it is another black woman who has cosigned every bit of the assassination of our integrity, identity, and image in exchange for a title she was never qualified enough to take on in the first place.

Reality Television made it that much easier to pimp the black woman, and entice her to make a full fledged career out of it when being the spouse of a NBA star is no longer an option.

Is the economy that bad that we’ve resorted to selling out for a short stint on VH1?

Surely no one should get offended by my observation as we continue to overwhelmingly support a genre of music that continuously refers to us as bitches and hoes, then remain loyal to a culture that encourages black men to treat us like bitches and hoes; and then ironically afterwards, we then label ourselves bad bitches and hoes. Why is it that so many of us refuse to demand, if not just better representation in the media, just a better variety of that representation? Perhaps it’s because somewhere down the line, we stopped thinking that we were that big of a deal ourselves.

Most of us have settled and our taste in entertainment shows it.

Is anyone else a little uncomfortable watching someone who we thought was fabulous make a living from a franchise centered on black women behaving trashy?

For me, the show is just too hard to get through, so watching it on a weekly basis is just not plausible.

Sure, I could probably be somewhat entertained by watching grown women snatch off wigs and argue over who screwed which professional athlete last. But inside of me dwells a black woman who is tired of being entertained by the same stereotypes I fight so hard to remove myself from.

And inside dwells a black woman who just wants to finally be stimulated by a modern day black show. Entertain me, but don’t you dare insult my intelligence.

We say, “we are not angry,” but the bulk of black women on TV are rolling necks, hating black men, and snatching wigs as if we do not somehow know any better.

The perplexing part of the conversation is how we are appalled that other races could get the idea that we are animalistic in nature, yet we do not consider the bulk of the images on television do not feature educated black women, wives, and corporate phenomena. We could absolutely change the way we are perceived by stepping out of our ghetto warped boxes and creating invoking television programs centered on strong black families and black women who don’t resort to lying on their backs for professional athletes; but we have not had the itch to do that in years.

Shaunie has sold us out completely, and it is her opportunistic nature that pisses me off more than Tami’s need to be an absolute hoodrat on every reality show she’s ever been on.

Not often have black women been able to be executive producers, yet when most of us get the chance, we’ll oblige to jigga-booing and showcasing the atrocities of groupie behavior. Sure, I get that white women have their own trashy spectacles on “Mafia Wives,” and the “Real Housewives” series; but damn it, it is not the only representation that they have.

In addition to being trashy, cat fighting, obscene and ridiculous females; on the majority of shows we see on television, they are wives, doctors, lawyers, detectives, and respectable. But when I try to think of black women featured in any of the aforementioned roles on current day television programming, my mind draws a blank.

I can’t really think of too many decent TV roles with black women since the end of the 90’s, but VH1 has made a fortune off single, angry, and bickering black women. They have even gone as far as suggesting that we are so desperate to have a man that we would even take Flava Flav’s old, raggedy, embarrassing, coon-tastic ass than remain single.

How could any respectable black woman resort to sleeping with a man who wears a gigantic clock around his neck and opens up a fried chicken shack-franchise?

Is the problem that there are trashy black reality TV shows? No. But the problem continues to be that we have more shows featuring those hurtful stereotypes, than black women who aren’t baby mommas and obvious hoodrats. I’m an educated, professional, man having black woman, but I have not seen a character like me in years. Is it because I’m rare? Actually, I’m quite normal, and that is despite the 70% of black women are single MYTH the media keeps recycling without FACTS.

When Shaunie gets a chance to revolutionize how black women are viewed, she settles for showing the world that black women can’t really be wives. And yes, we must settle for being Tami’s (ghetto, angry and violent) and Evelyn’s (willing to spread our legs for any man that has more money than us), or resort to pimpin’ black women like Shaunie has in order to have some sort of career.

I just can’t find too much entertainment or mental stimulation in watching 30 and 40 somethings attack each other over an exchange of snide remarks on bad lacefronts and skanky behavior with professional athletes they’ll all end up sharing regardless.

Do I somehow think I’m better than the women who watch this show? No, I just want us all to start questioning what we’re watching, and most importantly, why. If music alone has shaped the way we’ve labeled ourselves today, I can only imagine what a decade of “Basketball Wives” will do.

But there is a growing trend of selling out that has rappers, politicians, groupies, and “regular” people becoming numb to the degradation of the black woman. Will we continue to sell out to entertain? Sure seems that way, doesn’t it?


  1. Yes, it does seem that way, and it's saddening. What makes the situation worse is that Shaunie has acknowledged that the show took a turn opposite from how she initially intended it to be, but because of ratings, continued to roll with it. Whether I believe she intended for a show entitled "BASKETBALL WIVES" to be anything close to inspirational or uplifting by casting ex-girlfriends, ex-wives, baby mamas, ex-fiances, and one married woman who was being completey dogged by her husband (now EX-husband)? I doubt it. At any rate, from observation, I have come to the conclusion that shows like BBW which portray us in a negative light are such a hit because the more "common" women that watch the shows can tear them apart, call out their mistakes, critique and criticize, which of course, makes them better. Right? All signs point back to Crabs in the Barrel syndrome. We are our own worst enemy.

  2. I honestly can't even understand how Shaunie can look herself in the mirror after all of this. I am so tired of these trashy ass shows, and the excuses we keep making for watching them.

  3. Shaunie has probably always been a snake, this show is just bringing her true identity to life. Delana is right, she had different intentions in the beginning, but a snake will always rear it's head when the grass is cut. Money makes people do ugly things.

  4. I agree with Delana. Yeah, the women on the show are trash and Shaunie is a sell out for creating the show, but the women watching the show weekly and critiquing these women are just as bad. I don't watch it, but I saw a video/preview in which some basketball player threw a drink in his estranged wife's face. I honestly can't understand how we got to the point that watching a black man disrespect a black woman on tv is now entertainment. I guess that is my biggest problem with all of this. It's like watching trash has turned us into well…trash.

  5. Welcome to the era of the uninformed and disinterested black community. A show like Basketball Wives would have never came into existence when our grandparents were coming up. The thing that gets me the most is how we always pull that "but the white people do it too" card. When we will get it in our brains that WE can't always do what THEY do and get a PASS too. Even a "black" president won't change that fact.

  6. BBW is a guilty pleasure of mine. I know I shouldn't watch it every week, but I do. And it seems to get worse every season. But you know what they say about train wrecks. Too hard to turn away…

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Discover more from Urban Belle Magazine

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading