Iyanla welcomes Althea, Dutchess and Minyon.
For this session, Iyanla is sitting down with three reality stars to help them cope with their portrayal on the small screen.
The reality stars she is meeting with is Althea from “Love And Hip Hop Atlanta.” Crystana, also known as Dutchess, from “Black Ink Crew.” And Minyon, a young woman who appeared on “Bridezillas.”
In a green screen interview, Althea says she is there because she feels she needs a change in her life.
Dutchess says she never wanted to be famous because she was always popular while growing up. But she realizes being on “Black Ink” gave her a responsibility that she can no longer run away from.
Minyon says that after doing “Bridezillas,” she no longer wants to live a lie.
After all the women make it to the house, they immediately have their first meeting with Iyanla. They see big cutout photos of themselves.
When Iyanla asks Althea what she wants Iyanla to know about her, Althea says that she wants better. Iyanla then uncovers a photo of Althea’s mugshot and controversial quotes.
“That wasn’t better right there.” – Althea
Next up is Dutchess.
She sees her cutout and says that her smile was just a cover up for the pain she’s feeling.
Iyanla then uncovers a photo of Dutchess with her middle fingers in the air and controversial quotes she’s said on “Black Ink.”
Dutchess said she got to that point because she was “following a man.”
Minyon is asked to address her reality television past as well. She admits to saying her sister is dead to her.
Iyanla tells all three to think about how they want to be seen now. But not to worry because in life, people get to have multiple do overs. She gives Dutchess and Minyon some things to work on.
Iyanla focuses on Althea first.
She then tell Althea to stay with her.
After they sit down, Iyanla asks Althea why she wanted to be on TV.
“Gaining fame and money.” – Althea
Althea says that singing and acting are her talents.
While being on television may have helped some people learn about her, it really hasn’t propelled her music career.
The mugshot is discussed. When Iyanla asks why Althea was arrested, she says she assaulted Benzino, her son’s father.
Althea and Iyanla clash.
At this point, Iyanla accuses Althea of just being there because she wants to be on television. She feels proof is Althea writing that she doesn’t feel she has a specific problem.
“So why are you here?” – Iyanla
When Althea questions if Iyana is saying she’s just there to be on TV, Iyanla says she isn’t trying to say anything.
Althea then says she refuses to be portrayed as someone who is just there to be on TV because that’s not the truth.
She’s not the kind of person that will do anything to be on television. For her, it’s important that her talent is pushed to the forefront of her image. But Iyanla feels like that is Althea’s fault. It can be changed.
But it’s going to take a lot of work.
Iyanla is willing to help her get through it and warns that Althea may not like her for it.
“I don’t like you now.” – Althea
“Good! That means I’m doing my job.” – Iyanla
They then hug.
Minyon is the next one on one meeting for Iyanla.
In a green screen interview, she reveals that her behavior on “Bridezillas” is negatively impacting her career in the medical field. Once, a dentist asked her if she would fight anyone she couldn’t get along with at her job.
She admits to Iyanla that she did the show because she was just looking for her 15 minutes of fame.
Apparently she and her family agreed to stage some of the drama just to be interesting. But she says things went too far.
The most hurtful thing about being on the show was she ended up assaulting her own sister. In the scene, she was just supposed to throw water on her sister but it led to physical violence.
They aren’t mean to each other in their real lives but the situation affected their relationship after. Now they barely talk and this hurts Minyon.
It is also revealed that Minyon’s marriage did not last. She tells Iyanla they had no business getting married. Apparently she only went through with the marriage because she just wanted to be chosen.
Iyanla says that deep down inside, a lot of women feel this way.
But she wants to get to the root of why Minyon doesn’t feel like she’s enough.
Dutchess is Iyanla’s last one on one.
In a green screen interview, she says that reality television isn’t real. In fact, “Black Ink” producers would tell her that her filming certain parts of her real life were too boring to film.
“I’m boring until I cuss somebody out. Then I’m the black girl that y’all need.” – Dutchess
She tells Iyanla that she grew up in a routine and decided to do reality television as a means to rebel against her family.
Dutchess even graduated from college (North Carolina A&T State University – Aggie Pride).
A lot of time was spent trying to get the approval of other people on the show. This led to chaos.
Things got really dark for Dutchess.
After she left the show, she was depressed and contemplated suicide.
This is because she gets harassed so much on social media.
Iyanla asks why Dutchess spends so much time reading other people’s opinions about her on the internet.
“And they’ll lift you up today and tear you down tomorrow.” – Iyanla
Dutchess breaks down in tears.
In a green screen interview, Dutchess recounts the time a woman in her 60s approached her at the airport. The woman said she was so proud of Dutchess.
So this makes Dutchess feels like she has a responsibility to be the best person possible.
“I can’t have that much influence and not care.” – Dutchess
She knows that her need to be validated by other people is a huge issue.
Iyanla calls out Althea.
The three women all have a group session with Iyanla.
Before things can really get started, Iyanla questions why Althea posted that she was filming for “Fix My Life” on Instagram.
“Why is that on Instagram today if you’re not here to do television?” – Iyanla
“Because that’s my Instagram and I can post what I want to post.” – Althea
Iyanla says this is not the case. Apparently part of the agreement of doing the show is to not post about it while filming. But Althea says she was never told that.
One of the producers then says that is not true and she was told not to post about the show while filming.
At this point, Iyanla asks Althea if she’s here to get healing or film a show.
Althea then says that it’s not easy to have a session with Iyanla because she asks difficult questions. Minyon then says that things get harder when people don’t take in what Iyanla says.
“You have to take in what she’s saying to you. And that’s why you’re having a hard time with it because…” – Minyon
Iyanla then interjects.
“She’s having a hard time cause she ain’t telling the truth. She didn’t come here to do no d*mn healing. She came here to be seen with Iyanla Vanzant. That’s why you’re having a hard time.” – Iyanla
Although Althea continue to deny this, Iyanla isn’t hearing it.
But she moves on and talks to the women about their talents.
She asks Althea if she’s mastered singing.
When Althea says yes because she had record deal with Def Jam, Iyanla says Althea isn’t hearing her.
“It ain’t about what’s out there, it’s about what’s in here.” – Iyanla
Iyanla then asks Althea where her talent of singing has taken her.
“My talent has bought me my first house at 19 years old.” – Althea
“There she goes again with things. She don’t get it. Maybe I’m old. Maybe I’m not saying it right.” – Iyanla
Annoyed at this point, Iyanla once again calls out Althea.
“That’s true to form because you said you want fame and money.” – Iyanla
She tells all the women to be real and open abut how much they were willing to sacrifice to embarrass themselves on television.
“It’s not reality TV. It’s the way you deny yourself and the illusions you create about yourself. And the way you dishonor, dismiss and devalue yourself. That’s why you’re sitting here. And you just use reality TV as the vehicle to get it done.” – Iyanla
So she suggests all the women do a cost benefit analysis.
They are to write down what they have done, what it cost them and what the benefit is.
She thinks this will help them take responsibility for their actions.
Althea says being on TV cost her relationships.
Dutchess says being on TV cost her dreams.
Iyanla leaves them alone to finish the assignment.
Things get difficult for Dutchess.
It’s day two.
For this round of sessions, Iyanla wants all the women to show up with no makeup on their faces.
When Dutchess is told this, she freaks out. She tells a producer that it’s insensitive to ask her to remove her makeup when she gets bullied online about her appearance.
After hearing that Dutchess is having an issue, Iyanla comes to talk to her.
Dutchess tells her she’s uncomfortable with how she looks. Iyanla points out that this is just another example of Dutchess seeking external validation.
“This is hard. I don’t want to go back there.” – Dutchess
Dutchess then breaks down in tears.
Iyanla stresses that this isn’t about the makeup and Dutchess needs to learn how to be okay with the disproval of other people.
But Iyanla tells Dutchess that the decision is all hers. She will get healing regardless.
As for Althea, she has decided to stop filming.
She does not want to continue the process.
When Iyanla gets with Dutchess and Minyon, she reads them the text message Althea sent.
I have decided to not return. Production will use what they already shot and edit what they have. Thank you.
Iyanla points out that the text sounds like Althea just came to do television.
Self esteem and social media trolls are serious issues.
They move on and discuss why removing makeup was difficult for them.
Dutchess isn’t sure what she needs to be comfortable with herself. She knows that people will see her on the show with a bare face and say she’s ugly.
Some will even say that she should just kill herself.
After Iyanla tells both women to take a deep breath, Minyon says comments like this make her want to fight back.
She starts crying.
“What would you be fighting?” – Iyanla
“Because I know I’m not ugly.” – Minyon
“I believe I am.” – Dutchess
Iyanla then asks both women if they were ugly, why would it even matter?
She has both women say they are willing to forgive themselves for what they did on television.
Dutchess cries and says she feels a lot better. The anger and fear she felt is waning.
Decisions must be made.
Before they leave, she has them read a page out of one of Iyanla’s books.
She stresses that both women now get to decide how they get to market themselves, instead of TV networks.
At the update at the end of the episode, Ducthess has decide to take a break from social media. Minyon is open to reconnecting with her sister. But she realizes she must give her time. And Althea didn’t return any calls.
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