Last Friday, I had all intentions of joining BET and the rest of the free world in the dragging of Stacey Dash. I was going to grab a section of her edges and help to make her regret those ill-assessed, hypocritical opinions. However, because I am the mother of a two year old, I was distracted by far more important things like the fact that a new episode of Lion Guard was on The Disney Channel. So instead of writing about my complete disdain for her less than intelligent rhetoric, I kicked it with the coolest two year old alive.
I thought the moment had passed and I had missed my opportunity. But then, in comes my girl Gabrielle Union, like Elsa on a high cascade of frozen ice. She came through with her pretty smile and high cheek bones, scattering a mixture of #blackgirlmagic and Stacey-shade like glitter. And I lived.
For those of you who missed it, Gabs was on the red carpet at the Sundance Film Festival, answering questions for an Associated Press reporter following the premier of Birth of a Nation, a film where Gabrielle has a supporting role. The reporter asks Gabby her thoughts on Stacey Dash's “ban BET and Black History Month” comments. Gabby responds:
Dead. They had to mop me up.
This was the best possible response. The comedic timing on THAT response was flawless. Not only did she slide in a plug for her movie, but she also inferred the thoughts that all of Black America were thinking, “Until there is inclusion, there's nothing wrong with celebrating yourself.”
Team Gabby or Team Stacey? Comment below!
Kenya Moore almost had me.
After the last episode where she was super-shaded by her own mother, my heart burst for Kenya. I thought about what it must do to your development as a woman when your mother rejects you for decades. I watched Kenya's spirit break on that episode. For the first time since her debut on Real Housewives of Atlanta, I felt like she might have a soul.
I had almost purchased my #TeamKenya t-shirt.
But leave it to Kenya, Bravo TV and the shade-throwing editors to bring me back where I belong. For those of you who may have missed it, Sunday's episode of RHOA featured Kenya being lightweight offended by Kim Field's Beatless Brunch invite. Kim Fields sent everyone a audio invite, asking the ladies to meet at her house for brunch sans make-up. Her goal was to celebrate each woman's natural beauty. Seems innocent enough, right? Clearly, not for Kenya.
Kenya came out of her house with all the attitude she could find. Kandi arrived to pick her up and she entered the car with a full face of makeup on. Her reasoning, she told Kandi, was because she was grown and NOBODY was going to tell her that she couldn't wear make up. To be fair, all of the ladies (except Sheree) broke the rules and donned a full face, but Kenya did so with quite the 'tude. During the brunch, Kenya aired her umbrage and told Kim that she didn't appreciate being told that she wears too much makeup. Kim, as always, made us proud to be black women and handled the situation with the stern grace that she always does; moving on to complete the discussion while Kenya sat there with the #StayMadAbby face.
You might think that the problem was Kenya's awkward address of the situation. Or that she always seems to pick a fight with Kim Fields over trivial matters. While both of those concepts are factual, neither is the real issue.
No, the issues go much deeper than that. Kenya fails where many women do. While she promotes womens' empowerment, she secretly can't deal with any other confident woman who has an opinion that differs from hers. She deflects happiness and postivity when shown by other women. She often chooses to turn positive (or even indifferent) comments into personal attacks against her. It's like she's looking for a fight when she comes into contact with another confident woman.
I'll let the nickel-and-dime psychologists speculate about how much of the previous paragraph has to do with the fact that she doesn't have a relationship with her mother (no shade). I will also say that Kenya grew up doing pageants and probably had to develop this unfortunate behavior to survive the pageant world. Pageants can be dog-eat-dog and can turn some of the happy, humble women into complete monsters.
Here's what's really going to get you. Kenya should have been the first one popping through the door with no makeup on. Have you seen her natural pics? She is nothing short of gorgeous. This could have been the perfect opportunity to show the world that her beauty is authentic. But nooooooo, she had to go and get all up in arms because someone hinted that she celebrate herself sans makeup.
There is no crime in donning a full beat. Neither is it a sin to go au natural. However, to get the stank face just because someone suggests that you're equally beautiful without makeup as you are with it on is doing the most, even for Kenya. I know that Bravo has to get ratings and pay bills, but c'mon girl. Tutti was trying to give you a compliment. Don't start wars in Switzerland.
Season 8 of the Real Housewives of Atlanta is proving to be the most difficult season to watch. While it is still one of my favorite guilty-pleasures, I'm having a really hard time watching Kandi Burruss lose her soul. It is literally seeping from her pores with every new episode of this season.
Before all you Kandi-koated stans start coming for me...hear me out. I genuinely was a fan of Kandi's. I legit respected her hustle and thought of her as a fantastic entrepreneur. She might be your fav, but you have to admit that each season, this monster called reality TV our fun-loving home-girl from around the way into a shorter, (albeit more talented) version of Nene Leakes. She has gone from the ultra-talented singer who promoted her businesses and used to be considered “Switzerland” of the housewives to this bitter, petty drama queen who acts like she's ring-leader of The Plastics (if you somehow missed that 2004 reference to Mean Girls, its ok….just click the link and catch up). The more I watch her on television, the less respect I have for her and her brand.
It's sad. Really, it is.
What is most disturbing is watching all the examples of Kandi's lack of loyalty. I mean, season after season, it just seems like it's one loyalty issue after another.
Here are 5 times Kandi Burruss showed us she's not a real friend:
5. When Kandi's Mom Spread Rumors About Kandi's Best Friend
It's one thing when your mother doesn't like your friends. It's a completely different ball game when your mother spreads rumors and attempts to fight your best friend in the whole world. Momma Joyce was very vocal with her public slander of Todd and Carmen. Kandi's public defense of the two of them was weak at best. Not once did she publicly go to her mom and say, “What you said about my furture husband and my best friend was wrong. Although I love you, you were dead wrong for that.” Her defense was nothing more than a half-hearted brush off of her mother's antis.
When you really love someone, you defend them and protect them when they are being falsely lambasted.
4. The AJ Jewell Situation
Now, that Kandi's married to Todd, we almost forgot about her previous relationship. This was another example where she failed to publicly stand up for someone she loved when a member of her family was delivering demeaning comments. While I don't ever advocated disrespect (I am still a Southern girl), there is a respectful way to express to your mom that her behavior and words are not okay.
3. Phaedra's Divorce
There is an unwritten rule of girl code that states: If I am beefing with someone then WE are beefing with someone. Ma'am, you do not get to claim that you're being there for your friend and then hide her ex's stuff in your garage. You should have told your husband that because Phaedra is your friend, Apollo would need to find somewhere else to place his things. I can absolutely understand why Phaedra was hurt. That level of shadiness is when I knew that Kandi reached an all-new low.
2. The So-So Def Reunion
More then twenty years ago, Jermaine Dupri helped to jump start your career. The least you could do is rehearse with the other girls and honor his legacy. As the head of So-So Def, I'm sure he sacrificed for you many times. You mean that you couldn't sacrifice a few hours for a 20 minutes set for the man who helped to catapult you into stardom? And you wouldn't do this because of a radio interview that one of the other members of the group did? JD is supposed to be your friend, but you couldn't stop being petty long enough to be appreciative. Really?
1. When Momma Joyce Disrespected Todd Tucker
It is A-MAZ-ING to me that Kandi popped off in her office to Shamea and Don Juan when she felt that Todd was being disrespected during this episode with RHOA. I mean, the turn up was real. She was ready to go in on Porsha and Phaedra.
Where was all that turn up when her mother was saying how Todd Tucker was such a low-life “thousandaire?”
How can you get mad at Phaedra and Porsha for having a conversation about a situation, but you barely address it when you mother publicly defamed your husband, his late mother AND his late father. Your mother called his mother a prostitute. You didn't say boo. But now you want to defend your man? Girl, bye.
Don't be too quick to judge Ms. Kandi, Beloveds (in my best Iyanla voice). Every situation we witness is a lesson learned. Kandi's multiple brushes of shady friendship are a perfect example of how regular friends are treating each other every day. You can't want Kandi to be a better friend without also looking in the mirror at what type of friend you are. Are you doing the little things consistently that builds trust with your friends?
I'm going to pass on a little nugget I got from author Brene Brown. This is her acronym for trust. She says that trust doesn't come from the grand gestures. It comes from the little things that we do consistently for the people we love. Being someone's friend requires :
B – Boundaries
R – Reliability
A – Accountability (not only do I have to own my mistake, apologize for it and make amends, true accountability means I have to allow you the right to do the same.
V – Vault (ability to hold all secrets, not just your friend's. )
I - Integrity
N – Non-judgmental
G – Generosity
Ms. Kandi might be the shadiest of them all, but she isn't the only palm tree on the island. Her public displays of disloyalty give us all a chance to check ourselves on our own friendship fails.
I want to hear from you....what's your shadiest friendship moment?