…Our society’s obsession with slack talk & gossip, tawdry tidbits, and dirty-laundry filled drama
By: Eboyne’ Jackson
We watched in stupendous, jaw-dropping-horror-and-excitement as Joseline Hernandez uttered her scathing catch phrase to her nemesis, Che Mack, during season two of VH1’s Love and Hip Hop Atlanta, ‘you will die, be born again, die again and be born again before I do a song with you.’ Then the shock heard ‘round the world, when the phrase translated off screen into Rihanna’s personal life. Minutes after pop royalty, Chris Brown took to Twitter to announce Rihanna as one of the collaborators on his “X” album, Rihanna dropped a bomb on Instagram, citing Joseline’s infamous quote, as many believed to be an indirect rebuttal to Chris’ claim. From there, the media world spun into a frantic frenzy initiating what the world had silently doomed, (hoped for)—Headlines blazed; “Rihanna and Chris brown on the rocks again,” with wild predictions that in five, four, three, two, one we would see him back and reunited at last with his on-again-off-again-love-of-his-life, Karrueche Tran. Perhaps, it ain’t nobody’s business but heck, we want a front row seat! And if many of you are honest, you’d probably even admit you’d go the extra mile to get the popcorn with extra butter as you scroll through the blogs checkin’ the rumor mill!
Drama, gossip is what we live for—it’s entertaining!
Gossiping on the job, like reality TV, is a deeply rooted trend ingrained in our culture. If we aren’t huddling with our co-workers talking about the new girl on the job who looks pregnant, we’re obsessing over and recapping the latest messy love Triangle on Love & Hip Hop New York. We gossip about people we know. We gossip about the strangers we don’t know–the celebrities. Other times, we put on our judgmental hats as we look on as if we really know what’s going on in their lives behind closed doors.
In attempts to deviate from the serious conversations, gossip—whether about our favorite celebrity or favorite reality TV stars—enables us the opportunity live vicariously through someone else, and allows us to escape from all of the stress and seriousness of life. Even at work.
As a culture, we are completely fascinated by the trending gossip of the moment, that’s why we can’t get enough of MTV’s Catfish, the Real Housewives (in all states,) and all of the many innumerous reality TV shows out there.
Ratchet. A word so synonymously dubbed with the stylistic or the cultural. From Miley Cyrus twerking and her new transformation as she steps out in her J’s, we’re captivated. We’ve affiliated the word ratchet with anything that’s hot and fun. Ratchet pushes the envelope without apology. Shows such as Basketball Wives and Bad Girls Club, displays women of all ethnicities acting ratchet all the time, and has become a major source of our everyday entertainment. These women are bold and opinionated as they prance around in designer duds and floss their Hollywood personas.
However, all that glitters in ratchet-land isn’t gold, and it certainly isn’t free. It all comes with a price. Entertaining, sure…but many of these reality stars exuding this ratchet persona have a high price to pay. Some are lucky, or shall we say…strategic enough, to advance and build successful careers and brands. While others fail to evolve beyond the ratchet life, ultimately losing all dignity and respect.
The minstrel show is still being played today, for millions to see. Now-a-days even the men are game to play. Peter Gunz of Love and Hip Hop New York said he was more than willing to air his dirty laundry in front of the world for a paycheck. Hmmm. So perhaps ratchet isn’t so hot after all.
Those other kinds of reality television shows, such as MTV’s “True Life” series, although entertaining and full of drama, allow the world to see the darker side of life. It is from seeing the darker side that we can begin to appreciate what we have, and grow beyond our careless mistakes. These types of shows allow us to connect with one another’s experiences and give us an outlet beyond our current situations while teaching us something at the same time.
Let’s face it. Our society, loves scandal—we live for the drama, the intrigue, the gossip–we love a juicy story. But #PynkGirls know that ratchet is only cool when it’s for fun, and not a lifestyle.