Sad Reality for Bravo’s Real Housewife

Although I don’t watch Bravo’s Real Housewives series, I do watch the news.  Yesterday, Russell Armstrong, the estranged husband of Real Housewives of New Jersey cast member Taylor Armstrong, committed suicide.  According to CNN, Russell’s lawyer is convinced that his role in the show led to his depression by characterizing him as an abusive spouse.   He hanged himself.

Part of the reason why I don’t watch the Real Housewives is because they aren’t real.   They are scripted so as to play up the drama.  But the truth is: real life can be boring, even if happily so.  Real life can also be tragic.  Marriages fail.  People get sick and die.

I’m sorry that Taylor and her family are experiencing the tragic realities surrounding her husband’s death.  And I’m sorry that her artificial life as a housewife is so public that she is now denied privacy in her real life as a housewife.

–RH

Photo:  Michael Caulfield/Getty.

Flying While Natural

I didn’t expect to write about black hair again today.  But I wanted to acknowledge the reluctance of my African-american sisters to embrace natural hair in light of a news item I just read this morning.  The New York Times recently ran a fascinating article by Joe Sharkey about black women with natural hair being singled out for public patdowns of their hair at airports by the Transportation Security Agency.  I must say, I traveled by plane over the summer and had no TSA-related problems “flying while natural.”   But if this is happening to others like me, it might have a chilling effect on black women who wish to travel via the maybe-not-so-friendly skies.  It might also help to reinforce the negative message that our own unprocessed hair is simply undesirable.   And that, my friends, is sad.

–RH

Photo:  Laura Adiele, a Seattle woman subjected to a TSA pat-down of her hair earlier this year.   Credit: KING/NBC.

Musings on Black Hair in White America

I was all set to rogue out on my neighbors, until I watched NBC’s The Marriage Ref last night.  Today, I’ll rogue out on black people.  Why?  Because they apparently hate their own hair!

The Marriage Ref brings in celebrities to judge who’s right or wrong in marital spats.  Last night, a black woman and her white husband argued over how to manage their biracial daughter’s hair.  The wife, who obviously wore a relaxer, wanted it “tamed.”  The husband wanted it to flow naturally.  He even asked his wife why she wouldn’t wear her hair natural too (as opposed to chemically relaxed).  The celebrity panel consisted of Alexandra Wentworth, Bill Maher, and Patti LaBelle.

The first cringe-worthy thing Patti said was “That child’s hair is NAPPY! You gotta tame it!”  Bill and Alexandra were careful not to say too much, but Bill at least suggested that there was nothing wrong with Black people wearing their hair the way it naturally grows out of their heads.  Patti, who was wearing a wig, couldn’t let that go of course and snapped back that he “aint a black woman.”  She went on about the uses of “grease” for the hair, for the black ashy knees, etc.  Cringe!

Well I am a black woman, so I hope Patti would allow me to speak on the subject . . . .  Continue reading

Message from a Black Housewife in a White Neighborhood

So, here I am.  A professional African-american woman with a great husband and a pretty cool kid.   I managed the whole “career mom” thing for about 15 minutes before throwing in the towel.  Now I’m a housewife.  In the middle of white suburbia.  And I’m going totally rogue on these folks!

–RH