Real Housewives of Atlanta: Southern girls and Southern belles

Anissa Ford's picture

Porsha really got under Kenya's skin in Anguilla.

Kenya actually threatened Porsha with violence. And the funny thing is, Kenya is the one who roams the streets with bodyguards.

Hmm.... Bodyguards can't protect Kenya from her own jealousy and envy. Kenya could not be friends with Porsha, much less nice to Porsha because Porsha is ten years younger, firmer and more fertile than Kenya.

And Kenya seems to really want to have a baby at 41. Even if Kenya is an insult to every woman who has had a baby and subsequently mothered her child.

And to add insult to injury, rumor has it Walter is dating a much younger woman these days. It is hard not to sympathize with Walter. He appears to be a sane man on a beautiful island with a sultry woman who may be losing her mind.

Phaedra is still a favorite, but Porsha is the real deal African American Southern Belle. In that argument with Kenya, it is easy to remember Kenya's rants, yells and screams, but so much easier to remember Porsha's words.

Porsha, unlike NeNe and Phaedra, refused to ignore Kenya's shameless flirtation. Porsha attacked Kenya's feminine honor so many times and with so few sentences, just piercing words, it should be another six months before Kenya steps out in white again.

Speaking of white attire, big props to Peter for noting the irony and humor of black folks' love of white parties. Peter is a funny and down to earth dude. Everyday, sophisticated but grounded supermodel Cynthia's love for conservative Pan Africanist Peter makes complete sense.

But back to Porsha. Unlike Phaedra, Porsha doesn't have to purport or explain her Christian conservative values to audiences. She doesn't have to boast that she is a Southern Belle. In fact, as one HULIQ commentator pointed out a while back, Porsha is the only housewife who isn't motivated by an audience or fan base. Porsha is the most authentic cast member there.

So when Porsha dropped Kenya with a boatload of what it means to behave politely (the way Southern girls should), none of it was contrived. Porsha came at Kenya from a genuine place of what it means not to be from the hood or raised around hoodrats.

Phaedra, NeNe, Cynthia, Kandi and Kim couldn't do that. They are all older and from another generation that manages angry poorly--like Kenya did in a beautiful sneaky salmon lounger poolside in Anguilla.

(Really Kenya? You couldn't laugh Porsha off? Wow.),

Kenya revels in her multiple personalities. Kenya embraces her ghetto, her urban sophistication and her intelligence. Love Kenya, hate Kenya, the woman acts stupid, even though she's not stupid -as in she has the largest vocabulary of the bunch.

What's confusing though is that Kenya says she has acting gigs lined up and doesn't have to audition. Perhaps she had to audition for Real Housewives of Atlanta. Perhaps the former Miss USA didn't appreciate that much, but this viewer for one, really hopes Kenya's on screen behavior is part of the growing pains people undergo as they move into reality star celebritydom.

Take Home Message

Reality television is a working man's lottery win for cast members who play their cards right.

NeNe Leakes' uncompromising honesty about who she was and and who she is--- was a battle to the finish line. She scared women who saw their worst selves in her.
She was championed by women who look like her and are often (mis) interpreted because their honesty can be scabrous.

In the end, NeNe won out. The debate over whether or not she is a throwback won't subside and eventually won't matter. When it appeared the ATL Housewives show was her worst enemy, all the fans (and people who didn't like NeNe at all) "knew" NeNe and her core values.

Hence, Kenya's the odd man out. Fans didn't admire NeNe's fierce temper but they adored her Christian values.

Kenya lacks that platform and it is hard to imagine that Kenya can mentally or spiritually thrive in the ATL if she does not reveal to audiences (and soon) what she does to find peace and comfort when her world is off center.

Because Ms. Porsha knocked Kenya out of her comfort zone with little effort. And that is frightening. But typical of a Southern Belle who really meant little harm.

photocredit: Real Housewives of Atlanta/Bravo


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I noticed Kim is not in the picture where all the girls are holding a peach. Is this just due to the fact she's not on the trip or is she off the show? I like Kim not Kenya.

Submitted by Office Girl (not verified) on
Your review is certainly well-written, but left me questioning whether we watched the same show. Porsha was marginally better-behaved than Kenya, but only because her intellect won't allow her to rise to the heights that Kenya's does. Porsha is an utter nincompoop; at least Kenya knows when to bring the crazy and "Gone with the Wind" fabulousness!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I hear you... Team Kenya but if she is so fab Porsha had her acting crazy really fast and without much effort.

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