Why Hate on Anime? America’s Othering of (Another) Art Form

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TokyoPop. CLAMP. ufotable. VIZ Media. BONES. Usagi Tsukino.

To most of the people reading this, I’d assume few (if any) of these names represent nothing of any significance to them. I’d also assume that once I told you all of these terms are related to the Japanese animation industry I would lose a great deal of your attention or would garner a grunt, scoff, and/or eye roll. That’s been most of my experiences whether I’m talking to friends, family, or if viewing habits comes up in casual conversation.

I watch a lot of TV. Like, sooo much more than anybody else I know, and definitely more than you will ever catch me admitting to my parents. You can catch me binging on dramas like Mad Men and How To Get Away With Murder (a new favorite) to the comedic Shameless and Modern Family, and competition shows like Project Runway and the never-ending America’s Next Top Model, but I also fervently watch anime and read manga, its printed counterpart.

From Left: Ms. J Alexander, Tyra Banks, and Kelly Cutrone on the set of America's Next Top Model's 21st season

From Left: Ms. J Alexander, Tyra Banks, and Kelly Cutrone on the set of America’s Next Top Model’s 21st season

I’ve always been confused as to why I get negative reactions to involving myself in a completely valid art form. What about it offends one’s sources so intensely? When I ask why they feel this way, I get things like “It’s so weird,” “Those shows are crazy!” “Wait, you ACTUALLY watch THAT?”

Damn, boo, who hurt you?

Sure, not everybody’s going to like everything, but the reactions I get concerning this topic are always the most extreme. Many will immediately jump to some Americanized action show, in which the talent of the voice actors and/or instructions by directors often pale in comparison to their Japanese originals. I’ll give it to you, too, there is a lot that even a huge fan of the artform gives a side-eye to. And sure, there is a good number of “magical girls” and robot shows, but like any genre of anything, you can find some variety if you are willing and open to look for it. For example, Mahō Shōjo Madoka Magika looks like your typical “average-girl-finds-magic-and-saves-the-world” show, but things aren’t exactly so simple when two Machiavellian forces come into conflict; its big screen adaptation garnered it a nomination for Best Animation during 2014’s Japanese Academy Awards. Or you might like Usagi Drop, which is about a thirty-year-old man who ends up suddenly having to become the guardian of a six-year-old relative.

"Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica" a magical girl show with a dark twist

Mahō Shōjo Madoka Magika: a magical girl show with a dark twist

Rin and her adoptive single father, Daikichi

Rin and her adoptive single father, Daikichi

Another issue is that this unwarranted disdain is not universal for other animated productions. Disney and Pixar films from The Lion King, Aladdin, and Finding Nemo have become undisputed classics. What is the issue? In discussions I’ve had with many of my friends and family members, I just get the previously stated complaints of anime’s inherent “weirdness,” yet I can only remember one instance where I was told that they didn’t like the drawing style. It’s interesting because the “I’m too old for cartoons” card is played, yet dorm room Disney marathons are commonplace in college and “Let It Go” can be heard ad nauseam to this day from children, young adults, and parents. Let’s not forget that Frozen just broke a bunch of box office records, now!

From Top Left: A Bug's Life, the Toy Story franchise, Frozen, and Tangled

From Top Left: A Bug’s Life, the Toy Story franchise, Frozen, and Tangled

Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z were some of the first to break into the United States, and due to their roles in permeating the mainstream, to some extent, they have become iconic stories. But why haven’t more been able to break through to the mainstream from the various niche markets and late-night Adult Swim programming? This could just be a resurgence of American xenophobia, when we don’t like other cultures until they’re chic or profitable.

We do what we Americans love to do: change things so they better fit our culture even though it detracts from the artist’s original vision. Many anime and manga have accentuated many values that we are more frequently campaigning for, such as LGBTQ rights and feminism. Naoko Takeuchi’s Sailor Moon featured two of the female superheroes as lovers, but when I watched this show’s English dub growing up, they were apparently “cousins,” a fact I thought to be true until many years later (Okay so this is a bit on the stereotypical “action” anime side, but this is just hilarious how the American dub, well, interpreted these scenes). Still today, we are fighting for better representations of minorities as superheroes, lead actors in hit shows and films, and in fashion.

As a Black, Hispanic, gay man (I like to call myself Affirmative Action’s wet dream), it was hard enough to find a cartoon character or lead actor in the media as I grew up, unless we count Static Shock and the one Black guy on Power RangersSailor Moon had slaying these hoes by moonlight since 1991 with a developed female cast with relatively forward-thinking ideals, yet that didn’t and won’t make it into the mainstream…but I guess we can just wait for Frozen to do a Vogue or Elle and have the public pretty much blindly swear that this was the first animated production that was feminist and showed  a gay couple  for like .000587 seconds and was SO PROGRESSIVE. God bless.

Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus: superheroes and lovers

Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus: elemental superheroes, lovers, and overall ass-kickers

The United States has a deep-seated problem with our intercultural practices. The greatest irony lies in the fact that we pride ourselves on being the “Great American Melting Pot,” when, if anything, we act as a multi-layered sifter. Fellow college blogger Kate Haddock states, “If we keep treating the world as a binary where same is ‘good’ and different is ‘bad,’ how will our generation improve and take good ideas from others … Isn’t it time to stop pushing away the ‘weird’ and to instead find the merit in the ‘different?’”

Peace, love, and Blue Ivy Carter,

Jalen

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The Real Housewives of Bravo: Jalen’s Official Ranking

Hi everyone! I’m really sorry I haven’t been on my blogging game recently, so I wanted to do something really fun for my next post. Whether you love or hate reality television, I can guarantee (completely subjectively) that your entire life will be changed for the better after this. This started out as a PowerPoint that I was sending around to a few of my friends, but because I have an infectable (is that a word?) personality, I naturally elevated the intensity of the entire affair. So, without further ado, go get your lives!

Intro

I was bored. To cure myself of this ailment, I decided to work on something that gave me energy. So why not the Real Housewives? Too many of my friends have no clue who/what I am referencing at least 70% (a purely scientific conclusion) of the time, so I decided to be a great person and give you an abridged account of their impact on my life. The ladies are ranked from my least favorite to favorite. This is done for pure fun and entertainment; I love my ladies of Bravo in the many forms they take!

Disclaimer: There are many more Housewives than those listed in this learning aid. I only listed the women that I’ve witnessed in action.

KEY

TBD: To Be Determined. These women are new and their season has not aired yet/is currently on the air in their first season as a cast member. Therefore, I cannot make any conclusions.

Honorable Mentions: Classified as “Friends of the Housewives”. Often brought in as friends so they can be tested with viewer responses to determine if they would bring enough ratings if promoted to “Housewife.” I’ve only listed the ones who have had a significant impact on my viewing experience.

*(Ranking): A queen and an overall benefit to the franschise and the best (worst) kind of crazy, but ranked lower than what some could expect from a fan fave because I don’t see myself realistically enjoying their presence.

IMAGE CREDIT

HERE WE GOOOOOO

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TBD. Demetria McKinney, Atlanta

demetria-mckinney-full

  • Singer, Actress

TBD. Claudia Jordan, Atlanta

TBD. Claudia Jordan

  • Friends with Kenya Moore (LORD, HELP US) [See #43]
  • Former Miss Rhode Island

TBD. Lisa Rinna, Beverly Hills

TBD. Lisa Rinna

  • Soap opera actor.
  • Married to Harry Hamlin.
  • Does she really need this show? Well whatevs; in the teaser she throws a drink and a glass (at #39), so she looks fiesty!

TBD. Eileen Davidson, Beverly Hills

 eileen-davidson-full

  • Emmy-winning actor (DO YOU REALLY NEED THIS SHOW?).
  • The trailer suggests she will clash with #52, who bothers me to no end, so I like her already!

60. Andrea Moss, Melbourne

60. Andrea Moss                                             tumblr_n1gi09aGEn1qg5ea1o1_500

“Never come between a woman and her plastic surgeon.”

  • Entrepreneur with an insane list for her nannies (yes, PLURAL) to do.
  • Needs to let everyone know that she’s rich.
  • Wrote a book for working moms (which failed in focus groups) that the publisher thinks is wack, but she swears nobody recognizes her brilliance.

59. Tamra Judge, Orange County

tamra-barney-full                                        Opinion

“I call the shots in my life now, and I have good aim.”

  • Really good at yelling.
  • Owns a gym.
  • Son married a girl he met on Instagram.
  • Lies, talks about everyone, can’t keep a secret, then lies when called out on it.

58. Aviva Drescher, New York City

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“When people tell me I’m fake, I know they’re just pulling my leg.”

  • Fran Drescher’s cousin. Has a prosthetic leg and a multitude of phobias.
  • Keeps saying it takes a village to write a book, but she (a non-professional writer) wrote hers alone. And she said that an award-winning journalist (see #6) didn’t write hers alone.
  • Goes from calm to cray in .0001 seconds.

57. Adrienne Maloof, Beverly Hills

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“Know your friends, and show your enemies to the door.”

  • Part-owner of the Sacramento Kings.
  • Part of the Maloof Family dynasty.
  • Manipulative; pretty sure she has her chef run to Radar Online to plant stories.
  • Says “friends don’t sue friends,” but proceeded to threaten legal action against her (now former) friend (see #52) for revealing that she used a surrogate.

56. Lydia Schiavello, Melbourne

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“I may look like a jet-setter, but my feet are firmly on the ground.”

  • Literally one of the most childish people I’ve ever experienced.
  • Thinks she’s cool for talking about sex, (ALL THE TIME) but it’s just icky.
  • Tries to sound sophisticated but she’s just so dumb, which she denies because she flies a plane THAT SHE WON’T LET US FORGET SHE OWNS.

55. Gretchen Rossi, Orange County

gretchen-rossi-full                          dear god gretchen

“I’m smart, I’m sexy, I’m confident; of course people are going to talk about me.”

  • Tries to sing. Can’t.
  • Handbag designer.
  • Fiancé has had problems with having a job/paying child support.

54. Alexis Bellino, Orange County

alexis-bellino-full                     alexis yama kippor

“I thank God every day for my life, and you would too.”

  • Has a bedazzled Bible. Aptly nicknamed “Jesus Jugs.”
  • Designer.
  • Realllllyyy whiny.

53. Alex McCord, New York City

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“I’ve always had opinions, but now people know it.”

  • Author of Little Kids, Big City with her husband, Simon.
  • She and her husband seem slightly off.
  • Uncomfortable to watch.

52. Brandi Glanville, Beverly Hills

brandi-glanville-full                                                 rhobh-kim-meth

“In Beverly Hills, the higher you climb, the farther you fall.”

  • Ex-husband cheated on her with LeAnn Rimes.
  • Potty mouth.
  • Views herself as the herald of truth.
  • Bites the hand that fed her (see #1).

51. Kyle Richards, Beverly Hills

kyle-richards-full                                           rhobh-kyle-whipout

“I’m born and raised in Beverly Hills; this is my town.”

  • Child actor; Paris Hilton’s aunt, does splits on tables.
  • Wants everyone to ignore rumors about her family, but doesn’t stop talking about them.
  • Wants to make #1 apologize under a guise of wanting to be friends, but it’s sooo a power play for the crown.

50. Ana Quincoces, Miami

ana-quincoces-full                        ana sit down

“Whether in the courtroom or in the kitchen, I bring the heat.”

  • Author of Cuban Chicks Can Cook.
  • Lawyer and chef.
  • Boring until reunion, where she suddenly spoke up and came for a woman’s (see #29) son.

49. Teresa Aprea & Nicole Napolitano, New Jersey

teresa-aprea-full nicole-mauriello-full

tumblr_nczyblWC671ql5yr7o1_500Nicole DD and Oral

“You’re not seeing double; you’re seeing trouble!”

  • Twins, and are actually the same person.
  • Teresa’s (pronounced Te-REH-sa) husband was rumored to have slept with HER MOTHER.
  • Nicole loves her boyfriend, then hates him, then loves him.
  • Just loud and catty. Rarely have I ever observed such irrational thought processes when dealing with conflict.

*48. Danielle Staub, New Jersey

danielle-staub-full                    Danielle One At A Time

“You’re either gonna love me or hate me. There is no in-between with me.”

  • Changed her name, got arrested, and had tell-all book written about her.
  • Preaches “love and light” but brings (presumed) felons to events for protection….
  • Chased by Teresa (#17), assaulted by Jacqueline’s (#18) daughter; don’t call her “honey.”

*47. Ramona Singer, New York City

ramona-singer-full                                              tumblr_m54m6cXJDw1ql5yr7o1_400

“Get the Pinot ready because it’s Turtle Time!”

  • Loves her some pinot grigio!
  • Literally threw a glass at a woman (see #21) because she SPLASHED HER.
  • Faced a bit of unfortunate karma when she teased the Countess (#7) about being cheated on, and now her husband is (allegedly) cheating on her.

46. Joanna Krupa, Miami

joanna-krupa-full                                     Joanna Classy

“Don’t hate me because I have it all. Hate me because I’m beautiful.”

  • Model and animal rights activist.
  • Seemingly always the drunkest one.
  • Bridezilla.
  • Made nasty comments about #9 having difficulties conceiving.

45. Melissa Gorga, New Jersey

melissa-gorga-full-v2                                          tumblr_m77o3qU09I1ql5yr7o1_400

“I live a life that most girls only dream of.”

  • Wanted to be a singer, *sigh* but I guess she realized she’ll never reach the greatness of “Money Can’t Buy You Class” (See #7).
  • Used to hate her sister-in-law (see #17).
  • Wrote a book with a section that may or may not advocate marital rape.

44. Amber Marchese, New Jersey

amber-marchese-full                                               tumblr_n8ofl6eENk1ql5yr7o1_500

“I’m a survivor; no one is bringing me down.”

  • Columbia graduate and cancer survivor.
  • Her husband, Jim, makes a better Housewife than she does.
  • Always in the middle of rumors.
  • Ambushed (both physically and socially) by the Twins (see #49).

*43. Kenya Moore, Atlanta

kenya-moore-full                                         GoneWithTheWindFabulous

“I won Miss USA, not Miss Congeniality.”

42. Shereé Whitfield, Atlanta

sheree-whitfield-full                       Who Gon Check Me

“I like things that are elegant and sophisticated, just like me.”

  • Has (had?) a shoe line.
  • Been building a house for years, and I’m pretty sure it will never be done.
  • Throws errrbody under the bus.
  • Another one with a single.

41. Marysol Patton, Miami

marysol-patton-full                      More Cockies

“My job is about making fast decisions, but my personal life, I leave up to destiny.”

  • PR Maven.
  • Tries to make “cockies” (cocktails) a thing.
  • Was accosted by a drag queen.
  • Mother, Elsa (see Honorable Mentions), is a mystic.

 40. Taylor Armstrong, Beverly Hills

taylor-armstrong-full_0                       tumblr_mi57f1XQ721ql5yr7o1_400

“I fought too hard for this zip code to go home now.”

  • Volunteers for the 1736 Family Crisis Center.
  • Was in an abusive relationship before her husband committed suicide.
  • Always brings the conversation back to herself.

39. Kim Richards, Beverly Hills

kim-richards-full                                           tumblr_mdg7agrRHw1ql5yr7o1_400

“Everybody loves a comeback story, especially starring me.”

  • Alcoholic :(. Loves turtles.
  • Usually fights with sister (#51),  all season, gangs up with her on everyone else at reunion.
  • Has the best confessionals.

38. Adriana De Moura, Miami

adriana-de-moura-full                                        tumblr_mfq1yaJZCP1ql5yr7o1_r1_400

“People say I have secrets, but I say I am full of surprises!”

  • Punched Joanna (#46) in the face.
  • Hid that she was married for 5 years.
  • Speaks 5 languages.

37. Kelly Killoren-Bensimon, New York City

kelly-killoren-bensimon-full                         tumblr_lq7htckdhC1ql5yr7o1_400

“I’m living the American Dream, one mistake at a time.”

  • Model and Playmate.
  • I never was sure if she was completely connected to reality.
  • She really liked gummy bears.

36. Jackie Gillies, Melbourne

jackie-gillies-full                                                  tumblr_n28sg5JPTn1qg5ea1o1_500

“My husband may be a rock star, but now it’s my turn to shine, shine, shine.”

  • Psychic. Says “Shine, Shine, Shine,” all the time and it is SO ANNOYING.
  • Called Gina’s relationship (#11) out on infidelity.
  • Tries to act like she’s the most down-to-earth, but she’s just as thirsty as those she tries to differentiate herself from.

35. Sonja Morgan, New York City

sonja-morgan-full                                             tumblr_n9585e3vRR1ql5yr7o1_500

“A little Sonja will spice up any party!”

  • Has (had?) a line of toaster ovens, and like a billion other “businesses” that only she is aware of.
  • Trapped in her 20s.
  • To my knowledge, all productivity is ensured by her army of (UNPAID) interns and an apparent homeless girl in Ireland who tweets for her (I AM HONESTLY NOT MAKING THIS UP).

*34. Nene Leakes, Atlanta

nene-leakes-full                                                I Said What I Said

“I have arrived, and the spotlight is on me, honey.”

  • Actor on Glee, The New Normal (canceled) and now Broadway as the Wicked Stepmother in Cinderella.
  • Her hustle is admirable.
  • Hilarious, and she is VERY RICH, BITCH.
  • Can dish it, but can’t take it. I sense a misplaced superiority complex…

33. Yolanda Foster, Beverly Hills

yolanda-h-foster-full_0                                                 tumblr_mhrbyh3URr1ql5yr7o1_400

“I like to have fun, but I don’t play games.”

  • Has a small, accidental lemon grove in her backyard.
  • “Who is Adrienne Maloof in this world? She’s nobody.” – QUOTE OF SEASON 3
  • Living with Lyme Disease.
  • Jumped on the irrational “LET’S HATE LISA” train.

32. Carlton Gebbia, Beverly Hills

carlton-gebbia-full                                       Don't You Fucking Dare Command Me

“In my world, money doesn’t talk; it swears.”

  • Interior architectural designer and Wiccan.
  • Aggressively sexual. Like she just won’t stop bragging about her sex life and showing her toys and it’s just a lot.
  • I wish she and #5 got along because they were the only ones with basic sense  when everybody else came for Lisa in Season 4.

31. Vicki Gunvalson, Orange County

vicki-gunvalson-full                                           Vicki Gif

“I’m my own boss, and it’s time for a raise.”

  • President/Founder of Coto Insurance & Financial SVCS.
  • The loudest woman I have ever experienced.
  • Probably being manipulated by a seemingly opportunist boyfriend.

30. Jill Zarin, New York City

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“Good or bad, I know who I am, and I own it.”

  • Has a fabric store or something.
  • Always introduces herself with her full name.
  • Ex-BFFs with Bethenny (see #19).
  • Desperately trying to stay relevant.

29. Lea Black, Miami

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“I can deal with a lot of things, but I can’t deal with stupid.”

  • Unofficial “Mayor of Miami.”
  • Philanthropist.
  • Apparently she is on a special list of people who can buy Birkin bags; she got one for #9.
  • Ex-BFFs with Adriana (see #38) due to trust issues with her.

28. Karent Sierra, Miami

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“If you don’t like my smile, then don’t look my way.”

  • Celebrity dentist and spokesperson for Colgate.
  • She will beat you to your tweet (see #20).
  • Publicly humiliated by actor ex-boyfriend when his cheating was made apparent in magazines.

27. Janet Roach, Melbourne

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“When life throws rocks, I melt them down into diamonds.”

  • Divorced a bunch.
  • Very likable until she tries to take moral stances because she is a flip-flopper and can’t get stories straight.

26. Caroline Manzo, New Jersey

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“Life is short; I have no time for drama.”

  • Holier-than-thou.
  • She has “no time for drama” (honey, you know you’re on Bravo, right?).
  • Feuding with her sister (see #4).

25. Kathy Wakile, New Jersey

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“People say that I’m sweet, but I’m tough, so don’t cross me.”

  • Said Teresa (#17) left her daughter UNATTENDED (during a brawl at a christening, I think). This was recurring.
  • Makes cannolis.
  • Always overlooked.

24. Camille Grammer, Beverly Hills

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“Diamonds aren’t a girl’s best friend. Freedom is.”

23. Porsha Williams, Atlanta

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“People say I live a picture-perfect life, and I do.”

  • Granddaughter of Hosea Williams, a Civil Rights activist in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s inner circle (GET OFF THE SHOW).
  • Ex-wife of Kordell Stewart. Discovered the divorce on Twitter.
  • Literally dragged Kenya (#43) across the floor.

22. Kim Zolciak Biermann, Atlanta

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“People call me a gold digger, but they just want what I have.”

  • Sooo many wigs!
  • Voice behind “Tardy for the Party” (check that out; it’s amazing).
  • More excuses than minutes in a day.
  • Has one of the cutest families on Bravo.

21. Kristen Taekman, New York City

kristen-taekman-full                                                   I Love My Kids But This Fucking Sucks

“I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I’m pretty!!”

  • Model.
  • Fought with her husband all season.
  • Planned maybe the most boring Housewives trip in history.
  • Ramona (#47) split her lip by throwing a glass at her.

20. Alexia Echevarria, Miami

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“This Cuban doll is back on the scene, and living the dream.”

  • Executive Editor of Venue Magazine.
  • Psychiatrist mother, drug dealer ex-husband.
  • Speaks reallllllyyyy quickly.
  • One of the two seemingly mature women on her franchise.

19. Bethenny Frankel, New York City

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“New York City is my playground.”

  • Creator of the Skinnygirl cocktails.
  • Said she doesn’t believe she’s famous despite being on TV for years (girl, what).
  • Super sarcastic.
  • Had a talk show until it was canceled after only one season.

18. Jacqueline Laurita, New Jersey

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“I’ve faced my share of challenges, but I’m tougher than I look.”

  • Friends with EVERY antagonist before everyone hates them (see #48 & #17).
  • Caroline and Dina’s sister-in-law (#26 & #4).
  • I’m 90% sure all of her tweets are written under the influence (TUI?).

*17. Teresa Giudice, New Jersey

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“Haters gonna hate, but I just love, love, love.”

  • See GIF above

*17. Teresa Giudice, New Jersey

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“Haters gonna hate, but I just love, love, love.”

  • Okay, so I have to be real for like 5 seconds: In an odd and perverse way, Teresa is the reason I am going into Entertainment. I would never watch the Housewives until there was nothing on but the Season 1 marathon and I experienced the table flip. From that point on, I became much more invested in learning about the industry. So hearing of her going to prison for a whole lot of fraud is devastating. She deserves it because she broke the law, but there will always be a selfish part of me solely wondering how the show will live on without its OG. #FreeTre #BuyFabellini </seriousness>

16. Heather Dubrow, Orange County

heather-dubrow-full                                                tumblr_n74a59R17I1ql5yr7o1_500

“You may think I have it all, but I’m just getting started.”

  • Actor. Recently had a role o Hawaii Five-O.
  • Etiquette police.
  • Told off for being too condescending, even though she was attacked by, like, everyone with barely half her IQ for the entire season.

15. Chyka Keebaugh, Melbourne

chyka-keebaugh-full                                             tumblr_n28se0fJ071qg5ea1o1_500

“My fabulous life comes down to love and laughter; not luck.”

  • Owns a catering company.
  • Constantly in a state of “WTF” when she is surrounded by her castmates.

14. Cynthia Bailey, Atlanta

cynthia-bailey-full                                               tumblr_md0w2nQw4b1ql5yr7o1_400

“Beauty fades. Class is forever.”

  • Model, founder of The Bailey Agency School of Fashion.
  • Always crying. Tends to be related to her husband not sharing his financial activities and, often, failures.
  • Writes Friend Contracts. AND BURNS THEM (see Season 7). Ex-BFFs with Nene (#31) because Nene called her husband a bitch.

13. Lydia McLaughlin, Orange County

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“You only live once, but if you work it right, once is enough.”

12. Lizzie Rosvek, Orange County

lizzie-rovsek-full                                                 tumblr_na9mg10cmT1ql5yr7o1_500

“Standing out is so much more fun than fitting in.”

  • Clothing designer and former Miss Kentucky USA.
  • Quick to call everyone (mainly #59) out on their BS.

11. Gina Liano, Melbourne

gina-liano-full                                                    tumblr_n1tg2oclA41qg5ea1o1_500

“I’ll give you my opinion, but you’d better be ready to hear it.”

  • Barrister (Lawyer). Self-pronounced “Ultimate Drag Queen.”
  • Habitually late. Fibs a little.
  • I love when she gets in arguments because she’s clearly more intelligent than basically every one of her castmates. She annihilates them.

10. Phaedra Parks, Atlanta

phaedra-parks-full                                                      

“I’m a Southern Belle: brains, booty, and all business.”

9. Lisa Hochstein, Miami

lisa-hochstein-full                                                  tumblr_mbhdaeza2S1ql5yr7o1_400

“My husband’s a top plastic surgeon  in this town, and I’m his best creation.”

  • Does photo shoots with her maid, Daysy.
  • Having difficulty conceiving with her husband.
  • Really funny.

8. Shannon Beador, Orange County

shannon-beador-full                                                       tumblr_n8rg7dcqmG1ql5yr7o1_500

“The O.C. is full of secrets, but I have nothing to hide.”

  • All about holistic remedies.
  • Unfortunately had her marital problems spread around by some of the girls (#16 & #59).
  • Kooky, candid, and refreshing.

7. Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, New York City

luann-de-lesseps-full                                                     tumblr_n22ti99LYd1ql5yr7o1_r2_400

“To some people, living elegantly just comes naturally.”

6. Carole Radziwill, New York City

carole-radziwill-full                                                   tumblr_n2a4bpGsnz1ql5yr7o1_500 (1)

“If you’re going to talk about me behind my back, at least check out my great ass.”

  • Princess, and award-winning journalist.
  • Pretty much slandered by Aviva (#58) saying that she didn’t write her memoirs of her late husband dying of cancer. She couldn’t sue because she’s contractually obligated to not sue castmates.
  • Very witty. BFFs with Heather (#3).

5. Joyce Giraud de Ohoven, Beverly Hills

joyce-giraud-de-ohoven-full                                     ImNotJacqueline

  • Actress, philanthropist, former Miss World Puerto Rico and former Miss Universe Puerto Rico.
  • Wife to Academy-nominated director Michael Ohoven.
  • Handles drunken, vulgar, catty guests (see #52) with unimaginable grace.
  • I’m very upset she got fired after only one season.

4. Dina Manzo, New Jersey

dina-manzo-full                                                tumblr_mu9t4zx7M21ql5yr7o1_r1_500

“I’m back to bring the zen. Namaste, bitches!”

  • Loves her hairless and disabled pets.
  • Has (had?) a show on HGTV, “Dina’s Party”.
  • BFFs with Teresa (#17), fighting with sister and sister-in-law (#26 & #18).
  • Very dry humor, very spiritual.

3. Heather Thomson, New York City

heather-thomson-full_0                                                     Don'tTellMeAnything

“My success is built on making women look, and feel, their best. HOLLA!”

  • Says “HOLLA!” a lot; fiercely loyal.
  • Chased Ramona (see #47) around a room to prove her point.
  • Has, like, 18 registered patents. She is Spanx’s competition.
  • Used to work with Diddy.

2. Kandi Burruss, Atlanta

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“I have fame and fortune, and I’ve earned it.”

  • Wrote for TLC, P!nk, and Destiny’s Child!!!
  • GRAMMY-award winning songwriter.
  • Former member of girl group, Xscape.
  • Has a sex toy line, Bedroom Kandi.
  • Cranky when hungry (my kind of girl).
  • Mother (see Honorable Mentions) hates Kandi’s husband, whom she believes is a gold digger.

1. Lisa Vanderpump, Beverly Hills

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“Life in Beverly Hills is a game, and I make the rules.”

  • Restaurateur and former actress. Has the cutest dog on television.
  • Little patience for idiocy.
  • When the other girls think they’re grown (#57, #52, #51, #39, #33) they come for crown and she still owns them.
  • Has sangria and tableware lines.
  • British, and the Queen we deserve.

Honorable Mentions

Allison Dubois, Beverly Hills     rhobh-al-fulfillyou (1)

Mama Elsa, Miami                       tumblr_meo883zJ1Q1ql5yr7o1_400

Mama Joyce, Atlanta                  tumblr_n4qynragvI1ql5yr7o1_500

Rosie Pierri, New Jersey            tumblr_mp40fkHZNJ1ql5yr7o1_500

Kim D., New Jersey                    kim d

Kim G., New Jersey                    tumblr_ltu6lsZgcb1ql5yr7o1_400

Andy Cohen, Mastermind

tumblr_mrl4xgPkm61ql5yr7o1_500

New Challenger ApproachingNew Challenger ApproachingNew Challenger ApproachingNew Challenger ApproachingNew Challenger ApproachingNew Challenger Approaching

MILANIA GIUDICE, THE FUTURE QUEEN OF REALITY TV

rhonj-milania-brat1 tumblr_n8sdiifgK81ql5yr7o2_500 Milana Terrorist rhonj-pizzayouoldtroll tumblr_nc1z0bYGK01ql5yr7o2_250              Milania Blah Blah Blah rhonj-milania-married Milania Older Men

RANKING**

FIRST PLACE: ATLANTA  
NeNe Leakes 34
Kandi Burruss 2
Phaedra Parks 10
Cynthia Bailey 14
Kenya Moore 43
Porsha Williams 23
Sheree Whitfield 42
Kim Zolciak Biermann 22
Claudia Jordan  
Demetria McKinney  
TOTAL 190
AVERAGE 23.75

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SECOND PLACE: NEW YORK CITY  
Ramona Singer 47
LuAnn de Lesseps 7
Sonja Morgan 35
Aviva Drescher 58
Carole Radziwill 6
Heather Thomson 3
Kristen Taekman 21
Bethenny Frankel 19
Jill Zarin 30
Alex McCord 53
Kelly Killoren-Bensimon 37
TOTAL    316
AVERAGE 28.72

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

THIRD PLACE: NEW JERSEY  
Teresa Giudice 17
Caroline Manzo 26
Jacqueline Laurita 18
Melissa Gorga 45
Kathy Wakile 25
Dina Manzo 4
Danielle Staub 48
Amber Marchese 44
Teresa Aprea & Nicole Napolitano 49
TOTAL  276
AVERAGE 30.6

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

FOURTH PLACE: ORANGE COUNTY  
Vicki Gunvalson 31
Tamra Judge 49
Heather Dubrow 37
Lydia McLaughlin 13
Gretchen Rossi 55
Alexis Bellino 54
Shannon Beador 8
Lizzie Rosvek 12
TOTAL 259
AVERAGE 32.375

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

FIFTH PLACE:MIAMI  
Adriana De Moura 38
Lea Black 29
Alexia Echevarria 20
Lisa Hochstein 9
Joanna Krupa 46
Karent Sierra 28
Marysol Patton 41
Ana Quincoces 50
TOTAL       261
AVERAGE 32.625

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SIXTH PLACE: BEVERLY HILLS  
Lisa Vanderpump 1
Kyle Richards 51
Kim Richards 39
Brandi Glanville 52
Yolanda Foster 33
Joyce Giraud de Ohoven 5
Carlton Gebbia 32
Camille Grammer 24
Adrienne Maloof 57
Taylor Armstrong 40
Lisa Rinna  
Eileen Davidson  
TOTAL 334
AVERAGE 33.4

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SEVENTH PLACE: MELBOURNE  
Gina Liano 11
Chyka Keebaugh 15
Janet Roach 27
Jackie Gillies 36
Lydia Schiavello 56
Andrea Moss 60
TOTAL 205
AVERAGE 34.16667

**Please note that these mathematical rankings are solely the quantitative listing of the women. My actual love for each franchise is different from the sole numeric breakdown. My qualitative ranking of the franchises is:

  1. Atlanta
  2. Beverly Hills
  3. New York City
  4. New Jersey
  5. Miami
  6. Melbourne
  7. Orange County

Well, that’s it!! I’m glad your quality of living has increased substantially in the time it took you to read this. God bless the Real Housewives.

YOU’RE WELCOME

Peace, love, and Blue Ivy Carter,

Jalen

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But, Like, Who Really Cares?

The way we absorb the media today is awesome. We can have international alerts delivered instantaneously about politics or what our favorite reality stars are wearing to our very fingertips. As a Public Communication major, I am perpetually enthralled with this process. However, the lesser-used definition states that if one is awesome, one is capable of “inspiring great apprehension or fear.”

The apprehension lies in the problem that as the public views media, the lines between their reality and the people they read about blur. As a society, we are losing the ability to separate the person as an individual from their art, whether it is singing, acting, or any other of the creative outlets one can reach worldwide acclaim in.

Many have a misguided feeling that they are owed something by those with fame, coming across harsh and unapologetic when a scandal breaks. The Internet explodes with outrage and condemns all future work by them, along with anybody else who associates with them. We hear the term “role model” as a buzzword of today being thrown about carelessly and frequently, on celebrities from Disney stars to critically-acclaimed performers.

Bill O’Reilly, a FOX News host, recently disparaged Beyoncé for being a bad role model for teenage girls, “particularly girls of color,” because one of her recent music videos, “Partition” was sexually exciting. But when was it ever agreed upon that one of the entertainment industry’s brightest stars would have to adhere to an “obligation to protect children?”

Beyoncé in her "Partition" music video; directed by

Beyoncé in her “Partition” music video; directed by Jake Nava

There is also an interesting love/hate relationship with the concept of celebrity. So many model their aspirations of fame after people like the Kardashians and Bravo’s Real Housewives, yet there is also disgust towards those in the public eye. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, we don’t even see them as actual humans, allowing us to objectify and belittle them.

Khloé, Kim, and Kourtney Kardashian

From left: Khloé, Kim, and Kourtney Kardashian

Let’s look at Chris Brown. We are all aware of the horrific physical assault of Rihanna in 2009, and we are STILL talking about it. I am in absolutely NO WAY defending the R&B singer’s actions from that night but, if you think about it, is this really any of our business? Why do so many of us choose to exert our energy on actively hating him? Rihanna has even expressed being completely over the endless barrage of interviews that still feel the need to ask her about the abuse she experienced. She’s even gone on to record multiple collaborations with Brown since the incident. Because all we want to do is dislike Chris Brown, the media will continue to feed us every negative story about him, and we ignore his accomplishments, like his artistic accolades and the charities he supports. We have blurred any lines that differentiate between the individual as a person and as an artist.

The "Loyal" singer at the launch of his Symphonic Love Foundation in Los Angeles, CA.

The “Loyal” singer at the launch of his Symphonic Love Foundation in Los Angeles, CA.

The public has the luxury of judgment to troubled celebrities. Cathleen Falsani, an award-winning religion columnist, writes in Harvard’s Divinity Bulletin, “I can sit back and watch poor Lindsay Lohan’s world unravel into chaos and judge her from a distance…I can judge her and may do so harshly, with society’s permission.” We’ve developed a complex over time that gives us, quite frankly, the gall to misplace our own insecurities and problems onto people who have virtually no effect on our day-to-day lives.

We have to ask ourselves, if these people are as terrible as we would like to make them out to be, does our unwarranted hatred make us any better?

Peace, love, and Blue Ivy Carter

Jalen

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So, yeah… The Black Artists?

Image

photo: http://tactiletracks.com/2013/11/06/checking-in-with-the-2014-grammys/

Now I don’t usually do this long rant-ish kind of thing (at least in writing…and for my first blog post, nonetheless), but I’ve been complaining about this for like two weeks, so I decided to put my thoughts on paper.

When I was watching the GRAMMYs this year, I was really annoyed. Let me preface this by saying that I have not done official research as of now, but these are just some things I’ve been noticing every time it gets to be around awards season. Well, it’s really just the lack of diversity on the GRAMMYs. It seems to me as if they have just whitewashed the entire ceremony.

Let’s start with the most obvious aspect: the performances. My girl Beyoncé tore up the gaht-damned [lip-synched to ***Flawless] stage. She had us screaming, and immediately shot to the top of worldwide trends on Twitter, and this was all before she was even halfway through her first verse. And then Jay Z joined her, causing us to really lose it. But after they finished, the majority of the performers were, shall I say, lacking in skin pigment:

  • Lorde
  • Hunter Hayes
  • Katy Perry
  • Keith Urban
  • Taylor Swift
  • Robin Thicke featuring Chicago
  • P!nk with Nate Ruess
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Paul McCartney and Ringo (twice for Ringo)
  • Blake Shelton along with Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson
  • Sara Bareilles with Carole King
  • Metallica
  • Macklemore and Ryan Lewis with Madonna and Mary Lambert
  • Miranda Lambert and Billie Joe Armstrong
  • Dave Grohl with Nine Inch Nails, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Lindsey Buckingham.

Yes, Katy Perry featured Juicy J (sidebar: remember when he won an Academy Award??), John Legend serenaded us, Macklemore had Queen Latifah officiate the thirty-three weddings, and Pharrell performed with Nile Rodgers and Stevie Wonder. Gary Clark Jr. sang with Keith Urban after winning a non-aired award (I’ll get into that in just a bit). Lang Lang played with Metallica, Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons definitely gave King Bey a run for her money for the performance of the night with their Radioactive/M.A.A.D City mash-up. But come on! If you compare the quantities it is a staggering 11 non-white performers to the staggering 30 Caucasian artists. That is nearly a 1:3 ratio over the four-hour broadcast, and only 3 of the 11 performed without being paired with a white artist.

P!nk performing on her "The Truth About Love" Tour

P!nk performing on her “The Truth About Love” Tour

I don’t have anything against any of those artists. I could go on for DAYS about how much I love Sara Bareilles, P!nk, and Miranda Lambert, to name a few. I was also thoroughly entertained for the greater majority of all of the performances, and I’m not even getting into why I’ve been giving perpetual side-eye to how artists and songs are categorized and won (*cough cough* Robin Thicke and Justin Timberlake under Pop instead of R&B). But my opinion about their musical quality has nothing to do with my current inquisition:

Are there no talented Black artists?

Where are the other rising or established stars of shades darker than alabaster? Was it that they just didn’t want to be on stage? Was there not ONE song that was TV-appropriate and wouldn’t offend our delicate senses (as we glide over Macklemore’s uncensored use of the word “faggot” in “Same Love,” while both Beyoncé’s and Kendrick’s performances were silenced at parts for less offensive words)? Was NOBODY available for that evening?

I find this terribly hard to believe. Alicia Keys’ album Girl on Fire won last night; she could have performed. Or Rihanna could have sang a song from Unapologetic (which won for Best Urban Contemporary Album), or Fantasia Barrino, with the power-packed hit song “Without Me (feat. Kelly Rowland and Missy Elliott),” that was also nominated last night off of her three-time nominated The Side Effects of You. (updated: Rihanna was not in attendance at the GRAMMYs that evening)

There was also newcomer Tristan “Mack” Wilds, first known from his acting roles on The Wire and the CW’s remake of 90210, who was nominated for Best Urban Contemporary Album on his DEBUT album, New York City: A Love Story. Tamar Braxton, sister to Toni Braxton, set the female record for having the longest time between having an initial album chart listing and a #1 album (I remember reading this on Billboard a little while back), Love And War. Whether you find that either odd or impressive, she was still nominated three times, and I don’t even remember the camera even passing over her face.

Mack Wilds at the  “BET Music Matters Showcase: The GRAMMY Edition 2014.”

Mack Wilds at the “BET Music Matters Showcase: The GRAMMY Edition 2014″ before his performance that night.

Tamar Braxton on "The Real"

Tamar Braxton on “The Real”

Continuing with my previous two examples, if the question was about their “celebrity” or visibility, every tween who ever turned on the CW would know Mack Wilds, like they all know Macklemore. Tamar is featured on Braxton Family Values, a reality show on WE tv, and is forever expanding her resumé as a television personality being one of the hosts on the talk show, The Real, which just got renewed for its second season. And do we even have to question the celebrity of Keys, Rihanna, and/or Barrino? (updated: Rihanna was not in attendance at the GRAMMYs that evening)

Then there was the matter of which awards to air on CBS. I understand that there are over 78 (!!!) categories and there’s no way to show them all; what we saw was already four hours, and you could notice viewers’ fatigue from the lethargy on the internet. But let’s run down some of the ones we were shown:

  • Record of the Year
  • Song of the Year
  • Album of the Year
  • Best New Artist
  • Best Pop Vocal Album
  • Best Pop Solo Performance
  • Best Country Album
  • Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
  • Best Rock Song

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that these genres of music are usually targeted towards the white population of the United States.

What we didn’t see was any of the R&B or Urban Contemporary categories, nor did we see the majority of the Rap categories, let alone some of the Reggae and Latin artists. Now I can tell you all know where I’m going with this one, “well those are genres that are targeted to mainly minorities!” and you’re right: why couldn’t the GRAMMYs at least air one or two of these categories instead of our umpteenth pop category? And this is the question I am trying to find an answer to.

I’m mainly concerned about the impact this may have on us as a society. What is the message we are sending to be received? In my personal opinion, we are looking at microagressions and veiled reinforcements of oppressive values. Where can inspiration to be great be birthed in a minority if we refuse to even show the nominees that relate the most to them on television? What does it say when over two-thirds of the non-white artists didn’t perform their songs alone?

I, for one, am over it. We need to demand more for ourselves as individuals and as society as a whole. The inequalities must have been becoming more blatant over time, or maybe I’ve just grown to be more observant. I’ll admit, I’m unsure how to continue from here, but I’d love to at least get people talking.

Peace, Love, and Blue Ivy Carter

Jalen

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