We have watched the drama of VH1’s highly anticipated reality show, Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta for two seasons, and now are tuned in for a third. Only four episodes in, we can already tell this season will be nothing less of the previous dramatic seasons. Although we watch the show for entertainment, and do not think too deeply into it, there are some real issues with these relationships featured on the show. With all of the drama, I have to wonder, where is the love and respect?
The show follows the careers of entertainers in Atlanta, Ga., and their love lives. The cast consists of producer Stevie J, artist Joseline Hernandez, Stevie J’s child’s mother, Mimi Faust, rapper Rasheeda and husband Kirk Frost, aspiring artist, Karlie Redd, rapper Lil’ Scrappy, his former fiancé Erica Dixon, rapper Waka Flocka Flame and fiancé Tammy, as well as owner of Hip Hop Weekly magazine, Benzino. The cast are no strangers to the drama, as there are endless fidelity scandals, lies, secrets, trust and commitment issues that are shown in every episode.
Most of the relationships that have been on the show have been rocked by infidelity, lies, and just plain disrespect. From the first season we saw Stevie J betray Mimi, with Joseline who is now his wife. We also saw Scrappy give into some temptation while he was dating Erica, and even though they worked it out and it led to an engagement, Erica could not handle his overbearing mother, Momma Dee, or his wandering eye and called off the engagement. This season we are still seeing Scrappy give into outside temptation while in a relationship with former Basketball Wives LA cast member, Bambi. When Rasheeda and Kirk’s 12 year marriage hit a rough patch, and Rasheeda got pregnant, it led Kirk to question if he was the father. It also led to him going to a cabin with Benzino to unwind with plenty of women who were not Rasheeda. We have seen Benzino and rapper Yung Joc cheat on Karlie Redd, and have seen her do her dirt as well. Being that these cast members signed up for a reality show, they willingly decided to air their personal lives on camera. Knowing that the whole nation is watching, the disrespect for their partners stuns me. How can one just disrespect their girlfriend of 15 years, and child’s mother by going behind her back and getting another woman pregnant? Why is it okay for a husband to flirt with other women in a hot tub? The things that happen in these relationships on the show are entertaining, yes, but not okay, and should not be tolerated in any relationship. These things are not love or respect. Respect is clearly lacking in all of these relationships.
When we watch this show, we giggle and laugh, but do not think about how real these issues are in everyday relationships. Self-love and self-respect is key in any relationship. In order to make any relationship work, we have to love and respect ourselves before we can love and respect another person. What could be the issue with these cast members is the lack of respect for not only their partners, but also themselves. How can you expect to give love and respect to another person when you can’t give it to yourself? People treat them how you let them. You have the control on how someone treats you, and if you demand respect, then that is what you’ll get. If you don’t demand respect, what makes you think you’ll get it? You have to love yourself to know what you deserve. No self –love can result in poor treatment from others because you don’t think you deserve any better. Now, I understand that everyone makes mistakes at one point or another in a relationship, but just flat out disrespecting your relationship or marriage is bad enough in general, but doing it on national television is an all new low that seems to come with reality television. On the contrary, we only know what we see on the show, but from what we see, it does not look like much love to me. The next time you sit in front of the couch to watch Love and Hip Hop, remember that while it can be entertaining, that is not what you should aspire for in a relationship. True love is not filled with drama, disrespect and betrayal. Remember that self- love and respect is important to any relationship. Know your worth, so you can get someone worthy of you.
Photo 1 Courtesy of WetPaint.