It’s no secret. Reality shows dominate today’s television programming. Fighting, backstabbing drink-throwing, mud-slinging: yes, the reality TV shenanigans splashed across the TV screen keep people coming back for more.
As deplorable as these shows may be, the ratings prove that there is indeed an audience that is interested in tuning in weekly to watch other people’s personal train wrecks. And reality stars from Evelyn Lozada to Nene Leakes are learning that interest can be lucrative.
Both women have taken phrases from popular reality show battles and attempted to turn them into retail gold. Evelyn Lozada of VH1’s Basketball Wives famously attacked castmate, Tami Roman, after admitting that she dated Tami’s husband by saying “You were a non-m*therf*cking factor, b*tch.”
The outrageous quip soon became her signature phrase, which she capitalized on with a t-shirt deal. While many thought the saying was humorous at best, what it represents—infidelity, dishonesty, disrespect and malice—is no laughing matter. The show, and the corresponding t-shirts, would encourage us to make light of a failing marriage, a cheating spouse and an insensitive friend. Is that something we really want to walk around wearing?
Nene Leakes of Bravo’s Real Housewives of Atlanta is the latest reality star to cash in on her drama with t-shirts which read “I’m Very Rich, B*tch.” The uncouth phrase comes from an argument with castmate, Sheree, where Nene famously flaunts her newfound wealth (acquired from her controversial appearance on Donald Trump’s show, “The Apprentice”). The saying is not only connected to an unfortunate argument with someone whom Nene previously considered an “old friend,” it represents a new money attitude that most actual rich people would never embrace.
Sure the ladies can capitalize off their personal issues for lucrative business ventures if they choose.