For about a week I have pretty much been binge watching clips of The Real, a daytime talk show hosted by four phenomenal women: Jeannie Mai, Tamera Mowry-Housely, Loni Love, and Adrienne Houghton. Tamar Braxton also hosted the show for two seasons.
These are the top two reasons why I absolutely LOVE The Real:
1. The cast is completely comprised of women of color
Many times when people of color are on TV shows or in movies they have this unmistakeable stereotype attached to them. Of course this doesn't happen every time, but it does happen a lot.
A prime example: the Disney channel show, "Jessie". Zuri, a black girl adopted from Uganda at birth, has a reputation for being "sassy, sarcastic, clever, scheming, and mischievous" (Jessie Wiki) and Ravi, an Indian boy adopted as a young child, is described as a "stereotypical nerd" who "very smart, but does poorly in sports" (Wiki Jessie). When I watched the show these stereotypes were harmless and to a lot of people they still are. They can be humorous even relatable. So I understand this opinion; not every stereotype has to be addressed. After all, they are often relevant parts of our lives. But I think it gets to a point where they're more annoying than anything.
So that's one reason why I love The Real. The hosts are all part of minority groups (Black, Asian, Latina) but they set themselves apart from any negative stereotypes and represent themselves with individuality. Also, it is really empowering for women and girls of color to see women that look like us have their own talk show and speak their minds freely.
2. The Real's diversity goes beyond skin color
Jeannie, Loni, Adrienne, and Tamera all have such a variety of different backgrounds and experiences under their belts. Tamera is a twin and mother of two who gives grounded, logical advice. Loni is a comedian who went to school for engineering; her input is always as fair and explanatory as possible. I really appreciate how she tries to see all three sides to every story (one side, the other, and the truth). Jeannie is an newly divorced first generation Vietnamese-American fashion expert. She steers clear from judging others and works through every topic with a clear, logical point of view. Adrienne is a newlywed former child actress and singer with humble beginnings. She is very open and shares some of the most personal details of her life.
The bottom line is that these women are relatable. The different situations these women have been in have allowed them each to develop a unique perspective when discussing important topics. And that is something super valuable in a group of talk show hosts.