“Have some self-respect!” As a teenager, my momma made sure that I understood what was expected of me and high on the list was a load of self-respect! Self-respect is a virtue that has gone MIA and nowhere is that more obvious than on our television screens. I have said before that I am a reality show junkie but the last few shows have been watched more to dissect what would possess someone to go on national television and act in a way that could only be described as someone who lacks any “Home Training!”
It wasn’t until after I grew up and left my mother’s house that I understood how important having respect for yourself is and it wasn’t until I left that I realized that what I had been given was not the norm. The workplace, where people from all walks of life come together in the name of making money, was where I first discovered how lucky I was to have had a mother who took the time to train me and to tell me how I should and shouldn’t act. I was amazed at how many times I talked to people who had never been told that it wasn’t normal to run around saying everything that came to their mind and it wasn’t o.k. to act like they did at home in public…it just wasn’t o.k.!
So when I watched shows like Love & Hip Hop and the Real Housewives of (Insert city) I sat there in complete amazement at how willing these women were to live without filter. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you need to let someone have it and I understand that…hell I am a pro at that but even when I have found myself in situations where I have deemed it necessary to “Let a B*%&# know”, it has never been just because she was breathing or because I didn’t agree with her position. It hasn’t even been when someone has said they didn’t like me…so what…there is no rule that says someone has to like you just because you want to be liked and there is no rule that says you have to like everyone. The only rule that
is used to be universal is the rule of respect…that is until now.
The new normal makes me and my way of thinking look antiquated. Somehow those of us who were raised to act like ladies and to treat ourselves and others with respect, even if you didn’t like them, have been replaced with a new breed (I won’t say generation because some of these women are older than me) of woman and this woman has no problem showing her ass, acting irrationally and literally walking around throwing tantrums like a toddler.
The first time I watched Basketball Wives, I sat there in complete amazement and when the show ended, I sat for a second and then said–“WOW“…there was nothing else that I could say and by the second season, I found it hard to sit and finish a whole episode!
From there, as everyone knows, the shows and the antics went down hill fast and for those of us sitting on the sidelines, we couldn’t believe that this was real. These women acted like wild banshee’s and found nothing wrong with it and what I found most interesting was that they would look at you like you were crazy if you dared tell them that acting this way was an issue.
The best thing that has come from these shows is a teaching moment for the rest of us. While I do not allow my 13 year old to watch these shows, what I have learned is how much I have to step my game up because these grown women start out as little girls and junior high school is their training ground so antiquated or not, I am resolved to teach her how to carry herself and have some self-respect!
“Straighten up your face!”, said in a very forceful manner. Oh, I heard this a lot! We all know the look too. Your mother asks you to do something you don’t want to do and your face crinkles up, your lips launch into smacking position and just as you are primed to give your best imitation of “the disgruntled teenager”, your mother hits you with the words that you know mean you are about to get it and you quickly remember yourself. This scenario played out many times in my teenage career and when my daughter hit thirteen and her crooked faced alter ego made its appearance, I found myself uttering those words more and more.
In life, when you walk around with your face scrunched up and your lips turned out the person who loses is you. No one wants to hang around a person who presents themselves in an unapproachable manner and no one wants to hire a person who projects an image of disdain. Just because you don’t like what someone has to say, doesn’t mean you have the right walk around looking any which way. Straightening up your face teaches you respect and as an adult, it will give you the ability to further your career and in the end, you don’t want your money to be affected because no one ever told you to straighten up your face!