Being on TV: It’s Essentially “You Ain’t Sh**, Rarely in LessThan 500 Words”

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Since The Show began, I’ve done a running weekly commentary on Facebook about my experiences being… more recognized. It’s a series of status updates unofficially called, “Demetria’s on TV and Things Are Getting Interesting.” We’ve covered the many ups and many, many downs of this new terrain that few people talk about, because if they did, I actually would have fully known what I was getting into.

Anyway, something happened yesterday to a friend that made me think this update was worth talking about.

My friend, a popular journalist and author, was called a “coon” on social media Monday. She did a FB update about it and quipped that she’d made it big. I joked something like, “Wait till you get the C-B-C combo. You’re practically A-List.”

Later, after I read several other comments on her thread expressing anger and outrage that she was insulted this way, I realized how f***ed up I’ve become about social media responses.

C-B-C= cunt, bitch, coon. It is not normal to be called these names (or certain others that are quite derogatory). And yet, I can’t count a day since Jan. 5 when The Show debuted where I have not been called at least one of them (and a whole lot more). And each Sunday to Tuesday– 72 hours– after The Show aired, I (and my castmates) am bombarded with an endless tirade of all three throughout the day on Twitter, IG, my blog comments, email and occasionally FB mail.

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What a charner, right? Now imagine reading this everyday.

I was warned by other female reality TV personalities and celebs that this would happen, even by the so-called “likable” ones. Everyone made the same analogies “They talked about Jesus” or reminded me that Michelle Obama has an extremely high approval rating, and she gets it too. It’s part of what comes with being a woman in the pubic eye. But even the warnings don’t prepare you for the waves of hate. It’s like the sea rising up to wipe out NYC in one of those end of the world movies and you are the Statue of Liberty getting wiped out over and over and over… and over. It’s singlehandedly the worst part of being on TV. (Or being a blogger. It always happened, it’s just a higher volume/ frequency now.)

I’m learning to deal with the volume, apparently. (It used to alternately cause insomnia and nightmares). Hence, why I am was completely desensitized to hear of someone else called a “coon”, which if it’s your first time, is incredibly upsetting. I was in tears the first time I was called a “hood rat” in the comments section of a friend’s blog after the BSH trailer aired. (Funny, I’ve since transformed into a snobby/elitist/entitled, cunt/bitch/coon, but whatever).

I tell you all that to make this point. I’ve gotten with rare exception, used to all of this. Occasionally, I save the really good hate mail (like the one above) to whip out for cocktail and appetizer fodder with friends, like, “OMG! You will never believe this one!” I think of it as the equivalent of an ER doctor horrifying her friends with stories of what wild thing happened on the overnight shift. Everyone listening—unless they are also on TV—  is shocked, and weirdly intrigued at the depths and density of the amount of unadulterated crazy in the world.

TV (or blogger) people laugh and we play a game of one-upping each other. Someone not on TV (or blogging) always comments, “what kind of person watches a TV show, then goes online to tell the person that they hate them Like who does that?” Then someone else not on TV (or blogging) comments, “people have too much time.” And then, someone—maybe someone on TV (or who blogs) who is fed up that day or a person who just can’t believe this mess— screeches incredulously, “what is wrong with people?!”  and has to be calmed down. Some sensible soul reminds me to focus on the positive and keep my head up, which actually is now easy and actually done. Go figure.

But mostly, I (or someone) just block the person or delete the message from my mentions/responses/comments and move on with life. (And I’m sure that has something to do with why it doesn’t bother me as much.)

What fascinates me is the people who get pissed about this. Like you ranted in my comments telling me I was, [insert negative adjective] [choose either “bitch” or “cunt”] and you’re surprised I didn’t let that sit on my site/platform/social media? Like when it happens to you—and it must if you think it’s acceptable to talk to people that way—you don’t delete it? Really?

Some folks get so upset that they’ll create a new IG, or post from a friend’s account. And be totally upfront about it. Like, “you blocked me, [insert adjective] [now choose either “cunt” or “bitch”], but I’m back!!!! hahahahaha” Or they’ll go from posting on one of my Instagram accounts to the other using the same screen name. Or from Twitter to Instagram repeating the same message. Or from Twitter to my blog to leave a nasty comment or write a longwinded email essentially telling me “you ain’t shit, [insert “cunt” or “bitch”] in 500 words or more (never less). And they will add a line like, “now block this [choose either “bitch” or “cunt”]”.

It’s like a weird sense of entitlement to not just be mean, but to allow the mean to stand for all eternity.  Like how dare you not allow me to be cruel to you and for everyone to see the depths of my hatred?  How dare you actually do something about it!!!! How dare you not respond to or acknowledge me!!!!! How dare you erase my evil thoughts!!!!! I imagine this, on a loop, is about what goes through The Brain’s, well brain, or maybe The Joker’s.

Whatever it is, it’s a new part of life that I’m stuck with until I fade to black. There’s a lot of bad that comes with the good.

 

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This Post Has 26 Comments

  1. Candice says:

    Wow that is really scary. I’ve only gotten hate once on the internet and I just blocked it and moved on. I couldn’t imagine going through what you do every week.

  2. Joi says:

    It always amazed me how many miserable people there are in the world. Luv ya, Belle *ehugs*

  3. Lily says:

    I am 100% positive these people are irked that you don’t bow down to the negative stereotypes. Having all that energy to say mean things on all of your platforms is a waste of energy, especially since your success irritates them! Imagine all the potential these individuals are wasting worrying about you! Lol you’re awesome and that’s all that matters. The REAL ones love you ;-)

  4. Myshariamour says:

    This is heartbreaking…. I mean I see the comments on “celebs” pics on iG and other places and I just laugh it off or think “people have to much time on their hands” but this really breaks my heart. For them to do it to you just comes at me in a differnt manner. Maybe because I believe we have very similar charcter traits and I really admire you mindframe! I canmt fathom people not liking you… Not that I give a shit if people like me or not… LOL

    But its just like WOW… Shocking & saddening at the same time. Stay up D! You are in a class all by yourself… Not many brown women on reality TV bring your flavor & power. You remain true to who you are & its sooooo refreshing to see that I’m not alone in having that strong charcter trait. Being true to oneself imtimadates way to many people and its often times hard to understand why they hate who you are.

    Stay up & be blessed!!!

  5. Alle says:

    There are all types of crazy in the world. I equate these types with terrorists, identity thieves, etc. Somebody might say, I’m not a terrorist, I just don’t like her! Yeah, whatever, in my book it all comes from a place of hate and evil. May I suggest you create your own Homeland Security, DHS….and continue to live a happy life! For the record, i enjoyed watching you….

  6. Sassy says:

    It’s so sad so see what social media has become. It once was fun where you can communicate with people all over. Now it is being used in such a way to be malicious and degrading to someone else while you hide behind a computer. I am truly disgusted at the way we treat each other nowadays. God help us all.

    • Bolivia says:

      I so agree with you. I look at comments people leave on some blogs and wonder how they would feel if the shoe was on the other foot and it was them being judged. People have adopted this attitude in life that their opinion matters in the lives of others, but don’t take the time to focus on their own. I know poeple make decisions to be on television, but that don’t asked to be negatively judged and ridiculed. People have become so insensitive. It makes some of us want to stay in our little bubbles and live life with less interaction with others.

  7. ReRe says:

    There are more people for you than against you. God bless you, keep doing what your doing! XO

  8. I am convinced these types of people are miserable, hermits that bathe in self-hate, therefore deflecting it onto others. Social-media- gangstas is what I call them…I do not get it really. I guess being in the spotlight forces you develop thick skin.
    Anyway, I just finished your book, and all I have to say is, who-the-hell is Nathan? LOL Why did it end like that? UGH!
    Oh well.
    Much love from Texas

  9. My oh my it is really dreadful that we as human beings continue to tear each other down instead of building each other up. For all those who bash others on social media, they themselves are hurting and attack others with hateful words because they lack self esteem and don’t think highly of themselves. They figure I’ll get them before they get me. The choice you made to be on a reality show is just that.,, your choice. People commenting about you is ridiculous because the reality show only shows a very small part of your lufe.

    I have to say that I enjoy what you have to say as well as Brie, You both definutely keep it real but in a classy way. I enjoy reading your blogs and plan to purchase and read your books,

    Try to remember, you unare a beautiful, intelligent, articulate woman who knows who she is and doesn’t let another define her.

    The tongue is very damaging. What’s the old adage, sticks and stones.,,,,, carry on young lady and continue to do you.

  10. KL says:

    That’s really kind of horrible. What some people won’t do for attention!

    I LOVE that Brene Brown quote!

    Recently I was reading one of my favorite blogs when some troll came in and said something awful. I politely pointed out that the comment was unnecessary and the troll went away.

    I sometimes wonder why other community members let stuff like that stand.

    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

    I hope that the internet gets to a place where good people can stand of for the people they enjoy and the trolls shrink away.

  11. ACam says:

    I think Warsan Shire said it all when she said: “but sometimes your light attracts moths and your warmth attracts parasites.”

  12. MAH says:

    Is there a way you could insert some type of filter on your blog to block any message with certain words that are disrespectful or nasty? Some type of technological device has to be available! That maybe a great way to free up your time and energy you spend deleting these inappropriate comments :-)

  13. Quay says:

    Wow B. I can honestly say with ALL of the reality TV I’ve watched over the years (I’m 22 and the Reality TV show wave kind of popped off during my generation—I’ve watched the good, the bad, the ugly and the shortlived and it’s the same as watching scripted to me, so I never realize how much mess gets brought reality stars’ way)—I never knew it went down quite like that. I never knew how much people attacked and at what levels. I knew the “bad ones” (or those most people just love to hate) like Evelyn (my boo), Joselyn (She’s a mess, but she’s got some likable character traits) and Jackie Christie (Lord have mercy lol), but I didn’t know how badly they got hounded. I just know it happens to them if it happens to you. And you Demetria. I’m kinda blown. First of all, call me biased or what-the-hell-ever but I love you to DEATH! You’re smart and savvy and very matter-of-fact and you use all of that to help people on such a unique platform. Essence was my favorite magazine to read for years (even when I was little and may or may not have been too young to read it) and when you became relationships editor, I just dieeed and went to Heaven and dieeed and went back. And wherever you’ve gone, I’ve followed you since because what you have, people rarely do. You tell the truth when it’s easy and tell the truth when it hurts and you always have sound reasoning behind the things you say instead of just letting rules sit on our backs to ponder and ponder on. I guess what I’m trying to say is that you’re so awesome, I never even fathomed that other people wouldn’t think the same thing about you when you joined BSH. And I damn sure didn’t think people would say such hurtful things to you. I am sincerely glad you got over it but I’m still mad that it even happened to you. But keep being you Belle. Keep working so diligently to help women all over the world because you’re teaching lessons I bet women in the 19th century wish they knew and that a whooollle lot of women in the world today need to know. I’m still working through alot and you have no freaking CLUE how much reading your blog (sometimes several times a day to re-up) has coached me and helped me along. God bless you Belle. Get your own show too–because I was bored on most of the parts on BSH when you weren’t up there. I’d read a book and perk up when I heard your voice. Okay, this is long. Be blessed Belle because you’re the shiznayee as Scrappy would say on LHHATL.

  14. Sonya says:

    I would say I am amazed by this but ….I’m not. Some people actually think if they say ugly, unwanted and unwarranted things to you via social media that it means something, that your really going to be hurt or most importantly that someone cares to hear it. They ultimately make themselves look stupid, especially when they are grammar-less. All they get from me are chuckles. Their stupidity rings loud and fortunately I don’t listen.

    For the angry FAN….yeah cause we know you are a fan….here’s a little something for you….

    Tip of the Day: You may want to use spell/grammar check before you check The Checker!!!!

    SMH and laughing at stupid people.

    Belle do your thang girl, do your thang!!!!

  15. Craziness, right? I worry about this when it comes to my own blog cause LORD knows I am sensitive… but it does come with the territory when you put yourself “out there”. And it’s all about perception on TV too. I’m sure producers pick the drama filled times to showcase on TV since reality TV wouldn’t be fun if all we saw was classy, powerhouse women working hard in pjs and being blissfully happy.

    Sidenote: “Met” you at #IHSBeautiesBrains last night and I LOVED your insight. I went home super motivated… and immediately followed your blog.

  16. Wow. That’s all I can say. Just…wow.

  17. Melyorkie says:

    It’s a really sad part of society – that the perceive anonymity of the internet provides. Sorry you any anyone else has to deal with such vile treatment.

    I do wish you had spoke up on this when Andy questioned you about social media comments on the reunion – instead of saying you don’t read them. Clearly you do, as you have documented here – could have been a great medium to address the issue had you been a bit more forthcoming.

  18. Milla says:

    This is sad, I didn’t particularly like the way you treated the tall woman on the show, but I would NEVER say some of the things that was said to you. It is really sad because everyone has feelings whether you like their personality or not and it is never someone’s place to take down another human being. Peace blessing s and love oh and you are a beautiful sister. Stay strong

  19. lakakilia says:

    I couldn’t imagine myself dealing with such evil on a daily basis…It is so many weird people that thrive on trying to eliminate someone’s happy. It is refreshing to see a few black women on reality tv that can actually communicate without resulting to “ratchet” like behavior. I can only say to continue to ignore the stupid and continue to rise and shine! Continue to be blessed.

  20. MrsWellDone says:

    I watched the show, the reunion, now read the blog and I’m disgusted, amazed and relieved. I’m disgusted with the reality that we live in a world where an opinion of a show somehow justifies a complete character assassination, name-calling and need to spew hate… That s@&% irks me. Amazed that your strength and honesty can be described as anything but what it is, honesty. Something tells me that if you were a man, this wouldn’t even be a conversation or position needing explanation. Lastly, I am relieved. Relieved that you haven’t let bullshit, hatred and negativity take over your life and dim your light. I’m sure I haven’t typed 500 words, which I wanted to do in response to all of the ridiculous, baseless criticism and hatred you’ve received. But I do have ten words – Belle you’re amazing, continue sharing your gift and @&%# those who say anything to the contrary. I don’t curse, but I’m pissed. I don’t comment on blogs, but I was compelled in this case. I don’t want you to stop doing what you’re doing, strong women apologize too often (in words an actions) for being too honest, being too direct or being too passionate about the business of being who they are. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

  21. blican says:

    My mouth just fell open when I read what you and your colleagues have had to endure. It’s so sad how much power insecure people have when they sit behind a computer and even sadder that they don’t care how it affects people. I want you to know that from day one of your show I immediately connected with your personality and spirit. I love that you’re a thick brown girl with natural hair that has a brain. I know that the bad sticks out more than the good, but I hope that my comment makes you realize that there are people who enjoy what you do and look to you as an inspiration.

  22. NickieLuv621 says:

    Insanity!!! Much love anyway…love your spunk..LOL. Stay the course….much success to you and the other ladies.

    Peace & Blessings
    **side note***all that negative energy **shaking my head**Karma’s a bitch!!!

  23. Tyece says:

    I thought of this post, not because I have debuted on television, but because today was the first time my work was published on a major online platform. And, I got to ride that high for about all of 10 minutes before I looked at the comments section. It now suddenly makes sense to me why people tell you not to read the comments, at least not ones that aren’t on your own blog. I can (and do) moderate what people say on my blog, but this is a whole different animal. There’s a lot of extreme vehemence that lives in the comments section. So, I looked to this post for some reassurance. :) Thanks!

  24. […] concerned. I’ve done one season of reality TV and even I don’t Google myself because of the horrible things people write on the Internet. You have no idea (or maybe you do, because sometimes they’re in the comments section here.) And […]

  25. […] concerned. I’ve done one season of reality TV, and even I don’t Google myself because of the horrible things people write on the Internet. You have no idea (or maybe you do, because sometimes they’re in the comments section at The […]

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