Over the weekend I had a chance to catch up on a few reality shows. One of which was an all black cast of a Sex And The City wannabe show on Bravo, entitled Blood, Sweat and Heels. This is a show where six supposedly fabulous, single and successful ladies, who barely know each other are thrown together in prearranged social engagements to toss shade at each other. It’s debut had the highest rating of any new Bravo show in the network’s history.
While I’m never thrilled to see women of any color in what amounts to tabloid TV, I do enjoy looking for the rare gems of wisdom that come from such shows. Thus, the Melyssa Ford problem.
Ms. Ford is a 37 year old newbie real estate agent who is trying to launch a successful new career while not quite leaving behind her pass life. That former life includes being “a video vixen” or model, or actress, for hip hop stars such as Usher, Jay Z and Jadakiss. If you Google her name and look at images you’ll find countless photos of Ford in scantily clad outfits on the cover and in the pages of the likes of King, Maxim, Smooth and XXL magazines.
The problem isn’t that Ms. Ford used her body to earn a living in her twenties, it’s that she wants to revamp her image as she approaches her forties but doesn’t want to take it seriously. Ford has had several careers since leaving her video days behind. She was a radio personality on Sirius Satellite Radio, and a television host on BET. She has never downplayed the fact that she has played up the video vixen image in order to sell DVDs, calendars, and for personal appearances.
So with the opportunity to turn all that attention once focused exclusively on her body to her brain, why has she done nothing but remind us that she is a forever video vixen on the show? Five episodes in and we have yet to see her take her job as a real estate agent at MNS as seriously as she takes partying and playing up her sex appeal.
The most recent episode entitled, Detox Dear, Detox, which refers to cast mate Mica’s excessive drinking during that episode, also shows a repentant Ford crying to Dr. Michael Eric Dyson about how she hates being objectified. What she doesn’t seem to understand is no one objectifies Melyssa Ford more than Melyssa Ford.
Take a look at her current profile picture on the MNS website. Yes she’s the one who stands out in the hot pink tautly fitting top that draws attention to her, hummmm, assets while most of her female colleagues sport professional blazers with their smiles. When you look up her Wikipedia page it lists her “modeling” measurements as 34D-20-38 along with a long list of her music video appearances with one sentence devoted to her current appearance on Bravo.
Many women get to a point in their lives when they want a do over, a chance to start again and reset their lives on a better path. For most of us, we haven’t lived out some rapper’s fantasy in a video and had sexy pictures of ourselves plastered all over the internet to move past. Usually we just have a past littered with ill advised choices and earnest life mistakes.
The adage, when you know better you do better, applies to all of us who have reveled in some type of folly in our youth that had us set adrift for far too long and now want to chart a different course at an older age. I certainly consider myself one of those people. So on some level I get it when Ms. Ford beats herself up for her choices in the past that have continued to haunt her present day.
What I don’t get is how she can squander the opportunity to turn things around by appearing so irresponsible with her image given this new platform of being on a reality show. Of all the cast members, Ms. Ford is the most well known. How refreshing it would have been to have seen her really embracing this new world of real estate and projecting a more confident positive professional image. Instead of hosting parties where men pay to take pictures with a video vixen, how about we see her hosting a real estate open house or see her on the phone talking numbers with clients.
Perhaps it’s too early in the season to call her out for not promoting her new career. Hopefully we will see more of Ms. Ford in her role as budding real estate mogul. But thus far she has only shown us that despite what you say, it’s what you do that counts, and for Ms. Ford, she nor we can have it both ways!