One of the most heard catch phrases within the last few years is “Keepin’ it real” or “Keepin’ it 100”. I’ve heard it so much that it almost makes me sick. But people’s definition of this overplayed expression apparently is widely different. When I hear it, I think of a person being totally raw and uncut. A person who is truthful. A person who is not afraid to speak their mind and can back up what they say. A ‘what you see is what you get’ type of deal.
A couple of months back, I had a conversation about this particular topic with a couple of girlfriends of mine and for some reason it recently popped in my head again. I’m sad to admit that I watched a little bit of Basketball Wives, the newest bunch… okay, a couple of episodes, and I was totally disgusted with myself because of it. One episode in particular talked about the “wives” (wives is in quotation marks since most of them heffas aren’t married) “Keepin’ it real” and they discussed this as they were acting extra ghetto. What I mean by this is, they were perpping like they were born and raised in Beverly Hills or Hollywood somewhere with their wigs, weaves, and fake nails, but then were all of a sudden “Keeping it real” when they were calling each other out their name, fighting at a restaurant, and talking about who was more hood. Maybe my interpretation was completely off base, but I never knew that this catchall phrase meant that we should act an ass.
I have a problem with people throwing this slogan around because it sounds more like an excuse to act like you don’t have the sense that you were born with. If you truly are a person that has no class, own up to it and be that person one hundred percent of the time, but don’t expect or push everyone else to stoop down to your level. If you truly are a nerd, don’t get in front of your friends pretending that you’re Mr. Tough-guy. If you truly are a man of God, be that person during the week too, not only on Sundays. I was terribly embarrassed for these “ladies”. As a Black woman, I felt that that show, and many others like it, is a step back for African Americans, and portrays to others that our “real” involves fighting and buffoonery. If that’s what it actually means, then I don’t want any part of that. But if I do believe in the right definition, then I’m on the right track to becoming a better person; the type of person I was meant to be.
So what did you learn today… real is about being authentic and true to your nature. Fighting and acting ignorant doesn’t make you “real”, but it does make you childish.