Last night I was watching some TV pretty late, or at least late to me and I ended up on BETJ (or BET Jazz to some) and they were playing a show called Real Life Divas. I hadn’t heard of this show, but I do like their other shows, like BET Shorts and My 2 Cents so I continued watching. RLD was featuring Naomi Campbell on this episode, and it really did tell me some things about her that I didn’t know. But the reason I write this isn’t to boast about the wonderful works of Naomi, but to talk about how I feel it is important to take back the definition of what a Diva actually is. And also to point out that BET needs more programs of this nature on their regular station and this is a problem! Many girls posing as women are misconstruing the what it means to be a “diva” even before Beyonce made it an annoying song (Sorry B, I do love you, but I hate the song).
A “diva” is NOT the female version of hustler. In fact, I went to both www.dictionary.com and www.m-w.com to find out their definition of hustler and diva, and neither made diva and hustler synonyms in their various definitions. Then, I polled different people to find out what they feel a “Diva” is and here is what people are saying:
1. A female lead in an opera (it fits the song!)
2. Someone who is high maintenance, demanding and has high standards (in both a good and bad way).
3. Someone who is prissy, has an attitude, and is high maintenance.
4. Not sure, but its not good because I don’t like what people refer to as diva behavior.
There is resounding proof that a diva is in fact not the female version of a hustler, and I’m happy that BET Jazz has this show to show people what a real diva is (definition 2 for this case). So far they featured people like Tracey Edmonds, Fatima Robinson, Iman, Lisa Leslie, Sanaa Lathan, and Maxine Waters. The only one whom I can say can be noted for the negative features of being a Diva is Naomi Campbell. I really like this show, and I hope it continues to a second season finding people outside of the celebrity/entertainment industry to feature. I hope they feature some people still working their way up the “diva” ladder to continue to inspire peole and show that its not always easy.
And while I’m happy that people want to take a word with a generally negative connotation and make it positive, they also take it out of context. You have girls calling themselves a DIVA while they sit home and receive foot stamps, what is Diva about that? Or just because a girl wears a tight slinky outfit she suddently deems herself a diva.
I also want to comment on the fact that BETJ should really be BET. They have better original programming and better taste in music. I feel like BET is really operating under the mission statement of the original BET (like I know what that is, but based on prior BET programming like Teen Summit, etc.), and is really entertainment for black people whereas BET now is basically trying to emulate MTV reality shows and plays horrible music like the Stanky Leg