Bravo's Southern Charm Gets Diversified
I got into the reality show on Bravo, Southern Charm via my neighbor when we lived next door to each other back in the Bronx. Back then Thomas and Kathryn were the focal point on the show, Thomas being in his early 50s and Kathryn just being 21 years old, it didn’t take too long before things started to go sideways with their relationship, Kathryn being obsessive, and Thomas running away from her.
But as tumultuous their relationship was, obviously, they weren’t using any protection when Kathryn came out pregnant with his baby and then not too long after, had another.
With that being said, the mostly Caucasian cast of characters, living within their “privileged Southern roots”, they certainly didn’t fail to amuse us with their maladies of relationship problems and commitments.
We’ll start off with Shep, the obvious one where the word commitment wasn’t in his vocabulary. Shep comes from a well to do family but is a commitment phobe until recently. I will say this, although I personally find him unattractive, he sure has a way with the ladies. A very smooth talker at best, Shep has had more rounds in his bed than at the local bars. But recently, Shep has changed...well somewhat. He has a new girlfriend, yes, the one where they had the “DTR” discussion, she takes care of his dog Craig, and spends a great deal of time at his place. The first commitment he’s ever made with someone and I would say, overall, his career aspirations, he pretty much has it together, most times.
Then we have Craig (Shep named his dog after Craig), who’s actually my favorite.
Craig had a girlfriend named Naomi. Their relationship seemed pretty much normal until Craig’s lack of desire to become an attorney put Naomi off to where their relationship was going.
At first, I thought to myself, Craig better get it together or he’s gonna lose a really good woman. But after a couple of seasons and seeing where their relationship was going and the type of person Craig was supposed to be for Naomi, I realize Naomi was only in it for the prestige. When she realized that Craig had no intentions on becoming a lawyer or having any type of a practice but was more interested in making pillows, she found an assortment of problems in their relationship and decided it was better that they go their separate ways.
Craig did not take this lightly, he tried a variety of ways to convince her as to why they should stay together until at some point he eventually gave up or was it because she had moved on with some doctor that she found love with.
While Naomi is successful in her own right having her own business and taking custody of the cat that they shared together, I realized in Naomi‘s case she’s a little bit standoffish. Her family is from French dissent, speaks fluent French and she helps run her family business.
Even though Craig had a difficult time, Miss Patricia, the monarch of the show, seem to have taken a liking to Craig and gave him a chance supporting his pillow business by having him make custom made pillows for her.
Eventually, Craig won and showed everyone that his plan with his pillow making business was as successful as he wanted to be and more.
While Craig was still up and down with his emotions from Naomi moving on, he finally got his shit together by connecting with people who are helping him grow his pillow business and he’s seems very happy with his life path.
Kathryn, is a favorite of mine. I’m not sure why that is. I guess because of her vulnerability and her youth, finding Thomas Ravenel as some sort of a savior, believing he was going to give her the life she inspired for and instead it was the other way around.
In Kathryn’s case when it comes to relationships, I can completely relate when you believe in someone in thinking they will give you more, but again Kathryn was only 21 at the time and when you think about being that age and being with someone quite older, you have a tendency of looking up to them which I’m sure this was the case when it came to their relationship.
However, Thomas had no issues later in the seasons, flaunting other relationships, when they broke up, even after the children were born, and were less to be desired, aka Ashley.
It was clear early on Thomas had no intentions of settling down with anyone. He is the type of man who enjoys being single and having to stick his thing in wherever and whenever he wants.
I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with that, but when you spend time with a person and then have them believe that they could be the one, it can be very distressing when the other person moves on without your knowledge and you find out by either seeing them with someone else or in the case with certified lunatic Ashley who was constantly threatening and belittling Kathryn or he impregnates them, which actually is a recent event.
While Kathryn is not a saint, but named her child Saint, Kathryn has had her own demons to battle with one of them being a drug habit, went to rehab because she had lost her children in the process but at the same time Thomas was also not being a saint as he was accused of allegedly sexually raping a nanny.
While both have gone through extreme hurdles, both have straightened up (for the most part) for the sake of their children and have joint custody.
Other main characters include, Austin, who’s likeminded Shep’s counterpart, Whitney (Miss Patricia's son), who once upon a time was with Kathryn before she dumped him for Thomas, Miss Patricia who has a very humble servant, Michael, who doesn’t hesitate to answer her when she rings that bell, and Cameron, who seemed to lead the pack of what were her children, until she had a child of her own.
Cameron was a pivotal character on the show because she seemed to be the one to have it pretty much together. She’s married to Jason, who we didn’t see on camera because he had no interest in being on the show, pretty understandable.
Cameron is a real estate agent, selling high income properties, being the best in her field. The one thing Cameron lacked desire was to become a mom. Even though her husband Jason wanted to be a parent it seemed this was the only thing that it separated the two-career driven couple.
Eventually Cameron gave in, got off her birth control pills and became pregnant with their first child. Her journey at motherhood came with difficulty because she had the deep desire to work and still go out and just be Cameron. But then something happened to change all that not some sort of illness or what have you but more of looking at her life and her priorities and understanding the value of motherhood was more important than going out and drinking.
Some people fine in their life changes that having or being a party animal every night sometimes isn’t the value of what they see their future to be in their family unit.
With all that being said, we move on to Leva. While she’s not exactly a new person on the show, she has been friends with Cameron for many years and I believe worked with her on some level. Although Leva is very much married and owns a restaurant with her husband, Lamar, Kathryn was going around spreading rumors that Leva had an affair with Jason.
Not a great way to introduce a new cast member as a “cheater”, Leva wasted no time in sharing her background heritage being Iranian/Persian and living in the south. I guess this is Bravos way of showing diversity on the show that has mainly featured white characters living in the south and that the south is more diverse than what we see on a reality TV show.
While there are other characters I can get into which I’m not for the sake of keeping my readers interested, I’ve noticed that there has been a lot of changes and what we see on television especially since the violence that has occurred against black individuals this past summer.
Even down to pictorial advertising with different retail companies that have featured more black models that I have seen in all of the years of my life of living.
Why is that? Why does it take violence to recognize that we are all the same? While we may not be all the same financially, at the end of the day we are all humans and we should always treat each other with respect regardless of what color we are or what background we come from in our heritage which all of us should be proud.
There’s nothing wrong with being proud of who you are, but there’s something wrong when your pride gets in the way of your ego because of who you are or what makes you believe you are better than everyone else.
While Southern Charm didn’t seem to depict this type of behavior, it was pretty clear, they also needed to change up who they had on the show and bring diversity something we haven’t seen since the show aired.
Until then. Take Care of You.