Monday, December 2, 2013

Thicker Than Water Portrays A New Level of Bougie For African Americans

"Tell the person next to you that God wants you to have it all."-- Ben Tankard

As much as I hate to admit it, there is something extra special about Ben and Jewel Tankard. These two are the happily married couple/stars of Bravo's show Thicker Than Water. The show spotlights how they successfully make their family life work, but they are not the ordinary African American family. Ben and Jewel are worth $5 million and they have almost all of their kids (grown and married too) living with them. Ben has been and continues to make his money from the Gospel music industry. However, there is something bigger that this reality show portrays. It shows how much we've as African Americans have reached a new level of bouginess.

Being bougie used to be all about carrying a Louis Vuitton bag, looking for only men with money, but still knowing how to drop it like it's hot when your favorite rap song came on. Think back to B.A.P.S, Player's Club, and Juvenile's song Back That Ass Up. As for Player's Club even while stripping for money, Lisa Raye's character still held air of classiness to herself. These are not these scenes that reality television is giving us.

Instead while watching Thicker Than Water, I saw Jewel and one of her sisters sitting around in these big fluffy costume dresses talking about some big anniversary party. Remember those dresses your mom used to make you wear every Easter? They were real itchy and you were forced to wear stockings with them. Yeah, I ditched those dresses a long time ago. However, apparently when you're worth a certain amount of money, those dresses are the requirement. This shouldn't be a surprise. These people also purchase private planes as "I love you" gifts.

Jewel has also talked about one of her sisters issues for several episodes. I get the part of being concerned about your family. You're there for them emotionally, there for them when they are sick, and even when they need some money. However, in this case the sister, Janice, is clearly keeping Jewel out of her business. Her and her husband do not want help from anyone. In fact, they moved to a new place without telling anyone. That was the clear sign to stay out of their business, but Jewel keeps talking about it. So in the last episode, Not The Family Standard," all of the sisters went to counseling.

I do love how they all bond. Ben takes time to make his wife feel special. Although he has asked his children how they plan to make money, he's not in a rush to kick them out of his house. Then Jewel may come off as bougie, but at least she's inspiring women to want more financially and emotionally. If you're a millionaire, the goal should be to become a billionaire.

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