Being Angry All The Time Can Kill You
Did 'Basketball' wife Tami Roman's temper land her in the hospital?
The views expressed in this Op-Ed do not reflect that of Loop 21.
Let me start off this article by saying that I do not watch "Basketball Wives," "Love & Hip Hop" or any other reality shows regularly. While some watch the shows religiously and keep up with the "storylines" and others accept the shows as their guilty pleasure, I find them difficult to sit through. In all the episodes I've watched, it seems like we're always one glass of wine away from a brawl or one insult away from a sucker punch. I feel like ducking every time one of the cast members gets out of their seat.
It's a crazy time to be a reality star and no one seems to know that better than Tami Roman, one of the original reality show stars, first with MTV's "The Real World" and now VH1's "Basketball Wives." She suffered a mild heart attack March 26 and the blogsophere exploded, wondering if this would cause the star to shed some of the angry persona she has displayed on the show.
"Having a temper like she does will give that to you," one commenter said. "It’s within her control to save her life. Let go of the rage."
"Sorry to say this but I don’t think this heart attack is going to get Tami down," another commenter said. "She is still going to be her and raise all hell. She went to that therapy thing and was still causing a ruckus even after that. It may take a stroke to cool her down, but I hope it doesn’t get to that."
But not everyone was so quick to link her quick temper with her heart troubles.
"It’s not worthwhile to speculate about what caused a woman so young to have a cardiac event; while those who’ve been keeping up with Tami’s 20+ years of stirring up drama on television will probably blame her high-stress lifestyle, none of us know anything about her family history or other factors that could lead to an early heart attack," Thembi Ford wrote for Clutch magazine.
Tami herself tweeted out to her followers, "God has a way of bringing things into perspective."
Now, a disclaimer — obviously I am not Tami's physician and have no idea what caused her heart problems to begin (or if this is something that's been lingering for some time). I wish her a speedy recovery and hope that she is able to rest and get well soon.
But I sure hope that maybe this health scare is a wake-up call to all who cheer for and thrive off the drama that these shows provide — including the stars themselves.
Stress has been known to be a contributing factor to many medical ailments, including heart disease. But while the whole reality show genre gets a kick out of how many fights and arguments they can pack into a single season, the stars claim that they're not the ones to blame for the drama.
"They are doing a lot of creative editing — I'm not blaming things on the editors but I am faulting them for not giving viewers the whole story," Tami Roman said recently when she called in to Power 92.1 to tell her side of the story on "Basketball Wives."
This isn't the first time Tami or other reality TV stars have spoken out about the editing that makes them look a certain way, but the fact of the matter is that reality shows make money off their stars being angry. That's what keeps the paychecks coming in. Starting fights. Instigating new drama. Rehashing old drama. A prime example is how swiftly DeShawn Snow was kicked off "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" after she failed to do much more than throw a charity event or learn how to be the manager of a household full of employees.
To last in the reality show game you've got to have an agenda. You've got to have something worth talking about. NeNe realized this and took her angry ATL socialite personality and landed a spot on "Celebrity Apprentice," "Glee" and is now in talks to star in a new comedy, "The New Normal." Anger on a reality show, it seems, is a springboard to bigger and better things.
I can only hope that this health scare enables all the cast members (not just Tami) to really think about which is really important — their health or their ratings.
[Also Read: The Silent Killer Of Black Women]