Iyanla Vanzant returned to OWN with her popular series “Iyanla, Fix My Life.” This season opens with a four part examination of the “Myth of the Angry Black Woman”. For six days, eight women are moved into the “House of Healing” so Iyanla can address why Black women have the reputation of being angry. In her introduction, Iyanla explains that this four part series is “A demonstration for women all over the world. There are unhealed hurts and wounds that results in inappropriate behavior that then become our identity. We feel safe showing our anger than our wounds.”
As the show opens, women of varying ages enter the house, each adopting a posture I know so well: slight detachment, caution, observant, a touch of skepticism. The women trade introductions, still trying to feel each other out. Iyanla then calls the women together, and introduces the house rules. As she questions one of the ladies, she immediately uncovers a reason many women of color appear angry:
Our anger is often a cover for fear and sadness.
The women become teary eyed, and nod earnestly as Iyanla explains that this is going to be a painful process but one that is worth the pain. After Iyanla leaves, out comes the alcohol, and things get a little funky. An argument breaks out and it’s captured on camera phone. Over breakfast the next morning, the ladies dance around the fight until they blow up. One woman storms upstairs and calls her friend, claiming she’s going to need bail money because she’s about to go to jail. This is the same woman that claimed she wasn’t ratchet. Honey, own your ratchedness!
When Iyanla returns, she can barely mask her frustration, telling the women that if they knew the things their grandmother’s had experienced to feed their mother’s they would NEVER call another woman outside her name. One woman tries to explain that “they” needed to sleep because “they” had to get up early. Iyanla shuts that down, telling cautioning that the woman can’t keep saying “we” and “us”. It was an “I” reason that the woman got so angry, and that the woman should:
Own your statements. One of the things we do to justify our behavior is make it a universal thing.
Preach, Iyanla! I say this to The Boy ALL the time. Who are they? They aren’t the one’s who are about to feel the full wrath of my fury, YOU are. So tell “they” that “YOU” got into trouble.
In a voice over, Iyanla explains the women, and Black women in general have:
(N)ever been taught how to process their emotions, (we) end up reinforcing the angry black woman stereotype with their behavior.
Needless to say, by this time I was screaming at the TV, Iyanla, you better PREACH!
Iyanla then has the women do an exercise where each person places a common expression that have been used to describe the “angry black woman”.
Oh Iyanla, get out of my head! Like the five stages of grief, I have cycled through each of these labels. (So yes, I’m all out sobbing now). The women begin to confess that they have been told these things by people close to them.
Young Lira is the last woman to enter the house. Lira was engaged to Rick Ross and my quick Google showed something about Meek Mill and rumors. People need to mind their own business. Iyanla, was her brutal self, telling Lira that she learned how to be naive “on the poll.” I had to rewind to make sure I heard that correct.
There are three more episodes left in this series and I can not wait! I did think the house was a little Bad Girls Club, but I have watched Iyanla, Fix My LIfe enough to know that Iyanla isn’t going to put up with that nonsense.
I have never seen Player’s Club, but one of the women was the villain in the movie. Is it Netflix? She also said she stuck a dildo on the wall and told her mom to go eff herself. As much as I fuss with my mom, I would never be that out of pocket!
The woman who said that everyone can’t pray for you. Honey you aint said Nothing! I’ve had some (s)aints pray for me and I swear the devil was riding me like a rodeo.
A theme I see repeatedly on Fix My Life is Iyanla giving people permission to forgive themselves. I need to do this my darn self.
Iyanla always ends with “Just in case no one said it today, I love you.”
To you, dear reader, I love you.
Catch the next episode on OWN this Saturday at 9PM.