Haters = Motivators?

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I’m always pretty open with you, dear readers, but this week I have a huge admission to make: I got sucked into a The Real Housewives of Atlanta first-season marathon a couple weeks ago and didn’t inflict physical pain on myself! Now I know many folks who are both public (and private—I see you!) stans for this show, but I have to say I am ashamed that I left the channel on Bravo and watched the first episode of the new season. Anyway, while watching, something I heard (okay, a lot of things I heard, but play along) made me scratch my head.

What could make me move my fingers across the keyboard, even as I fantasize about a dinner that I don’t feel like cooking? “Let your haters be your motivators,” says nearly every chick on the show at some point. Apparently, it’s the “housewife” mantra of choice. At first blush, it sounds good: You know, it’s pithy, it kinda rhymes, it brings together the street and the classroom quite nicely—all that. But when I really listen to what these women are saying, I’m forced to wonder if it’s really a good idea to let the folks who hate (or simply hate on) you spur you to action. That sounds like some bad juju.

I can’t help but ask: Is that what Bush was doing when he started this shitshow of a war that we’re still waging? Using the actions of presumed terrorists (“Why do they hate us?”) to justify bombing civilians? Was North Korea’s Kim Jong-il getting at his haters when he put on his stunna shades and platforms and okayed locking up 200,000 political prisoners in prison camps? (Wow, they are just like us!) Really, the only time I can think of when it was a good idea to be motivated by your haters was during the Civil Rights Movement, and that’s only because hate was actually the issue at hand.

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Not to sound all afterschool special-y, but my daddy always taught me that I should do things because I want to, not because others don’t want me to or in retaliation to their views; that internal incentive trumps external stimulus every time; that if you measure yourself against the actions of others, you will always come up short of your potential. So bomb countries ’cause you want to, not ’cause they hate you! Or something like that…

Do you use your haters as your motivators, or do you compete against yourself? Wanna confess your love—or hate—for NeNe (who I don’t think is as hood as everyone makes her out to be) and the crew? Tell me!

—Kenrya

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Last 5 posts by kenrya

  • Ricki

    All I know is that Kandi looks like she has a sausage in those shorts.

  • Tahad

    Hate is a favorite word among blacks. We have publicized that word so much until it has become a part of our heritage. Only thing is that we are hating our selves, so any one that looks like us we hate, and yes! we probably don’t do things because we want too, we do them for the haters, so they can look and hate more and we can hate their hate with a good feeling; like look at me hater. We feed off this type of energy and that’s why we as a people have nothing of our own besides all the material things we can brag about, but when its all said and done with; we won’t be leaving anything behind for our future generations but more hate. I got a job hater paying for my car and clothes and apartment. What you got hater! I look at you haters and laugh because your jealous of what I have hater. I’m on TV look at me now haters. Jessy said I am somebody I am somebody……

  • Steely D

    Kandi does have camel toe. And I admit, I’ve watched the show once, in between “Tiny & Toya” (I know i’m not the only one, lol…).

    I don’t know if haters can be the ultimate motivators, in moderation yes, but as a whole, they do tend to work on your soul. but then again, nothing ever feels as good as saying I told you so after someone tells you no.

  • ak

    haters depress me and hurt my feelings. they don’t motivate me at all. i’m pretty sensitive tho.

    also, i have to say, i think the whole “hater” language reminds me of the “conceited” girls in grade school whose mamas told them that nobody liked them because they were pretty/well-dressed/had “good hair, etc. when really, nobody liked them because they sucked.

    sounds corny, i know, but love motivates me! (but haters: don’t try to india.arie me.)

  • Maya

    I, like you, do think NeNe is NOT as hood as she comes off…

  • Van

    We just do not know what to say at times out of our mouths! I must admit, I am guilty of watching it as well. Some would say whatever motivates you, however, hate should not be motivation at all. It is an ugly word that comes with a seemingly positive connotation attached to it nowadays. Hate is and always will be negative no matter if that is a motivator for some.