Watch: Will ‘All My Babies’ Mamas’ Be The Absolute Worst Reality Show In History?

Or My New VERY Guilty Pleasure?
He Has 11 Kids And 10 Baby Mamas. So. Yeah.

Without a doubt, this is one of the most devastating things I’ve ever watched. About 3 minutes in, I turned to the love of my life and said, I can’t. I can’t watch this. But he knows me well, and patiently waited for me to get it together emotionally, and press ‘play’ again so I could sit through a pilot episode for a show that is reportedly coming to the Oxygen network (yes, Oxygen… the network that we kinda thought was all about women and femme empowerment until they started airing The Bad Girls Club). All My Babies’ Mamas is a new reality show about rapper Shawty Lo, his ELEVEN children… and the TEN women with whom he created those children… AKA alllllllll his babies’ mamas. I thought that Lady Gaga video teaser was ratchet; I thought Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta was ratchet; but this pilot takes the ratchet cake that’s been baking in the oven of… well… all these babies mamas, lmao! The ratchet is so strong, I had to create a pop culture theory around it y’all. So watch the pilot episode above and join me inside for another meeting of PITNB’s popCULTURE CLUB: theoretically putting the “culture” back in “pop culture,” one post at a time…

Did you watch it? Are you still living? Or are you, like, “outgoing… and angry”? OMG. Y’all this video made me so uncomfortable, and at the same time… I can’t remember the last time I laugh/cried so hard. Not to get morbid, but I’m honestly glad my Mom isn’t around to see this ish. She might’ve missed the election of President Barack Obama, but I don’t think she could have, like, continued to have faith in her people after this one. LMAO. Okay, let me not speak for my Mom. I do not think that I can continue to have faith in my people after this one… lol. I kid, I kid. I love black people. And you should too. And as much as I DON’T want to make this a race thing (mainly because I don’t wanna hear *those* kinda comments from um non-black people, lol) I can’t help but be hella embarrassed.  I’m embarrassed because, obviously, this show will enforce many stereotypes about and against my culture– and I don’t use the word ‘stereotypes’ loosely. There was a time, not too long ago, when Black men were literally murdered all over the South (and the North too), largely because of the stereotype of the Black Mandingo who can’t control his ginormous penis and his wild, primitive sexual urges. So there’s that to be worried about with All My Babies’ Mamas. Stereotypes are real, and they sometimes come from a real truth, but they can also be deadly, when internalized. And all of us internalize cultural stereotypes of some sort every day.

But I’m also embarrassed because I’m not completely opposed to watching this show! If it’s meant to be entertaining, it’s serving its purpose. I’ve admitted before to having a very liberal sense of humor. I believe jokes about rape can be funny, depending on delivery and context. I love racial, insult comedy. And I was LMAO throughout MOST of this video. Here are some of my favorite quotes:

He was givin’ them out like presents– every Christmas a child was comin’ out (Wanna-be-Bougie Baby Mama RE: Shawty Lo)

I would describe myself as outgoing… and angry… (Baby Mama From Hell)

Like I tol’ her yesterday, don’t start no sh-t ’cause I’ma choke yo ass out (Fighter Baby Mama RE: Baby Mama From Hell)

You like them anoresick-ass broads (Fighter Baby Mama to Shawty Lo RE: the new girlfriend, Ashlin)

Me and him will get married one day… [looks down and around, bites inside of mouth, seemingly unconvinced of this statement] (Ashlin, RE: Shawty Lo)

I’m finna’ (translation: fitting to; translation: about to) name all my kids… (Shawty Lo FTW!)

So the bottom line is, I’m torn. The feminist/daughter-of-activists/sane person in me believes that no human being on the planet should watch/support a show where women gladly take on Baby Mama monikers like they’re the friggen Seven Dwarfs (Angry Baby Mama, Boss Baby Mama, Jealous Baby Mama, Sleepy Baby Mama). However, the Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta fan/trainwreck-loving, pop culture consumer in me cannot wait to see more of this ultimate ratchet.

I was so torn, in fact, I had to seek help from my friends. They weighed in on the Rihanna/Chris Brown situation, and they had plenty to say about All My Babies’ Mamas. Here was the Facebook prompt (because sometimes I have Facebook prompts):

Everyone. We need to talk about Shawty Lo’s new reality show ‘All My Babies’ Mamas.’ I wanna blog about it, but first I need words…

And here’s what my trusted friends & family think:

Y do we nd to talk about it..hes smart making alota of money and watching baby mommas fight..and what do we do? We watch it and sooo does america… (Paul)

***

Oh bejesus. My eyes. I’m not sure what’s going to be better: Joe Burden on Love and Hip Hop: New York or this. I haven’t been excited for two shows like this in a loooonnnnggggg tiiiimmmmmeeeeee. y. Baby mama from hell said: “I will describe myself as outgoing and…angry. Outgoing…and mean. I would consider myself outgoing and patient.” LMAOOOOO (Iris)

***

I can’t even wrap my head around this AND why would anyone give him a reality show. I think this one takes the cake for me and I’m done with reality TV lol. (Sheila)

***

It’s to the point where people are conjuring up ways to start a reality show and whoever compiles the most ratchet ideas is the winner. I am a fan of trash TV, I loooove the entertainment. However, this is complete foolery and it is proof that people are trying to become relevant be any means necessary. For 10 ‘baby mamas’ and one girlfriend to be in agreement to magnify their way of life is a little unreal and discerning… I am rarely speechless. Not only am I speechless but I am also worried about the cycle that these future gloried ‘baby mamas’ will create. (Corene)

***

one of my friends on twitter said something to the effect of “if it’s an honest exploration of poly relationships, maybe. but if not, no.” so the *generous* part of me wants to be like, well maybe this is a documentary-like exploration of a so-called “nontraditional family structure” (and i hate that word b/c obviously what the fuck IS a “traditional” family structure esp when the nuclear family as we conceive of it today *really* was codified only since the Cold War or so) and its dynamics and how relationships are negotiation? and while that’s inevitably part of it, even the center of it in a way, the rest of me knows this is playing up to some shuck and jive “black folks are irresponsible and black men are lavicious beasts and black women are dub as fuck look at those niggers they can’t even do family right” type sensibility. so yeah. i’m not gonna watch it but what the fuck does that matter, it’s not like they’re gonna stop doing it anytime soon. *shrug* (I’Nasah)

(my response to I’Nasah) I’Nasah, for a few seconds I had that thought. Like, okay. The reality is we live in a world of babymamas (shouts-out to me). Those women are babymamas, Halle Berry’s a babymama, friggen Jessica Simpson is a babymama. Hella people are married, but have children from previous relationships, etc., etc. So in many ways, this is just another example of a *non-traditional* family. Would we be mad if they gave him a show and he only had 2 or 3 babymamas (that’s kinda… average… and T.I. has a show), and if not… then what’s the LEAST number of baby mamas he’d have to have for this show to be less ratchet, less embarrassing (let’s be real… as black people… we’re a little bit embarrassed right now)? I dunno…

***

The premise of the show seems like a hate crime to me. I’m sorry I can’t be more articulate. lol. (Rickey)

***

I have no words (Karen)

***

Have you seen Sister Wives? (Emma)

(my response to Emma) Emma, I haven’t but I thought about it. Shawty Lo isn’t married to ANY of these women. None of them seemed to care (or even cared that he was clearly cheating on them all, all of the time), HOWEVER, they do this thing at the end where they talk about how they’re really just one big family. A big happy family… and I think that’s ultimately how shows like this get made. As Corene said it’s all about the ratchet, but there’s gotta be some pretense of family values too (like the Kardashians). It’s weird as fuck!

***

I have returned. First of all, why is this pilot so ratchet? Are they really using Mac cameras to do the private interviews? Somebody help us. Second of all, CONDOMS WORK. BIRTH CONTROL WORKS. Third, “I would describe myself as outgoing . . . and angry.” Me too. Fourth, between this and RHOA I can’t deal with this part of Atlanta. It’s really really official. Fifth, “Anoresick.” Sixth, HE IS NOT CUTE. Seventh, I’m taking a rest here. Eighth, all the children are mostly girls? Intriguing. Ninth, E’creia is still with the man she cheated on Lo with…. but she’s controlling Lo’s bill still to this day. Lord help us. Tenth, Oh. I’m mistaken. E’creia’s no longer paying the bills. A NINETEEN YEAR OLD IS. Very good. All is well with the world. Eleventh, Condoms still work. So does birth control, typically. *falls out* (Rickey again)

***

I think the difference between something like Sister Wives is that its an actual practice. If you want to live a certain lifestyle then I am a firm believer that you should do just that. I think the world looks at it differently when you ‘fake your happy’. There is no way those women are happy knowing that at one time the father of their child was cheating on them with someone they are now agreeing to do a business deal with. Lets call it what it is. Polygamy is a way of life that is not for everyone but if you choose to live that lifestyle then own that lifestyle and dont configure this life similar because of pure circumstance. Accept the responsibilities that come with the lifestyle you choose. Having three children that are the same age is proof that this is not a way of life for anyone but him. (Corene)

***

I think baby mommas are part of an actual practice at this point. It’s becoming fairly acceptable for men with money to have multiple children with different women as long as he supports them (I’m thinking of Lil Wayne, Mick Jagger, Nicolas Sarkozy, many NBA players). I think its safe to assume that most of these women were aware that he was sleeping with other women while he was with them. You would have to be pretty naive to think that wasn’t happening…especially the second half of the moms. My takeaway from Sister Wives was that raising children and having relationships are hard and that things are never perfect. Aside from cultural and religious reasons for their marriage, the Sister Wives seemed to feel like their lives as mothers were improved by being part of a team of moms and there was empowerment in outnumbering their husband. But the Sister Wives aren’t supposed to be with anyone but this one man and are ultimately subject to his rules. I can’t really tell from the preview if Shawty Lo’s accountability and responsibility toward his mommas and children is any less than that of a polygamist husband. And while I can bet that this situation is less than ideal for the moms, it seems like they have financial support and companionship on a level that many unmarried women do not. I agree that ownership is totally a key element here! It looks like the mothers of Shawty Lo’s children are owning the situation and working as a team to get their needs met. To me, that is better than allowing him to get away with fathering their children and not being involved with the consequences of his actions as twisted as it is… But yeah, rules, consent, and ownership seem pretty ambiguous here as compared to polygamy. I’m really curious to see how they navigate this! (Emma)

***

“I think baby mommas are part of an actual practice at this point.” I am on the floor dying. LOL (Corene)

***

#theyshouldanevagaveyoun*ggasmoney (Ángela RE: this)

***

~’halle berry is a babymama’, yes indeed, however, thats not embarrassing or necessarily irresponsible. She’s grown and can handle her own. This fellow obviously has no regard for whether we deem him to be irresponsible or ignorant or ‘just another black dude with a bunch a kids’. These mothers have to deal with all of this anyway with him and the other women so why not make some money of their own and maybe be on a couple of magazine covers if the ratings are good…it’s all about the ratings! I didnt watch the trailer and I will not watch the show. Let us not support this and maybe it will go away…just maybe. (Michelle)

Okay. What do you guys think about All My Babies’ Mamas? Worst reality show ever, in the history of everdom? Or your new guilty pleasure?

Or both?

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  1. im just here like….what….why?..*shakes head*

  2. Whenever I see these type of awful shows (Honey Boo Boo , this, etc.) I can’t help but sympathize with the people involved. Even for season 1 they are probably getting paid an amount that for them feels like a lot of money. Hell for a lot of us it would be a lot of money. I hate cameras and the idea of putting yourself out there, but if someone flashed that much money in my face and I realized that perhaps living month to month or not worrying if we would make it to the next months rent I might be tempted. Of course no one wants to see my boring life and everyone involved know this so they play up a storyline for the cameras.

    I don’t really know where I am going with this, I watch all sorts of trashy reality tv so am definitely part of the problem. I understand the point about stereotyping, all of these shows do it….Jersey Shore, Housewives, Honey Boo Boo, but stereotypes seem to be what everyone wants to see that or a lifestyle that they will never experience (see all those million dollar whatever shows). I am not sure what that really says about us as a society. Nothing good.

    • Hannah, thanks for sharing this. Money is DEF a factor and I’ve thought about that too before– how I totally don’t think I’d ever in a million years make an ass of myself on TV, but since I’ve never been offered a show… who knows?!

      I think you’re right about what people want to see on TV, but we also like to watch the ‘good’ stuff too! There are good shows (and good reality shows) on television. I think one of the reasons I brought up race is because for every ‘Jersey Shore’ or ‘Honey Boo Boo’, there are a bunch of shows that depict white people in a non-negative (but sure, probably still stereotypical on some level) way. As much as I enjoy trainwreck black casts like those on ‘Love & Hip-Hop’ I know there’s an imbalance here. I know you didn’t bring up race, but your comment about realty show stereotyping made me think about the issue.

      Thanks again for sharing this!

    • You are right, I didn’t think of it like that in regards to how many negative stereotypes are balanced with shows which depict positives Thanks.

      Either way I will not be watching. I am trying to watch less of these trashy reality shows in general as it is us the viewers which cause these shows to get made in the first place. To be honest though it hasn’t been my own will power stopping me from watching them it has been getting rid of everything but basic cable.

  3. This reminds me of my father-in-law who has 7 children from 6 different women. It happens. However, to make a show of it. Ugh. Yet, people are going to watch it. Double ugh. I, for one, won’t.

    • AwesomeMargie, one of our readers Iris (who commented on my Facebook post) put me on to @Crissle. She’s a blogger who had Twitter going crazy when she asked if anyone came from a similar type of family. And yeah, it definitely happens! My family has its fair share too. But I think you’re right. There’s something celebratory about putting it on TV.

  4. Oh my goodness. So when I first started watching the clip, I thought the show sounded like it might actually be guilty fun to watch. After watching it, here is what I think. 1. It is totally degrading to women. He treats them (from what I could tell) like his personal servants. His gf is doing something in his ear and doing stuff to his feet? Then he tells her she is the “boss’ girl” or whatever and she refers to herself as being #2 to his #1. Sounds totally misguided. 2. Watching him try to name his kids was painful. Then he doesn’t even go to three or four of their graduations? Really? 3. Some parts were funny. Like where she talks about choking the Baby Mama from Hell? LOL. I can see parts of this show being funny and other parts to just be unwatchable. Interesting show and a great argument for contraception. :-)

    • @Brent — Shows like this and ‘Teen Mom’ not only disgust me but they also infuriate me. The things that networks put on TV in the name of money-making entertainment just saddens me. Why do we have to get our entertainment from the exploitation of others? In this case, think about the poor children. Yes, the women appear to be degraded but they chose to couple with this man. The children are completely innocent and, yet, they are being used for entertainment in, what I consider, a horribly embarrassing way. The same goes for the dumb kids on ‘Teen Mom’. I know I’m getting old because stuff like this makes me weep for our society.

    • Trent, I hadn’t thought about ‘Teen Mom’– thanks for bringing that up. As much as they (MTV) tried to pretend that that show was about showing girls how hard it is to become moms at a young age, they made it look cool. Those girls are [D-list] celebrities and so I imagine young women everywhere thinking that it *clearly* can’t be that bad.

      Similarly, I imagine people looking at a show like this and then every other guy with *only* 3-9 baby mamas suddenly doesn’t look so bad! Very dangerous idea, I think.

      But there are so many dangerous ideas perpetrated by reality shows, movies, other shows all the time. I think we’re all guilty of– as you say– getting ‘our entertainment from the exploitation of others.’ The ‘why’ part of that question is really interesting to think about.

    • @Shannon — Yes, exactly. And look, I’m guilty myself … I enjoy trashy reality TV … but not the shows that exploit the innocent. Honey Boo Boo is a child, the moms on ‘Teen Mom’ are minors, these are people who are being exploited for entertainment by older people (usually their parents) making the decision for them. It’s just so unsavory and gross, IMHO.

    • Trent, yes. This is especially sad in the case of this show, where the children are old enough to to see their parents like this.

    • Brent, I thought he totally sounded like a pimp, the way the women described (and showed themselves) taking care of him. I agree– not a good look.

      ‘a great argument for contraception’ HELL Yeah. Sadly, these women and Shawty clearly know that there is such thing as birth control and/or condoms, and still chose this life. Madness.

    • @Shannon & Trent, I think I did catch an episode of Teen Mom once, but didn’t that show depict the struggles the girls went through? I could be totally wrong though as it has been a while ago. Yes, I definitely feel for these kids. That is such a weird home situation and I’m sure these kids are being raised as if sleeping around with multiple people is okay. Additionally, I agree with the kids being exploited by their parents. It is very disgusting. Ugh hopefully this show will get cancelled before it even starts.

    • Brent, the thing about Teen Mom is that they TRY to make it seem like that’s what it’s about. All the girls, always lamenting about how hard their lives are since they had children young.

      But ultimately, I think it has the opposite effect. Because those girls became mini-celebs, and because they’ve had many seasons on MTV, it just ends up looking cool. Also, it’s kind of like young, single moms trying to tell their daughters to never have kids young and/or out of wedlock. Part of the problem is that actions speak louder than words. So you can SAY it’s hard to be a young, single mother, but unless young people lit’rally see you dying from that ish… it can still be appealing, or at least acceptable.

      A show like Teen Mom ultimately normalizes teen motherhood. Some people would say that’s fine. For me, the line between normalizing and celebrating is very thin.

    • @Shannon — Yes. There have even been reports of young girls attempting to get pregnant because they want to be on Teen Mom. Kids, smh.

    • Trent, noooooo! That was just a theory of mine! Can’t believe that’s actually a real thing… and then again. I kinda can. Very scary stuff.

  5. Matthew

    I think the issue of exploitation is an interesting one. Namely, when does exploitation begin? The children on this show know and live with the fact that their dad fathered many children with multiple women. Does that make them exploited?

    No. That’s just their life. But then camera crews show up and start documenting their lives. Does that make it exploitation? No. Because then any documentary or film featuring children would be exploitation.

    So is it exploitation because the people being filmed and documented are getting money for it? No. Because then every child actor, from Honey Boo Boo to the girl that acted in Beasts of the Southern Wild are exploited. Technically, the money is being paid to the guardians, not the children.

    So where does the exploitation start? One could argue that it’s not because they are being filmed, and it’s not because they are getting money, they are being exploited because they never had a choice in whether to participate. Of course, the counter to that argument is that most children don’t have a choice in whether or not to participate in pretty much anything. I mean, if your mom says you are going to Sunday School, then you are going.

    So I suppose the best argument in support of claiming these kids are being exploited is that they are not actively choosing to be filmed. I agree that they are being exploited on some level, I guess I was just trying to figure out how/why.

    On another note, I have to sadly confess to regularly exploiting my niece and nephew. Whenever they come over, they wash all the dishes, vacuum and take out the trash. And I give them candy. I’ve also filmed them without consent on several occasions, with the end goal being to provide lots of entertainment at the next family gathering. I know, I know. I should be ashamed.

    • Matthew, I like where you’re going with this… lol. ‘The children on this show know and live with the fact that their dad fathered many children with multiple women. Does that make them exploited?’ I love that question! I kinda want to say ‘Yes!’ Yes, because there’s something wrong with bringing a whole other human being into this world and deciding for that human being that they should be one of 10 children to a father who isn’t committed to the mother, to ANY of the mothers. One of the first jobs of a mother is to choose a good father for her children… but let’s not go too far down that road, lol.

      Context is everything! Cameras in front of a child do not equal exploitation. But the bottom line is, we’re all pretty much laughing (or just cringing) at these families; maybe we’re feeling bad for the children but even so, these parents have set their children up to be either ridiculed or pitied. Granted, there’s probably someone out there who’s making fun of the ‘Beasts Of The Southern Wild’ actor, but most of us are giving her props. And she participated in a movie that most of us consider a worthwhile addition to cinema, and to her own culture, even.

      So yes, all of us who post Facebook pics of our kids, and who make our kids get us stuff from the kitchen that we could totally go get ourselves (lol) participate in some form of exploitation. Hell, all parents are bringing people into this world and into situations that they might not want to be in. And we (and you, yes) should be a little bit ashamed, lol. But mainly, we should be doing our best to make their lives, like, decent. Putting them on TV particularly in the ‘freak show’ type of way is what’s troubling, I suppose.

  6. Lauren xx

    Can we not? The poor people of Atlanta already have the “Real” Housewives. The city does not deserve this.

  7. This is going to be a hard show to watch. Like I said before, I really do hope they show some of the family members and how they react to this. One thing I’m glad is that if there is one “baby mama” who helps the others…but still. Still am for a loss. Especially since it’s apparent that he loves them when they are young. Three baby mamas said they met him when he was 17 and that girlfriend..aye caramba.

    • Iris B, I think you’re right. It’d be reeeeallly interesting to see what the family members of the babies mamas think about all this. Still, it’s all so bad… I dunno. Like you said, it would be difficult to watch.

  8. Jen

    This is bad for all of the reasons articulated above. I am insulted that people creating these shows feel like we can’t be entertained by anything but stuff like this. There are so many positive things that every culture/race/whatever you wanna call it has to offer, why glorify this?
    If kids are seeing all of this behavior: bad girls club, teen mom, 16 and pregnant, honey boo boo, etc. Is it any wonder that we are having problems as a society? You don’t have to work hard: just be outrageous, or rude, or angry, or selfish, or sell yourself out to make a buck.
    Can’t we just go back to the Cosby show?

  9. I think the overwhelming answer to your question Shannon is “Yes, ‘All My Babies Mamas will be The Absolute Worst Reality Show in History!!”. Wow, I can’t take back those 10 minutes I watched that…but couldn’t press STOP!.

  10. Risa

    I really wish that this whole ‘ratchet’ business would disappear already, please and thank you.

  11. pufinstuf

    I think what disturbs me the most about this are the low expectations the adults on the show seem to have for themselves. The “baby mammas” don’t seem stupid. They must have known that if they had sex with no birth control, there was at least a chance they would become pregnant. Even if they were not aware of the extent of his fertility, having a rapper’s baby out of wedlock seems like a poor goal. And the man at the center of this seems to have a lot of pride about how many children he has managed to produce when it really doesn’t take any talent. All of the baby mamma’s identities are based on being one of his baby mammas, complete with nicknames. And his “new girlfriend” says he won’t cheat on her because he has cheated on every woman he was with in the past. Excuse me? Isn’t that a reason to believe he WILL cheat? Plus she describes herself as the head woman. Why would you want to be the chief of the people your boyfriend has had sex with? I don’t know if this is necessarily a race thing (I’m white, so excuse me if I’m just being stupid.) It mostly seems like a group of people expecting far, far too little out of life and themselves. You could probably say the same of “Honey Boo Boo” and “Jersey Shore” though in different contexts.

  12. Sam

    I couldn’t get passed about 3 minutes…as soon as they started introducing the women…it feels like these ladies are his hoes and the first woman is his “bottom bitch” or some shit…truly disgusting.

    This is bad and anyone watching this should feel bad.

  13. i made it to 2:39

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