Will The Women Of OWN’s ‘Love In The City’ Change The Way Black Women Are Portrayed On Reality TV? [EXCLUSIVE]

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Black women on reality TV are often seen as name-calling, back-stabbing, obnoxious and just plain ratchet. It’s rare that Black women are represented with grace, style and class without having to throw shade of bows for ratings. This is why shows like OWN’s newest docuseries, “Love In The City” are welcomed with open arms. We’re ready to see ourselves in a new light. If you miss friend-centric show like “Sex & The City” and “Girlfriends,” “Love In The City” is about to be your new fave. Yes, it’s possible for women to get along on TV.

Meet Kiyah Wright, Bershan Shaw, Chenoa Maxwell and Tiffany Jones, the fabulous foursome of the network’s newest docuseries, “Love In The City.” These real-life girlfriends have known each other for more than ten years, and are constant sources of inspiration, support, competition and companionship to one another which the network promises to portray on screen as the ladies balance love and life in New York.

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The  show will take us through the group’s adventures, misadventures, romances (two are married, the other are not), successes and life-altering struggles, including breast cancer, which both Bershan and Tiffany have.  They may not always see eye-to-eye but they are there for each other with solid and unwavering support as they each face their own unique challenges and triumphs.

As we look forward to the premiere of the show on April 12,  #TeamBeautiful sat down with the gorgeous girlfriends to get all the tea on what makes this show different from Bravo’s “Blood, Sweat & Heels,” why every woman moves to NYC with “Carrie Bradshaw” dreams and if it’s really possible to have it all. Check out what Kiya, Bershan, Chenoa and Tiffany had to say.

HelloBeautiful: What makes this show different from “Blood, Sweat & Heels?”

Bershan Shaw: We are all real friends for over a decade. We know the funny things about each other–the crazy things that make each one of us tick. The scary things that we have been through and our life challenges that have made us who we are and that’s what makes this a docuseries about true friendship. We are a show about real struggles. Real challenges and real life with four best friends.

Tiffany Jones: It’s so great that networks are starting to air shows that feature successful women of color who are in the prime of their lives. I believe two of the main aspects that set “Love in the City” apart from “Blood, Sweat and Heels” is that even though viewers will see us go through our ups and downs, when it’s all said and done, we are genuinely concerned for one another and can still be friends. I also think viewers will get to see more of our careers and what it takes for us to be successful in our chosen fields.

HB: What image of Black women are you hoping to portray on this reality show?

Bershan Shaw: I hope this show portrays a positive image of Black women. I want this show to show that Black women are strong, courageous but most of all loving and fun. Black women are always seen as disgruntled and mad at the world and we are not like that at all; it is is so far from the truth. We are worldly, loving and giving. We work hard we struggle and we persevere! Anything that you put in a Black woman’s way, we will make it happen because that’s who we were at birth. Survivors!

Kiya Wright: We will portray for Black women that friendship really matters and it takes compromise, patience and communication to maintain a successful friendship.

Chenoa Maxwell: We’re not trying to “portray” anything, we’re just who we are; women striving to live authentically, love hard, work hard and fight for each other so we can say we live limitlessly.

Tiffany Jones: I can only be myself. If being me inspires anyone through my laugh, what I wear or what I say, that is an accomplishment because I have worked my butt off just to get to this point. I was very vulnerable this first season and took responsibility for knowing how to take care of me first. I can’t do what others want for the sake of others. I must maintain for me to be good for you and the world.

HB: Is it possible for women to “have it all,” especially in NYC?

Bershan Shaw: Yes it is possible to have it all in New York City. The only thing that holds us back is ourselves and fear. Fear is false evidence appearing real. The mind is something that can enslave us or empower us. I choose to let the mind empower me and I know I can do any and everything. Once a doctor gave me three months to live and asked if you believed in miracles and I replied, ‘Yes.’ I can do anything. Once I found my inner warrior, I knew I had the strength to beat stage four cancer. I am now seven years cancer-free. It’s all up to you!

Kiya Wright: I believe in life anything is possible, especially in NYC–it’s the land of opportunity.

Chenoa Maxwell: F***ing right it’s possible!!!

Tiffany Jones: If you want it all you will have it all. There are no limits in your life. You are the producer of your life. If you live in NYC, you have the best backdrop ever created. Over time your all will change, but make sure your all is what makes you smile in the morning. Whatever your all is, make sure it’s what makes you happy.

HB: Why do you think many women who move to NYC want to be Carrie Bradshaw?

Bershan Shaw: Carrie was the epitome of style, fashion, class, fun and living life to it’s fullest. Every girl loves dressing [up] and most women want their independence and to make a mark in this world. If you can have both, it’s a dream come true. That’s me–the modern day Black Carrie Bradshaw.

Tiffany Jones: You know, when I first heard of “Sex and the City,” I refused to watch it because there wasn’t one woman of color. So I was a late bloomer to the so cool, witty, funny, colorful, stylish Carrie Bradshaw. And just when I fell in love with her, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Every time she lit a cigarette, I would cringe because I was living the life in New York City in my upper east side, floor-to-ceiling, all glass, corner unit apartment–rolling out of my bed into the energy of the city I love, ready and able to grab a cocktail at any moment. Always looking like I stepped out of Vogue magazine.

But wait, I was still doing that, but in the middle of my day, now I had a radiation appointment. Watching Sarah Jessica Parker’s play Carrie–her character gave you hope of having it all i.e., friendship, fashion, freedom, good food, thriving career, meeting the sexiest men in the sexiest city… Working in fashion is what definitely hooked me–she and I dressed for our moods. Carrie Bradshaw inspired me to keep it sexy. Your fashion is your lifestyle.

Will you be watching?

Tune in to OWN to watch “Love In The City” on April 12th, 10 pm EST. 

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