OWN’s hit reality show ‘Ready to Love’ has been a bittersweet journey for its viewers (with each of us seeing some of our picks win or lose each week in the game of love), but brought a refreshing view of the various “shades of amore” audiences needed to see.
The show, produced by Will Packer, followed a group of professional, attractive, educated Black singles looking for love.
The show just wrapped up its third season, and viewers were left feeling all kinds of emotions.
The show was also a big hit because it celebrated and embraced Black America in a way that no other major television network has in years.
“Ready to Love” Season 3 showed Black Americans in a positive light, and totally tossed out the “light-skin is the right skin” shenanigans we’ve seen on many other shows highlighting African Americans.
In this group of diverse professionals, you saw women in all shapes, sizes and “shades,” from different career backgrounds and the men — well, it stuck to the norms — they were all HUNKS!
OWN brought us a sigh of relief where other networks have either failed or did not care enough to highlight this type of representation.
We have constantly seen shows like “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette” lack Black representation, even when the franchise cast its first ‘Black Bachelorette’ Rachel (2017) and the first ‘Black Bachelor’ Matt James (2020), who is bi-racial. Their suitors, or those competing for their love, were mostly White.
It is clear, based on the lack of same race contestants, that the “Bachelor” franchise is just not ready to see or celebrate Black couples.
In addition, a more racially ambiguous cast has always been present to represent ‘Black America,’ thus leaving Black viewers to wonder, ‘is my Blackness only valid if it’s light?”
In Ready to Love ‘Last Resort,’ you see the beautiful brown and dark-skinned sisters more as the objects of affection for the men.
Don’t get us wrong, yes, all the women were “worth it,” but we are used to seeing the chocolate drops as the first ones on the chopping blocks and the lighter women being deemed more desirable — oftentimes for no other reason than their lighter skin.
Not in this show. Men were in a tug-of war over our brown skinned natural hair diva, Joy, and Adriana was both breaking and making hearts skip a beat among the men vying for her attention. And our long-legged, sleek ebony-hued Denise was a sexy favorite until (cough, cough) her somewhat aggressive nature ran her immediate love interest in a different direction, and her second choice backed off as well. But that’s another topic for another article (spoiler alert).
Even when Denise attributed what she viewed as a character flaw of male contestant Rashid Floyd to his light skin, it was quickly shot down by other cast mates in his defense. Host ‘Nephew Tommy’, who is also of lighter skin, said he was tired of the stereotypes.
And frankly, most of us are.
One of our favorite ladies, Wynter, had an inner beauty that outshined her obvious exterior fabulousness. And yes, Wynter is a lighter woman, but like the others, it was her substance that reigned supreme.
The women on this reality show carried themselves with grace and class while being entertaining.
The producers creatively found a way to create pockets of tension amongst the contestants without the ‘Love and Hip Hop’ or ‘Basketball Wives’ element of throwing drinks across the table.
While there were eliminations through out the process, the end result was sweet.
Two beautiful Black women (Adriana and Wynter) were CHOSEN by successful, handsome , WORKING men – and for us – that is a recipe for the perfect TV moment and a win for Black America.
[Check out Wynter interviewing Danielle ‘Danni’, another contestant from the show who went home earlier than the others.]