WIMN’s Voices: A Group Blog on Women, Media, AND…

“Charm School”’s Classes on Class

pkamens Icon Posted by Paula Kamen

July 2nd, 2007

Think “My Fair Lady” turned ghetto fabulous.

This could probably have served as the most optimistic pitch possible for the VH1 reality show, “Charm School,” the endlessly entertaining, hilarious, yet ultimately exploitive, reality show that had its finale last night. It featured as contestants the outrageous street-smart women who (inexplicably so) had ruthlessly competed over Flavor Flav in the cult show, “Flavor of Love.”

But this time around, the prize was not Flav, but cold hard cash: $50,000. Another dividend was that for each of the ten “lessons,” the women attended an actual East-coast boarding school-like “finishing school,” complete with prim uniforms, where they learned everything from ettiquette (which part of the wine glass to hold while making a toast and how to eat frog legs) to the importance of giving to charity. The “principal” was the highly watchable comedian Mo’Nique, who had it both ways by contributing clever barbs while also serving as nurturing mother hen to the ladies. At the end of each epidose, one woman was “expelled” by Mo’Nique and her team of judges.

Besides the very witty and outrageous personalities of the contestants, this show stood out, and got interesting, because of the class (and race) element. The women’s candor often exposed the stuffiness of their teachers, just like Laverne and Shirley often made the Milwaukee elite look silly with their frankness. This was the case in the episode structured around wine heir (and “Bachelor” star/prize) Andrew Firestone, who instructed them in the art of boring small talk. But what came out of their mouths instead was more original, such as the reply of one woman to his question about wine admitting that she really doesn’t care for it.

The finale was striking, and depressing, in how high the stakes were for the three remaining women, who seemed to be mostly from impoverished backgrounds. The assignment was to write and their recite a “term paper” of one page to argue why they deserve the money. The woman who ended up being the winner, Saaphyri, moved the judges with her off-the-cuff heart-felt speech how the money would just allow her to have what she never had, a roof over her head and sense of security. She had spent much of her life homeless and always had to worry about her belongings being taken from her under her nose.

The runner-up, Leilene, a former stripper, talked about how she would support her two children as a single mother. This was very depressing that these women have so few opportunities that reality TV is the closest they’ve gotten to higher education (in the same way I get depressed when Oprah gives houses to poor people; it’s a sad state of national affairs when reality TV is the best option for someone). But it was also poignant with how articulate the women were and how much dignity they had at the end, proclaiming that instead of a man, the main prize they have gotten from the show was new comfort with themselves. This was true even with “villain” Shay who rose to the occasion as a fair-hearted and non-vengeful judge.

The women’s class also was a factor in how they were unusually abused by some of the judges — even by reality TV standards. Too often the joke was on them. In the second-to-last episode, the fomer beauty-pageant male exec lashed out at one of the more sexually provocative characters, Brooke (Pumkin), saying that “you can’t put lipstick on a pig.” Mo’Nique added that Brooke was the “whore of Charm Schoool.” The hurt in the young woman’s face was painful to watch as she tried to maintain her composure, and lost it, in the face of this cruelty. I don’t think they would have treated a “higher class” contestant like that, like someone from one of those Bravo “Project Runway” spinoffs. These women got on the “Flavor of Love” show to begin with because of their flaunting their sexuality, and now one was being castigated for it.

This was an admittedly riveting series to watch, for better and for worse. But I’m not planning on turning into the next show of this series, “Rock of Love,” (premiering on July 15) in which women (inexplicably) compete after 80s hair band Poison’s lead singer, Bret Michaels. As the website shows, these women will also be outrageous, but lacking the “My Fair Lady” element that enlivened “Charm School.”

27 Responses to ““Charm School”’s Classes on Class”

  1. free stuff
    July 8th, 2013 22:02

    Hello my friend! I want to say that this article is awesome, great written and include almost all significant infos. I would like to see more posts like this .

  2. chemical suppliers
    July 18th, 2013 02:40

    I have been brooding about in case your web host is OK?

  3. right here
    July 26th, 2013 08:34

    I rattling happy to find this website on bing, just what I was searching for : D likewise saved to my bookmarks .

  4. Click For More
    July 28th, 2013 08:37

    Dead composed subject material , regards for selective information .

  5. chemical suppliers
    October 2nd, 2013 01:37

    Though I do not necessarily concur with the idea in totality, I regard your point of view.

  6. voucher
    October 16th, 2013 23:55

    voucher - Theo nhiều thành viên liên tục tham gia mua phiếu thì cho phép tránh tình trạng trên, người mua phải là người tỉnh táo trước các chiêu quảng cáo của những DN. Trước tiên phải đọc kỹ những điều kiện, điều khoản kèm theo, cần nhất là vào các diễn đàn xem thật kỹ những bình luận của các bạn đã sử dụng dịch vụ tại đây. Đây có lẽ là kênh duy nhất để bạn có khả năng tham khảo đầy đủ những ý kiến của thành viên tham dự và bạn có tác dụng nhận được nhiều lời khuyên hữu ích, tránh bị lừa.

  7. Phoebe Tannous
    November 27th, 2013 21:18

    I’ll gear this review to 2 types of people: current Zune owners who are considering an upgrade, and people trying to decide between a Zune and an iPod. (There are other players worth considering out there, like the Sony Walkman X, but I hope this gives you enough info to make an informed decision of the Zune vs players other than the iPod line as well.)

  8. sohbet
    February 8th, 2014 17:35

    İnternetin vaz geçilmez parçası olan sohbet chat sitelerinden en kaliteli aşkların yaşandığı ask sohbet odaları sunucumuzdan kullanıcılarımıza merhabalar.En güzel aşkları sizlerde yaşamak istiyor iseniz muhakkak aşk sohbet odalarına giriş yapınız sizlerde en güzel aşklarla tanışıp en güzel ve heyecanlı aşklar içerisinde olun.

  9. Forex Hacked FB
    February 25th, 2014 11:41

    Magnificent web site. Lots of helpful info here. I am sending it to some pals ans additionally sharing in delicious. And naturally, thank you on your effort!

  10. adecco call center solution
    March 13th, 2014 07:10

    43 yr old Fitter (Common ) Paul Amerine from Comber, has interests for instance reading, solution call center and frisbee. Keeps a trip blog and has heaps to write about after visiting Discovery Coast Atlantic Forest Reserves.

  11. thang may
    April 11th, 2014 01:25

    Thang May O Can Tho do Thoi Trang Tet 2011 Nhung Dieu Phu Nu Can Biet

  12. Abby
    June 22nd, 2014 13:31

    That’s an incredible read. I adore this web site.
    Thank you for sharing.

    my blog post :: las vegas advertisements - Abby -

  13. Leonardo
    August 1st, 2014 03:27

    Sweet blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo
    News. Do you have any suggestions on how
    to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for
    a while but I never seem to get there! Appreciate it

  14. pubotogo.com
    August 31st, 2014 23:39

    Dark green vegetables are implanted with anti-oxidants which destroy harmful free radicals that enter the body through the atmosphere and environment agencies.

  15. http://www.theconcinnitygroup.com/
    September 23rd, 2014 06:18

    Understanding the technological features, studying the principles,
    next learning to create your personal rule book.

  16. Audello Software
    November 13th, 2014 01:49

    An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a colleague who has been conducting a little homework on this.
    And he in fact bought me breakfast because I stumbled upon it for him…
    lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanx for spending some time to talk about this issue here on your website.

  17. boutique overdrive pedals
    November 16th, 2014 21:03

    I’m still learning from you, but I’m making my way to the top as well. I definitely liked reading everything that is written on your website.Keep the information coming. I enjoyed it!

  18. lesbische cafe arnhem
    November 24th, 2014 20:39

    Fitnesscentrum met veel voor exercise en als ook groepslessen voor Yoga, Poweryoga,
    Fat invasion that is cardio, Bodyshape, verschillende vormen van BBB,
    Steps en Rotating. Sweat, stoombad en aanwezig.

  19. Graciela
    January 4th, 2015 06:22

    whoah this weblog is wonderful i love studying your posts.
    Stay up the great work! You know, lots of people are looking round for this info,
    you can aid them greatly.

  20. chaturbate token hack password
    April 24th, 2015 06:46

    There are short clips which a user can download and
    share with friends and family and share the fun around.

  21. Yer Gersten
    June 20th, 2015 06:52

    We offer a cccam services that allows you to have an access to almost all channels for at least 99.99% of the time. if you encounter more than 0.01% downtime in a month, then you will get this downtime discounted in minutes, times a hundred. A most extreme of all the month costs applies.

  22. parchet bambus
    August 5th, 2015 02:07

    I discovered your blog web site on google and check a couple of of your early posts. Proceed to keep up the outstanding operate. I just extra up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. In search of ahead to studying extra from you in a whilst!…

  23. My Personal Diabetes Success results
    September 12th, 2015 01:16

    I want to start a blog written by a fictitious character commenting on politics, current events, news etc..How?.

  24. Dragon Mania Legends Apk Hack
    November 6th, 2015 06:06

    You can easily plan your route utilizing every kind of
    transport and you’ll be stored up to date with any disruptions
    or cancellations.

  25. ABC
    May 29th, 2016 23:04


  26. tiket bas online
    September 16th, 2016 18:59

    I found Obama, Bill Clinton, and Bush IQ tests , i am
    not sure if it is legit or not, all of them obtained more than a hundred and twenty.

  27. war commander
    May 29th, 2017 03:38

    Excellent goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely great.

Leave a Reply