Iyanla, Pimp my Life

Iyanla Vanzant is the star of Iyanla’s Fix my Life, a show on OWN that seeks out people who are struggling and attempts to help them put their lives back together. Iyanla is sold to viewers as this inspirational person who overcame her own troubles and is now trying to guide other people in the right direction. Now, that’s how Oprah is marketing the show. What this show actually does is put vulnerable people on camera, tear them down and then humiliates them for ratings. This show causes more harm and the guests walk away with new issues they’ll have to work through. Iyanla is a fraud who uses her platform to stroke her own ego. She abuses people under the guise of tough love, a problematic concept that has painful roots within the black community.

A couple of weeks ago, she sat down with some of the people who survived the Pulse massacre. While I believe there is power in telling your own story, this wasn’t the case. Those people were visibly hurting and she continued to push them for information. Then to make matters worse, she convinced them that it was necessary to go back to Pulse where it happened. Why are trauma and pain commodities? There are multiple ways to make money so I don’t understand why they choose to exploit people who are already being exploited by white supremacy. Historically, this country has profited from the abuse and pain of black and brown people. When will we collectively break this cycle and recognize that we are humans who feel pain and struggle? Trauma should never be used as a punchline. Healing doesn’t come from humiliation. It comes from recognizing the source of the pain and working towards a solution. Broadcasting your trauma with a condescending, narcissist isn't the solution. I wish people would stop pretending to care about black folks and just admit that every part of our being is a potential profit for them.