You are Known by the People you Hang Out With (Even Family)

ImageI am a fan of SOME reality TV shows. I must say that some of my favorites are about families. I am not ashamed to admit that I am a fan of Keeping up With the Kardashians, The Braxton Family Values and Mary Mary. Now I know those three shows really have little in common, but to me the main commonality is that they all have a way they want their family to be seen as. I get this idea from listening to their individual commentary throughout the show. They don’t want people to think they don’t love each other or doesn’t want the other sibling to be successful, they want you to know the opposite and that sometimes as siblings they disagree. When you think about the idea of family branding, do you think about the meaning behind your family name, how people treat you because of your family name and associations and or how people distance themselves from you when you mention who your relatives are? Well the three shows that I enjoy watching all have achieved a high level of family branding.

When I think of the Braxton Family Value, I think of musical talents among sisters who each possess something completely different.  When they sing together it is wonderful, but you also see that they don’t always agree with each other.  They have their own mindsets, but at the end of the day all of the sister’s are musically talented and some want to be known for those talents. You see the things they go through with their husbands, kids, and balancing music, family and sister duties. Keeping Up with the Kardashians is honestly one of my favorite family reality TV shows. Kourtney’s idea of being a great parent but also working hard, with a fear of marriage because of her parent’s failed marriage is a great example of how complicated some situations can be. Khloe’s inability to get pregnant but she does not to let her inability to conceive put her in a standoffish position with Kourtney, who doesn’t try to get pregnant but has two children. Kim, is just now finding herself in my opinion. Now that she doesn’t work as much and has a new man in her life you  can see a change in her. This show in my opinion is the best example of family branding. Although some people do not like the show nor the family, you can’t deny that they don’t have the hustle and make it happen mentality, all while still being family centered. My new favorite show is Mary Mary. All I can say is that their family reminds me of my own (to a certain degree). You see them argue, disagree, threaten to take time out from the group, deal with daddy issues, and balance being a mother and good wife all at the same time. This while showing the world their family life.  As I started watching Mary Mary, it made me think of a more religion centered Braxton Family Values. Did they hide their faith, no but they did let everyone into their life to see how their faith plays a big part in the success and family life, yes.

With all of that being said, I love those shows and it makes me think about my own family and how do people see us. I can say with certainty that when people ask me who my mama, grandma, and granddaddy are and I tell them, they expect so much from me. They expect me to be able to sing my heart out, be in the church every Sunday and live by every word in the Bible, aspire to have a big family, and be a hard worker. Now those things are not bad but when I do things that are not within that line of thinking (which I do a lot), people  look at me like I should be ashamed of myself. Well I am not. I think they feel this way because they don’t really know what message my family wants to send out. Some people take the fact that we don’t socialized much with people who are not family as us thinking we are more than everyone else. In actually. it is because we have always had each other when we had nothing or no one else. They take that we go to church and are active in every auxiliary possible, as we must live by the Bible at all times and that singing just comes second nature because my granny and granddaddy did it.  Well, we do work hard and are never ashamed of anything that we have done (I honestly get that from my granny). I think if a family really wants to brand themselves on a smaller scale than the Braxton’s, Karadashians’s and the Mary’s then you really have to put forth the effort. Really look at how the things you do and say affect how people will perceive you and how you can shape the message then.  

All I know is that, when I was told you are known by the people you hang out with, my mama nor grandma did not lie about that. I know they meant it as friends, but family is the same thing. I will always be known as Jennifer’s little sister or Frankie’s granddaughter. I can’t change that but I can work to help how people see my family through the messages that I communicate.

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