Shay Johnson has made a career out of reality TV. The genre veteran got her start on VH1’s “Flavor of Love” back in 2006, appeared on a spinoff series, then fast-forward to present day and she is a cast member on “Love & Hip Hop: Miami.” Say what you will about reality TV personalities, but Johnson has solidified her spot and has leveraged her platform to create brands in the health and wellness space that bring awareness to health issues that disproportionally impact Black women. And like Johnson says, she has made a career out of simply “being herself.” Take a look at our sit-down with the reality TV personality where we discuss her latest season on LHH, the stigma of being on reality TV and her initiatives to shed light on an issue that is making women sick.
There is a negative connotation about Black women on TV that says it makes all Black women look bad, which I don’t agree with because if you look at a Honey Boo Boo, no one is going to say she makes all white people look bad, so what do you think about the stigma of Black women on reality TV?
I think it’s an ignorant stereotype. I think it has a lot to do with jealousy and misunderstanding. With the shows that I have been on, I’m very relatable to the everyday woman…
What keeps you on reality TV?
I’m paid to be who I am, I can promote my products. It keeps my brands going. My brand was created because I found out I had fibroids. I have benign tumors on my uterus, that’s what fibroids are. It’s highly common in African America women, but I knew that by sharing my story I could help others…
What is the biggest thing that has changed in the realm of reality TV since you have been on it?
The celebrity of being on "Flavor of Love" was bigger than being on "Love & Hip Hop." There are so many reality shows now it’s as if we are all competing….
This interview has been edited and condensed for the purpose of this Q&A. For the full version, click the link to the video above.