Jennifer Williams gained fame as a cast member on VH1’s “Basketball Wives,” but the former reality star advises young women to set higher goals for themselves.
“I’ve heard so many young children say that they want to be on reality TV when they grow up. What happened to young people wanting to be doctors and lawyers and just professionals?” Jennifer asked on T.D. Jakes’ BET series, “Mind, Body and Soul.”
Jennifer, who also popped up on Bravo’s “I Dream of NeNe,” used “Basketball Wives” to help her build a brand and she’s also spoken out against bullying. She wants reality-star wannabes to think about how they’d use their celebrity if given the opportunity.
“What are you going to use the platform to do? I think that’s an important question that you need to ask yourself,” she said.
Jennifer left “Basketball Wives” after a rough season that included being on the receiving end of some violent behavior. She reminded those who might want to follow in her footsteps that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
“People see these shows and what’s on TV and a lot of times they look at it like…people want to be famous. They see some form of glitz or glamor whatever it is that they might be attracted to. It’s produced,” she reminded viewers.
Jennifer said she learned a thing or two about friendship and trust from her time on the reality show. “I definitely learned some lessons about friendship and trusting people. I don’t live with regrets, so I feel like the experience I went through, I learned things. It was supposed to happen. I lost a friend. My marriage was going downhill that was probably eventually going to happen. Honestly, I feel like it’s made me a stronger person. When I went through that incident with the whole fight, I was by myself… It just made me sit with myself and sit with my thoughts and it really did make me a stronger person.”
Though she was able to hold onto her dignity on the series and never engaged in a physical altercation, Jennifer said women need to take control of their TV images, and not just in front of the camera.
“You need to be a part of your image and what’s being out there, whether it’s producing or owning whatever is being put out there,” she said. “We have a lot of young people who watch TV and they’re very impressionable. The images they receive are from media or they’re from social networking sites. I think it’s very important to put out a positive image.”
She explained that the questionable content on “BBW” is one reason she parted ways with the series. “The show was going in a direction that was very negative and I want to be proud of my work, and I was not proud of where it was going. I just feel like it wasn’t for me. I had given them so much and to feel betrayed like that…when you’re on reality TV and you’re telling your story and this is something that’s not scripted, you need to be able to trust the people you work with. When I can trust you, I can’t work with you.”
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