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NeNe Is My American Idol

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It's official -- I am a NeNe groupie. Here's why.

nene leakkes is my idol

Jennifer Ginsberg: Never has a TV personality -- let alone a character on a reality TV show -- inspired me the way NeNe, from the hit Bravo show "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," has. I am unabashedly in love with this goddess, who proudly declares in the intro, "I'm not keeping up with the Joneses -- I am the Joneses." Not only is she hysterically funny, witty, and completely charismatic, she is also intuitive and wise. However, her most attractive quality is how she unapologetically moves through the world -- completely comfortable in her own skin and in the present moment.

It is rare to find a woman who makes no excuses for who she is. It is also unusual for someone to be authentically joyful. I love how NeNe responds to criticism and challenges. She doesn't hide, avoid, or get defensive -- rather, she faces everything head-on. Her reaction to the Internet rumor that she was a stripper was nothing short of brilliant. She created and directed an "Alter-Ego" photo shoot and dressed up like a stripper. And for that shoot, she was 100 percent a stripper -- she took on the character with more passion and zest than most Hollywood actresses are capable of.

It is also unusual to come across a woman in the media who truly makes me feel good about myself. Personally, I am so sick of abnormally gorgeous women who refuse to self-deprecate, and who take themselves so damn seriously. These are the celebrities who portray the image of "perfect mother," who not only work 18-hour days, but also have the time and energy to chair several charity causes while taking care of their children -- and manage to look flawless while accomplishing all of this.

For some reason, I never feel inspired when I see an interview with Angelina Jolie or Madonna -- I just feel like I am not good enough. Hell -- I can hardly balance my little writing gig with all my family responsibilities, yet these women manage to take it all on and more, and never even look dumpy or have their greasy hair hiding under a baseball cap -- like I do most days! But when I watch NeNe embrace life with gusto and grace, I feel good enough as I am, and totally inspired to follow my passions as well.

And for all of this, NeNe is my American Idol.


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5 comments so far | Post a comment now
pam September 11, 2009, 6:25 AM

I totally agree with this article so much about NeNe’s personality!!!!

Karen September 11, 2009, 8:24 AM

It sounds like you insulted NeNe to praise. She not gorgeous so you feel better about yourself? Angelina is too perfect, but NeNe is what? Imperfect, so than you feel better….?

KellyK September 11, 2009, 3:01 PM

I TOTALLY agree with this! I LOVE NeNe for these same reasons!!

Chrissy September 11, 2009, 5:33 PM

Yes she can be funny and enteratianing bu if NeNe was truly comfortable in her own skin she wouldn’t be putting other people down as she does in the show and interviews such as The Wendy Williams Show were she was deliberately implied that Kandi doesn’t have money or was self made.
Amd dismissed her as “whatever”.
Further I can’t support someone who intentionaly lies about her husband’s income and occupation or gets evicted from her rental home for non payment as reported in Atlanta news from filed legal papers.

Heather R September 15, 2009, 11:26 AM

I’ve never watched Nene, but your piece reminds me that sometimes we women need to know how to say, “Here’s to those who love me/And love me well/and to all those who don’t/You can go…to your home….?


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