You will be redirected back to your article in seconds
Back to IndieWire

4 Black Women will Transform a “White Sister” Weekly on New Lifetime Series ‘Girlfriend Intervention’

4 Black Women will Transform a "White Sister" Weekly on New Lifetime Series 'Girlfriend Intervention'

The Lifetime network (which continues to want to carve out an African American audience of its own, given recent programming) has announced that it’s picked up four new unscripted series to add to its primetime lineup, including a handful featuring black cast members.

They are, first: a complete makeover series titled “Girlfriend Intervention,” which stars “four wise, poised and stylish African American women, who, in each episode, help a white sister seeking a complete makeover to restore her confidence and inner glow,” according to the press release I received today.

Maybe someone reading this can explain to me what the mean by “white sister,” because I’m not entirely sure what I’m supposed to understand here. Are they speaking in the spirit of sisterhood or womanhood, as in all women are sisters, regardless of heritage and skin color? Or is “white” being used as a synonym for a blank canvas, unsullied, pure, ultra-conservative? Or is it just as simple as 4 black women making over a white woman every week? Help me out folks…

Here’s what the rest of the description reads:

Making over their wardrobes, beauty routines, homes and minds, they teach these women how to embrace and celebrate their lives, speak their mind, lighten up and love themselves again. Our four experts carry themselves with a great deal of pride, style and, most importantly, self-confidence. Where does it come from and how can it be obtained? Who better to teach a woman how to get that sparkle in her eye and spring back in her step?  Each week, Girlfriend Intervention follows a woman whose personal space and self-esteem are in desperate need of a major makeover and a life-giving dose of diva inspiration.  

So will the women who are, shall we say, “upgraded” by our 4 African American experts always be “white sisters” – whatever “white” means in this case? And assuming “white” is being used here in the most obvious sense – racial/skin color – what then do the above descriptions suggest about stereotypes and on-screen depictions of black and white women, if anything at all?

The show will be hosted by beauty expert Tracy Balan, home and sanctuary guru Nikki Chu, style and fashion maven Tiffiny Dixon and soul coach Tanisha Thomas, who help these women “break it down and tell it like it is.”

The second series that Lifetime has picked up is a docu-sitcom titled “Kosher Soul,” which follows “hip-hop tastemaker” O’Neal McKnight and his fiancée, celebrity stylist Miriam Sternoff. Here’s how that program is described in the press release:

This is the swirl like you’ve never seen it before. Celebrity stylist, comedian, sometime performer and reformed man about town O’Neal McKnight is getting married to fellow celebrity fashion stylist Miriam Sternoff, who plays grown-up to his arrested adolescent. O’Neal is African American, from a very rural part of the south; Miriam is Jewish, from the northwest by way of upper-middle-class New York City; and her mom, who strikes terror into O’Neal’s heart, is insistent that their children be raised Jewish. So O’Neal, who had not always been the best boyfriend to Miriam back in the day, is converting in an effort to show he’s serious about marriage and his wife’s belief system. O’Neal and Miriam, and their cosmopolitan circle of Los Angeles friends, spare no sacred cow as they explore and poke fun at the differences in their cultures.  We’ll watch emotions run high as Miriam’s family wonders how authentic O’Neal’s conversion is, and these two completely different people try to form a union and live as one. Will their love be able to survive?

And third is a reality-competition show titled “Threads,” from the producers of “Project Runway” and featuring Vanessa Simmons and Christian Siriano, in which skilled teen and tween fashion designers showcase their gift for style. Each week, 3 new contestants put their skills to the test to see who can out-design the competition. Challenges will be fast-paced and unpredictable, as the contestants compete for a prize package worth $25,000.  

In addition, Lifetime unveiled three new shows it has placed into development, including what it calls an extreme dental makeover show titled “Smile;” a competition-reality series “Worst Stylist Ever,” which pits America’s “most feared” hair stylists against one another; and “Ugly Models,” a docu-series from rocker Gene Simmons, Jon Murray, Jeff Jenkins and Gil Goldschein that looks at the world’s leading modeling agency focused on representing “unusual looking people.”

Which or these, if any, are of interest to you?

This Article is related to: Television and tagged ,


Deztany Garza

well i would really like to have my mom on this show please contact me she needs major help

Keisha Wilkins

I’m a single mom burn survivor single mom is 320 college one in highschool and I got burned June 3rd 2008 taking away my likes I don’t have a sense of style or how I can cover my scarring on a crafting if you could please in any kind of way help me I’d really really appreciate it thank you and have a blessed day I need your help thanks a lot it u can bless me at all . I also suffer from PTSD

Carolyn West

What kind of insulting crap is this?? You know if there was a panel of 4 white woman critiquing a black "sister", it would make front page headlines and every black in the country would be protesting and marching and screaming discrimination. What the hell is Lifetime thinking to put on a show this outrageously insulting?!? If Lifetime is trying to get the black market, are they unable to do so with quality programming that does not denegrate anyone? Apparently not. Shame on you Lifetime channel. Shame on you!


He must LOVE her that way, since he married HER instead of one of the "sistas."


There is no "kind of" racist slam going on here; it’s absolute and total. Who says white women WANT to be like these women? Their stereotyping shows just how little they know, how racist they are, and how they have no idea how people outside of their immediate circle live. I wouldn’t want any advice from that woman who crams herself into a skin tight dress, and has that crazy violent temper. GO AWAY.

Nancy B. Cotto-Fuentes

I watched Girlfriend Intervention, today for the first time today. The ladies helped Emily. I LOVE your show. The blossoming of Emily (Million Dollar Emi) was so electrifying and emotional. I will past on the great news of your show. Thank You Ladies & Lifetime.


I really LOVE the new show "GF Intervention" and I deeply want a few sister like that as well.
Every day a feel like a basic white girl and I'm sure I have a BIG BLACK HEART.

Love U girls for make my nigth fun


Never will watch this show again. Or lifetime. This show is beyond racist. I can't believe it was even aired.

tytiannah perry

I'm 19. I'm just leaving this comment because I wanna be the next young lady to get a make over because Alotta people is always telling and asking me why I'm always dressing like a tomboy. I mean I try to dress girly at times But Idk I just don't be working for me. But I do want to know How it feels to dress girly and I would like your four beautiful women to help me :)


Or teach them how to act a d@mn fool in public like a child or worse teach them how to get their white men incarcerated for child support or killed from nigg@ish drama?


What are they planning to do as a makeover? Cut all the white women's hair off just so she can wear a hair hat of various colors?


Scandal, and now this, they are trying to destroy us as a people. So the white female now wants one on one lessons on how to be a black woman, and then they'll proceed to get a butt job done, then tell our black men "what does that black woman have that I dont" all she wants to do is watch Scandal…. We'll they can go and get their butt surgeries but they are not getting my mind, that essence is mine to give to my King-The Black Man


All of these synopses sound stereotypical, banal or abhorrent. I predict that few to none will get a second season.

Monique A Williams

*sigh* These show synopses sound like they were written by The Onion.

Phred G

It's just 4 Magical Negroes. What SOMEBODY SOMEWHERE thinks(or at least HOPES) y'all want to SEE. What more could you ask?


sounds completely stupid


With the exception of Christian's show, they can keep all of this ridiculousness. And re the stylists' show, I am sick of the black man-child with the motherly white girlfriend/wife stereotype that keeps slipping into reality TV.


It's like "Queer eye for the Straight Guy", but "Black Eye for the White Girl"


It's like "Queer eye for the Straight Guy", but "Black Eye for the White Girl"

Miles Ellison


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *