This article explores how Monique Samuels's role in The Real Housewives of Potomac (TRHOP) and in her Not For Lazy Moms (NFLM) branded spaces, works both for and against the new momism to make visible black women's experiences navigating essentialism, choice, and the identity work of black motherhood. Samuels's positionality as a black woman leveraging her essential oils storyline into building a brand for herself brings the franchise into new cultural terrain: "the new momism." Douglas and Michaels (2004) describe the new momism as a celebration of motherhood that encourages agency and autonomy but ultimately centers on intense devotion to childrearing. Samuels's TRHOP storylines and extratextual self-fashioning deploy the tenets of the new momism and disrupt its inherent white supremacy to authenticate her identity through essential oils as a wellness commodity and curate an affective space for black women with her NFLM lifestyle brand.
Hornsby, E. R. (2019). “Not for Lazy Moms”: The Real Housewives of Potomac’s Monique Samuels and the Branding of Black Motherhood. Communication, Culture and Critique, 12(2), 268–286. https://doi.org/10.1093/ccc/tcz015