A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this reality show follows Kimora Lee Simmons, the estranged wife of hip-hop legend Russell Simmons. She's a strong role model in both the fashion industry and the African-American community (as well as a doting mom), but her diva-like behavior and materialistic lifestyle reinforce some questionable values. There's occasional drinking and some mild language and sexual innuendo; the latter will likely go over the head of young viewers. Fashion brands names -- like Baby Phat, KLS, and the Hello Kitty Collection -- are prominently featured.
What's the story?
KIMORA: LIFE IN THE FAB LANE is a reality show about former runway model -- and current CEO of the Baby Phat hip-hop clothing brand -- Kimora Lee Simmons. The series follows the estranged wife of Def Jam Records co-founder Russell Simmons as she deals with the day-to-day details of running a fashion empire, designs collections, poses for magazine covers, and spends hours preparing to walk down red carpets. She manages all of this with the help of her devoted staff, including senior marketing director James, public relations director B.J., and personal assistants Sandra and Mallory.
Is it any good?
Kimora constantly promotes herself, talking tirelessly about her clothing lines. She also enjoys showing off her expensive homes, diamond jewelry, and other expensive luxuries (like her custom-made Bentley convertible). Other "fun" moments include driving around Los Angeles in a bikini, mansion shopping in Beverly Hills, and obnoxiously ordering her employees around. Along for the ride are her daughters, 4-year-old Aoki and 7-year-old Ming. (Not surprisingly, Kimora's usually polite girls sometimes like to imitate their mother's less-than-ideal behavior when talking to the household staff.)
Fab Lane isn't particularly exciting, and Kimora's diva-like attitude and passion for material wealth definitely reinforce some questionable values. But the series does offer some positive messages, too. Kimora's strong work ethic and savvy business sense make her an influential figure in both the fashion industry and in the African-American community. She embraces her multiethnic heritage and has a surprisingly healthy attitude about her body, despite the fact that she's no longer a size 2. And while she isn't perfect, she dotes on her children and clearly enjoys being a mom.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about TV's mixed messages. Why do some shows mix positive messages and role models with ones that aren't so great? Is a show more entertaining when some of its messages are negative? Why or why not? In this series, do you think the good stuff outweighs the iffier elements? Why or why not? Families can also discuss working in the fashion industry. Who decides what the latest trends are? What goes into creating and promoting an entire clothing line?
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