RHOSLC's Jen Shah Talks 'Ignorance' and 'Double Standard' of Calling Women of Color 'Scary'
Shah, whose background is Hawaiian and Tongan, opened up to Page Six in a recent interview about how she was allegedly called "scary" by Lisa Barlow and Meredith Marks after she threw a glass during her husband Sharrieff's birthday party.
While Marks and Barlow deny describing Shah in that way, in a preview from this week's episode, Shah, 47, stands by her claim and told Page Six that the word "means something different to us."
And, she added, it's much different than how her castmates reacted to Heather Gay, who is white, recently saying she was "going to cut a bitch."
"If I said that, I'd be in handcuffs," Shah alleged. "They'd be dragging me over to the jail if I said that."
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Calling out what she considers a "double standard," Shah explained, "I hope that we can get some education from it and people can make some changes … I don't think it's coming from a place of being malicious. I think it's coming from a place of ignorance."
The Bravo star also touched on race-related issues that she deals with as a mother to two boys of color, like following her 16-year-old in her car when he goes out for a solo run to train for football and prohibiting her older son from driving to Las Vegas in an expensive car, in case it was assumed that he stole it.
"I'm afraid they're going to see a black boy and they're going to think, 'Oh, my gosh, he's robbing someone's house and running away,' " Shah said. "You hear those stories all the time. And as a mom, it scares the crap out of me."
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"These are the things I have to deal with that my [white] castmates don't," she added. "That's why, for me, it's so hard. It's so dangerous to label a person of color or to accuse them of something when they're just freely throwing around terms."
Shah recognized that she is "big and over-the-top" on the show, because she and her family have "had to work very hard for what we have, and things mean a little bit more to us than probably other people."
"Yeah, I am big and over-the-top because hell yeah I'm gonna celebrate every single thing and milestone we accomplish," she continued. "I want to celebrate — I want people to see that people of color are doing great things."