the identification. I interrupt the story, I provide them with a new perspective and that is the distinction.
EBONY: When you have that moment where you see that something is wrong and people in your life are hurting, what is the most important thing someone can do to work towards fixing it? What should viewers do when something on the show rings true to life?
IV: Write it down! This is not a passive show. A lot of television is passive, you watch, you gawk, you observe, you go away and enjoy or horrification, depending on the show. This is a show you have to come with your notebook and your pencil. This is a workshop, not a passive experience. Because even if you don’t need it, you know somebody who needs it. So there’s going to be a line, there’s going to be a scenario, there’s going to be a situation---‘Oh God, let me write that down. That’s my sister, that’s my brother, that’s my mother or that’s me.’ It’s interactive. I hope people talk to the screen. I am encouraging people to have viewing parties. Invite over your family, invite over your posse of girlfriends, invite over your sports buds. Watch this, and when it goes off have a discussion. Have some food of course, but have a discussion. You can’t heal without a little food!
EBONY: Speaking of the ‘sports buds,’ how do we get men, particularly Black men to sit down and say, ‘I have had some hurting, I have has some issues, I need to be watching a show like this and reading these books. I need to address my hurt?’
IV: Well the beauty of Iyanla: Fix My Life is that men are in every show. To our surprise some of the deepest healing demonstrations have been with the men. The sons, the fathers, the husbands because they agree to participate with the wife or the daughter or whatever it is we are looking at and it is there. What we have to remember is many of the shows that are presented are presented from a woman’s perspective. Our shows are presented from a community, a family perspective. Everybody is involved. We haven’t done one single show that focuses on one person. It focuses on an individual and how their challenge has affected those they love. So I think as men begin to see things that address them, they will feel that they can relate. They can’t relate to Basketball Wives, Housewives of Atlanta. I am not judging or criticizing those shows at all, what I am saying is the perspective is not necessarily the male perspective. Iyanla: Fix My Life is inclusive of everyone.
I am just honored and privileged to have this opportunity to be of service in this way. I have to say the world is ready. There wouldn’t be an Iyanla Vanzant if these issues didn’t exist. They exist. I just happen to be on purpose at this time to provide support, insight and healing.