Black Women's Improvement Project (BWIP)

“Keeping It Real” —A Phrase You MIGHT Want to Eliminate from Your Vocabulary

Have any of you ever found yourself in the company of a woman who was talking loud, spewing profanities, and basically causing a scene? When you or someone else in the vicinity quietly suggested to that woman that she might want to lower the decibel of her voice to an “indoor” level, Ms. LoudTalker responds by letting you know that she’s just “keeping it “real”.

Whenever I hear someone use the word “real” in a sentence I always feel as if I am then waiting with bated breath for them to finish the sentence by telling me they are real what. The way that most people are using the word real when they speak is as an adjective, so I keep looking for them to explain to me what noun the adjective real is supposed to be modifying.

For example…

I’m keeping it real stupid.

I’m keeping it real dumb.

I’m keeping it real loud.

I’m keeping it real ghetto.

I’m keeping it real silly.

To me the phrase “I’m keeping it real” just doesn’t make much sense unless you expect other people to already understand what you are talking about.

When a person who is talking loud proudly proclaims themselves to be real, does that mean that a person who speaks at a normal level is unreal?

If a person who is using profanity is proclaiming herself to be real, does that mean that a person who only sparingly, if ever, drops an f bomb into a conversation is not keeping it real because cursing just isn’t her thing?

Let me say this: If you want to keep it real, then keep it real classy, keep it real sexy, or keep it real smart.

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