Phaedra Parks’ Inauthenticity is Enough To Keep Her Off ‘RHOA’

With the ‘RHOA’ cast shakeups, some fans are demanding producers bring back Phaedra Parks but her continued antics prove she doesn’t belong.

Phaedra Parks 'RHOA'
Image via Bravo

The Big Picture

  • Authenticity > Contour in reality TV connection with fans for the long term.
  • Phaedra’s lies tarnished her image from admired attorney to dishonest reality star.
  • Phaedra’s unapologetic behavior could hinder her return to RHOA and long-term reality success.

Relying on contour and couture instead of authenticity is a huge fail if a reality star wants to connect with fans for the long term. Reality TV fans can admit they prefer more drama than intellect in their favorite characters. It’s not entertaining to watch a woman work hard, make healthy decisions in relationships and support their girlfriends. Even if that’s what some viewers are aspiring to do in their own lives, reality television is a premiere destination for entertainment and laughs. That said, Phaedra Parks is a great reality television personality.

With her designer fashions, fabulous wigs, and devil-may-care morals, Phaedra is visually stimulating, to say the least. Her initial introduction to reality audiences started on Real Housewives of Atlanta. A well-known attorney, Phaedra’s storyline felt authentic and admirable. But it quickly proved to be a farce. Her transition to Married to Medicine further solidifies that she hides behind an unbelievable Southern Belle persona instead of giving viewers something to identify with. With RHOA amid a cast shakeup, fans want her back. But if her antics continue, there’s no point in re-casting her.

Phaedra Parks Has an Issue With Telling the Truth

(l to r) Phardra Parks and Kandi Burruss smile
Image by Jeff Chacon, Bravo

At her start on RHOA, fans were a bit standoffish towards the country lawyer with celebrity ties that stemmed back to Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston’s reality show on Bravo years prior. Phaedra’s introduction was as subtle as her shade, and although she wasn’t initially a glamour girl, she was sharp, quick-witted, and held her own with the show’s veterans. It quickly became painfully clear that telling untruths was not foreign to her. Some fans suggested it wasn’t a surprise that a seasoned lawyer had a propensity to lie, but others attempted to give the self-proclaimed southern belle the benefit of the doubt. Whether it was her legal background that allowed her to feel comfortable switching facts, embellishing events or even switching dates, or if she was just a good old-fashioned liar, Phaedra was always up for the challenge.

One of the biggest red flags was her lying about her due date when pregnant with her first son. To avoid being labeled as a woman having a baby out of wedlock, Phaedra recited some of the dumbest lies imaginable on camera. In one scene, she told Kandi Burruss that different doctors had different theories about her due date, which she claimed was two months behind schedule. “The doctors I was seeing, well they just had different theories,” Phaedra dismissively told Kandi and her mother. By the season’s end, Phaedra delivered, and her doctor confirmed on camera that the baby was 40 weeks aka full term when he arrived, confirming that Phaedra lied about the entire pregnancy to her RHOA cast and subsequently to the fans. Her housewives’ cast knew she was lying and offered numerous opportunities for her to just come clean, but she doubled down and clung to the ridiculous fable. Lying about a pregnancy with a husband in tow on a very popular reality show on a major network is nasty work, but Phaedra was up for the job.

There were many more lies to come from Phaedra, but this one set the tone for her ability to share bald-faced lies without any sign of remorse or retribution. Fans like their housewives sneaky with a heaping helping of shade, but extreme liars don’t fare well long-term. This is why Phaedra should not return to RHOA, even though she would initially be great for ratings. In the long run, her storyline would always be questioned, and we’ve learned Phaedra has no problem fabricating a pregnancy due date, or a horrific accusation against a former friend if it would give her more screen time.

Phaedra Has Done A Great Job On Other Reality Shows

Phaedra Parks and Sheree Whitfield smiling with The Traitors S2 castle behind them
Image by Zanda Rice, Bravo, Peacock

After being featured on several reality series such as Marriage Bootcamp, The Real Housewives Utilmate Girl’s Trips, and The Traitors, Phaedra’s TV ratings have been proven time and time again. Bravo was desperate to find a permanent home for the Atlanta bombshell, so they placed her among the doctors and doctors wives on Married to Medicine. Half of the Married to Medicinefans were perplexed at the casting because it’s obvious the fabulous Ms. Parks has no ties to the medical field. It was rumored she was dating a doctor, but that relationship fizzled out before the season started. Dr. Heavenly has pledged to help Phaedra secure a doctor, but in the meantime, she is lending her brand of fabulousness to the show.

The other half of Married to Medicine fans are taken aback by the fact that Phaedra doesn’t fit in with the other ladies in the least. With her furs in the summertime, cleavage-baring designer labels, plumped-up lips, and continuous sexual innuendoes, Phaedra stands out like a sore thumb against the other doctors who spend more time in scrubs than in Gucci. Even Toya Bush-Harris, Dr. Eugene’s wife, who loves a good designer fit, reads subtly when compared to Phaedra’s over-the-top energy.

Phaedra is good for television, but she is misplaced on Married to Medicine. Within the first few episodes, she brings Quad Webb to crash the bachelorette party of Sweet Tea, the new wife-to-be of Quad’s ex, and then organized a ridiculous funeral ceremony to mark Quad’s rebirth. Subsequently, with Phaedra’s help, Quad was banished from the group, while Phaedra played innocent and slipped comfortably into the single slot Quad left with the ladies. The Married to Medicine cast enjoys a good read from time to time, and they have squabbles just like any other group of female friends, but Phaedra’s brand of lying will not be received well long-term among this group of women with substance.

Phaedra Parks’ Return to ‘RHOA’ Doesn’t Make Sense

Dr. Heavenly Kimes and 'Married to Medicine' cast
Image by Jeff Chacon, Bravo

Realizing Phaedra’s time on Married to Medicine will probably be short-lived unless she manages to snag herself a physician or dentist, some have started whispering that she may be able to return to RHOA. With Kandi no longer on the show, there shouldn’t be an obvious barrier to Phaedra’s return, however, it’s highly unlikely that she will be welcomed back to the show. Fans enjoy drama but rarely do they offer their loyalty to characters that rely on lies to push their storylines. Phaedra’s distorted southern belle quips are great for confessionals, but her cutthroat decisions have proven that she doesn’t deserve a permanent residence on Peachtree Street.

Much like her RHOA sis Marlo, Phaedra cannot be multidimensional and show vulnerability. After being caught in the lie about her pregnancy, Phaedra could’ve appealed to fans by acknowledging she was embarrassed to be pregnant out of wedlock. Although she may have gotten some flack about the lie, fans always respect a reality star who stands in his/her own truth. Ironically both ladies attempted unsuccessfully to sully Kandi’s character, a tell-tale sign they felt intimidated by her ability to connect with fans.

Another example where Phaedra missed the opportunity to show authenticity was in the dissolution of her marriage to Apollo Nida. Phaedra claimed the two were lovebirds from way back. However, when things started falling apart in their relationship, she spent way more time trying to paint him as a villain than she did trying to put her life together after their divorce. Phaedra villainized anyone who spoke with Apollo and exerted energy in attempting to destroy their character, which was questionable mainly because Apollo’s entry into the RHOA stratosphere came through her. Apollo was certainly not innocent in their marital breakdown, but Phaedra’s inability to show vulnerability while going through what would’ve been a painful divorce to anyone else, made her appear untrustworthy. Phaedra’s die-hard commitment to present an unpenetrable facade has hurt her more than it’s helped her.

Phaedra Parks Needs a Lesson In Accountability

Dr. Jackie Walters with a halo and her 'Married to Medicine' co-stars
Image by Jeff Chacon, Bravo

Phaedra should take a page out of Nene and Kandi’s book about appearing successful yet being vulnerable. Both Nene and Kandi have loyal fanbases that will ride with them throughout their ups and downs because they were brave enough to allow their fans to see cracks in their exteriors. Phaedra’s Married to Medicine cast mate Dr. Jackie Walters got into hot water with fans earlier this season and immediately released an apologetic video taking ownership and allowing fans to see a softer side. Dr. Jackie’s ability to understand her position as a leading lady with fans is what continues to keep her in good graces with the audience.

Phaedra attempts to showcase an unpenetratable polished appearance but fans see straight through the shenanigans to the lies and deception. If a star isn’t willing to show any authenticity, they aren’t qualified for a starring role, which means Ms. Parks isn’t qualified to move back to Peachtree with the other housewives.

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