An Ode To Marlo Hampton


The 10th season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta was supposed to bring the franchise back to its glory days. However, the nine episodes that have aired already have basically been snooze fests. The women continue to fight about old crap, and when they’re not fighting, they’re revising their histories to present themselves positively. Even the comebacks of original cast members NeNe Leakes and Kim Zolciak-Biermann haven’t helped; they’ve just plucked the scabs off healing wounds. It’s enough for me to keep my finger on the fast forward button so I can skip the boring scenes, which have become too common. The one bright spot, however, has been friend-to-the-show, Marlo Hampton.

Although she’s never been an official Georgia Peach, viewers have gotten to know Marlo through the franchise.

Let’s briefly recap her introduction to RHOA: NeNe brought Marlo into the group and introduced her to America. And through their friendship, Marlo helped NeNe step up her sartorial game. (Thank you, Marlo!) In between all of this, Marlo and Sheree Whitfield had a petty spat in South Africa that dissolved into unintelligible baby speak. Marlo and NeNe, then, had a falling out when Marlo began to get close to Kenya Moore, a nemesis of NeNe’s at the time. Marlo and Kenya’s friendship didn’t last long, however, because Kenya didn’t invite Marlo to her birthday party, but NeNe was on the guest list. We, the viewers, also learned that Marlo had a violent past because her favorite threat to enemies was “google my charges.”

There’s more to Marlo Hampton, though, than breakups and makeups, and seasons 9 and 10 have shown her growth and just how awesome she is to be around and watch.

“Talk fashion with Marlo. Argue with Marlo. Do anything with Marlo. Marlo is the old girl that live down the street that we all know,” explained NeNe during a recently aired confessional.

Marlo knows how to make an entrance, and that’s usually a result of the glamorous look she is werking. Marlo’s accessory game, which may include Dolce Gabbana crystal sunnies, Chanel bunny ears complete with veil, or Saint Laurent Niki crystal boots, is on a level the actual Atlanta Housewives only dream about. Forget the designer labels, because it’s Marlo’s sense of style and unique ability to make it work when “it” is comprised of polar opposites, like a sweatsuit paired with sky-high pumps and topped off with a feathered fascinator. She also has an enviable penchant for making lingerie outside wear.

However, Marlo doesn’t take herself too seriously even when she’s wearing platform pumps while camping and showing off her crystal-encrusted can of bug spray. I’m pretty sure she knew her bedazzled OFF would lighten the mood while she was sitting at home crafting. She is unapologetically aware of the ridiculousness of the situation.

But fashion is viewed as a frivolous pursuit by some. Fortunately, there are deeper levels to Marlo. She is a good friend, especially to NeNe. Not only did she get over the spat she had with the veteran Housewife, but she also is secure enough in their friendship that she will call out NeNe when necessary. Remembering that NeNe became jealous of her friendship with Kenya, Marlo asked NeNe, this season, if she was jealous of her former best friend Cynthia Bailey’s devotion to Kenya. If NeNe’s answer had been yes, I know Marlo was ready to remind her that friends can and should have other friends, and that doesn’t mean NeNe has been replaced.

In addition, Marlo proved what a ride-or-die friend she is when NeNe and Porsha Williams were having their blow up in San Francisco. NeNe’s bun was coming undone as a result of all her neck-rolling, and without disturbing the conversation, er, argument, Marlo sidled up to NeNe and quickly secured that bun, so her friend wouldn’t look crazy. I think we all could use a friend who makes sure our pretty is intact while we’re showing our inner-ugliness.

It’s Marlo’s status as a friend to the show that also affords her the opportunity to get to the bottom of the drama. She always seems to know the full story or enough to ask the important questions and say what the other Housewives can’t or won’t. How else would Kandi Burruss have found out about the rumor she is a lesbian with a sex dungeon and wanted to drug and rape Porsha?

Marlo is the type of personality that RHOA viewers will either love or hate, but without her, season 10 wouldn’t be worth watching. She speaks her mind honestly, positively encourages friends and former enemies, has the ability to laugh at herself, and creates a fashion moment everywhere she goes. What’s not to love?