What do you define as a bad girl? Someone who fights a lot? Someone who speaks their mind? How about someone who throws your bed in the pool? Have I hit the mark? How about someone who does whatever is necessary to provide for her family? Someone who’s selflessness and good character can triumph over their past? I’d like to think that is the definition of a true bad girl. With misconstrued definitions of the word bad – even paradoxically switched around to be used as good – is reality television dragging us away from what bad really is?
Being a mother isn’t easy, especially in this economy. I mean, let’s get real. However, Stephanie George from season ten of Oxygen’s Bad Girls Club and TLC’s Project Dad has made it work between both coasts to provide for her son, Austen. She’s no ordinary bad girl, Stephanie George is nothing less than a badass mother, humble being and great millennial mother.
SB: Prior to moving to Atlanta for your season of Bad Girls Club, what was your living situation and how was your community?
SG: I lived uptown in Harlem in an apartment with two other girls – and even three other girls – at a time with just one bathroom.
SB: I know that during your season, you had to relocate to Atlanta, Georgia. As someone who’s also from New York City and relocated to Atlanta for school, I definitely know it’s a big transition from one city to the other. Tell us your story.
SG: I think my situation was a bit amplified because I was filming a show and had no privacy; and was restricted with where we could. It wasn’t easy to get to places or even stay there once there is a huge camera crew following you.
SB: If you could go back, would you do the entire experience all over again – living with six other women at a time? Do you wish you would’ve been more prepared?
SG: I don’t regret the experience, I already lived with about 4-6 roommates at this time and was used to sharing space with of all personalities. I think respect and giving each other space is the key to keeping clear with roommates.
SB: What is one crazy roommate story you can reveal that wasn’t seen on-camera?
SG: I have so many of them, but I would say when everyone was exhausted, hungover and sleepy and cried at the hotel in Greece because we were all hungry. I wish I had a better one – crazy stuff happened almost everyday. You become desensitized!
SB: Do you feel as though you were a good roommate?
SG: I think I was a bit messier than what I am now in my own personal space, but I think I was. I still keep in contact with my flatmates from when I stayed in Europe and around New York. I also lived in Williamsburg and we used to rent our extra room out; lots of models and creatives would stay there and that was pretty cool.
SB: How do you feel having multiple roommates help you grow as a person?
SG: I think you learn so much from living with other people whether the experience is good or bad, having someone to connect with at home was nice. If we wanted to step out and go out for the night, it was easy – especially sharing that cab back to the same address.
SB: We see that now you’re the mother of a beautiful baby boy, Austen. Congratulations! I know going from multiple women under one roof to a single baby was definitely a change of pace. How would you say is the transition from being full-time bad girl to full-time mother?
SG: I think once you find out you’re expecting, your whole life shifts. At first, it was a little hard because I was one of the first of my friends to have a baby, but everyone around me was so awesome and helpful. When I first got pregnant, I was mostly in New York, and then close to the end, I realized I wanted to give birth in California.
SB: I know that you mentioned to me prior to this interview that you’re between New York and Los Angeles. Which one do you prefer? What does each city have that the other doesn’t?
SG: I love New York for culture and it’s home to me, but California is great with weather (when things aren’t on fire) and it’s easier to get around with my little one, even though there is so much traffic. We also go to the beach pretty often.
SB: As a mother, what are some life hacks when it comes to baby proofing your home?
SG: Always keep cabinets locked, quarters and dimes completely out of view because they love to put them in their mouths, electric sockets covered, medicines stored away, doors locked and keys far from children. Kids should always be watched closely, they put everything and anything in their mouths.
SB: What would you say to Millennials and Generation Z who are young parents and are struggling to find good housing suitable for their children?
SG: There is such a housing crisis right now on both coasts, I’ve been living and paying for rent since I was 18, right now I don’t know how people are supposed to survive when rent is so insane! I’ve seen it happen in Harlem where it becomes gentrified and people get pushed out. For the new generation I would say to save your money as much as you can, focus on your credit and pay off any debt you have. Pay your rent first and don’t rush into signing a lease, also I know with living in the city it’s hard to get space but making the most out of your space is good too. New York is so hard to get an apartment I would just tell everyone to keep looking and ask through friends.
Currently, Stephanie bounces back and forth between the East and West coast, juggling being a full-time mother and a millennial mommy Instablogger. You can follow Stephanie on Instagram at @StephShayGeorge or on Twitter at @ItsShayGeorgeous.