Monday, December 1, 2008
What We Can Learn About Love and Life From Famous Women
Women who are famous are not so different that we can't relate to certain universal truths or find commonalities. They may have certain career pressures as well as access to unique circumstances. Sometimes the grass is not greener on the other side. What lessons can we glean with regards to the men some famous Black women and Women of Color chose to partner with or marry?
Beyonce and Jay-Z
I'm no Beyonce stan (in fact I think she's grossly overrated) but she is one of the biggest musical acts out there right now. She has her latest hit song extolling the virtues of legally wedded bliss: specifically to men that they should "put a ring" on the woman they're with. I think that's probably the most empowering song she's released though I was kinda partial to Independent Women.
Now I look at Beyonce and see all that's she's achieved career-wise and her level of attractiveness which is more likely to be universally agreed upon than some other Black women thanks to our colorism. I still wonder why she chose Jay-Z of all the available men in the world to marry. She more than most women had an abundance of eligible bachelors in any field or income bracket to choose from.
I'm going to be blunt. He's not very attractive and though he has money, that should not be the sole determination for a suitable spouse. Before someone asks me why I would focus on his appearance I'll reply it's because men do. Men don't make concessions in this area with very few exceptions, so why is it that women almost unanimously agree to do so? If the draw for a less attractive or older man is his money and status then how does that explain a woman who already has those things not seeking a man who's equal to her or better in every way?
Plus he has a history of behaving disrespectfully to women from shoving the female host of a tv show, to producing illegitimate child(ren), to that verbal war against Nas where he insulted the mother of Nas' oldest child. I sincerely hope that they are in love and their relationship flourishes, but I wonder if she realized all the options she in fact had and whether she would have made a different choice. Actually, I don't. I'm simply not impressed. He is a just a rap artist after all with some very smart legal advisors. There was a time when Black people didn't look at entertainers as role models - especially ones that use words like bitch and ho.
I suppose I should also clarify that I'm not a Jay-Z fan either, but I don't need to be to take an objective view of this situation. I just hope he doesn't do anything to publicly humiliate her over the course of their union, but I won't be surprised when he does. How many couples do you see in your everyday life where the female is far superior to the male in looks, style and mannerisms?
Rachel Roy and Damon Dash
Now that he's broke and they're practically living on the street (I kid....sorta) I'm wondering if she wishes she had left when the getting was good. He was with Aaliyah around the time of her passing while Rachel had already had one child with him. Sharing a man is not cool whether he's famous or not. He has also been sued by other women to establish paternity and pay child support before and after their marriage. She's a great designer by the way. She's another beautiful woman who's made poor decisions by pairing with a low quality (albeit famous) unattractive man who thinks he's all that. She could be any of us until we learn to do better.
Janet Jackson and Jermaine Dupri
Sometimes combining romance and business don't work! How can the sex be that good (as per her Oprah interview) when every album released bombs! Keep him far far away from your musical career Janet so you can put out a decent album again. Pretty please from your fans.
Kim Porter and Sean Combs
I've got one thing to say. He's good at business but a loser when it comes to relationships and she's a fool. Kim has started her very own wronged woman cottage industry. I'm only mentioning her as a cautionary tale because she choses foolishness just to keep her name in the press. Essence magazine better not EVER put her on their cover again! She deserves no sympathy. Not after 13 years. Not while she's cashing checks. Not after the last round of paparazzi shots of Diddy with his non-singing piece on the side Cassie. Well, since he's not married I guess they're all pieces on the side. I loathe to use the word gold-digger but I wonder if Kim Porter might find her name in the dictionary under its listing. This is someone who's either given up completely on a healthy sustainable relationship or decided a long time ago to find a man amenable to having a lot of out of wedlock children but willing to pay child support.
Halle Berry and Gabriel Aubry
Yes Halle says she's happy and she has a healthy child and a thriving career. She's partnered up and she claims to be content. Yes the interracial aspects may be of interest to some inasmuch as the public face of things offers this as one of her most satisfying relationships ever. Black women do need to know they have numerous options for finding a suitable partner - check out Evia's blog for her take. So rah rah Halle, but why be so down on the whole marriage idea?
There's plenty of people that would love to have that option and don't. No matter what she says I'm not completely sold on the idea that not being married is okay with her. She clearly has issues with it due to her poor choices/timing of previous relationships. That's not marriage's fault though. There's a lot of Black women who choose to be single. What gives?
Professor Tracey asked this question last week when the names of Obama administration appointees produced quite a few attractive, accomplished and intelligent Black women and none of them are currently married. Are we so hardened by the battle of the sexes that we've said enough? What do we need to do to heal and move on?
Nicole Ari Parker and Boris Kodjoe
They perhaps have my ideal public relationship example of two strangers, lol. They've got creativity, foreign country living exposure and don't have a narrow view of "Blackness". Did anybody save copies of their short-lived sitcom? I loved it! They were both married to other people when they met but developed a friendship. They're both bi-racial and it's an interfaith marriage as well. Yes Boris is probably one of the best looking men ever but Nicole is no slouch either. He always speaks highly of his wife in public. They have solid careers and cute kids and there's no drama. What more can you ask for?
Where Do You Stand?
So that's just my take on things. I don't know these people from Adam but I certainly know of them. Rumors should be taken with a grain of salt of course. There are some situations you could not pay me to be part of! Everyone doesn't have the same standards. Some of us know better. Some of us are willing to settle for pennies on the dollar. Some of us think everything's a party! We need to know our true worth and have the werewithall to exercise every option, as well as create opportunities so we have a full life. What do you think? What are examples you'd like to offer?