|In the words of the Commodores - How can she lose those things she use?|
Hi Chele,Hope this finds you continuing to be fabulous! I've been reading your blog for a while and I notice you've talked about one guy that you've been in and out of a relationship with for a while until you finally pulled the plug. I've been doing the same thing for a little over ten years. I'm wondering how you knew when it was time to let it go or just hang in?
I've known Kendrick for years, we were drawn to each other from the start but there was always something off. Timing, circumstances, distance. Finally, we got together and it was awesome. We had a really good four year stretch a few years back that was amazing. We were both invested in each other and spending time until well - to be honest I don't even remember what it was that broke us up that time. Anyway, we've given it a try time and time again. We can't seem to stay away from each other. We've both taken breaks and during our time apart we've met other people. Ken was married briefly, I was engaged briefly, but ultimately we found our way back to each other.
The thing is, I don't think we ever really fixed some of the things that broke us up before we just kind of gave into the idea of being together and gave it another try. This last go round, I am not feeling it 100%, I don't think he was really in it and we seem to just be marking time instead of moving forward. He's a great guy but I don't think I'm getting the best he has to give. I doubt I'm giving him the best I've got either. But I can't let go of everything we've been to each other and neither can he. Any advice from you and the Bougie group? Thanks, Arminta
- Only consider bariatric surgery when ALL else has failed. It's no joke. Not to be played with. Did I mentioned no joke?
- Your insurance may not cover the surgery. Mine (thanks Aetna) did not. And I had to come out of pocket to the tune of $16,000 + vitamins, supplements, food scale, protein shakes, etc. Cost more than my first car.
- Pick your bariatric surgeon with care. The first guy I went to (Dr. Kim) was a complete jerk who told me to quit eating fried chicken and chocolate cake every day. For that he charged me $250 and said he looked forward to seeing me again. And then he called me Marsha. Yeah no. Do not go to a factory where they don't get to know anything about you and give less than a damn. I ended up going to Dr. Provost and loved everyone there.
- Some people in your life will not understand why you are having the surgery and how it will affect you. But that's a whole other post.
Men themselves have wondered what they see in me. They try so much, but they can't touch my inner mystery. When I try to show them, they say they still can't see.
It's in the arch of my back, the sun of my smile, the ride of my breasts, the grace of my style.
I'm a woman phenomenally.
~excerpt from Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou
One of the good things about Twitter is that everybody can share their thoughts on everything.
One of the bad things about Twitter is that everybody can share their thoughts on everything.
You feel me? I thought so.
For the record, I'm not saying women shouldn't be healthy. I have nothing against fitness. I do yoga, cardio-boxing, all flavor of Wii Fitness, and sometimes I do more than give my treadmill a disdainful glance. But I'll never be whisper thin. It's genetically impossible. I'll always be top heavy and I'll always have to do crunches. My metabolism is the kind that reminds me of every single time I give in to a potato chip or M&M. But I recognize this and do what I have to do to keep it together. Bougie means trying to keep your cute up. So when I hear people (and definitely men) going in on women's appearances and specifically their weight it drives me crazy.
Listening to some of these folks would have you thinking that if you aren't a size 2, you aren't fabulous. Seriously, the scrubs almost tricked me into second-guessing my wonderfulness. I was talking with someone last night who had me cracking up saying it's always the scrubby dude acting like they gotta have Halle Berry on their arm and nothing else will do. Though I have to say, most of the fellas – those that I call "real men" that I hang out with here and in the real world - they like a woman with a little curve to her. Some substance. Someone who eats more than two triscuits and a tic-tac. According to a friend on Twitter: Most real men see quality and value. The scrubs are still trying to live out a fantasy. They want a women to make them look good to other men.
Hmpfh. What prompted this rant you may wonder? A few things caught my attention these past few weeks. First was the Lane Bryant commercial that Fox and ABC refused to broadcast saying it was too racy for primetime. You check it out and tell me what you think…
But this Victoria's Secret commercial directed by Michael Bey is less racy? Old girl is straddling a pool table with a long stick...
So why do the Victoria's Secret commercials warrant airtime but not Lane Bryant? Is someone scared of the real women curves? I'll let you marinate on that.
Second was the whole controversy about Gabby Sibide being "less than pleasant" at the White House Correspondents' Dinner and at other functions.
Okay so she's a newly minted "star" who hasn't learned the art of public graciousness yet (and she looks mighty salty here). But with these tales, the media just has to mix in something abot her weight. This phenomenon was outlined in a great post over at (not)HappyAboutThis. Here's an example of what the media has been saying.
"So, who was the weekend's biggest (no pun intended) disappointment so far?"
"Wow! FishbowlDC wasn't alone when we gave "Precious" star Gabby Sidibe a GIGANTIC (no pun intended...okay, that's a lie) thumbs down."
Okay so is the crime that she was acting bitchy? Or that she's fat and bitchy? I'll let you make your own conclusions.
Let me take a minute to touch on the nonsense surrounding "Just Wright". Apparently, some folks (laser beam side-eye) don't think it's believable that a baller would choose a Queen Latifah over a Paula Patton.
Come on already. Are we still here? Queen Latifah is gorgeous at any size. And I think we've all figured out that any man can fall for any woman if that zing hits. No one knows what causes it; if we did we'd bottle it up and auction it on eBay. There no rhyme or reason what makes two people click. Are we really so shallow that we think the size of the outer shell is all that matters?
One of my online mentees was thoroughly offended because her boyfriend cheated on her with an overweight girl. I asked her if she was mad because he cheated or because of who he cheated with? She was more offended that he cheated with someone she perceived as less attractive. She felt insulted. I informed her that what she should be is introspective. When a man cheats with a supposedly less attractive woman that generally means he found something in her beyond the superficial, something he wasn't getting with his current S.O. That, I told her, is a wake-up call.
Part of the aftermath of that stupid Nightline FaceOff shibacle was that some idiot actually said that Sherri Shepherd didn't deserve to get a man because of her weight. And then a whole bunch more idiots co-signed. Say what now? If it is your preference to date women of a certain body type, good on ya and hope it works out. But are you seriously saying that women of a certain size don't deserve love? GTFOH with all of that.
This whole culture where people feel guilty for eating one piece of cake (and tweet about it), when someone in a size 4 thinks she's fat, where some designers still won't make clothing larger than a size 10 when the average size of a woman in this country is a 14 is sheer craziness. The stupid jokes about Precious, the fact that when Erykah Badu's last video came out half of the comments were about her a$$ and perceived cellulite, and really with Kirstie Alley's Big Life?
Le Sigh. I understand that obesity leads to all sorts of health problems and generally doesn't look great. We all agree that longevity is a shared goal and looking decent in clothes is a plus but check this out: In 1953, Jane Russell (a size 18) and Marilyn Monroe (size 14) were the standard of sexy beauty. In 1976, the three Charlie's Angels were a size 6, 8, and 10. The redone Charlie's Angels in 2000 were size 2, 4 and 6. By 2020 are we just going to prop up cardboard cut-outs and call that sexy? I call bullshiggity. I'm over it… I wish everyone would join me there.
Comments, thoughts, rants? Floor is yours…
I'm not going to critique or rant (any more) about the shibacle that was the Nightline FaceOff: Why Can't a Successful Black Woman Find a Man? For a great overview and breakdown, check out Melissa Harris-Lacewell's post at The Nation. Here's a sneak preview of the brilliant insights she shared:
The serious, interesting and sensitive social and personal issues embedded in these statistics were hijacked by superficial, cartoonish dialogue that relied heavily on personal anecdotes and baseless personal impressions while perpetuating damaging sexism. Wednesday night's program was co-hosted by comedian Steve Harvey and ABC News Nightline Correspondent Vicki Mabrey and welcomed guests Sherri Shepherd ("The View"), Jacqui Reid (journalist), Jimi Izrael (blogger) and Hill Harper (actor/author). Like other discussions in the genre, the Nightline special began with the Disney-inspired assumption that marriage is an appropriate and universal goal for women. Any failure to achieve marriage must therefore be pathological. With this starting assumption panelists were encouraged to offer solutions without needing to fully articulate why low marriage rates are troubling.
Clearly, I've gone in on this topic over and over again. I'm all talked out. Apologies to those who suffered my rant on Twitter last night, I'd had it up to here. There was nothing fresh, nothing new. Ladies raise your standards but not too high. Date outside the race. Have you thought about dating your plumber or an ex-con? Oh and if you meet a man at Taco Bell who pulls up on the bus, snap him up - he may be the next Hill Harper. One ninja said his woman should make him feel like Super-freakin'-man. Really, sir? Are you gonna make me feel like Wonder Woman?
Woo-sah... Instead of re-hashing all of my grievances, I'll just call on DMX, yes dammit – DMX the growling troubled rapper. Here's the cut…
Okay then, here's the deal. It's hard to say why this person or that person isn't married without peeling back individual and societal layers. There's no "one size fits all" cure to answer the question. AND I honestly believe that talking about it this much just makes it worse. I'll tell you what helps… blogs like this (said modestly) – a place were grown folks can talk openly and honestly (both the men and the women) and see that there are good, attractive, viable folks out there. And that happy successful relationships and marriages exist.
Another issue with the show: I guarantee that if we took an informal vote right here and right now NONE of the women would have elected Sherri Shepherd or Jacqui Reid as our spokespersons NOR would the fellas have picked Steve, Hill or Jimi of the tragic clothing choice. As a matter of fact, find the poll at the bottom of the post. Hill Harper made the most sense though he came up side-eye worthy a time or two. But all his bougenificence was drowned out by the flat-out no-buenoness of the entire event.
How about a show about getting out and meeting real people, staying optimistic, getting yourself together while you search? (Not a reality show, please. We need no more flava/rock/ray j of love) Some might find that marriage isn't your ultimate goal and it's enough to find someone to chill with. But I guess that wouldn't make sexy TV?
Where's my show about the long-time happily married couples and HOW THEY DID IT? (I would TOTALLY watch that) What about the ladies and gents who opted never to marry and are GOOD with that? Where's that show?
So my problem with the continuing dialogue about the SBF as downtrodden victim is that it simply doesn't encompass who we be. The dialogue about the cheating-ass black man who can't commit obviously doesn't reflect who we be. Women who date gangsters and men without ambition is not the end-all-be-all of who we be. I resent a panel of comedians, reporters, actors/authors and I don't know WHAT to call Jimi "I still wear Garanimals" Izrael spouting the same old yada-yada without representing WHO WE BE. We be (artistic license, folks) smart and dumb, greedy and selfless, needy and independent, desperate and satisfied, weak and strong. Above all else, we be survivors. We be human. Start with the flaws in the human condition, then make us black, then make us single, then make us female or male and let US decide how we feel about that.
I blame us for this to a point. Those of us that still watch this stuff, support those books, call into those shows and go to those seminars. We are feeding the monster. Believe me they would shut all this shiggity down tomorrow if it wasn't making money. So I'm asking each of you to think before you buy, watch, join things. Are you part of the problem or part of the solution? I'm officially done. Not one more post, rant, tweet about the overexposed plight of the single black woman and the men they can't find. Officially over it.
ABC, step your game up. And any other media outlet determined to beat the poor dead horse – if you're going to cover it, please come with something new that is solution based and positive. Come at me with degreed experts, not entertainers. Bring me stats, stories, witnesses and a good news story. Show me that you know who we be. Or just say nothing at all.
The floor is yours. Comment as you will.
Okay, maybe I'm not THAT bad but I know a conspiracy when I see one. And I can see no other reason for the mass media siege against the sisterhood. For those not in the know (and since I've been holding back a rant on it), two more articles on the thankless existence of the African American female came out last week. One detailing how disease ridden we all are (cuz we skanky, doncha know?) and the other on how po' we is (cuz we can't keep a job or get a man). In the wake of this bullshiggitty, I have figured out the game. Stay with me, I'm about to get deep. (Or deeply disturbed, we'll see)
Watch me work these three points: In the Terminator movies, folks in the future sent back a cyborg to kill up Sarah Connor before she could birth the next generation's savior. Next, Barack Obama swept into power on a wave of hope and change. Now, folks are losing their minds that Barack is large and in charge. What would happen if a new and improved (even more untouchable) Barry 2.0 emerged in the next generation or two? The next Barry will have a black mother and a white father because we can't go back through the Kenyan Birth Conspiracy again. So how to stop the next Barry from being born? Nip it at the source. That's right, I said it. Somebody from the future is trying to destroy black women so a better Barack Obama can NOT be born.
They didn't need to send a cyborg, they sent a better weapon: the Mainstream Media Machine. Nothing is more pervasive than that these days. We don't have to be dead, just too mentally beatdown (too broke, fat, tired, diseased and angry) to educate ourselves and procreate. Okay, I'm officially cracking myself up now. I have no idea whose cute child that is in the picture above.
But come ON… there has to be a reason for all the shade being thrown. By the way, if I mysteriously disappear – ya'll will know I was onto something and "they" couldn't allow me to keep speaking truth… LOL!
BougieMom's theory is along my same thought pattern but not quite as extreme. She says it's part of the continued fear of the angry black man. To kill a monster, you cut off the head. Black women are the head and heart of the black family. Wither they goest, the family follows. Hmm, interesting ideology marrying knowledge of greek philosophy and a dose of old school "you know what it is." So wait, am I now de-valuing us by saying it's not about us at all but our men? Aw jeez. Let me move on.
Maybe I'm imagining it. Maybe we've been catching hell like this forever. It just sure seems to be coming from the left and the right on regular these days.
Tell me, BougieLand… what's your theory about all the sad-sack Black Woman news? Or, what is a conspiracy theory in general that you absolutely believe to be true? (I stand behind my DirecTV theory though)
International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, IWD is a national holiday. Women's Day was first celebrated in the United States in 1909. Two years later, more than 1 million people attended events in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland during the first International Women's Day.
During International Women's Year in 1975, IWD was given official recognition by the United Nations and was taken up by many governments. International Women's Day is marked by a national holiday in China, Armenia, Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
This year, World leaders and international organizations are calling for more rights and opportunities for women in order to help solve many of the world's problems. The calls come as many parts of the world mark International Women's Day on Monday.
U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are hosting a reception at the White House Monday to mark the occasion.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said Monday that peace and stability "can only be achieved with the participation of women as equal partners with men." At an event last week, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the world body's goals "stand in jeopardy" because women are still subject to poverty and discrimination.
To find out about events in your area: click here. I'm headed to a chat about the role of Women in Media & Publishing. You can rest assured, I'm going all IN. Later in the week, look for a quiz to test your knowledge on Women's History. In the meantime, raise your glass up and toast a lady today. In the comments, feel free to shout out your favorite female. For those of you interested, the cocktail recipe is embedded below. Enjoy the day!
I didn't set out this week to write a Black Feminist Manifesto. It wasn't my intention to rally up the Sisterhood with the "I am Woman Hear Me Roar" battle cry. Don't get me wrong, we are awesome though. We totally rock and if we wanted to get matching t-shirts and cabbage patch backwards down Pennsylvania Avenue to "Sisters are doing it for themselves"… well let me know when and I'll order up the frozen margarita machine. I really just wanted to squash the negative rhetoric, get a few things off my chest and share an anecdote or two. And I kinda thought I did that, with far more impact than I expected.
But… wow! Along with the great uplifting and supporting comments came the blowback. Thanks to my readers' passion for the subject, the post calling for a halt on the Black Girl Beatdowns was retweeted and reposted all up and through the internet. Essence.com picked it up, it was "buzzed up" at Yahoo, landed on Digg, Facebook, Twitter, Technorati, Live Journals and places that I didn't even know existed. And I'm thankful, I really am. It's every writer's goal to have their work read. Of course we prefer if it is universally hailed and loved but understand when it is not. And this post most definitely was not. I read some of the comments, some of the tweets and all of the emails sent to me. And though I did not answer a lot of them directly, I thought I'd share a few of my favorites here with my thoughts. Okay, my super snarky thoughts. Ya'll know I try to avoid the super-snark but it's been a long day and I lack my usual diplomacy and tact:
Rebecca on Yahoo! said - Single black women would get more respect if they: 1) didn't have children while single. 2) didn't expect their mothers to raise their children. 3) not be so vocal about their private lives and/or lack thereof. said by a single white woman.
Hey Rebecca, thanks so much for your insightful commentary. Stereotype much? In response I say, I don't have any kids. Therefore my mother isn't raising my kids. And I'm assuming you would like black women to be less vocal about our private lives like… one of those Kardashian girls, Jessica Simpson, Paris Hilton… someone like that? They sure lead by example. Oh and thanks for letting me know you are single and white. I was really interested in that part.
Mr. PantsALot (almost enough said right there) emailed to say: Another mouthy black woman whining. Get a job, lose some weight, eat less chicken and learn to give decent head. Then you'll get a man. You and your blog serve no purpose.
Hi Mister Pants, I'm assuming from your note that if I were a size-four mute making seven figures, snacking on baby greens and swallowing cucumbers whole that we'll be cool and I will then serve a purpose? I'll get to work on that right away because you seem like a catch I'd hate to miss out on. Call me, boo!
On Twitter from a woman who proclaimed herself to be a modern day Incan-Amazon worshipper (I don't know ya'll, I just don't know): You should own your womanist, feminista standards instead of waiting for a man to define you. Men will steal your essence and block your path to the sun whose rays empower and strengthen us. Amazonian woman bask in our self-sufficiency and only ascent to their true queen status when they rid themselves of all men except the ones we birth. You are a sad excuse for encouraging women to depend on a man. Wise up before it's too late to reclaim your soul and body.
Uh Miss Amazon Chick: What? I'm confused and a little scared. There's something both condescending and Oedipal about what you spent fifteen minutes typing to me. I would ask more questions but I find myself terrified of the answers. Since it appears I will miss out on my true queen status, I'll settle for Duchess – wouldn't turn down Countessa status either. Good luck on that sun ray thing though.
On Live Journal Mark shared: So you basically can't get a man so you hate them, why share your pitiful life with the rest of us. Who cares? This is why I date white girls. Yeah I said it and yeah I'm black. What about the fellas, we catch holy hell from the media too, I don't hear your whining about that. Get a life. Peace.
Mark, No one is fooled when you flame throw and then wrap up with "peace". Um, so you have never been on my blog and didn't take the time to look around, huh? You missed my whole I Love Black Men Week? You missed me saying you should get love where you find love, if your love is a white girl – more power to you. Bouge Rule #1 – Bouge is Love… you keep it classy.
For the record, I know black men are catching hell in the media. I see an Ivy League educated Noble Prize Winner in the White House catching hell all day, every day! Let's face it – this is a media-driven society and 24/7/365 news needs to be feed. Nobody escapes the media microscope. Personally, I was a lot happier when I knew a bit less of everybody's business. I just happened to write about single black females… because I am one. We write what we know.
Good readers, do not be dismayed – in one email Tisha from the ATL wiped all the "constructive feedback" from my head. Here's what she wrote.
My husband passed away in Iraq over two years ago. Since then I have really struggled raising our seven-year old daughter. Not financially but keeping her grounded and positive without a strong male figure. She worries about me, I worry about her. I come home from work, get food on the table, get her settled and then finally pop open my laptop with a big glass of wine. The blogosphere is where I go to unwind. I'll come back to that in a second. My daughter and I watch the morning news shows together. One day last week when I ran upstairs, she caught wind of the story about single black females dying alone. On the way to school she told me she never wanted to get married and leave me. I asked her why and she said she didn't want me to end up alone eaten by cats. You know that was a bolt to my heart to hear those words coming out of her young mouth. I told her not to worry about it, it wasn't going to happen. That afternoon she came out of the school dragging some grown man with her. My child had walked up to one the teachers, grilled him and asked him if he wanted to date her mother. You know I wanted to die when she pulled that man up to the car. Man had the nerve to be cute too. Everyday since she asked me what I'm going to do so I don't get eaten by cats. Last night I read your blog. I printed it out and read it to her this morning. She smiled and said Oh Mama you can take your time finding a new man or you can be okay alone. I said yes I could. She was happy. Unfortunately she strutted up to cute teacher and told him My mama doesn't need you anymore, she's gonna be okay. So I thank you Ms. OneChele, your blog post gave me and my daughter what we needed to make it through another day. Thanks , Tisha in Atlanta
As I dab my eyes with the Kleenex let me say – Tisha, you're welcome… and you may want to holla at cute teacher… just sayin' your daughter may have picked a winner.
Okay BougieLand, thoughts or comments? Anyone have a CLUE what an Incan-Amazonian Sun Worshipper is? Don't you just love when a post all about keeping it peaceful causes folks to go completely left and back again? Fellas, get your boys Pants and Mark… please.