Why Black Women Love Scandal

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I’ve read other opinion pieces on this topic, none of them seemed to do it for me, so here goes…

We’re not accustomed to being wanted. Lusted after, yes. Fantasized about, no doubt. Objectified, without question. But wanted, loved, dreamed for? Not so much. Historically we’ve been sex objects, things of “use” but not desire, people to have sex with, but not make love to, historically we’ve been second class and rarely depicted as much else. This, is why black women love Scandal. Everything about it is against how we’re usually depicted on TV and in movies. Pope is the star of the show. She has not one, but two (and occasionally three) successful and fine men in love with her. She runs her own business. She’s well known for her work and not just her body. She’s seen as strong and confident and not just a power hungry bitch. Essentially Shonda Rhimes has written a character that depicts black women as they see themselves and more importantly how they’d like society to view them.

What’s funny is that Olivia Pope’s character is not really all that far out of the realm of possibility. Yes the plot and almost everything that happens is completely unrealistic, but so many black women are currently out here killin’ it and with little to no recognition. It’s so rare that someone wants to highlight the successful black woman while not also harping on all of her flaws and why things are never quite right for her. We get articles, books, TV shows and even movies (thanks Tyler Perry) about how we don’t or can’t get married, how we’re married but cheating on our husbands, how we come from broken homes and have daddy issues, how we have it all but can’t find a man because we’re just so mean and have so much criteria, oh and everyone’s favorite how we refuse to date outside our race.

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What’s funny is that Olivia Pope’s character is not really all that far out of the realm of possibility. Yes the plot and almost everything that happens is completely unrealistic, but so many black women are currently out here killin’ it and with little to no recognition. It’s so rare that someone wants to highlight the successful black woman while not also harping on all of her flaws and why things are never quite right for her. We get articles, books, TV shows and even movies (thanks Tyler Perry) about how we don’t or cant get married, how we’re married but cheating on our husbands, how we come from broken homes and have daddy issues, how we have it all but can’t find a man because we’re just so mean and have so much criteria, oh and everyone’s favorite how we refuse to date outside our race.

The idea that non-black men like and further more want to date black women is not as widespread of an understanding as one may think. So, to see Olivia Pope engage in relationships outside of her race is exciting, new and for some women, eye opening. Furthermore, with the term “thirsty” on the lips of many men and a number of women to describe black women in a lot of situations, it is great to see Pope being pursued by a man of any color.

Scandal shows us a woman that we can in some ways relate to and even more so aspire (loosely as it may be) to be like. Yes Olivia Pope has issues, but the grace and ease at which she handles them is what grabs us and keeps us coming back. Unlike the reality TV shows we often see there are no cat fights over a man, there isn’t any cussing people out to get your way, there isn’t any running to a man because we can’t live without one, there’s no Black mother or grandmother taking over our lives because we can’t control ourselves, to be cliché “It’s handled” and more importantly, by us.

We, as black women, ignore that affairs are bad and how legitimately scandalous it is to engage in such a relationship with the President of the United States because we’re so enamored with the main character and her poise, drive and style. This can easily be seen though the mediocre ratings of shows such as Mistresses and Betrayal that writers and producers have thought would do well because they have the same “angle” as Scandal. The commercials promoting these shows compare them to Scandal and try to convince us that we’ll love them because it’s of the same sexy genre. They’ve convinced themselves that the success of the show came from the naughty nature of the relationships, the sly sneaky lives of the characters and the suspense around getting caught. But they’ve completely misread the situation. Olivia Pope’s affair with Fitz is just one part of many that make up a dynamic, admirable and somewhat relatable Black woman. A show about a married white woman with a child having an affair with another white man that looks just like her husband isn’t doing that for us. We don’t love Olivia for her sexual freedom or her secret (well not so secret now) love affair; it’s more than that.

It doesn’t hurt that Kerri Washington is actually amazing in real life. She leads a private life, which is hard to do for a celebrity. She’s married, working for the White House on their council of Arts and the Humanities, she’s spoken at political conventions and has very successful career. She’s actually a real life role model and a black woman who stays true to portraying herself as she would truly like to be seen in the world. It doesn’t hurt that both Olivia and Kerri have wardrobes to die for. And we’re not tiny skirts, and half shirts but suits, coats, dresses and pants that fit well and show off personality and style and not just ass.

Hopefully this is a turn in the right direction. There could be a chance that Katherine Heigl won’t get every cute single girl role or that the next “black movie” features a heroine that successful black women can relate to. Or may they’ll continue to miss the mark and look for other reasons why this show is so successful. Either way, for now we have Scandal, for now, once a week for 60 minutes we’re able to engross ourselves in ideals and excitement of the ever so complex, charming and cleaver life of a strong Black woman.

xx

Leave Her.

I’ve never been a big fan of men who fancy themselves martyrs. I just don’t get the “I stayed with her for her” or “Because it was right” mentality. If you don’t mean it, don’t do it. It’s that simple. Honestly, if your heart’s not in it, you’re not helping anyone.

And ladies…don’t ignore your instincts, you know when he’s just not that into you.

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New post, errr…tomorrow, hopefully, that’s the plan at least…

xx

Apologies.

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The other week, I forgave you. Not that you will ever read this or even know who you are, but I did and it felt…good.

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I read the quote above today and it made me smile, because it is so true. How many apologies are you waiting around for? How much are you holding on to while you wait on a sorry that is most likely never coming, a closure phone call that will never be made or a clarification text that will never be sent. Chances are, for most of us at least one, and that, my friend, is one too many.

Hurt is remembered. It’s difficult to forget feeling like you were made a fool of, ignored, lied to or disrespected. It sticks with you because you know you never want to feel that way again, especially not at the hands of someone who was supposed to care about you or maybe even love you. Understanding that you can’t forget the hurt, then allows us to assess what will make us feel better. If we can’t get the apology we’re longing for, the explanation that we think we need to move on or we just hope they respect us enough to give, then what? How do you get over them, how do you heal?

Search yourself. Yep, all of this has to do with you and how you react when things don’t go exactly as you thought they would. Ask yourself why you need the apology. Will an apology really fix everything? Or will it just open old wounds and create new questions? I’m here to tell you, whether you can understand it right now or not, you don’t need that apology. You can do great things without “closure.” You can move on without all of the answers.

Anger, whether you speak on it or not, is noticeable. Have you ever met someone and by the second date could tell that they had some serious past relationship issues? That anger that they are holding onto, even if it’s subconscious, shows. Let’s face it, no one wants to be with someone who continues to pick at scabs of their past instead of allowing them to heal fully. When you hold on to anger you can close yourself off for the next person, a person who could be more than the last, a person who could be better than any other.

Forgiveness is relevant. It is rare that anyone is ever as careful with your heart as you would want them to be. We think that just because we give it away that someone won’t return it broken. We believe that just because we ask them to be gentle that they won’t leave it by the wayside. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. People will take your love for granted, they will test the boundaries of your heart’s devotion and they will dismiss your requests of how to treat your heart, the only one you have, for their own benefits. They do this because they expect to be forgiven. They think you’ll “recover.” Truth is, you will, but forgiveness doesn’t come easy or quickly when dealing with matters of the heart. The key is not to close yourself off to that forgiveness.

Don’t dwell, learn. If you use all the space in your heart to dwell on the past and hold on to pain you’re gonna run out of room. Learning from past relationships is much easier said than done, but it’s not impossible. What did you learn from that relationship? How did you change or grow? What will you take with you? Ask yourself, write it down and commit to it.

People usually say sorry to make themselves feel better, more than for the benefit of the other person. Sorry won’t get you out of bed in the morning, sorry won’t bring you dinner after a long day and sorry surely won’t kiss you goodnight. So don’t wait on an apology. Don’t convince yourself that closure is coming, tell yourself you’re better off without them, because you are, and move on.

And as for you, I’ve learned to smile any time I see someone wearing canvas shoes in the rain…that’s what my forgiveness looks like. Thanks for that. 

How To Love a Woman

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How to love a woman.

“You may not be her first, her last, or her only. She loved before she may love again. But if she loves you now, what else matters? She’s not perfect – you aren’t either, and the two of you may never be perfect together but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break – her heart. So don’t hurt her, don’t change her, don’t analyze and don’t expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she’s not there. -Bob Marley 

 

Pride

You know that moment. That split second you get to make a tough decision, or better yet an easy decision that’s tough to articulate? I hate that moment. It’s never enough time. And furthermore, you rarely are smart enough to take a hard swallow…of your pride.

I think we’ve all been there. Man or woman (though usually man), we’ve all had that moment when we could stop something awful from happening, we could say I love you or we could just say, stay…and we don’t. When questioning why we do this, I think it stems from a lot of places, history, fear, uncertainty, the possibility of rejection or even the possibility of a love or happiness that we never thought we deserved.

Pride is a sneaky bitch. It could be one wrong word, a statement, a missed opportunity or even an off action that puts our pride wall into place. It shuts us down. We forget what we’ve been through and where we want to go and we are in the moment. We are in the exact second and we choose what ever comes to us first. For most people it’s to say no, I can’t do this or I don’t want to…for most people it’s to close ourselves off for protection.

Our pride is our armor. She can’t hurt you if you “don’t care.” You can’t worry about him if he “isn’t special.” And we don’t just say it, we let ourselves truly believe it. We convince our minds that our hearts don’t care and then, when that split second comes, where we have a choice, where we can let ourselves be vulnerable, we don’t swallow hard, we wrap ourselves tight in our pride and say things that we don’t really mean.

So, take a moment to reflect on what you’ve passed up for pride. Are you better off because of it? Do you miss him or her…or what you had? Are you still looking for what your had in that person in everyone else you meet? The only way to not get caught up on it in the future is to acknowledge where it stopped you in the past. Start there and remember, pride closes us off to the possibility. And what life is worth living without an endless supply of possibilities? Exactly…

Again and Again.

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I could be totally and absolutely wrong about this assumption, but I think, and even more so, I hope (so I’m not alone in this) that we all have that person that we just can’t quit.

This came to mind for a couple of reasons, including, but not limited to: Rihanna’s video for We Found Love, stories from friends relationships and well…my life. So, it got me thinking, what the F is really good? I don’t mean like that one off time that you hooked up with your ex when you were drunk or just lonely. And I’m definitely not talking about a booty call that you always go back to. I’m talking about real and present emotions, feelings, actions and situations with the same person over and over and over and over again.

You’ve been in a relationship or not. You’ve been in love and lust. You’ve missed, dissed, hated and debated over this person. But for some reason, when it comes down to them, you just cannot end it. You can’t stay away, let go or completely move on. But, you also, ironically, cannot commit. Now, if I’ve lost you here, please, tell me, like really, in the comments, tell me, “you’re alone in this one” (I’ve been looking for a therapist and this may be just the push I need).

It could be you. Your parents had a bad divorce, you aren’t big on commitment, you never know what you want. Or, it could be them. They are there and then they’re not. They love you and then they don’t. Or, most likely, it could be both of you, together. There are things left unsaid, words never spoken or feelings never shared. You know everything in the world about this person except for if they really, really could be with you forever.

Now, my best guess on why people do this is because, well, it feels like home. Someone who knows you, understands your insecurities and past and has even been there for a lot of it. This person is not fly by night relationship or something to do with your time (not to say that you’ve never treated them like that). They are, essentially, the one. Now, I say essentially because, it’s not literally, it’s not even actually, but, if things were, well, perfect, you’d be together. You would get over your hang-ups, your past and your worries and you’d just be…together.

But you can’t. Or you won’t so you pretend, playact, dibble and dabble in other relationships, situations, girl/boy friends, feelings and dealings. Because simple is better than difficult and you don’t have to guard your heart if there is no chance of loosing it like you have before.

So, I know, I usually give advice, grand insights, funny quips to get you to a place of understanding on a matter that totally and utterly eludes understanding on any sober or intoxicated level. But, I honestly can say, this time, I don’t have a laundry list of information or advice. I just wanted to make you think about that person, in case you haven’t in a while…purposely. And in case you need to. I’ll leave you with this:

“Love, relationships and matters of the heart are some of the few things in life that we will always learn and grow from. So don’t be afraid to let them happen, you owe it to yourself and your future.” – anon

Carpe that fucking Diem.

xx

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