Support for TV Mistresses? Experts Suggest Millennials Place Too Much Emphasis on Love and Not Obligation

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A couples therapist and a life coach want millennials to be very realistic about what marital love is and isn’t.

By Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele

This article was published at The Root on Sept. 13, 2015.

In Scandal, U.S. President Grant Fitzgerald, played by Sam Goldwyn, is having an affair with Kerry Washington’s character, Olivia Pope.

In the Starz drama Power, Jamie St. Patrick, a club owner and reluctant drug dealer played by Omari Hardwick, is having an affair with his high school sweetheart Angela Valdez, played by Lela Loren. 

Both men are, again, married and have children with their wives. But there’s the idea that both men are sincerely in love with their mistresses. 

As a result, something interesting is happening culturally with regard to how those extramarital affairs are being perceived. When you look at social media reactions to both television shows, people aren’t afraid to identify as #TeamOlivia and #TeamAngela. Fans—and, it seems, we millennials in particular—seem to support or, at the very least, are fond of the affairs. And the reason typically given is that we’re witnessing true love.

There’s a tolerance and a pinch of admiration for the affairs because they’re not seen as salacious hookups based on just sex. They’re being marketed as "the real thing." I’ve even had conversations with people who suggested that it would be OK, understandable and perhaps even just if both men, wait for it, actually left their wives to be with Olivia and Angela—the loves of their lives. 

The concept of love kept popping up over and over again in these discussions. There seems to be an unrealistic emphasis placed on love and being in love, and the role those concepts play in marriage and commitments.

The Root asked Washington, D.C.-based couples therapist Drew Joseph and New York-based life coach Pervis Taylor III to weigh in on whether it’s a bad thing that millennials hold being in love in such high regard—especially when it comes to marriages and long-term relationships. The experts also dished out advice they would give to millennials who are wrestling with how to process these extramarital affairs that they seem to empathize with. Their responses were edited for clarity and brevity.

The Root: What do you make of the support that Olivia and Angela are getting from millennials, who seem to be OK with this kind of extramarital affair? 

Drew Joseph: It totally makes sense to me. In Ta-Nehisi Coates’ new book, he speaks about the concept of dreamersthe idea that we are all obsessed with this permanent happiness that we think we deserve and can achieve.

That capitalistic mindset—that you’re entitled to take what you want in order to achieve happiness—is what is at play here. There’s a profound blindness to the moral contradictions of that system. I feel that explains this weird (and disturbing) championing of the extramarital relationships in Power and Scandal by millennials. 

Simply put, there’s a way to talk about love as a practice. And yet millennials are thinking of love as something that you consume. They’re making love a commodity. 

Simply put, there’s a way to talk about love as a practice. And yet millennials are thinking of love as something that you consume

TR: How much emphasis should be placed on the importance of "being in love" with your partner when it comes to maintaining a healthy marriage?  

Drew Joseph: A lot. I think if you’re going to marry someone, it can’t only be based on calculation. We have to feel seen and wanted. We have to feel that this is someone I could allow myself to need. There has to be some feeling of aliveness. 

But we also need to ask: Is this someone I can actually communicate with? Would we both be willing to struggle when things get tough? Being married inevitably entails loss of the "in-love" experience. It forces us also to cope with feeling disappointed, alone and unwanted, too. Marital love challenges us to bear much disillusionment. If you are not willing to experience those things, you shouldn’t get married.

Pervis Taylor III: Most successful marriages are based more on friendship than eros love. If you are not friends with your significant other, then your marriage will likely not work. It’s your friend that will be willing to come back and say, "Let’s work it out." The lover aspect ebbs and flows. But the friendship usually is constant. 

 Most successful marriages are based more on friendship than eros love.

TR: Do you have any concerns about how some millennials seem to empathize with Olivia Pope and Angela Valdez?

DJ: There’s something really deceptive about the fantasties that these shows are projecting. Viewers fantasize that if we could be Olivia or Angela, we’d be happy. We are seduced into seeing Olivia and Angela as heroic role models: They have what we all want. They have the plum job. They have the house in the elite neighborhood. They have a partner who sees through their personal masks and can match their intensity. 

But real people in those situations—like Olivia and Angela—are in a great deal of pain and agony. They have to suffer the pain, the secrecy, the contradiction and the risk of … being involved with a married man. Beneath the thrills of transgression, the cheaters feel anxious, groundless and alone. Their pain is posturing as triumph. 

TR: How much emphasis should be placed on obligation and commitment when weighing if a marriage is worth saving? 

PT: I don’t like the word "obligation." It sounds so negative. Millennials will likely choose who they marry. They’re not being assigned a spouse like how it’s done in arranged marriages. I think a better word to use would be "investment." I think the emphasis should be placed on the partnership and oneness that can come from staying married.

TR: If you’re sincerely (and deeply) in love with someone who is not your spouse, is it ever OK to explore that love? To explore the possibility of being with that person? 

DJ: I would never say it’s not OK to follow your curiosity or hope. But as a psychotherapist, I would challenge the straying person to consider what is driving the attraction to the new person? Are you avoiding something that’s happening in your primary relationship? In my experience with clients, the affair usually represents an escape. The straying person is not being honest about what they’re really thinking and feeling and wanting.

More important, they’re not being honest about that in the presence of their spouse—the person who, up until that point, has known them the best. They’re being cowards. They’re not willing to stand by the truth of what their experience is. So they don’t need a lesson on morals, but they often need help finding their courage.

More important, the straying person is not being honest about that in the presence of their spouse—the person, who up until that point, has known them the best. 

PT: Right. Because what happens when that new person no longer makes you happy? Cheating is always rooted in an unmet need. It’s important to know what that need is and address it. No, it’s not OK to explore that person. Ask yourself what’s going on in your own life. Explore that. 

It would be interesting to see how those new relationships play out if the men were to leave their wives. I guarantee you the dynamics of Jamie and Angela, and President Fitz and Olivia’s relationship, would change.

TR: What can millennials learn from the marriages that President Fitzgerald and Jamie St. Patrick are in? What can they learn about their extramarital affairs?

I think millennials are confusing love as a sensory, aesthetic experience, instead of love as a kind of practice or a labor.

DJ: I think millennials are confusing love as a sensory, aesthetic experience, instead of love as a kind of practice or a labor that’s founded on the commitment to a person, or the people that you live with. Love is working to promote the well-being of the other and intervening in a way to protect the freedom of the other.

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Why They’re Heading Out On An 11-City Wedding Engagement Tour

Antoine Kinch and Shaunte Otey in a photo shoot for their wedding-engagement tour. (TE & TOINE FACEBOOK PAGE)

Antoine Kinch and Shaunte Otey in a photo shoot for their wedding-engagement tour. (TE & TOINE FACEBOOK PAGE)

Sure, their 11-city love tour might be a tad excessive. But it’s also a reflection of a generation of African Americans who’ve truly gone global.

By Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele

An abridged version of this article was published at The Root on February 14, 2015.

Antoine Kinch hopped onto an ottoman in a swanky New York City rooftop lounge to toast his fiancee and thank their family and friends for making it out to celebrate his and Shaunte Otey’s wedding engagement. Antoine, a 37-year-old engineer, spoke giddily about how he was marrying a longtime friend and a woman whom he at times refers to as a “unicorn” because he still can’t believe that she’s, well, real. Why? Shaunte, also a 37-year-old engineer, is black and—the adjective that makes her oh so surreal—fine. 

“True”—one of Antoine’s engineer friends blurted out midtoast—“not a lot of cute, black female engineers,” he quipped, while everyone laughed. Antoine finished his speech and reminded everyone to use the hashtag #TeAndToine when sharing photos and video from the party on the InstagramTwitter and Facebook accounts specifically created for their wedding-engagement tour.

Yep, you read that right: their tour.

If you’re a friend or a relative of the soon-to-be Kinches and you missed their New York City gathering in January, no worries, you can catch the smiling duo this Valentine’s weekend celebrating with loved ones at another fabulous engagement party in Oakland. And if trekking it to the West Coast proves to be too burdensome, don’t fret, the pair are taking their love celebration overseas at the end of March, where their Italian brethren and sistren can nimble on prosciutto and olives, perhaps, at their engagement festivities in Milan. A couple of days after that, Antoine and Shaunte will be wining and dining with comrades in Munich, Germany, and then it’s off to the Czech Republic to clank beers with their acquaintances in Prague.

I hope the literary equivalent of jetlag hasn’t got you pooped because we’re not done yet. Where were we? Oh, right—Prague. After that, the newly engaged and their Parisian friends will be noshing on croquet-monsieurs, perhaps, at a fine eatery in France towards the beginning of April. And then it’s off to partake in an authentic Sichuan cuisine at wedding engagement gatherings in Beijing and Shanghai.

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Antoine Kinch and Shaunte Otey in signage for their wedding-engagement tour. (TE & TOINE FACEBOOK PAGE)

Sometime in May, they’ll resume the U.S. leg of their tour in the nation’s capital, a stone’s throw from where Shaunte grew up in Virginia. After Washington, D.C., the lovebirds are promising to nail down dates for tour stops in Los Angeles and Chicago.

At this point, some of you are probably furrowing your eyebrows at all the pomp and circumstance of the whole shebang and wondering what possessed them to go to such lengths—literally—for the engagement. (“All he did so far was buy a ring, take a knee and y’all already taking a victory lap?,” wrote one of my editors after seeing their itinerary, which is mocked up like a faux movie poster.)

But during an interview with The Root to commemorate all things “love” this Valentine’s Day weekend, Antoine and Shaunte talked about how their endeavor is equal parts a reflection of the digital times that we live in, where social media is used to document special occasions in people’s lives; the euphoria they feel as late-30-somethings having found “the one” in each other; and, just as important, a natural extension of their lives as travel junkies.

Antoine and Shaunte are proud members of Nomadness Travel Tribe, an online resource for black travelers. The engagement tour was a perfect way to tout their identities as African-American nomads of sorts—a lifestyle that has gained a lot of recognition in recent months because of the online spaces popping up to commemorate the trend.

Shaunte Otey and Antoine Kinch (Facebook)

Shaunte Otey and Antoine Kinch (Facebook)

“Individually, we have had such lives on different coasts and friendships in different pockets,” Shaunte explained. Antoine added that since everyone they know probably won’t be able to make it to the wedding, he and Shaunte thought: “Instead of them coming to us, why don’t we go to them?”

They’ve both already shown signs of a nomadic existence, living and working in the U.S. Antoine grew up in New York and has lived in Boston; San Jose and Oakland, in California; Philadelphia; the state of Maryland; and now Raleigh, N.C. Shaunte, a Virginia native, has lived in Los Angeles and San Francisco and also has a spot in Raleigh. Their passion for traveling has taken them to Brazil, Peru, Turks and Caicos, the Netherlands, Italy, Cape Verde, India, Equatorial Guinea, Mexico and Aruba—just to name a few.

“You’re on the road too much. You travel too much. You’re not going to settle down,” well-meaning loved ones would tell Shaunte, advising her to “sit still” if she wanted to snag a man. Then she attracted her match in Antoine—a guy whom Essence named one of its most eligible bachelors in 2012.

However superfluous the tour may seem to some, it knocks down stereotypes about how black people are rigid, unadventurous and don’t travel. Plus it’s nice that Antoine and Shaunte—middle-class African-Americans from working-class roots—clearly have the coin to luxuriate and explore the world alongside fellow avid travelers.

Shaunte said she and Antoine receive messages from hopeful people who had given up on love, and people who are only now making space in their schedules to start seeing the world. But for Shaunte, as she begins her journey with Antoine, there’s no time like the present.

“It doesn’t make sense to save all of your money until you’re dead,” she said. “I want to experience all that this life has for me.”

She added: “Life isn’t promised.”

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A Candid Q&A with the Author of the “Dark Girls” Book

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Since the documentary did so well on OWN, the director thought people would appreciate the tactile experience of celebrating brown women in book form.

By Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele

This article was published at The Root on November 14, 2014.

I knew very early on that my strand of black wasn’t exactly preferred or exalted. I’m chocolate-complexioned—or, to use the term that is most frequently used to describe my hue (much to my chagrin), dark-skinned.

Colorism. It’s arguably one of the most painful vestiges of slavery: society’s disproportionate preference for caramel-complexioned black women, and the insecurities that it has bestowed on women with dark-brown hues as a result.

But contrary to popular belief, it’s not a “black American thing.” There’s a global fascination and preference for fairer complexions. During a phone interview with The Root, film director and actor Bill Duke spoke about the research he did while preparing for his documentary Dark Girlswhich he has now turned into a brilliant and powerful book. It was released this week, and Lupita Nyong’o is on the cover. Duke described how dark-brown men in India bleach their skin because they don’t want to be mistaken for a low-income Indian man who works in the fields. 

The Dark Girls book features dozens of interviews with high-profile black women who share similar accounts of how they’ve had to contend with their chocolate complexions at some point in their lives. Author Sheila Moses interviewed the women and found that those who were under the age of 50 “did not have the same level of comfort” as older women like Sheryl Lee Ralph and Loretta Devine. The Root spoke with Duke about the book and how colorism might affect people differently; the edited exchange is below: 

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The Root: As you raised money for the Dark Girls documentary and then developed the concept into a book, were there people who found the entire discussion and premise to be divisive and incendiary?

Bill Duke: Yes—a lot of people felt like this is something that we shouldn’t be exposing because it was our business—as they called it—and they wanted to know why was I exposing it to the general public.

The most poignant moment was during a screening of the documentary at the Apollo Theater, and an elderly black lady stood up during the Q&A portion and said, “Mr. Duke, thank you for making the film. I enjoyed it but I have to ask you this question: Why are you exposing our dirty laundry?”

And I said to her, “Ma’am, with all due respect, because it’s stinking up the house.” The fact of the matter is, there are young little girls that are suffering because of the color of their skin, and that has to be addressed.

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TR: Did you ever think that we should stop using the term “dark skin” to describe chocolate complexions, since it seems to imply that white skin is the standard and the base complexion with which all other skin tones should be compared?

BD: The thing that I was addressing is not how we would like to be referred to but how we are actually perceived and how that perception is impacting beautiful girls that are brown-complected.

You either have a choice of titling it what you would prefer it to be, or titling it in terms of how it’s perceived in the world. I chose the latter.

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TR: Is it your hope that Dark Girls will be given to and read by black boys and black men, too? What do you think that impact might be?

BD: The book will hopefully display the beauty of our women—particularly and specifically our dark-skinned women. Young boys and men will see a book that portrays dark-skinned women that are successful, have power, have given back to the community and are leaders. Hopefully that will impact their vision, understanding and respect for dark-skinned women.

I also think that the book is attempting to be a tool for young people so that they understand that whatever is said negative about women of dark complexions is a lie.

It is meant to encourage. Young black girls can show it to those people that describe them as anything less than beautiful.

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TR: It seems brown-complected men and women have similar insecurities about their complexions, but gender can play a significant role in people’s experiences. There’s the idea that dark men have an easier time than women. How might each of their journeys to self-acceptance and self-love differ?

BD: Women are sold these standards of beauty that are established by the beauty business. They try to live up to those standards, but they can never meet them because every time they meet a standard, the beauty business changes the standard in order to sell more product.

But pain is pain. You can’t compare pain. Black women go through horrific things because of the shade of their skin, but how can I compare their pain to my pain?

I didn’t go to my prom because when I was growing up, the pretty boys got the dates. They had light skin, “good hair” and light eyes. I couldn’t get a date to my senior prom because I was 6 feet, very dark-complected and … not considered handsome at that time. To compare pain, I think, is a useless effort.

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TR: In the book, you wrote a preface describing your own experiences as a dark black man, but that sort of revelation is rare among men. Why do you think chocolate-complexioned men don’t seem to carry the same burdens about their skin tones that their female counterparts do? Or maybe men do, but they’re not as vocal about their insecurities?

BD: Men are not vocal about their insecurities because we are taught to hide our pain. If you show your feelings or pain, you’re considered weak or, as they used to call it in the old days, a sissy.

This is why we die of cancer and ulcers and those kinds of diseases because we are not encouraged to show our pain. Unless you have a woman in your life that understands that you’re a human being also.

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TR: You directed Sister Act 2, and I wonder if it’s a coincidence that the film’s two leading ladies—Whoopi Goldberg and, at that point, a newcomer to the big screen, Lauryn Hill, both chocolate-complexioned women—were cast in those roles. When thinking about your career, do you think you had an ulterior motive to give opportunities to dark-brown actresses who were perhaps being overlooked by Hollywood casting agents?

BD: Yes. I wanted to be able to—well, I’m not choosing people based on their color. But if they’re equally talented, I definitely wanted to make sure that they were not denied the opportunity because of the color of their skin.

I wanted to let people know that these people are beautiful also.

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WATCH: Carrie & Big Should Look Forward to the Post-Fight | Episode 15

Relationships are about ‘rupture and repair’, not about never having a rupture.

By Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele

This is Part 4 of a 9-part analysis of Carrie and Mr. Big’s relationship from Sex and the City.

Experts Featured:

(1) Laurel Fay, M.S., LCMFT, is a Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist and owner of Laurel Fay & Associates, LLC. Ms. Fay has a Bachelors degree in Psychology and Child and Family Studies from Syracuse University, and a Masters of Science degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Maryland at College Park. She is also an Approved Supervisor and Clinical Fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).Ms. Fay is specially trained to work with couples, particularly around marital, communication and intimacy issues. Fay has given workshops on couple and family relationships for several organizations, including the Pro Bono Counseling Project; she is also a business coach for private practitioners, and is a frequent presenter on the topic of starting and growing a practice. She is the current President of the Middle Atlantic Division of the AAMFT, and she has been in private practice since 2001. Follow Laurel on Twitter at @laurelfay

(2) Drew Joseph, MA, LMFT, provides individual and couple therapy to adults in Washington, DC. His therapeutic methods are informed by psychodynamic psychology and Shambhala Buddhism. Learn more about Drew Joseph here.

 

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Nigeria’s Civil War on Film: Love, Betrayal & Tragedy

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A beautiful love story is set against the brutal civil war that nearly split Nigeria in two.

By Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele

This article was published at The Root on May 13, 2014.

Movies rarely do books justice, and thus I was surprised that the film adaptation of Half of a Yellow Sun captured the nuance that author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie achieved in her award-winning novel.

The stellar ensemble cast is partially responsible. Wealthy Nigerian twin sisters Olanna (Thandie Newton) and Kainene (Anika Noni Rose) are each involved in romantic relationships that are effected by the political and social unrest underway in Nigeria during the Biafran civil war of the late 1960s. Olanna, the caramel-complexioned and somewhat prissy sister is dating (and eventually marries) a sharp-tongued revolutionary professor by the name of Odenigbo (played by Afro-British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor). Kainene, the chocolate-complexioned sister who’s funny and delightfully acerbic, is dating a white British writer by the name of Richard (Joseph Mawle). Throughout the course of Richard’s time in Nigeria, he begins to identify as a Nigerian and ultimately a Biafran. It’s such an interesting character arc to see this white man come into himself in Africa.

Newton’s and Rose’s on-screen chemistry is palpable. They’re distant, yet synchronized—as is often the norm for sisters. Both Olanna and Kainene are smart as whips, cultured (they were schooled in London), and have an uncomfortable relationship with the wealth they stand to inherit.

Then there’s the story of Ugwu (John Boyega), the village boy who comes to live with Olanna and Odenigbo in the city as their housekeeper. His blossoming relationship is with modernity and the Western way of life. Odenigbo, a pro-Igbo zealot, wants to shake Ugwu of his subservience and teach him the importance of getting an education. Ugwu, in turn, is quiet as a mouse, yet seems to have an upperhand on Odenigbo in another way: Ugwu is very observant and is aware of people’s ulterior motives, like how he senses that Odenigbo’s mother is trying to drive a wedge between her son and Olanna.

“Go back and tell your fellow witches that you did not see my son!” Mama Odenigbo sneers at Olanna during their first encounter. Her pidgin English makes the cut from the verbal lashing all the more deep.

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‘Beautiful’? What about ‘Pretty’ or ‘Hot’? Why Do Brown-Complected Women Get Grandma Compliments?

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Sure, she’s been celebrated. But the language with which Lupita Nyong’o’s beauty is often described is a reminder that some of us haven’t strayed far from our hesitation to embrace brown girls.

By Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele

This article was published at The Root on March 12, 2014.

Perhaps my brown-girl sensitivities are tainting my view, but I feel like there’s something going on with the words we use to describe Lupita Nyong’o.

Lupita is pretty, she’s cute and she’s a legitimate dime. And I use those adjectives intentionally, because it seems like these words are rarely used to describe her good looks in everyday discourse. Nor are they frequently used to compliment chocolate-complexioned black women in general. If you pay close attention to what people are saying—whether in TV shows or romantic comedies or even just hanging out with a few fellas on a Friday night—it seems that a large chunk of men, at least a lot of the guys I know, will lay eyes on a good-looking woman, turn to their boys and launch into a variation of “She looks good,” “She’s bad” or “She’s fine.”

For brown girls, though, it’s wholesome, grandma-esque adjectives like “beautiful,” “stunning” and “gorgeous.” They’re the kinds of words that some men, particularly young men, reserve for their mother, daughter, cousin, auntie or when a woman is all dressed up for a special occasion, like Sunday service, the prom or a wedding.

A friend on Twitter noticed this trend, too:

When you do a Twitter search for the terms “Lupita” and “beautiful,” the list of results you get back is a mile long. But the same search for “Lupita” and “pretty” turns up comments like “pretty dress,” “pretty brilliant” and various exchanges about whether she’s even pretty at all.

And even when writers are trying to celebrate her, they wind up doing their own version of this, too. A Time photographer called her “captivating,” the Daily Mail described her as a “breathtaking beauty,” a New Zealand paper said she has a “striking beauty” and the Huffington Post labeled her “stunning.”

Some men really do use words like “beautiful” and “gorgeous” to compliment women—but I get the sense that the uptight language often used to describe Nyong’o’s beauty is reserved for wholesome (read: boring) women whom men appreciate but don’t actually care to court, sleep with or flaunt to their boys as proof they’ve got game.

The datable girls who qualify to be the next “Mrs.” usually start off as “pretty,” “cute” or “sexy.” There’s even a school of thought that if a man calls a young woman “beautiful,” it’s because he doesn’t actually think she’s all that attractive. “Beautiful” is the politically correct term. It’s the go-to adjective to appear couth, when guys want to describe your personality and spirit in lieu of your looks.

Plus, I feel like I can tell when someone is trying to ingratiate themselves with me to atone for a prior offense—and that’s kind of how I feel when people call Lupita “beautiful” but not “hot.” There is a deep-seated preference for lighter skin and European features, and while counterintuitive, it almost seems as if this effusive praise for Nyong’o’s beauty actually demonstrates that.

On one hand, the collective gushing reads like an apology for the way beauty standards have historically subjugated brown-skinned women. And on the other hand, it’s as if people are going all out to boost Lupita’s self-esteem. The praise isn’t simply a spontaneous, organic reaction to this woman’s beauty; it’s a compliment, yes, but one that comes with a lot of baggage.

We’ll know we’ve arrived at a place of skin-tone aesthetic equality when men—and black men in particular—fashion magazines and America in general can admire Lupita’s beauty in the same imaginative, flamboyant—even salacious—way that people have expressed admiration for Beyoncé, Sofia Vergara or Angelina Jolie. There’s unabashed awe for these ladies’ looks, without further qualification. They’re simply referred to as “hot.” Full stop.

Brown-skinned black women want to be wanted in the same manner as caramel-complexioned black women—even if the praise is less polished—because that suggests there’s parity between different hues.

Don’t gaze at us and then put us up on a pedestal, never to be touched or spoken to or courted. We’re tactile beings just like other women, and we want the good—and sometimes the bad—reactions that come along with being sexy, pretty girls. We don’t need to be coddled or reassured.

Our beauty isn’t rare—it’s rather ubiquitous when you just open your eyes and rid yourself of narrow Western standards of beauty. And guess what? You can express your attraction by using the same colorful and colloquial vocabulary used to describe those bad “light-skin” chicks from around your way. 

Sure, Lupita’s gorgeous, even “resplendent.” But you know what else? She’s also fine as hell.

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Episode 5: Couples Therapy for Martin and Gina

Wait! Watch the revised and updated, bite-size segments, Episode 6 – Episode 11, instead!

By Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele

Martin and Gina’s journey to the altar played out hilariously, and at times uncomfortably, right before our very eyes. Marriage therapists reveal how they think this relationship would have fared in real life, and what viewers can learn from this dynamic pair.


Experts Featured:


(1) Laurel Fay, M.S., LCMFT, is a Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist and owner of Laurel Fay & Associates, LLC. Ms. Fay has a Bachelors degree in Psychology and Child and Family Studies from Syracuse University, and a Masters of Science degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Maryland at College Park. She is also an Approved Supervisor and Clinical Fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).Ms. Fay is specially trained to work with couples, particularly around marital, communication and intimacy issues. Fay has given workshops on couple and family relationships for several organizations, including the Pro Bono Counseling Project; she is also a business coach for private practitioners, and is a frequent presenter on the topic of starting and growing a practice. She is the current President of the Middle Atlantic Division of the AAMFT, and she has been in private practice since 2001. Follow Laurel on Twitter at @laurelfay

(2) Sylvia E. Rosario, M.Ed, is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and owner of her private practice based in Washington D.C. as a practicing psychotherapist and specialist in Marriage and Family therapy. She is committed to working with individuals, couples and families who are seeking to enhance and improve the quality of their lives. Mrs. Rosario was appointed to the District of Columbia, Board of Marriage and Family Therapy on December 7, 2012 , her term to expire January 3, 2015. You can learn more about her here.

(3) Dr. Krystal Stanley, Ph.D. is a licensed Psychologist and owner of Re-New Psychological Services, LLC, based in Washington D.C. Dr. Stanley provides individual, couples, and group therapy to adults and has experience working with clients in university counseling centers, community mental health centers, public and charter schools, and non-profit/community based counseling centers. Dr. Stanley also provides clinical supervision to the therapists at Re-New who are pursuing licensure in their respective fields of study. Follow Dr. Stanley on Twitter at @ReNewPsych

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