Writing is one of my passions. But I used to be a closeted writer. Most people who know me will tell you that they had no idea that I was a writer. I only shared my passion and my pieces with my man and my best friend. This blog is my coming out party. I am out of the closet and have never been happier; however, I also have never felt such fear. As much as I like to claim that I am a grown-ass woman, it is scary to put myself out there for people to criticize.
Criticism hurts, especially when you are sharing your real and most vulnerable self. And people love to criticize these days. It’s become an American pastime. Several major blogs, magazines and television shows are focused primarily on tearing apart the way famous people dress, eat, date, raise kids, love, gain & lose weight, manage money, etc. Memes are created almost instantly after any incident occurs. Anonymity has sharpened the sword. The comments that I read on Instagram oftentimes make me cringe. [bctt tweet=”Twitter has become the Walmart of shade.” username=”beatnik24″]
No one is immune or off-limits. Wrong or right—this is the way it is. Similarly, when I was in high school, we told “yo momma” jokes. Your coolness hinged on how well you were able to tear down, insult and degrade another person’s most cherished person—their mother. There was not a damn thing that anyone could have done to change this practice at the time: it was our culture. Had someone started whining about it—their mother only would have become ground zero for attacks and been served a Shakespearean novel worth of put-downs. It was what it was.
And it is what it is. If you put yourself out there, most likely, you will be complimented, flattered and praised. You will also be mocked, slandered, and ridiculed. There is bad and good, ups and downs, pros and cons with everything. What you do as an adult is decide if the up outweighs the down; the good outweighs the bad and then handle both like a boss.
Instead, Ayesha Curry is handling her business like a disgruntled employee. She is young, so it’s not surprising that she keeps having these tweetrums (tweet tantrums). But she needs a friend, an older person, maybe someone who has been there to provide her with some guidance. She has benefitted greatly from her husband being a popular and successful professional basketball player. I’m sure that she is an incredible cook; but it’s almost a certainty that she would not have a cooking show and be doing pop-up restaurants with acclaimed chef Michael Mina were she not Steph Curry’s wife. She’s beautiful and had a few bit parts in a couple of sitcoms when she was a child, but it’s doubtful that she would be making commercials were she not Step Curry’s wife. As a graduate of Davidson, I’m sure she is very intelligent, but she would not be a respected endorser of products and a published author if she were not Steph Curry’s wife.
Correspondingly, she would not have hurtful, distasteful memes created about her and her family were she not Steph Curry’s wife. There will inevitably be some bad with that whole lotta good she’s getting (and I’m not even mentioning the wealth, special treatment she gets in stores, discounts, free items, fame, etc.). She needs to stop whining about it—at least publicly. If she wants to bitch to her husband or friends—cool. We all do that. But there is no benefit to her whining and tweeting messages like the following:
“It’s the inappropriate photoshopped pictures that are insulting to both me and the other families, husbands, fathers, wives in them 1/2,” she wrote. “I could care less about ‘L’s’ keep sending them. At this point you guys are insulting both sides with the inappropriate photos.”
I totally understand the urge to speak your mind when someone upsets you. How many times have I fired off an angry text because I needed to let that so-and-so know how in the hell I felt? But guess what, I’ve never sent one of those types of texts and had a positive benefit (even when I thought I’d feel better “speaking my mind” or “getting IT off of my chest.”). I still feel like shit and the receiver doesn’t go through any sort of major metamorphosis.
Did Ayesha think that the perpetrators were going to start flooding her with apologies? Or perhaps she thought that they would pull the mean memes down? My guess, is that it is more likely that she only fueled the fire and that there will be a barrage of “cry baby Ayesha” memes before I post this article. Whining unfortunately won’t change anything — but people’s perception of her. We Americans don’t take well to whiners.
Ayesha has a couple of choices (all of them more effective than her tweet tantrums).
- Get out of the game. She can’t help or change that she is married to a professional basketball player, but she can stop playing the social media game. Ironically, she bashes the same tool and behavior she employs. Didn’t she essentially call the entire National Basketball Association an unethical, untrustworthy, cheating organization? After her husband was ejected form Game 6, she tweeted: “I’ve lost all respect sorry this is absolutely rigged for money… Or ratings in not sure which. I won’t be silent. Just saw it live sry.”
She also got into a twitter war after she said this about the way some women dress: Everyone’s into barely wearing clothes these days huh? Not my style. I like to keep the good stuff covered up for the one who matters .
If a poodle walks up and starts a fight with a pit bull and get his ass kicked—he deserved to get his ass beat. If the poodle doesn’t like getting his ass kicked, he will stop barking at the pit. Stay the fuck off social media if you can’t handle the negative comments because there WILL be negative comments.
- Toughen up. The first few “yo momma” jokes that I got hurled at me stung. The negative comments I get on blog posts or pictures still sting, but they don’t devastate me. I’ve developed a thicker skin. I understand and accept that I will have negative comments just like I have positive ones. I can’t take either too seriously or allow either to derail my mission or my character.
- Learn to laugh at yourself and your family. Instead of getting mad about the Yo Momma jokes, my generation appreciated the quality of them. A lot of what people said about my mom was honestly funny. I laughed. My youngest son’s lanugo (the hair that some babies are born with that falls off later) didn’t fall off until very late. Not to mention, he had a lot of it. Boy, did my friends have jokes. Was I slightly concerned that my baby looked like a mini bigfoot—yes. But, guess what, I laughed at my friends’ jokes. They were funny. *Happy to report that the lanugo did eventually fall off and my son turned out rather handsome (at least in my opinion).
And let’s be clear. Ayesha CHOSE this path. She has put a lot of energy behind trying to create her own celebrity – in social media, commercials and her cooking show. Anonymity is easy – just as LeBron’s wife Savanah (or Chris Paul’s wife, or Andre Iguodola’s wife). I’m not saying that her choice is wrong; however, she must accept all that comes with it.
Superstars take game winning shots and embrace the good and the bad that come with them. You’ll never be that guy – or that chick – if you can only handle the success of hitting that shot. At least half of those shots don’t go in and you need to have the heart – and the thick skin – that comes with the inevitable criticism. Being a good winner is easy – and if you can’t also handle being a loser with similar grace, then stay away from the game.
Unlike, Stephen A. Smith’s knock on Ayesha, my primary worry is not about how her behavior affects her husband. Rather, I care about how it affects her. What we focus on is what grows. Negative social media battles will only create more negativity. She can either get out of the fight, stop complaining about the wounds, or train harder so she becomes tough enough to take the blows and not fall down.
My intention is for Black people to love themselves and each other. It sounds somewhat silly, I guess; but oftentimes my people are overwhelmed with negative images, bad news, and stereotyped characters about us. I’d like to flip that script. I’d like to remind us, as often as I can, how incredible we are. Read more