At this point, if you haven’t heard about the social media trolls swarming around Ayesha Curry for her willingness to share a vulnerable moment, then here’s a quick recap:
The well-established “basketball wife” and entrepreneHER recently visited the Red Table Talk with Jada Pinkett Smith and during the episode, each of the women at the table shared what they felt their most insecure or anxious moments were about being affiliated with very popular and famous men. Ayesha did what most do when they sit at the Red Table, and she shared her most vulnerable truth. A truth I personally feel most women can identify with.
She simply spoke on how she feels a little slighted that her husband receives attention from the opposite sex and that sometimes she has desired to receive the same from men just to reinforce that she’s still got it… nothing out of the ordinary, but of course social media gives people a platform to run with snippets of words and phrases that alter meaning, not daring to truly take time and watch the actual recording for a more comprehensive context.
In the past 24 hours or so, I’ve seen this beautiful and successful woman be dragged by women and men alike, all for simply sharing an insecurity.
So here are a few lessons I learned from Mrs. Curry in this moment:
1. Women are not allowed to live their truth out loud.
Anytime a woman shares anything other than her strength, she is demoralized for it. It is not uncommon for society to cheer on a strong, educated Black woman who is doing her thing. However, as soon as sis shows emotion, it’s a certified wrap. We can’t cry, we can’t complain, we can’t second guess ourselves….at least not in public.
As much as we have hyped up and sensationalized the idea of mental health (Happy Mental Health Awareness Month, btw), we often make it difficult for people –women…black women, especially — to authentically live out their truth. When we do, society (even many of our own) go in for the jugular and tear us apart. It’s as if the moment we decided to strip away the mask of confidence and perfection, we became an embarrassment to our people and the world outside of our communities.
Anytime a woman shares anything other than her strength, she is demoralized for it.
2. Some unmarried people have NO IDEA how marriage can impact your personal confidence.
What killed me the most was reading all of the commentary from single people, men and women alike. How do I know they’re single? No shade, but it was honestly crystal clear that they weren’t married (maybe a committed relationship, but definitely not married) and that does matter, especially when you’re commenting on someone else’s union.
It truly disgusted me to see how males misinterpreted Ayesha’s comments to the point where they thought it okay to troll her IG page and make comments that suggested she wanted them to hit on her. I’m sorry, but we’ve just thrown away the #metoo movement or does social harassment not qualify?
And the Bitter Bettys who commented about how she should be ashamed of herself because any woman would love to be married to Steph, as opposed to dealing with whomever they have chosen to lay up with… It was atrocious.
First of all, what do we know about what is going on in their household? While I don’t believe her statement was meant to suggest that Steph does not show her any attention, it’s not something I can confirm without speaking to her or being a fly on their bedroom wall.
Secondly, marriage ain’t no crystal stair, okay! Sometimes spouses get a little complacent and forget to share their admiration for one another. Speaking from personal experience, I love my husband to the moon and beyond, but it is nice to get compliments from other men, who can remind me that I’m still a catch, even though my husband hasn’t forgot that himself. And this is something we both agreed was normal (not necessarily okay, but definitely normal).
We live in a society, where unfortunately, other’s approval does matter to us, especially when you see your partner receiving accolades ALL. THE. TIME. I can totally understand where Ayesha is coming from. Is it an insecure place? Most definitely. But let’s be clear, the segment was literally about INSECURITIES! This is something that maybe she is working on, and her husband – if he’s anything like mine – is probably aware of the fact that she feels this way, and he is likely doing what he can to alleviate these vulnerable moments. However, when you are with someone all the time, it is nice to know that the outside world still finds you worthy of a compliment (not an approach, not an inappropriate or disrespectful remark, but a simple compliment). It doesn’t mean you’re no longer interested or in love with your mate. It doesn’t lessen their admiration for you either.
Until you enter a relationship with someone for the legal long haul, it’s difficult to comprehend why a woman like her, who’s married to a man like him would even shape her mouth to speak what she did about her personal experiences. Key words: her personal experiences.
This does not make having the insecurity a bad thing. It simply serves as a reminder to get back to my quiet time so God can remind me that I am created in His image
3. Thirst traps are real.
I’m going to get spiritual for a hot second. Shortly after reading the news concerning this topic, I listened to a sermon from Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church, entitled The Thirst Trap. Long sermon short, he spoke about the woman at the well being approached by Jesus and He ultimately caused her to realize she was looking for something to quench her thirst.
Think back to when I said that Ayesha’s comments came from an insecure place (again, the question posed to her was about insecurities — if we can just acknowledge that piece, maybe people would understand this better, but alas…. I digress). This sermon spoke about why we might desire the type of attention that Ayesha spoke about and simply speaking, it is due to a lack of relationship with Christ. Now any of us who follow the Currys know that they are an unashamed, faith-filled family. However, when we, as Christians, began to feel envious of the attention others are receiving or start to search for approval in “inappropriate” places, it’s typically because we are lacking in our relationship with Christ. Christ provides the confidence we need so that when others forget how awesome we are, we are able to remind ourselves of who we are in Him.
Again, I don’t know their situation, but I do know that in the hustle and bustle of my simple little life, I can often get away from scripture and my quiet time with God. I know when it’s been too long because when I haven’t spent as much time with Him as I should, I begin to become more and more affected by what others do toward me in the world. In other words, letting my spiritual guard down, allows desires, such as wanting approval from others because my husband is getting approval from others, creep into my spirit. This does not make having the insecurity a bad thing. It simply serves as a reminder to get back to my quiet time so God can remind me that I am created in His image and no matter if my husband or the random dude on the street acknowledges it, I know who I am because it is all in Christ. Let Him quench your thirst!
*hops down from pulpit*
4. We, women, are not as empowering as we thought… sorry, sis.
Lastly, Ayesha taught me that though my sistas have seemingly come far from the infighting and tearing down we once were challenged with, we clearly have a long way to go. We hype each other up on social media, commenting with our colloquial “yaaaasss sis,” or “okay I see you, hair,” and a sporadic, “you betta!” But we still struggle with how to respond when one of us shares a not-so-popular word.
In reminding y’all that it is Mental Health Awareness Month, would it have been too much to ask for us to have taken the opportunity to uplift our sis after she shared such vulnerability on a national platform. Again, I personally do not believe she did anything wrong, but as a budding mental health professional, if I did find fault in her words, my approach would not have been to attack her for “dissing” or “disrespecting” her husband (which she did not do). A word of encouragement, such as “girl, you don’t need anyone’s validation,” or a short and sweet, “You’re worth it” could have seriously gone a longer way than the negativity that was spouted out on her and her husband’s pages.
I believe it’s okay to have an opinion on the matter, but understanding context is super important. Maybe it’s the writer/ELA teacher in me, but listening to what someone says, how they say it, what they’re responding to… all of that is necessary to truly gain insight into the REASON why they said what they said and the ROOT of where it stems from. I appreciate Ayesha’s vulnerability and willingness to share something that many can identify with.
Remember: It’s Mental Health Awareness Month. Go check on your married (or single) friend who maybe desires a little validation. Remind her how amazing and purposeful she is. You just might need it in return one day!