Exclusive image of me on Valentine's Day.
I'm working. There is coin to be made. Even during the years when I had a man to celebrate the occasion, I found myself writing a term paper or worrying about an upcoming segment to be produced at work. The hype is draining and quite superficial, not to mention, expensive. The best part of VDay, for me, is the discounted candy on February 15th.
Archive image of my friends watching me drown my life in chocolate.
You would think singles are exhausted on Valentine's Day from the overload of couples proclaiming their love on this special day of the year. No, the lovers aren't responsible for working our nerves.
Valentine's Day means your timeline will become inundated with women making proclamations (or excuses) as to why they're single. In addition to women defending their relationship status, we're subjected to men posting offensive jokes about women who appear to be lonesome. I would utilize this space to embed a few tweets and screenshots, but I'll refrain. No need to poke the fire. Particularly, I see memes of black women who appear in despair because they couldn't find love or a date on February 14th.
Where did this myth of "unlovable", unhappy black women begin?
New York getting dumped by Flavor Flav?
New York getting dumped by Flavor Flav, 2.0?
Joan Clayton's three-month rule?
Beyonce's artistic freedom which somehow translated to a real-life loveless marriage?
Or the notion that black women are superficial, money hungry jezebels?
And don't forget about the perpetual stereotype that we're mean and too crazy to hold down a stable relationship.
Be ye not deceived. Media and modern culture are lying to you. Black women are not jilted lovers.
According to data collected in 2009, 53.6 percent of black women between age 30-34 were never married, a slight dip from the 70.5 percent between ages 25 -29.
We're not living in the same day and time as our grandparents. Back in the day, couples got married because "it was the right thing to do." And somewhere down the line, traditional marriages (even the shotgun ones) became scarce. Today, couples follow their own set of standards for relationships and family ties, ditching archaic rules of love.
Black women are rewriting the rules.
Or, black women do not get married at all.
For a variety of reasons, there is a population of black women who will never walk down the aisle. Why? For starters, I can tell you it has nothing to do with desirability. Big businesses are manufacturing black women's features in a bottle to be plastered on a non-black body only to be called "beautiful" and "high fashion". We are the desire.
The topic of unmarried black women can go on for days and days. While scholarly journals and relationship experts hone in on the 70 percent of unmarried 20-something black women, the numbers also show that the figures drops to 13 percent by age 55. This figure is eight percent lower than Caucasian women at the same rate. For black women, the lower stats between age groups suggest we are waiting until later in life to get married. And there is possiblity that black women are single and unmarried by choice. The idea isn't too far fetched.
Shonda Rhimes gave a surprisingly honest answer about her thoughts on marriage.
"I never played bride, I was never interested. I don't know what it is. I never wanted to get married. I love having boyfriends. I love dating. I do not want a husband in my house," she told Oprah during a sit down on Super Soul Sunday.
Shonda, with her young daughters in tow, created an entire night in TV while Oprah "owns" a network in addition to a list of milestones in the last three decades. Two powerful black women running things in Hollywood agree marriage isn't for them. At the other end of the spectrum, women choose to juggle career, a marriage and raising children.
In a 2008 interview with Seventeen magazine, Beyonce admitted that she didn't want to get married too early. "I really don't believe that you will love the same thing when you're 20 as you do at 30. So that was my rule: Before the age of 25, I would never get married."
You know how the story goes; Bey stayed on her grind, got married, went a little harder, had a baby, changed the game and is adding two more babies to the mix, while continuously snatching our edges. It's all about intent. Bey intentionally set her career in focus and kept her family goals within reach.
One thing remains, Bey and girl bosses like her are invested in their net worth.
The same goes for everyday women. We're running things on our own terms. Just because you don't see an Instagram post, cryptic Facebook statuses or a Snap, don't think we're not handling things in the love department. Disney fairytales weren't sketched with black girls in mind. We're writing our own beginning, middle and ends. Sometimes that end is a second chance.
If you see a black woman alone on Valentine's Day, don't feel sorry for her or assume you know her plight. Forget what you heard. Rethink what you see. One narrative doesn't fit all. We lead fulfilling lives, with or without a ring. I'm here to tell you, all single black women are not lonely. We're LIT.
Better get you one.
Photo: Waiting to Exhale
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