Nearly three decades later, Jaleel White still has some very strong feelings about dating in the 90's. The Family Matters star took to his Instagram to thank Salt-n-Pepa's Sandra "Pepa" Denton about being honest about her attraction to "thugs and hoodlums" back in the day. She claimed that the reason she didn't date Will Smith was because he was too nice to her.
Pepa's quote reportedly comes from a 2009 interview with GlobalGrind in which she admitted her initial attraction to Will Smith but revealed why the two never took it to the next level.
“I thought Will was really cute and we would hang out a lot on the road," Pepa said of the Fresh Prince in her original quote. "He liked to take care of me and never let me spend a dime. He was that kind of guy, real generous. I remember when they won their first award, he asked me to go out with him afterward. He was so excited. We were walking along the street getting ready to grab something to eat, and he just gave this homeless guy $100 dollars."
She continued about the regret she felt due to letting her relationship with Will fall through, which is the part of her quote that was posted to White's page.
"I sometimes kick myself when I think about what could have been. He was so nice to me, but I really wasn’t feeling him. I guess I couldn’t appreciate a nice guy like Will Smith. He wasn’t thug enough. I was attracted to thugs and hoodlums. Will was too nice to me.”
I’m gonna just leave this here. Never seen a celebrity Black woman admit this. Props to you, Pepa, for spitting a little known truth. But if you weren’t bout that thug life as a youngster, smoking hella weed or getting paid for playing in the league, the finest sistas were not checking for you in the 90s ????????♂️ The jerks, rappers and jocks scooped em all up????????♂️ The past is the past, but oh the stories I could share ????????????♂️???? Props to you again, Pepa. How many of you brothas who grew up in the 90s can relate? #iwasadooropening #foodbuyingfool
"I’m gonna just leave this here," White wrote in his caption. "Never seen a celebrity Black woman admit this. Props to you, Pepa, for spitting a little known truth. But if you weren’t bout that thug life as a youngster, smoking hella weed or getting paid for playing in the league, the finest sistas were not checking for you in the 90s .The jerks, rappers and jocks scooped em all up. The past is the past, but oh the stories I could share. Props to you again, Pepa."
This post comes amid the notion currently floating around the internet that black women don't like "the weird black guy." The conversation ignited after the release of Childish Gambino's very woke "This Is America" video. Despite his continuous contributions to black culture, he's not married to a black woman. People have defended his dating practices by saying that black women wouldn't be into guys like him anyway.
While everyone is entitled to date who they want, the debate makes a person wonder how someone automatically comes to that conclusion. Neither black men nor women are a monolith, and everyone has a different motive for romantically pursuing different partners. For now, it seems that the "nice guys finish last" brigade is having a field day.
Whichever side of the conversation you stand on, know that someone's willingness to date you may have nothing to do with if you're weird, nerdy or thug enough. Sometimes, people just aren't checking for you.