**Warning** “Empire Girls” Episode 3 Spoiler Alert
My New Year’s Resolution was to not support any reality TV show shenanigans parading women more as cackling and clawing sideshows then intelligent, insightful main attractions. Yet I found myself sucked into Style network’s Empire Girls this past weekend. Julissa Bermudez and Adrienne Bailon might not be the brightest bulbs in Times Square, but they can dress their asses off. Between them and Tia and Tamera, I’ve got fashion inspiration to last until the New Year’s Eve ball drops.
Yet it wasn’t the ensemble envy that snagged me, it was a clip of Julissa bawling like a war-veteran’s widow in front of her ex-fiancée NFL player, Larry Johnson. As her pride splashed to the floor, I had to know what had her drowning in a puddle of “you’ve been played”.
Turns out, is started with a night on the town with bestie Bailon and publicist pal, Ashley Weatherspoon (let me find out “publicist” is the new “personal assistant” cuz ‘ everyone in the crew has to have a professional title even if their only responsibility is to stay pretty and party, right?). After spotting “L.J.” waiting outside of a concert , Julissa becomes overwhelmed and starts the dramatic process of over-analyzing that we women do when we are insecure and try “thinking a relationship to death” to make it work. Instead of playing it cool, coy and oblivious, the girls encourage her to walk up to him and give him a friendly, “Howdy! How ya’ doing?” which subliminally means, “I’m so over you that I am confident enough to walk up to you and be unfazed by the intense feelings we once shared.” What they didn’t tell her is that this only works when you’re actually over the relationship. The confrontation results in a long, awkward pause of unrequited-passion-pregnant air after the greeting which leaves Julissa feeling more embarrassed than enlightened.
When L.J. texts that they should catch up over lunch. He comes out swinging with a callous, “You act like I killed ya’ dog or something.” Julissa has a messy meltdown when she finds out not only did he stop abusing alcohol (a major problem in their relationship) but he has since had a daughter and is in love with his child’s mother. Touchdown for L.J.; takedown for Ms. Bermudez. Baby didn’t even get to leave with her pride.
I’m beginning to learn why these ladies, as well as those ratchet Love and Hip Hop heffas are lonely, cheated on and disrespected: They keep continuing to take advice from their lonely, cheated on and disrespected friends. Ladies, take a look at your best gal pal and call to memory the words of Mya in her song, “How You Gonna Tell Me”:
“At least if you’re gonna try and give advice
About my life have your own shit right
Cause you ain’t even livin’ what you preach to me
So please, how you gonna tell me?”
Stop subscribing to tainted advice of how to get/keep a man from your friends that also can’t get/keep a man. This advice is flawed for one of three reasons: 1.) They have the best of intentions, but really don’t know what the fuck they are talking about. 2.) They have the worst of intentions and don’t want you to be happy if they can’t be. 3.) You’re the entertainment.
By “entertainment” I mean in every girl group there’s one that by default makes the others feel good about their own screwed up situations because at least your situation isn’t as bad as “the entertainment’s”. She’s the one y’all clown for a good laugh over cocktails when you talk about how her man had the other girl riding around in her Camaro cuz of course, that could never be you. In Destiny’s Child there was Michelle. In the first season of Love and Hip Hop there was Emily and on this new season can you guess who it is? It’s the one whose man is running around with a chick that resembles John Leguizamo in drag.
Who should you listen to then? The girl who you all sit around and hate on gossip about. You know who I’m talking about. Ms. “Has-to-Be-Unhappily-Married-Because-Ain’t-No-Way-He’s-Not-Cheating-On-Her-and-We’ll-Say-Anything-To-Throw-Shade-on-Her-Happiness-Because-We-Secretly-Want-Her-Life”. If you all could take two minutes from dissecting her every flaw and over-analyzing every conflict she has in her relationship, and gave her props for what she’s doing right, you might learn a thing or two about how to have a healthy relationship…or the hope for any relationship, for that matter.
Lastly, the other person you should listen to is yourself. Even if you don’t always stick to it, only you know what you truly want from a relationship and you set the standards for how your relationship works. We women don’t give ourselves enough credit. We usually have all the answers before the test even begins, but we spend so much time studying that when we were are faced with some abs and a sexy smile, we draw a blank. Don’t be anyone’s sideshow, not VH-1’s and not your girl crew’s. Go with your gut. It has more sense than your biased girlfriends any day.