Is Integrity All that Important Anymore?

Source: MadameNoire.com

So before Friday even hit, I realized I would have to borrow from my savings in order to pay all of my bills yet again. 3 pay days in the month of March and an unexpected $200 asthma pump threw my budget and bills completely off.  In my frustration I found myself thinking, “This can’t be life.”

After realizing that my checking account balance wouldn’t change no matter what creative math I used to add up bills, I turned to Facebook. Someone else’s life had to be shittier than mine at the moment. I come across a girl who friended me a few years back. I don’t know how she found me. As far as I know she’s a video model located in Atlanta with three, well now four kids.

I decide to scroll through her mobile pic album which mostly include cute pics of her kids, but also professional ass shots, bathroom photo shoots in bandage dresses before she hits the club, and photos of her house in ATL, her Range Rover in the driveway and her shopping sprees at Neiman Marcus. I actually kinda hate when girls have ass shots and their kids’ bday party in the same album, but I digress.

I can’t be the only young, attractive woman who’s considered taking some ass shots or swinging on a pole for money. Even if you’ve only entertained it for five seconds. Seriously, life working 9-5 at a local non-profit has its perks, but it’s anything but glamorous. I mean I’m choosing between asthma medication and a down payment for Vegas, and girls are posting pics of Belize and black sands all just because they have a big butt and a smile.

I guess this is “winning”….Source: AnotherFeministRevolution.com

I keep trying to comfort myself with the fact that even though I’m broke, I have integrity. I’m not saying that every aspiring video model or girl bent over on a nightclub flyer promoting “Remy and Red Bottoms” Fridays doesn’t have any character or class, but I’ve always wanted to achieve my dreams of being a professional writer without someone googling my name and image results of me being face down, ass up flashing across the screen.  But I’d be lying if I said there weren’t times when I wonder if this writing grind is worth the work I’m investing into it.

It depresses me that every woman will come to a point in her career where she has to question if any of the opportunities she has been given or are pursuing are balanced her booty, breasts or who she’s been to bed with.  Call  me a hater but I’m tired of hearing the women portrayed on shows like Love and Hip Hop (which, by the way is changing lives if you haven’t heard, one exploited stereotype at a time) are “winning” because they rock Louboutins and drive Range Rovers courtesy of which rapper they are fucking at the moment.  I just want a career that resembles the Tamron Hall’s, Lisa Ling’s and Isha Sesay’s of the world.  But I bet you if you asked many young black women what Tamron Hall does they couldn’t tell you.  Now ask who Joseline is and she can probably give you her height, weight and claim to fame.  It seems more and more the priorities in our culture lie more on knowing who is fucking who, who they have beef with and where can I buy their clothing line.  I can’t tell people what’s important or what to care about, but I do know I want my professional reputation to be built on more than who I’m going to bed with.

I guess, in short I just want to feel that outside of model, singer, actress there are attainable and realistic career goals for black women to be “winning” in.  I want to feel like there’s a variety of role models who are about their business and recognized and respected for their intelligence and creativity and not just their cup size.  I don’t foresee any pole dances in my future and as a friend was quick to remind me it’s all about choices and it’s as simple as that.  You have to choose the life that you can in fact live with.  Because all of the “winning” in the world isn’t worth it if you look in the mirror and can’t respect what you see.  Whether your twerking for twenties or mopping the bathroom stalls at Applebee’s, integrity matters the most when you can’t enjoy what you do and still like yourself in the process.  I don’t knock anyone else’s hustle, but I never want any talent I may possess to be overshadowed by my anatomy, because I know I am so much more than that and unfortunately once people see you bent over one too many times, it’s difficult for them to see anything beyond that. I’m not sure if integrity is all that important to anyone else, but it’s still important to the one person that matters: me.

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