Not too long ago there was a pretty big discussion on social media related to the movie release of Fifty Shades of Gray. The book brought attention to a lifestyle that normally isn’t broadcasted in the mainstream. People were giving their opinions on how the storyline lends itself to glorifying unhealthy relationships and some in the faith community were questioning the piety of those who chose to go see it. I’m a curious person by nature and I never got caught up in the original discussion when the books were released but wanted to know what it was all about. I’m a fan of being informed before I form an opinion so I decided to do some research and read the books for myself. Within a few minutes of making the decision the books were downloaded on my phone for easy reading. Or so I thought. There are some books you read and they just seem to flow but I had to read the series in spurts because it was a really choppy read. Anyway, throughout the course of the book, the author draws so many conclusions to explain the behaviors that are pretty colorfully described. We have a young college student who is so enthralled at first sight with someone that almost loses her individuality in the process and spends a significant bit of time pacifying his insecurities. Sidenote: I’ve always questioned the intelligence of people who insist that you should only date one person in your lifetime and treat everyone else as your brother or sister until this “one” arrives. Ana has no point of reference in this department and ends up in a relationship she might not have chosen for herself if she had something to compare it to. But I digress. The relationship develops somewhat awkwardly but before we know it, Ana is already staying at his penthouse and declaring her jealousy of someone she has not met but already come to the conclusion that she doesn’t like. One of the assumptions is that Christian is controlling because of a relationship in his adolescence and his childhood. Ana initially balks at his expensive gifts but becomes used to them and “their” money as he tells her. To say that Christian is controlling is an understatement considering the fact that he buys a company in order to “keep her safe.” The lesson in this is that it’s one thing to be controlling but a person with money who is also very controlling isn’t always the best thing. It might work well in business but doesn’t create the healthiest relationship.
I ran across this article pretty recently and it quickly caught my interest. I’ve included a link here . I’ve seen seminars, books, webinars, and programs all addressing this topic. So many people (both men and women) claim to have the magic formula and list their own love story as the proof that their way works. This article was specifically addressing a Black women as a group. Between the interpersonal cues, relationship coaching, speed dating, and other means of “catching” a significant other. The article challenges that thought behind the idea that a woman’s life should be defined by her relationship status. But let’s face it, unmarried women who don’t have kids aren’t typically looked upon with the same level of respect as career women who are married and raising their kids and balancing it all in a (seemingly) effortless manner. The article highlights the fact that shame is often a part of the internal narrative of black women and explored how one’s relationship status can contribute to levels of shame. That thought made me wonder how many products and advertisements are targeted to someone’s level of shame. Products that are marketed in a way that make you feel inadequate unless you become a consumer of the product. Very thought provoking read.