UPDATE: Dear Amina, Sorry for Judging You. You’ve Got a Fan in Me!

16 Dec

Hey there, Turtledoves (not sure what a turtledove is but it sounds cute and seasonally appropriate)!

The Mindy Project, Modern Family, New Girl, Scandal, Nashville and all things Oprah and Tyra Banks are usually the only TV programs I find worthy of my viewing. I’ve never been much of a TV addict, even back in the day when there were actually quality programs. Needless to say that with this new wave of ratchetivity (like my new word?), thanks to “reality” TV, I’m even more disinterested. Because of my line of work, I sincerely try to give each show a shot so that I can stay in the know of who’s who and what’s hot. With each season premiere, though, I typically find myself annoyed at the not-scripted-but-strategically-set-up situations and I go back to my no reality TV diet. Most recently, I tried to get in the Love & Hip-Hop: New York groove, once again, with everyone else so that I could chime in on Twitter discussions and comment on the blogs. By the end of the second episode, though, I wasn’t even irritated like I’ve usually been in the past. I was just bored and over it. The confusing relationship between Amina Buddafly (formerly of R&B group Black Buddafly) and Peter Gunz’ (dad to YMCMB’s Cory Gunz) did stick out however and give the very predictable show an element of surprise. Long story short, Amina was Peter’s mistress turned wife. The two had been having an affair and eventually got married. The issue, however, was that Tara, Peter’s girlfriend of 13 years, was completely unaware of this matrimony. He was still living with out-of-the-loop Tara as if they were still an item while he was married to Amina. Insane, right?

Immediately, I wrote off Amina as conniving and selfish without really hearing or caring about her side of the story. I was proud of myself for resting my bougie ways and making it through two episodes, but quickly retired the show and vowed that I wouldn’t be supporting Amina, despite her impressive and vast talent.

It wasn’t until last week that I saw Amina again via YouTube. I was listening to Christmas song covers and saw a link of her singing Mariah Carey “Miss You Most (At Christmas Time)” in the sidebar. With a rolling of the eyes and a slight pursing of the lips, I clicked her video like, “Girl, puh-leeease. You cannot do Mariah.” My assumption that she couldn’t deliver had nothing to do with my opinions of her talent, but more so my distaste of her tackiness a few weeks prior on LHH: NY. Within less than a minute, I went from anti-Amina to “You better siiiing, ‘mina,” as if she could hear me or knew me well enough for me to shorten her name. I then watched two more of her videos and there was absolutely no denying that the chick was super talented. A guitarist, pianist, singer, songwriter and God knows what else. In that moment I had to assess myself. Not only had I been guilty of judging a woman who I’ve never even met, I was also guilty of being a sexist–against my own womankind!

Now I’m not at all condoning Amina’s side relationship/undercover marriage with an involved man, but after looking at the grand scheme of things, I am saying that her artistry is separate and has nothing to do with her personal life. Never once did I make a vow to stop supporting R. Kelly when his sex scandal with a minor hit the fan, and never did I dismiss Chris Brown from my iTunes playlist after his brutal beating of Rihanna. The thought to stop my support of their craft after their missteps never even occurred to me. So what was the difference with Amina? There wasn’t one… other than the fact that she’s a woman.

Too often so many of us do this. We, as self-proclaimed “respectable” women, write off, judge and label other women who we perceive to be home wreckers. Our soft spot for them is tiny, if existent at all. Even within our own personal lives, we’re ready to forever hate “the other woman,” but so quick to forgive and work things out with our man–even though he’s the one most at fault. I’m not exactly sure why that it is, though I have a few theories, but whatever the reason is, it isn’t right.

Whether Amina is a home wrecker or not is debatable because none of us know the real story. What isn’t debatable though is that she’s an artist, a really talented artist, with a beautiful gift deserving of a shot. Her craft and passion shouldn’t be held accountable for a decision that we perceive as poor. None of us, with our past mistakes, are even worthy enough to write her off based off our feelings about her relationship. I’ve made my fair share of stupid decisions, as we all have. I’m still, however, pursuing my dreams and I would be absolutely devastated if those dreams were unrealized because of someone’s judgment of my past.

With my new perspective, I would like to say sorry. Sorry for judging you, Amina, based off of a situation that I know nothing about. I’m sorry for my ignorant and sexist predjudices. You are an amazing talent and you’ve got a fan in me! Can’t wait for more of your stuff to hit iTunes!

Love,

Essence

Click the screenshots below to check out Amina’s videos.

UPDATE: So after I wrote this I tweeted it to Amina and she favorited, retweeted and replied! Peep below.

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