Ask Demetria: "My Man Doesn't Like My Natural Hair"

Lupita has short hair that no one complains about.

Dear Demetria:

I did a big chop yesterday. I sent a picture to my live-in fiance, who is the father to my 2-year-old daughter. He responded that I looked crazy and that he doesn’t like short hair. When I got home, he asked me if I was going for the lesbian look. I asked him if I needed to ask him for permission to cut my hair. Now what? —Anonymous

Oh, dear.

Hopefully this can be fixed. And by “this” I mean the discord in your relationship, not your hair. For clarity, there’s nothing wrong with wearing your hair natural, and your hair doesn’t need fixing. There’s also nothing wrong with short hair.

Despite your mate’s ignorant comment, it’s not an outward sign to sensible people that you’re a lesbian, although it does seem to be a popular point of view somehow. I’ve been natural on and off since I was 16 and have done five big chops. I’ve heard commentary about being a lesbian each time. It’s profoundly ignorant. Don’t people know there are lesbians with long hair? Or better, don’t they realize how basic it is to intertwine hair and sexuality?

Anyway, it seems you’ve made a big mistake here, not in cutting off your perm, but in not discussing your decision with your mate. You didn’t have to get “permission” for your decision, but you should have had a discussion with him before drastically altering your appearance. He needed a heads-up, just as, if he had locks or facial hair, you probably would want to know before he cut them or shaved, since he would come home (or out of the bathroom) looking very different from the last time you saw him.

There should have been a chat that went something like, “Hey, babe. I’m thinking about getting rid of my perm and cutting my hair short. What do you think about that?” He could have filled you in on his thoughts. Even if he didn’t like the idea, you would have known what you were walking into beforehand, and both of you would have been better equipped to deal with it when you cut your hair short.

Perhaps you could have waited and grown your natural hair out a little longer before you did the big chop. Or you could have cut your hair in stages so that a short haircut wouldn’t have been so jarring to him. But that conversation didn’t happen, and you were both blindsided—him by your decision, and you by his reaction.

He’s not out of line to be shocked by a drastic change, but I’m concerned about how he handled his dismay. If he doesn’t like your hair, so be it. He’s entitled to have his own opinion. But insulting your appearance by saying you looked “crazy” and questioning your sexuality were way out of line. Does he frequently speak to you this way when he’s upset? That’s the real issue here, not your hair.

But back to what you asked: “Now what?” Explain to him why you cut your hair. Maybe it was for the health of your hair, maybe you were over the expense (and pain) of perming. Maybe you’re over buying into mainstream culture’s beauty standards. Or maybe you just think natural is on trend. Whatever the reason, offer it up. Perhaps understanding your rationale will help him come to terms with your choice. (I’m hoping if he’s your live-in fiance and father of your child, he’s a rationale man, even if in this instance he hasn’t demonstrated it thus far.)

After that, add that you understand he’s not onboard (perhaps yet?) with your hair, but it’s absolutely not OK to insult you or your hair, no matter how much he disapproves. He certainly wouldn’t be OK with you insulting his appearance, especially when he would probably be feeling vulnerable after a big change.

Depending on how much you value his attraction to you, you do have options for your natural hair. You can experiment with hair products and colors. You can grow your hair out. You can also wear protective styles such as wigs or weaves or braids. Or if your intent is “just” to wear your hair as it is currently, you can continue to maintain it as is, and he will have to get over it.


Yahoo Beauty: Beauty Dos and Don’ts for Relationships from Belle

Screenshot from Yahoo! Beauty interview

From Yahoo Beauty

After writer Demetria L. Lucas published her first book, A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life, her inbox was flooded with 38,000 questions from women seeking her empowering, no holds-barred take on relationships. Lucas, who was previously the relationships editor at Essence, decided to add life coach to her resume to make sure her advice really meant something. “I wanted to empower women to know that ‘No’ is a full sentence,” says Lucas. “I wanted women ask for what they want, and to tell them it is OK to be alone if they aren’t getting what they need from a partner. I really just wanted to instill confidence in them.”

Lucas’ newest book Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love compiles 250 of the thousands of questions she has been asked, to create a relationship manifesto of sorts. I caught up with Lucas to find out what her beauty dos and don’ts are when it comes to relationships. Is it OK to tweak your partner’s appearance? When should you let a new guy see you without makeup?

Demetria’s candid, empowering advice below.

Sara Bliss: I love the title of your book ‘Don’t Waste Your Pretty.’ Explain what it means to you. 

Demetria Lucas: The word ‘pretty’ is really a shorthand of all of the special things that women bring to the table—our attention, our care, our cooking, our praying, our loving nature, our listening skills, that shoulder to lean on, and our time, especially. These are things that are very valuable in relationships. So, what I’m suggesting for women is don’t waste your time, your energy, and your resources on the wrong person. Make smarter investments in relationships.

SB: What are your beauty rules for dating? 

DL: When you start dating, I think everyone puts a lot of effort into it. You put on your pretty skirt, pretty jewels, the makeup, and you make a big to-do about everything. We get a little further into the process, and a lot of people begin to get more relaxed, which is OK. But I think it’s important to know that your mate is very visual, just like you are, and that you have to keep yourself up. You have to keep the hair, keep the makeup, keep the boobs high, and the heels on. Not every day, but just remind him what he has, and what he gets to look at.

SB: We just did a story about how half of women say they won’t let their partner see them without makeup for the first year. When do you think is a good time for a boyfriend to see the real you without makeup?

DL: I think if you’re ready to have sex with someone then you should be able for them to see you without your face on. It doesn’t make sense to try and wake up the next morning and apply the mascara and fluff the hair, and all that stuff. You have to be comfortable being yourself.

SB: What if your partner likes a certain look on you that isn’t your favorite? For example, they love you in straight hair, while you prefer curly? Do you think you should change? 

DL: When it’s something that’s really minor like putting on red lipstick, or not blowdrying your hair, or going straight— a little temporary change that you can make to appease your partner, do it every once in a while. There is nothing wrong with making your partner happy as long as it’s not demanding, like “Do this or else.” But more of a “Hey babe, I really like that red lipstick.” I think it applies in the same way [for us]—we might have a favorite cologne or shirt or haircut that we like, so we can ask our partner to do little things, too.

SB: Expand on that. What do you think about tweaking your partner’s look, like asking him to get a new haircut? 

DL: If he’s up for it you can say, “Hey babe, I think this haircut would be really flattering.” Or “Let’s get a manicure together and take care of our hands.” When you have a partner who is really resistant and says, “I like my hair how it is” or “I don’t want a manicure, I like having man hands” be careful about pushing them too far.

Beauty Dos and Don’ts for RelationshipsPhoto: Demetria L. Lucas 

SB: What should you do when your partner’s looks or weight changes in a way you’re not thrilled with?

DL: Weight is an issue that comes up in relationships. People get too small or too big, but there’s a proper way to have that conversation. It’s not, “Hey I’m not attracted you anymore.” That’s definitely wrong, but if you can say to your partner, “I’m really concerned about ourhealth. I want us to be physically fit. I want us to be in great shape.” Use words like health, not attraction, not just pointing the finger. It’s a lifestyle change that you’re going to make as a couple.

SB: Do you have any beauty don’ts for relationships?

DL: Don’t let yourself go. Sometimes we get comfortable in relationships and we don’t dress up as much and just sort of get complacent. You just have to remember that people are very visual. Like when your partner first saw you across the room, no one thought, “Oh, I wonder what her brain is like.” Your partner can love you to death and sometimes be like, “Mmm, things aren’t quite like they used to be.” We all change over time, but it’s just important that we keep making the investment in ourselves to look our best.

Read more: here

Ask Demetria: "I Didn't Buy Her Kids Dinner. Was I Wrong?"

  love jones:  Darius x Nina

There’s been a Facebook photo floating around lately in which a man details an odd occurrence on a date:


QOTD: Should he have paid for her meals?

I have no idea which group was asked this query, and in all my years—10-plus—listening to dating anecdotes from thousands of people and advising or coaching people through various mishaps, I have never heard of anything like this (and I’ve heard horror stories). But alas, and sadly, there is a first time for everything.

I hope the participants in whichever group received this man’s questions gave him the only correct answers, which are, respectively, “Heck no! You weren’t wrong!” and “Heck yeah! She was asking for too much,” now and in any future situation where the guy isn’t living in the house and/or isn’t officially the stepdad of the children in question.

There’s no way around it: This woman was terribly out of line for thinking this man was her family’s meal plan for the evening. And bless this gentleman’s heart, because he must have really liked this lady to continue the date after she asked that question, and even to contemplate whether he was in the wrong when she line-stepped by catching an attitude.

I’m preaching to the choir, though. I saw this query posted in multiple status updates and various other places around the Internet, and the consensus was, “No, ma’am!” in response to the woman’s behavior. That, and an overwhelming curiosity about why the children weren’t fed dinner before Mom stepped out with a new boo.

I’ll be the first to acknowledge that it’s hard to date as a single mother, but every parent—married or not—that I saw a response from in my timeline agreed: There’s no excuse for leaving your kids hungry while you go out for a good time. Furthermore, if the state of your children’s stomachs is of concern, after he said, “No,” why didn’t Mom pay for the dinners so the kids could eat? If she didn’t have the money, why did she stay on the date with an attitude instead of asking to be taken home to whip up some food for her children? There’s so much about this story that doesn’t make sense.


Read more: here 



Ask Demetria: Is Getting Revenge on An Ex Worth It?


How do you feel about getting revenge on the ex that hurt you? Nothing involving harm to the person or property—just to expose him for what he is. He portrays himself as this great guy, but I know things about him that would shock people, especially his new girlfriend. I’ve spent months going back and forth between thinking he deserves it and others should know, and thinking he’s not worth it, move on. —K.I.

You’re still hurt. I get it. But you have to let it go. He is living rent-free in your head. You’re spending months thinking about a man who is thinking about the woman he is with—not you. You think you have some sort of upper hand because you have information about him that you think could ruin his reputation. What you don’t realize is that you’ve already given him the upper hand by spending months of your life still dwelling on him.

He hurt you. I get it. Forgive him anyway. Not because he deserves it but because if you don’t let your anger go, you’re going to remain stuck in it even longer. And while he’s enjoying life with the next woman, you will not meet anyone of worth or substance to treat you the way you deserve because you’re holding on to so much animosity about your past. Frankly, your bitterness is going to block your blessings.

Several celebrity ex-wives have been in the news for spilling secrets and talking greasy about their ex-husbands and, allegedly, their affairs. There was infamous basketball player Dwyane Wade’s ex, who, among many things, publicly accused him of giving her an STD and then alleged that Wade, a multimillionaire, had left her homeless.

Meanwhile, Swizz Beatz’s ex was writing open letters to his alleged mistress on Instagram in 2009. And earlier this week, Kevin Hart’s ex Torrei Hart blasted him for allegedly cheating on her—with dates and all. To her credit, maybe she’s mad, or maybe this is all just a cheap promo for her new reality show.

You’re not a celebrity, so you’re not going to get press—or money—by spilling your ex’s tea. Here’s what will happen, though. Your friends and his friends will listen to your stories, and they will laugh and they will call others and retell your tales. It may get back to your ex, and he’ll be mad. He might even call and flip on you. Maybe his new lady will hear about it, too, and she’ll look at him sideways. You and your stories will be the center of attention for a little bit.

But after the initial shock, no one will think, “Ooh, what sweet revenge!” When they’ve sobered up from their gossiping high, they’ll wonder why, if what you say is true, you stayed with him. Then they’ll wonder why, all this time later, you’re running your mouth about the past. They’ll ask each other why you are still so hung up on a guy who, by your own account, didn’t even treat you right. (That’s also a question you should ask yourself.)


Read more on The Root

‪‪‪‪‪Ask.FM UPDATE: The Complete #RoughSex Saga

fed up


Sorry for the delay on this one. I promised it months ago, and wasn’t able to piece it all together. I’ve been working— a lot— if you hadn’t noticed on Instagram.  

Several of you may remember this story from Ask.FM (six months ago) as it received a LOT of responses. I’ve included all the queries, and this update has the most recent query—from last week.  

As usual, I’ve only edited the content for grammar and clarity. 

*Trigger warning!*

Six months ago, a woman wrote in to say that her she didn’t enjoy the same type of sex that her fiancé did. He was too rough for her liking and she implied that as a rape survivor, that type of sex was a trigger for her. When she objected to his approach, her man, more or less, threatened to cheat on her.

This was her message:

Hello Belle. I was raped at 17. I'm now 27 and as a result I'm a little frigid as far as sex goes. My fiance loves it rough and when I refuse, he often tells me "what one woman won't do another one will." How do I go about letting him know, “yes, I love making love with you, but the rough stuff makes me [uncomfortable]?

My response:

You can't. Your fiancé's an asshole. And he doesn’t like you very much. Sorry.

At the point where a man is threatening to cheat on his fiancé  when she won’t do what he wants, he doesn’t have much respect for her. He’s just trying to control her. And knowing that she doesn’t enjoy the type of sex he wants and trying to force it on her repeatedly says even more about how little he thinks of her—and likely women in general.  When it boils down to what works for him or her, he only cares about him. That’s not the type of guy you marry.

I assumed this was a one-off question, as most of them are, as I didn’t get a follow up question asking for further explanation. I actually expected one as my response was so bottomline and didn’t offer the reasoning behind what I said. I hoped that she got the point, had some time to think, and made the best decision for her well-being and future, which in my opinion was to leave her man.

Turns out, she listened. Because a month later, I got a follow-up… from her ex- fiancé. He was worse than I thought.

Yo, ma, I got a bone to pick with you. You shouldn’t talk about people you don’t know. You don’t know me to say I don’t love my girl because I like rough sex. That ain’t right. I give her whatever she wants. What’s wrong with wanting love how I like it when I get home?

My response:

1. Your lady wrote in to ask a question because she was unhappy with the way you treat her. I did not seek her out to tell her anything.

2. You spending money does not give you the right to have sex however YOU want with you GF and especially not if it's hurting her and she does not like it. Nor does it give you the "right" to ignore her pain or emotions.

3. Threatening your fiancee that you will cheat on her if she doesn't do what you want is not like or love. It's instilling fear and beating down her self esteem. YOU told your GF "what you won't do another woman will" and that's why she showed up [on Ask.Fm/abelleinbk]

YOU created this problem for yourself. Instead of blowing up my timeline, you may want to actually talk to your GF and treat her better so she doesn't leave you. I am not your problem.


He responded right away:

I'm not insensitive. Just her being raped shouldn’t still affect our sex life after all ‘dem greens I spend for her to seek help. She still f***s like she’s in high school. I'm a man with needs. 

My reply:

You're INCREDIBLY insensitive if you think it's up to YOU to determine when she should be over a personal trauma.

Has it ever occurred to you that the rough sex she doesn't like and you threatening to cheat on her if she doesn't do what you like is delaying her progress in dealing with her assault?

You have needs, she's not meeting them. Leave and go find someone who can. Don’t bully, cajole and threaten her to get your way. Be a better boyfriend.


Readers were incensed at this exchange. Several wrote in to say so:

*BF of assault victim is INCREDIBLY insensitive & has horrible POV of women as well as assault. His comments reek of entitlement & (male) privilege. Sounds like a pretty unhealthy situation; I hope she knows not all of us are like this. Her dude should be making her feel safe, not threatened! 

*I hope the woman has left. If she didn't know what her man is like, she definitely should know now. Thank you for the service you provide Belle.

*How LAME of that OP who was raped to share your advice with her BF! She's gonna continue to accept the mistreatment smh.


Actually, she didn’t. She wrote in shortly after to say she’d left him.

The couple had gone on vacation and while she was driving to the resort, he had begun pawing at her in the car. She had enough, told him to stop and he wouldn’t for awhile despite her protests.


At the hotel, he’d begun pressuring her for sex again, and she told him that she wasn’t going to do it his way anymore (because, you know, it was hurting her.) She demanded to be treated better or else. And told him about the advice I’d given her the month prior.

He went off. Demanded to know who said it and that’s how he found my Ask.FM.

He had much more to say to me, as he felt very justified in his demands and didn’t see the problem with his behavior or outlook:

Yo, Ma, I ain't say it was my right to sex her rough. My point is she has a good man and she should want to do it. Our house is laid. I paid for it, her clothes, rings, cell phone, even the damn laptop she’s squawking with you on. I paid for all of it. But I guess it’s true that nice guys finish last.

My response:

Sir, you are not a "nice" guy if your think paying for things entitles you to ignore your GFs feelings and that it's okay to threaten that you will cheat on her if she doesn't do what you want.

It's unfortunate that you continue not to see the problem here.

His reply:

You got all the answers, Ma. Maybe you got some advice on how she could get her ass back to Orlando. You Black women cry about ain't no good Black men, but [when] you find one, you can’t even treat him right. I treat her good. Yeah, I say what I say out of frustration. But you can help her now.  

My response:

Sir, it's unfortunate that you're frustrated, but that does not make your  threats okay. She is frustrated and she left. Is that okay for you since she is frustrated? If she threatened to cheat on you to your face for any reason, would that also be okay because she is frustrated?

Well then.

She should not be in Orlando with a man who threatens to cheat on her. You seem to define “good man" by a man that spends money. There's a little more too it than that. You actually have to respect her too and not treat her like property you paid for.

I recognize that part of the reason you're writing in is because you know she reads this platform and you want her to see your messages. If you think you're doing yourself any favors by referring to all the money you spend, you are not. Expensive things are hard to enjoy when you're being treated like sh**.

Women have left with less and accomplished more. She was your lady so I'm sure she has a lot to offer. She can find someone who will buy her nice things AND will also be nice to her.

Maybe if you stop threatening her and hurting her with sex she doesn't like, she'd come back. (I wouldn't advise it given your deep-seeded sense of entitlement though).


Like I guessed, she was reading. And she was deeply embarrassed by that her ex had popped up on Ask.FM. 

Hi Belle, (it's the survivor). God, I am so embarrassed. To think one question from me has gotten so many daggers thrown at you. Maybe I should have kept my mouth shut :( Please know your words haven't fallen on deaf ears .Over the last couple of weeks, I've done a lot of soul searching.

No, it's not easy, but I'm determined to keep pushing. I'm back at work (used up all my sick days. Sigh). I found a nice, affordable apartment and was able to retrieve my Mom's pictures and my car from the home thanks to my uncle. I keep telling myself, "This too shall pass" and I know it will.

Sorry to write you so late. I wanted to wait until things cool down and I gathered my thoughts before I sent this update. Oh by the way, Pop-Pop says, “thank you.” One last thing, Belle, if I never have sex again a day in my life I wouldn't miss it at all.

Hear that? It was my deep sigh of relief.

But oh, no, BF wasn’t done yet.

He wrote in again, and they were actually writing in at the same time, which neither of them knew as I didn’t publish her update:

For your information, I got cash, a good heart, own house and car and sex she enjoy as much as I do. And she know it. I got a hurricane tongue and a foot long. I'm a Real Woman's dream. How many 32 old man can say they got it like me, ma?”

Someone’s ego was clearly bruised.

My response:

No real woman dreams of a man who physically hurts her, ignores her feelings and tells her "what you won't do another woman will." You are not any sane woman's dream, sir.

You don't "got it" if your woman just left because you treat her bad. Look at your situation. Is it REALLY working if your lady just left? Come on, son.


A few days later, he was back (again) …

You act like I am a rapist.  I didn’t hold a gun to her head. Ok, I get a little carried away. I love her and I want to express my love. I’m sure a man has got carried away with you. I bust my ass everyday. I don’t complain because I do it for us to live good and have nice sh**.  It would be different if I was a lazy man.


Ma, I love that damn girl. I'm just trying to make it right.  I want to marry her, have some babies. She wants two kids, but she can’t get them if she’s scared of sex. Ma, just help me out. Help me make this right, please. I'm not trying to be fussing with you, I just want my woman back. Now are you going to help me?

I didn’t respond. That wasn’t a message to me. It was to his lady, who I’m guessing wasn’t answering his calls, and he knows she reads my page. My site isn’t a message board.

That and he still didn’t get what the real issue was: spending money does not mean she has to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, however she wants. She’s his woman, yes, but she’s not his property. He was still missing the point.

A couple days later he was back for yet again. His responses were classic “Stages of Grief”:

‪You know what, Ma? Don’t even worry bout it. Winter will be here soon I'm gonna hit the gym even harder and get sexier and all the O-town chicks will be sweating me. She will want me back then and I will tell her go get more advice from you. I'm good. This is how she wants to it? That's fine.  I'm not worried. I’m good.

I still didn’t respond.


Oh, one more thing, Ma, I’m blocking your page. I don’t want your bad vibes anywhere by me how about that? Okay, listen you want me to beg? I’m begging. Help me make it right. I love that damn girl, Ma. Please

I actually felt bad for the guy. But if she didn’t want to answer the phone, I wasn’t allowing him to use my page as a way to stay in contact.

I reiterated what the problem was, the one he was blatantly overlooking as I’d explained it five times—he was treating his woman like property and ignoring her feelings. I offered to speak to him via email, which he declined.

Yep, I was right. He just wanted to get the messages to his ex.

When I wouldn’t tell him—for free—how to make it right, he followed up 72 hours later with a threat to hunt me down and beat my ass.

And then a week later, he came back with this:

Ok, Ma, I'm sorry didn’t mean to go off on you like I did. I’m no bad guy. My biggest crime is I like pleasure.  What can I say? It’s the Haitian blood in me? I just want to make it right with my woman.  All I’m asking is for a few pointers…

He still didn’t get it. And I’d explained what the issue was in detail at multiple times. I hoped he figured it out someday…


Nearly three weeks later, he was back... ah-gain:

You are a mean ass lady, I know you saw me ask you for help and I even said sorry to you. It’s been 19 days and my woman ain't home because of you. You stick your nose in other folks business. What is wrong with you? You swear you give good advice. Why would you advise somebody to stay in a hot ass house that smell like a old man?

Geez Louise.

My response:

Sir... I stuck my nose nowhere. Your lady came her and asked for help. And I responded telling you how to get her back and offered my email so you could sign up for coaching. You elected not to use that help.

Please stop blaming me for the problem you caused by mistreating your woman, harming her with violent sex, ignoring her feelings and threatening to cheat on her. THAT'S ALL ON YOU.


I didn’t hear from him for 5 entire months after that. I figured this story was Black history.

But then last week, I got an unexpected message.

Finally, he had his “a-ha moment”, but it was too little too late.

Hi, Ma. I come in peace. I know you remember me . My girl wrote to you about not liking rough sex. I just want to say I'm real sorry for things I said to you. I treated my lady bad. I hurt her instead of helping her heal. I was thinking if I buy her stuff, give her money, she had to do what I want. Now she is gone.

I tried everything thing to get that lady back. I even go to therapy to help me be a better man, but it’s too late. She don’t want me and I can blame nobody but me. Men, if you got a woman, treat her right. I got to live with knowing I hurt her and pushed her away.



Black Enterprise Q&A: Demetria Lucas Talks Branding & Boss Moves

Screen Shot 2014-01-26 at 2.31.42 AMBravo’s newest reality show “Blood, Sweat and Heels” had an explosive 2.5 million viewer debut, and seems to be the fans newest reality “fix.” The show follows six up-and-coming black women as they struggle to succeed in the concrete jungle of New York City. Demetria, already becoming a fan favorite, is much more than your typical reality television star — she is about her business. Not only has she taken her blog A Belle in Brooklyn to national heights after writing a controversial blog which was the continued topic of conversation on the show, her brand(s) can also be seen integrated throughout the show on each episode. Already apparent from the first few episodes, Demetria has set her sights on building her multi-platform brand, and advancing her career to her next level. Somewhat of an industry veteran, the former Essence relationship editor is also a criticically acclaimed author, life coach and award-winning blogger. caught up with Lucas as she discusses the challenges of exposing her life on reality television, her latest project “Don’t Waste Your Pretty,” and expanding her brand.

Black Enterprise: As somewhat of an industry veteran, what made you decide to do the show?

Demetria Lucas: I’ve been approached about doing some form of reality show before Bravo. What led me to it was the focus on professional women working in the city and on professional life. Over the years I have blogged and shared tons of life story as well as about my business. My book [A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Lifeis very all in. I thought this was an opportunity to share life in video and for people to see it and not picture in their minds. It was also a chance to show my professional career.

Do you think being on a reality show, especially because of some of the negative criticism that reality shows now receive, will tarnish your brand in any way?

Doing a reality show is always big risk, and I realized this especially on the day after the super trailer was released. I was and have always been very candid about my perception of reality TV. I didn’t see women like me in media. I’ve talked about images of women on reality TV for years. When I was approached, producers knew my critique of reality television, and I thought it was opportunity to show a different side. However, I can’t speak for other castmates and can’t speak for what everyone does on the season.

After months of filming, was the show what you thought she you getting herself into?

No. You don’t’ know what it is until you’re actually in it—the idea of cameras being trained on you all the time. What you’re doing is being aired to millions of people with millions of different opinions. I was very cautious. I found myself thinking a lot and having delayed reactions because you want to be yourself but also be conscious of how you’re acting on television.

How shocking was it for you to hear that other black women of color don’t believe that women should serve in leadership roles?

I would have never thought in a million years a woman would say that. If you’re in a certain environment with women who struggle to get things out [of]  life, then you would think 'I understand where this is coming from. ' Then I would say, “OK, I get that.” To my knowledge everyone on the show has a business or a brand. I was shocked that an actual woman would say that they don’t believe a woman would lead. At first I was like are they doing this for the cameras. I was really sitting there in shock like OMG.

Do you believe the stereotype that black women don’t support each other to get ahead in their careers?

People constantly talk about black women are not supportive of each other. I’ve been to the panels and discussions. I hear it, but that’s never been my experience. My first job was at BET and they were the ones that pushed me to say you can do something with your writing. Most people know me from ESSENCE and was an office filled with black women. When Angela Burt Murray was Editor-In-Chief, she was the one that said, “I read your blog I think it’s so good, I think you should have a column.” She really pushed me and believed in me. I feel that about the rest of the office. I’ve never had that experience. I don’t know if I’m very rare or I just don’t promote that stereoptype.

You’re notoriously private about her relationship with “CBW” as you call him. Why did you decide to include him on this very public TV show?

That’s more his thing then it is mine. He’s a behind the scenes type of guy. We talked about showing my life and he’s a huge part of my life. We thought it would be odd to not show him. I’ve [written a blog] for 6 years, I had a column [about my life] in a magazine. I give bits and pieces [of my story], I give enough. If you’re expecting big blows up and fights [between us] that’s not how we get down in the real world.

What’s next for you and your brand?

The next book – “Don’t Waste Your Pretty"-- is a hard core advice book based on the Formspring I’ve done over as the past 3 years. I’ll be delving more into [advice]. The book is the nitty gritty version of the advice I give online, not as much narrative as my previous book “A Belle In Brooklyn.” I’ll also launching 15 city speaking tour from March to December in US and South Africa called “Conversations With Belle.”

Originally published here