Black Actress Review: Just Wright – Big Boned Gurl Gets Good Guy Balla

I like Queen Latifah (Dana Owens), so I am willing to sit down and watch her movie(s).

Long Descriptions Ahead

Did I like Just Wright? To be honest, I dunno. Sometimes I’m too busy thinking about its message to appreciate whether it was fun to watch or not.

What message? Oh, the Good Employed Hard Working Non-Glamorous Big Boned Unselfish Black Woman versus the Shallow Unemployed Shopaholic Flighty Glamorous Beautiful Slim Selfish Man Eater.

Two of the Black Woman Archetypes

Here’s a simpler description of the main characters: Mammy versus Gold Digger. How’s that?

Queen Latifah, as you might’ve suspected, plays Mammy. Gold Digger is obviously Paula Patton. Common plays the Good Guy Balla. Pam Grier was delightful as Queen Latifah’s mother. Phylicia Rashad played Common’s mother.

I don’t think these roles were done on purpose. It’s so automatic that it’s nearly impossible for any film to get away from certain portrayals of black women. They fall into the slots effortlessly. I suspect that Queen Latifah was aiming for a hard-working-sista-sorta-Cinderella type story. The effort is appreciated, since her character is always cast as the best friend, BFF type, certainly not as the object of desire.

Oh, For the Want of Good Old Fashioned Lust Desire

Except that the problem with the movie is that there’s no chemistry between her character, Leslie Wright, and Common’s Scott McKnight. Excuse me for saying this, but Common is one of the meanest looking guys around. No matter how nice he tries to act, his face and voice doesn’t erase that vibe. I don’t know him, I don’t have anything against him, but it’s just how he comes across to me.

This Is How The Game Is Played

I’m also ambivalent about Morgan Alexander’s character (Paula Patton). I don’t see her as the bad guy. She’s beautiful. She’s learned that it enables her to get what she wants from nearly any man. Her character has decided that her looks are worth trading for a wealthy man.

And the problem with that is what?

Nearly every Hollywood flick with a white woman in her position celebrates her desire to marry a wealthy, educated, Good Guy Balla, millionaire, and all-around-nice-fellow. Is it because a white woman is entitled to a wealthy guy that this negative stereotype (of a gold digger) is rarely used to denigrate them? (Think about Tiger Wood’s wife. They didn’t meet by accident. And that scenario applies to a lot of meet-ups between women and wealthy men. S’okay?)

Back In the Real World

I’m glad no one said anything about Leslie’s weight, but I felt the film created an unreasonable expectation. Not only are there very very few Good Guy Ballas, but if they didn’t marry Morgan, they would still reject Leslie and move on to the next “arm piece / candy / gold digger”, and a number of them would be white women. Yet popular (rap) culture continues to denigrate black women seeking a provider, protector and father of her offspring.

Wow, how weird that must be, a black woman wanting what every normal woman around the planet usually aims for.

Why is what’s good for other women considered a bad move for black women?

Man Hunting Is Normal

I don’t see Morgan as the bad girl. She knows how to look her best to attract a man. She’s an expert at the bait and hook. I’m not mad at her. Thankfully, her character didn’t plumb the depths of depravity to ensnare a man. Scott was freely willing to marry her. He found her to be someone worthwhile and lovable in the weeks he dated her.

Also, I see Morgan’s behavior as no different from a man whose flawlessly beautiful fiancee (arm piece) gained weight and became horribly disfigured. He’d take off as well.

Leslie’s character is a goodhearted person, but I wasn’t convinced that the unpolished, sports nut, “home girl” routine was enough to bond her to Scott. Nursing a man through sickness yields gratitude, not love. I see that he nursed her at one time she became sick, but as we can see he predictably, and quite easily, dumped Leslie the moment Morgan returned.

In this film, I wished that the premise began and ended with Leslie learning how to “get a man” from Morgan. She didn’t have to be duplicitous, but Morgan understood the “rules” way way better than Leslie.

Because what if Scott didn’t see the light? Leslie would have been alone again, although in a better job. Morgan would have been Mrs. Scott McKnight as she planned.

In Real Life, the Morgans of the World Usually Win

I have no objection to the idea of the film: let things work out for the Mammy or overweight plain Jane this time, but reality almost always rewards the gold digger or ambitious man-hunter. We can see that with our eyes everyday. And the pro-Good Employed Hard Working Non-Glamorous Big Boned Unselfish Black Woman message that this film relays creates a problem.

It’s not a bad thing for black women to be quasi – and certainly not full bore – Shallow Shopaholic Flighty Glamorous Beautiful Slim Selfish Man Eaters who plan and pursue the kind of man they want to marry who has wealth, a good future, and education, etc, etc.

Unfortunately, Just Wright continues to points us in the direction of staying plain, heavy set, unglamorous, with a “keeping it real” demeanor, and not making any effort or plans to be attractive and attract the “right kind of man.” She’s working on chance, hope, and possibly prayer; black women deserve better than that.

Good luck alone wont work. It certainly isn’t helping us now. Life rewards the proactive, and more often than not you have to look fly, be positive, as you pursue your dreams and desires.

Phylicia Rashad
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Natural Hair: Slicking It Back

I like this look. It’s easy to maintain and great for hair of all lengths and types. Although I can’t pull a brush through my hair like that. 🙂

I’m a subscriber to MsVCharles’s YouTube channel, because of her demeanor and attitude: very cheerful.

BTW, Peace and Blessings on this Good Friday. 😀

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A Brutal Murder in NYC: Some Women Better Wake Up!

Bellydancer quote – on why it’s good to be selfish:

That is why I think some black women are afraid of BWE women is because they are tired of their trifling sons and other male relatives living and mooching off them and are looking at us like why don’t you want to take them off our hands. I have read where BWE are selfish and self serving because we put ourselves first. We are not trying to serve a dying community that does not benefit us.

If you go to school and succeed you are looked at like you are crazy cuz black men can’t keep up. Not my problem try harder. Just because I did not help you with your homework while you partied that does not make me selfish. I do not understand the woman/jock thing at these colleges. Why the hell are you doing this man’s school work just so he can play sports.

Some women better wake up!

Why did I use that quote? Let’s realize that if certain types of black males (see below) cannot live parasitically off of black women, they will turn to (or on) another group of women flattered and later trapped by their attention.

Described as “charming” and a “ladies man”, a black male is persuaded by his father to turn himself in after allegedly killing his girlfriend.

In the NY Post, a “brotha” (Paul Barrera, 33 years old) stabs a white girl (Sara Coit, 23 years old) with such violence, using 8 knives, that she’s nearly decapitated, leaving her organs outside the body.

According to the article:

The attack was so grisly, it left a piece of a knife lodged in her head.

For those who fret over the well being of black-women-hating black males, must realize that if they don’t love black women, it certainly might not be love they feel for white women either. Keep in mind that they hate all women. What black women are spared from (when we have the sense to run from these violent, dangerous lunatics) they will turn onto the next group of women, or victims, if you prefer.

Here are some money quotes from a friend about the situation:

“Sarah was trying to get away,” said Blum, who called the 33-year-old Barrera a freeloader and said he took advantage of Coit for years.

“He was awful. He gave you bad vibes instantly. He was horrible. He was controlling over her . . . He broke her computer when she wouldn’t let him use it. He would take her BlackBerry for a week at a time, saying she didn’t need to use it,” Blum said.

Her friends saw the abuse.

The neighbors heard the abuse.

But when she was ready leave, she couldn’t get away.

Remember this the next time someone calls you selfish. You are looking out for number one by not letting a controlling man-child run and ruin your life.

This other story, I got from What About Our Daughters (on Facebook), is about a sista doing everything for her man-child, and he thanked her with a murder-suicide.

She was moving on up with her life, and he couldn’t bear it.

Dannette Willory (Photo courtesy of The Miami Herald)

Note: There are some abbreviations here and in the comments section I’d like to define. Sometimes I forget people may not know the meanings.

BWE – black women’s empowerment. A name for blogs that discuss black women’s issues from a point of view of doing what’s best for black women first and sometimes only.

DBR – damaged beyond repair, usually describing men, but plenty of women fit this category.

BM – black male / black man.

BW – black women.

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Black Women: Please Yourself First

Note: This is a random rant.

I’m a selfish person. I’m not afraid to admit that. It’s probably because I’m the last child, the only girl, and spoiled rotten. I’m generous, friendly or kind – when it suits me.

Guilt Gets One Nowhere.

I’ve racked my brain to find instances of when I’ve pitched in, because I got “guilt tripped” into something I really didn’t want to do. Outside of my immediate family, and a best friend or two, it doesn’t happen. I will help people, but I don’t make a big deal out of any time, resources, and money given to causes I believe in.

However, anyone who comes at me with a “I gotta do such and such for groups X, Y, and Z”, since I am a woman who happens to be black will get that person nowhere. I’ll just smile at you sweetly, and say softly, “No, thank you.” I will take off. I wont hover around waiting for someone! anyone! to try and persuade me that I need to do something out of obligation to folks or “causes” I don’t care about, and probably never will.

I only worry about things that are of concern and interest to me, or within my control. I don’t apologize for that mindset. People who use guilt tripping are the biggest users you will ever encounter. Their awareness of this particular problem means that they should be organizing and managing it themselves, or if they want your help – they need to suggest a financial – yeah, I’m talking money – benefit you will reap from it.

Ever notice that whenever a celebrity supports a cause – they always go looking for time and money from their fans? Think about that for a second….

Your Time Isn’t Free.

I’m suggesting you be (a nice) mercenary. It wont make you a mean girl. You are simply teaching others how to RESPECT you. It can be done in the sweetest, most polite manner ever witnessed in a black woman. ‘Cause you know how everyone thinks we’re all crazy angry bitches. Right? :)

All that giving you’ve done, which will supposedly enrich you “spiritually” is nonsense. You are being used. If you are being volunteered for something people are usually compensated for – get PAID or get OUT of it. You have other and better things to do.

Another subtle con folks love to run on black women is the implication that helping others for FREE will help others LIKE you, because otherwise no one will. That’s the worst kind of emotional blackmail and sabotage. Folks like people for all sorts of reason, how much they can use you should never be one of them.

Demanding Busybodies Need to Sit Down.

People who spend their free time monitoring the activities of others, followed by demanding that they must fulfull obligations that no one has AGREED to are parasitic.

If you want people to do something that you can do, then DO IT, and leave them alone.

If you want people to DONATE to a cause that you can reach into your own pockets, then DO IT, and leave them alone.

The worse thing(s) I’ve seen online are the number of people who always has a job for black woman to spend HER time, resources and money on.

Yo! Slavery ended over 145 years ago. Let’s not backslide.

Black Women: It Is Okay to Get Paid.

I also want to say this: black women have the RIGHT to be paid, compensated, reimbursed, acknowledged, and thanked for any endeavors they participate in.

If she asks for funds, no one should recoil in horror and claim that this black woman is a hustler, pimp, gold digger, prostitute, or looking to dupe everybody. Let’s cut that nonsense out right now.

If one likes how she performs, PAY her. If one doesn’t, then leave her alone.

Folks love to get up in arms the minute a black woman puts a price on her labor – like she doesn’t have the right to be compensated. They’re stingy paying her – crying poverty – and will take advantage of enjoying her services / products for free, but will doggone find enough money to buy a pair of Christian Louboutins in a heartbeat.

Oy, I exaggerate.

Are people out of their minds? Why should she labor for free? Why is this demand always laid at the door(s) of black women? Economic deprivation is not a sign of spiritual purity anymore than wealth is indicative of a devious nature. If you believe that: you’ve been had.

I say, even if she’s not asking for dough, lucre, bucks, or money – send her some, buy her stuff, and tell her thank you. Otherwise, leave her the hell alone.

  • Let’s start picturing black women with wealth, health, and good spirits as normal and usual.
  • Let’s picture that as a progressive, or conservative if you prefer, trend that needs to be promoted, supported, and endorsed.
  • Let her be selfish for her own sake.
  • Let’s respect her time.
  • Let her earn her monies, and not begrudge her what she wants out of life.

Have a good one. :)

Note: This is a random rant.

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