Tag Archives: judge a book by its cover

Acting Like A Lady

I’ve been acting like a lady long before Steve Harvey wrote “Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man“. I’ve been blessed to have a few men in my life put me up on game, and it doesn’t hurt that I was raised by good men who taught me to set standards when it comes to how I live as a woman, and that I should not lower those standards for a man or his ego because I am the prize. These men taught me to have a reasonable expectation for how I’m to be treated on a date and by men in public – a gentleman opens doors… all doors… all the time, and you step aside and let him do that. I was also taught that men judge themselves by what they do, who they are and how much money they make.  I’ve know this to be a fact my entire adult womanhood. This is also referred to as a man’s ego being connected to his wallet. These are just a few of the things I’ve learned from men; my grandfathers, father, uncles and male friends, over the last 37 years of my life. However, like other women, I’ve had difficulty with relationships with men and I’ve even been accused of acting like a man. I’ve had a lot of first dates that don’t materialize into anything more because I won’t lower my expectations of how a man should treat me on a date, nor will I necessarily have sex with him on the first date. I’ve had men ask me for my number, yet never call…or call and never call again. For the longest time (approximately the last 20 years), I couldn’t fully comprehend WHY dating and having relationships with men was such an issue for me. Although my best male friend and my male relatives told me repeatedly that I wasn’t DOING anything wrong, I constantly wondered ‘WHAT is WRONG with ME?’ It’s that female insecurity thing that a lot of women have when dealing with our male counterparts. We’re either in extreme denial about our issues, or we’re constantly trying to correct non-existent ones.

Then I had an epiphany.

I’m a bit of an enigma as a woman. I don’t care about being in a relationship (been there, done that), but I do care (because I want someone to celebrate and enjoy life with other than my son). I want a man in my life, but I don’t need a man to be happy and fulfilled. I can do almost anything a man can do, but I prefer to have men do those things sometimes so I don’t have to. I’m honest to the point that bruises some men’s egos, but I’m sweet and pink when I need to be. I’m aggressive, primarily in business, but I know when to be submissive to a man. I desire balance, but refuse to make sacrifices that take away from who I am. I’m open, but I hold information back. I’m nurturing, but I don’t accept excuses. I also raised a son as a single parent, but he’s not the mama’s boy people expect him to be as a result. I am that strange combination of woman, heavily influenced by the men in her life,  that very few men have ever understood, yet they are drawn to me like moths to a flame – until they get burned and fall to the ground. The enigma woman. And I’m not the only one.

When Steve’s book Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man” was first released, I didn’t want to read it because I was writing my book about relationships during that time. I agree with 99% of what Steve says, therefore, I didn’t want my views to be perceived as me copying from him to sell books, because it was obvious that my book would be released later than his. So I changed what I was writing from a relationship book to a fictional novel based upon the same experiences and advice and titled it “He’s A Problem. One of the things that I want to depict in “He’s A Problem  is how women make the mistake in believing that they can change a man and how that attitude is a contributing factor in why our relationships fail sometimes. I don’t believe you can change anyone – man or woman – they have to want to change themselves. Change begins within and sometimes the catalyst is going without.  I’ve already gotten heat from men who assume that “He’s A Problem” is a man-bashing book written by an angry, bitter, lonely woman who can’t get a man. I even got hate e-mail from one man telling me that I need to make sure I examine myself after I finish talking about men’s flaws.  WOW! I asked him in response “How can you judge the context of a book that hasn’t even been published yet?”  That is both ignorance and fear. Ignorance because so many men assume that single women are all bitter, angry, lonely man-bashers, and fearful that they may somehow be exposed in the book and lose out on future opportunities to play games with women. These are some of the same fears that men have about Steve’s book and why some of them consider him a traitor to all MANkind. But Steve isn’t the only man who knows the game and has been teaching it to women. He’s just the first to write it all out in a book for women to read.

This weekend when I went to see the highly anticipated movie “Think Like A Man“, I didn’t expect to LEARN anything new, I just expected to be entertained and lend my support to filmmakers and the  all-star cast. The movie was phenomenal! However, I feel that Steve Harvey forgot to portray the woman like me. The enigma. The woman who already knows that men need to feel accomplished within themselves before they can be with a woman. The woman who knows that the majority of men attempting to make her acquaintance are doing so with the intention of sleeping with her. The woman who has male influences that she can go to who will tell her the ugly truth and how to protect herself from players and recognize mama’s boys. The enigma woman is willing to walk away from a situation when she sees it isn’t going anywhere. The enigma woman is often mistaken for the Woman Who Is Her Own Man (portrayed by Taraji P. Henson in the film), but she in fact, is the one woman who knows that she can’t make a man into a MAN; he has to WANT to do and REACH for that on his own – even if she is a motivating factor. I’ve met so many men who aren’t there yet. Regardless of their age, education, career or background, some men just haven’t solidified their footprints in cement to the degree that they would like to in their own lives. These are the men who always say they will have a relationship “one day” or “when they get their money right”. I understand and respect that and have learned to recognize and avoid that as well. I tell those men to call me when that day comes and if I’m not otherwise engaged we can see what happens. I don’t have the time or patience for the waiting game. Time waits for no MAN. I truly believe that a man who thinks I’m worth the effort and wants a committed relationship, will put in the work he needs to as an individual and come into/return into my life prepared. And it won’t take him forever.

Although I didn’t learn anything new from “Think Like A Man“, I did LEARN more about myself as a woman and I have better insight into the minds of men and how they perceive me. I learned that as a woman I’m not doing anything WRONG. Maintaining my standards protects me from men who don’t want a committment. If I lower my guard too much, I will end up with someone who is only sports fishing, not fishing to eat. In fact, I’ve been doing everything Steve Harvey suggests that a woman should do in order to have the relationship she wants – prior to reading the book or seeing the movie. And I’m not going to change that. I’m just going to be more consistent. I just need to remember what the men in my life have tried to drill into me and believe it for a change – I just haven’t met the RIGHT man for me yet. Not the perfect man…the RIGHT man. Or maybe I have already met him and he’s getting himself together so that he can protect and provide for me the way I deserve.

Until then, I’m going to continue to act like a lady…and think like a BOSS. I have things to do.  

Check out one of my many projects Sequins & Suits Charity Gala, May 11, 2012 at The Henry Hotel in Dearborn, MI. Tickets are on sale now at EventBrite. Please support this cause so that we can teach young women how to act like ladies also.

Judging A Book By Its Cover

I get a lot of flack for my photographs and book cover. People think the photos are too sensual, too sexy, pornographic and all types of ridiculous things depending on their own standards. People assume I’m peddling sex or that I’m a stripper, or worse, that I’m one of those women who randomly tags people into her bathroom booty pictures on Facebook. They assume that I’m ignorant, uneducated, that I have low morals, that I’m an attention whore and that I don’t believe in, respect or love God. They seem to forget that God made the human body and that some of the most famous artwork in the world consists of the human body shown nude. I receive the most criticism from people who say they are Christians. I find it all very interesting. I’m a walking, living, breathing social experiment watching the world and how it reacts simply because it judges a book by its cover instead of reading the pages.

Recently an article was written about me by Yvette Caslin for Rolling Out Magazine with a very provocative title. The title is a definite attention getter and I love it. If a person only reads the title, they will make several assumptions about it and the content of the article. That title will either persuade them to read the article or it will dissuade them from reading the article. However, without actually reading the article, people will likely make the wrong assumption. Someone who read the article, and had seen my book prior but didn’t buy it, said to me that after reading the article they feel completely different about my book than they did before. What they had done prior was look that the book cover of my book, read the title of my book, and made a determination that it wasn’t worth their time, energy, effort or money to purchase. She probably assumed I was a younger, (single) woman who had written a tell-all book about all of the raunchy, nasty, dirty sex I had previously had with random men (ala Karrine Steffans). Now, after reading the article in Rolling Out Magazine, this person can’t wait to buy a copy of my book so she can enhance her relationship with her husband.

It’s not unusual for anyone to judge a book by its cover. We’ve all done it at some point towards someone else. A lot of it is our biases which develop because of our experiences, our social environment, our personal views, and our upbringing. Anyone who says they’ve never formed an opinion about someone without knowing them is dishonest. Even if for a split second, everyone has done it. Some people just do it more often and more to the extreme than others. If you dislike someone without ever having personal interaction with that person, and you can’t clearly verbalize a logical explanation for your dislike of that person (i.e. she looked at me funny/she thinks she’s cute), it’s likely you are judging a book by its cover. Although this occurs in society as a whole, it is constant behavior among women. So many woman have “disliked” me for unexplainable reasons. Those who have taken the time to actually get to know me, discover that I am nothing like they “thought” I was. Unfortunately, very few people take the opportunity to get to know someone prior to forming an opinion about them from afar. It would be nice if that weren’t the case.

There’s a woman I see often in passing. Until yesterday, I didn’t know her name or anything about her. All I knew about her was that she never spoke to me or smiled when she and I would pass each other, regardless of how pleasantly I said hello, attempted to make eye contact with her or how big my smile was. Eventually, I began to feel rejected, as anyone would, and I stopped making an effort to speak to her. I felt it was a waste of time and energy because she would never reply to me. She’s not the first woman to not speak to me. Believe it or not, it’s a regular occurrence in my life for women to behave this way towards me. [My personal defense mechanism is to ignore them everytime they are anywhere near me. That method may not be best for everyone, but it prevents me from becoming annoyed by something I have no control over.] After having more recent interaction with this particular woman, I discovered that she had some personal conflicts in her life that were taking a stressful toll on her. Having been in a similar situation in my life before, I now sympathize with her instead of thinking she’s just an angry and rude woman. Although her situation doesn’t excuse her behavior (and she may very well be both angry and rude), now knowing that she’s going through drama in her personal life allows me to no longer judge her harshly based on a brief encounter with her. She’s human and she’s allowed to have some bad days. I have my bad days, too. Being Super Woman is hard work and it’s stressful. It would be nice if this woman didn’t take her bad days out on anyone else, but I can’t control that. The only think I can control is whether or not I judge her without taking the time to get to know her. I’m not saying she and I will become friends, but the next time I speak and she doesn’t, I won’t feel rejected and I won’t think poorly of her as a result. She’s not just a book cover to me now.

Every book written isn’t the sum of its cover. There are pages inside of books for a reason. The pages are there to tell the story. Sometimes a book cover is just a pretty picture utilized to grab your attention and nothing more. Sometimes a book cover gives you a brief visual idea of what the book is about. And sometimes a book cover has nothing to do with the content on the pages. Take the time to read the book for yourself and form your own opinion based on what you read, not just what you see on the cover. You may find that if you take the time and effort to do so, it may change how you react to things in your life in general.