We love Sanaa Lathan. And we most certainly LOVE Serena Williams. Aside from being drop-dead gorgeous with killer bodies, the two women represent Black female excellence to the highest degree in entertainment and sports.
Serena has more championship trophies than Beyoncé has Grammys. And Sanaa’s acting credits include some of the culture’s biggest blockbusters, not to mention she’s the star and executive producer of America’s No. 1 film The Perfect Guy.
Though they are every woman’s idol by all accounts, both ladies got a little heat this week for decisions they’ve made that some felt were not becoming of the strong, accomplished Black women we know them to be.
Sanaa recently confirmed (sort of) that she’s dating French Montana (yes, the one who datedKhloé Kardashian), after a slightly tipsy Lathan was seen on video laid up on the Bronx rapper in a car with Diddy. The Internet quickly wailed at the thought of the A-list actress stepping off her Hollywood throne to date the likes of Montana.
Serena Williams twerking… pic.twitter.com/hMcAL7G2F6
— Twerking Vines (@TwerkingVine) September 14, 2015
But like most things that are published or leaked about our favorite celebrities, online users expressed fervent opinions about the tennis great’s seemingly poor choice. While I can’t say I’m totally thrilled to see sport’s most dominant female athlete shaking her (literal) ass like the average video vixen or stripper–because she’s far from average–I’m not exactly losing sleep over it either.
For all the critics ready to aim their respectable standards at Serena and Sanaa over choices they’ve made with their own bodies and time…get a grip. Yes, in a perfect world we’d love our Black female idols and icons to reflect the poise, grace and perfection of Michelle Obama, it’s unrealistic and ridiculous. Last time I checked, it wasn’t a crime to date a rapper. And to be clear, at least Sanaa is dating one who speaks three languages (bet you didn’t know that one). As for Serena, World Peace from twerking is the last thing we should be concerned about. And if you really want to keep it real, its style of dance dates back to the origins of Africa. Serena is a grown woman and should be allowed to playfully and freely express her body and her sexual prowess however she feels. Because if there’s one thing we can all learn from her it’s that you can be bold and a badass all at the same damn time.
Black women, both famous and not, are human beings too. So when we place them on these unrealistic pedastals as we so often do (why I do not know), we run the risk of getting disappointed about things that are not that concerning, let alone anyone’s business. If we spent as much time working on our own lives as much as we do critiquing the lives of successful, accomplished Black women, maybe we’d all have something more meaningful to talk about.
Just a hunch.