Why Are You Waiting For The New Year To Act Right? 10 Ratchet Behaviors We Should Leave Behind in 2012…Starting Now

December 28, 2012  |  
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A part of me is so happy to see 2012 leave, as long as it’s taking the “ChriannaRueche” love triangle,  Joseline Hernandez, the Romney family and the Twilight series franchise with it.  But seriously, something about 2012 made me completely disgusted with how African-American women are portrayed and more importantly what we prioritize.  This was the year of the booty shot fails, the stripper/sideline chick/baby mama, and the ratchet.  Sadly, it makes me wonder when we stopped wanting more for ourselves.  It’s like I looked up and one of the best things we had going for us was the cast and crew behind Scandal. Is that all we’ve got?  So not just for 2013, but starting right now, I propose our resolution be to stop engaging in the following ratchet behaviors:

1.  Knowing more about Basketball Wives than Obamacare.

If you can recite the names of all the characters on Basketball Wives, but can’t tell me any of the changes the Affordable Care Act made to U.S. health insurance, I’m going to need you to turn to CNN for at least five minutes a day.  When you become of age to vote, it’s definitely time to know how the economy, politics and world issues directly affect you.  You don’t have to break down the details of the fiscal cliff, but your knowledge of current events and economy should go beyond what you can write off come tax season.

2.  Thinking being a “bad girl” is cute and respectable.

There’s something about throwing cocktails at each other and cussing loudly in public that some women think is cute.  Somewhere along the way, we began to believe having an automatic attitude and making people feel small somehow garners respect. Although the cast of Love and Hip Hop will try to tell you differently, a little class and common sense will still take you far.  This doesn’t mean we have to dampen our diva personality down to demure, but keeping it real doesn’t have to equal keeping it rude.  Let’s make an attempt to be ladies again. Next time you’re out in public and contemplating getting crunk with the first person who rolls their eyes your way, ask yourself, “What would Michelle Obama do?”


3.  Being held financially hostage by government checks.

I don’t knock public assistance because there are some us who need it when times get tough.  What I have a problem with is complacency and entitlement.  My pet peeve:  Young women walking around talking about how grown and independent they are when they can’t do anything until the postman says so.  The economy is tough, and this threatened “fiscal cliff” is no joke.  But if you are healthy and able to work, there is no reason you should be spending your days watching Maury Povich while waiting on a check or waiting on income tax time like it’s the second coming of Christ.  Real women work hard to maintain their lifestyles.

4.  Two words: Booty Shots.

Your behind should never look like a sideways sunrise on the horizon.  This, my ladies, is not realistic.  I’m all down for a little enhancement (or could you try some squats?), especially if all you have is crack in the back.  But if Black Chyna and Nicki Minaj’s disabled disproportionate derrieres are any indication, then it’s cute to look like you have a tumor growing from your waist.  I’m willing to bet a majority of Nicki Minaj’s fans are minors and that legion of little Barbies are being led to believe that rocking a paralyzed over-inflated posterior is hot.  In 2013, can we back up off the big booty infatuation as women and be truly happy with what our mommas gave us?

5. Long “Lamb Chop” eyelashes.

If you can blink and brush your baby hair at the same darn time, your eyelashes are too long and extra ridiculous.  A few of you manage to get it right, but most of you end up looking a mess. Your eyelids are exhausted and it’s not even attractive.  Life is not a music video and you are not auditioning for the next French Montana video.  This Lamb Chop eyelash epidemic is at an all-time high and I need it to stop…seriously.

6.  Spending more on hair and purses than you do on rent.

You may have heard the quote, “We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.”  Since the late ’90s we’ve been complaining about all the “haters” we have, real or imagined, when the truth is we want haters; having haters makes us feel like we are doing something right, even if deep inside we know it’s foolishness.  Because of course someone can’t just plain disagree with you, they have to want what you have.  Let’s get our priorities straight in the new year.  If I tell you it makes absolutely no sense to spend more money on Brazilian Remy than your rent, it’s not because I’m jealous of your wavy unbuhweavable-ness, rather, it’s because we should want better for ourselves than to look like celebrities but live like ratchets.

7.  Facebook Beefing and Twitter Thugging

Even I am guilty of sending the occasional subliminal tweet or indirect status update.  Hey, sometimes you want to do some anonymous venting without anyone catching feelings beyond the “Is it me?”  paranoia. The problem comes when your wireless drama hits the real world.  It’s Facebook, y’all.  No matter how much the media tries to convince you it matters, at the end of the day, it’s a bunch of people typing and talking a good game but doing a whole lot of nothing. If social networking is raising your blood pressure that much, it’s time to log off.

8. Acting the fool for a follow.

And while we’re on the subject of social media, some of you are doing the most. If a majority of your time is spent making twerk videos for Youtube or if your Twitpics and Instagram feature your breasts or behind more than your face all so Trey Songz can retweet you, take this moment as an opportunity to get it together and post something that’s clever, or dare I say, even profound.  You don’t have to act like a bird to get some followers.

9.  Pro-creating just because you can.

Depending on your values, you may not think you have to walk down the aisle before becoming a mom, but can we not pro-create just because your favorite show that would keep you preoccupied is showing reruns?   Seriously, there are activities than you can become involved in that require less commitment than the whole “being responsible for someone else’s life” thing. We really have to start considering who we are parenting our children with and the situations we’re bringing them into.  And you most definitely can’t be confident in your boyfriend’s daddy abilities if you’ve only known him for a month.  Congrats on having healthy functioning ovaries, now how about we use them responsibly?

10.  Glorifying strippers, baby mothers and side chicks.

Everyone has a place in this world and we are all god’s children, BUT in 2013 I want to see more women like Gabby Douglas, Kerry Washington and Shonda Rimes making headlines and spreading positivity.  The occasional “Bandz A Make Her Dance” banger in the club is cool, but when every song on the radio is about popping it or ALL the blogs are about the “Chriannarueche” love triangle, and whoever else is dropping it low and busting it wide for the next rapper, it makes a sad statement about what our culture values.  They won’t play it if you don’t listen and they won’t write it if you don’t read it.  It’s entertaining, yes, but we need to hold some accountability in maintaining diversity in the images of ourselves we see and support.

What ratchet behavior are you desperate to see come to an end?

Toya Sharee is a community health   educator  and   parenting education coordinator who has a  passion  for helping  young women  build  their self-esteem  and make  well-informed choices  about their sexual  health.  She  also  advocates for women’s  reproductive rights and blogs  about  everything  from  beauty to love  and relationships.  Follow her on Twitter   @TheTrueTSharee or visit  her  blog Bullets  and   Blessings .

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  • pickneychile

    Even though leggings are so comfortable, I realllly wish the trend of wearing them as pants would retire now. I can’t tell you how many times my eyes have been assaulted seeing stuff shaking, jiggling, dropping, popping n locking in some leggings. Just because they stretch to your size doesn’t mean you should wear them in front of innocent bystanders, EVER.

  • Slingblade

    How could women condone using the term ‘WIFE BEATER” to describe an article of clothing?
    Needs to go into retirement quick!

  • Lamb chop eyelashes!!! Oh LAWD y’all off the chain for that one!!!!

  • Littlecoop

    Just think of all the power that the rappers have, and could be building up black people with positive sayings!Think about the media and entertainment industry,that could turn this situation round. Instead of what Michelle Obama would do..what happen to what would Jesus would do? that’s part of the problem,people took God church out their vocabulary and worship these imperfect humans.

  • BilderbergSuperstar

    Lets start with the word ratchet…

  • R.

    Couldnt believe I was reading this on bossip. Best article by far

  • scandalous7

    One of the best lists this year. Excellent list.

  • chanela

    and another thing, since people are so offended by quentin tarrantino’s movie because they say the word n!99er over a hundred times, how about black folks stop calling each other that? why are people calling each other the names that their ancestors were called while they were being oppressed? what’s the logic in that?

  • chanela

    omg YES!!!!! yes on the lambchop lashes! especially since women wear those big fake eyelashes with no other damn makeup on. i mean wth? you can’t put some eyeliner on or fill in your eyebrows? (one of my biggest pet peeves) can i add that in 2013, if you’re gonna wear a full face of makeup and have this elaborate eyeshadow on.. please please PLEASE pencil in your eyebrows! that totally kills the look to have invisible eyebrows and a nice face!

  • This needs to be shared…EVERYWHERE!!!

  • MM82

    Great list

  • Dee

    Favorite article to date! “Cant make a move unless the postman says so” is a trip LMAO. And PLEASE stop procreating for fun…

  • MrsB

    What about wearing leggings the wrong way, especially sheer ones!

  • IllyPhilly

    Didn’t read the list, but hopefully supporting celeb men who disrespect Black women especially over skin tone needs to stop.

  • Sagittarius81

    I also hate it when women call themselves “boss b**ches” and they complain about not having a man. I totally agree on BBW knowledge than Obamacare, I’ve never seen not one episode of that trash. Shoot, just this month this woman who lived in my building spent her rent money on booty shots and she got evicted 2 weeks ago due to you guessed it, unpaid rent. Hair bonets and lacefront wigs should have been on this list.

    • IllyPhilly

      I agree any woman calling herself any type of b!tch needs to stop. Dead @ spent rent on booty shots.

  • moonchild45

    Once again, women being “chastized”, but you fail to mention the 100+ things men need to leave behind, like sagging pants, six babies/six mothers, gang-banging, etc. I’ll wait for your follow-up with regard to this. BTW, I agree with everything on this list.

  • Ms. Kameria

    I most certainly agree with 9 and 10. That fuck*ery needs to stop immediately.

  • SunshineBlossom

    Not for nothing, but number 9 and especially 10 are DEFINITELY on point!!! I nearly had a heart attack when I heard a little girl say on the bus she wants to be just like Blacc Chyna when she grows up. It really is sad to think opening your legs and “sitting on mustaches” (yes, you Draya), are praised more than the girl the graduates with honors. That is one thing I will always tell my child. No matter what, God and education and family are the love of your life and nothing should be put before them.

    • Sagittarius81

      You ain’t kidding, I hate to see people who is something positive and productive in life gets overshadowed by people who do ratchet things like fighting, s3x tape leaks, posing in almost no clothes in pics on Instagram, and a rapper having 10 baby mamas!

  • Ratchet Behavior #11, allowing other people to dictate what rules and codes you should apply in living your life.

    • IllyPhilly

      Plus one

    • rzakia

      lol, funny.

  • Starbright

    Can we please retire the word “hater”? I know it has been around for awhile, but in the last 7 years or so, it has taken on an entirely different meaning. To me, “hating” is when a person says something about another person that is not factual and try their best to destroy them with slander and/or libel. Now, people throw the word out when you respectfully disagree with something. You can say you just don’t care for the person’s music or business choices, but dear God, they will swear you are “hating” and jealous of said person.

    • Just saying!!


      • heyheynow

        yes broke chicks think they have haters…people with bad attitudes have haters…bum dudes have haters no everyone is not a hater some people just don’t like you..lol

    • chanela

      omg yes! i can’t stand that!

      “i don’t like eggs”

      “why you gotta hate on eggs?”

      “i don’t want to be a prostitute”

      “why you gotta hate on prostitutes? don’t be mad that they get paid for sex and you dont”


    • BilderbergSuperstar

      Anyone with a different opinion is labeled a “hater”… that’s why the youth are full of so many followers instead of leaders..sad

  • Kaori

    Pretty much any WRETCHED behavior that his been made popular by the urban Black community needs to go.

    • scandalous7

      you summed it up quite nicely.

  • KJ23

    I’ve always been a little worried about the “big butt” fad, because I have a naturally big butt, and it’s like: “What’s going to happen when people backlash against it and people with big butts are called fat and whatnot. Where does that leave me?!

    • Kaori

      The same place you were before big butts were popular.

    • IllyPhilly

      Puleeze sweetie big butts never went out of style and never will. I’ve been apart of the club since 12. Only noassatall folks will call you fat

    • Dee

      Big butts will always be popular, don’t worry! LMAO

    • DatsLife

      Yeah, the fake butt craze on men and women is ridiculous. 20 years from now grandma will look like a fool.

  • Ooh La La

    Can we actually retire the term “ratchet”… Seriously the word disgusts me now almost as much as who it describes now

    • rzakia

      Totally agree. I’m so tired of people calling everything ratchet. The word sounds ghetto and I’m sick of people using it.

      • chanela

        speaking of being sick of people using it, you KNOW it’s a mess when non black people are using ratchet for everything! (and then they say it for the wrong stuff)

        “my hamburger looks so ratchet right now. it doesn’t even look like the picture”

        “bridget and i looked totally ratchet last night after the club”

        “omg britney, my mom’s ratchet car won’t start! this is so ratchetness”


    • rzakia

      Totally agree. I’m so tired of people calling everything ratchet. The word sounds ghetto and I’m sick of people using it.

    • Whitley

      I agree,because it’s overused and it’s corny. In 2013 can we retire “ratchet” and other sayings such as,”he gave/gives me life”,”he hair is laid,”He/she(inserts name)read her/him to the filth’s,and all those corny sayings…Enough is enough,they’re all corny and wack.

    • Na NA

      Well Im just thankful that the term swag has finally begun to make its exit out of pop culture, it still pops up here and there but its much better than years past! lol

    • I couldn’t agree with you more! All in favor….

    • I had no idea the proper way to say the word was ‘wretched’ i felt so enlightened when i learned that… and now i say wretched instead of ratchet.

  • YouNeedAnEditor

    Toya Sharee, this was one of the funniest, most refreshing, and on-point lists I’ve read on MN in a while! I really enjoyed it!