Is There Anything Wrong With Being A Trophy Wife?

36 comments
March 26, 2013 ‐ By Charing Ball

 

Source: Bravo

Source: Bravo

According to ABC News,

Real Housewives of Atlanta newbie Porsha Stewart is the consummate housewife, or “black trophy wife” as she likes to call herself. For her husband of barely two years, Kordell Stewart, Porsha cooks, cleans and hosts charity events for Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless, a charity started by her grandfather civil rights activist Hosea Williams.

Being a trophy wife per se is not just about your outer looks. It’s about the man who has put you on the pedestal and him admiring you and thinking well enough of you to put you up there,” Porsha told ABC News Radio. “And I think it’s important for our little girls to know that they can be a princesses and they can have it all…So I feel proud to represent — and I use the word lightly — the black trophy wife.”

Of course, all of this was probably said prior to Kordell giving Porsha her walking (also known as divorce) papers…

Foreseeable conclusions aside, Porsha does raise an interesting point. While most women might see her extolling of the trophy life as some sort of setback for the women’s movement, there is no denying that in spite of all our advancements in a capitalist and patriarchal society, beauty still has a real currency. As such being a trophy wife can conceivable be seen as another viable option as any of the other sex-positive career choices women today have. I mean, after all, it is about selling a lifestyle. And while definition on views a trophy wife is a status symbol in reality a trophy wife knows how to trade off her beauty as capital for economic gains. Despite the less than respectable reputation the term receives, there is a lot of time, energy and money that goes into maintaining the image of a trophy wife. There are the work-outs, cosmetic surgery, having to endure daily attention from a glam squad and spending tons of money on the best and correct outfits.  Additionally a trophy wife also has to be the beacon of grace, virtue and submission; knowing when to fall back and keeping your opinions to yourself, smile pretty and let her man shine, which is basically all the time. She also is likely charged with keeping up appearances for the entire home front. That means making sure the estate is in order, clean and comfortable; making sure the house staff is doing their jobs; throwing the best soirees and maintaining the facade of respectability. In essence, a career as a trophy wife can afford a woman lots of positive and rewarding outcomes including financial security and access to other means of financial security – just in case your job as a trophy doesn’t work out.

Unfortunately it still appears to be a white woman’s only club. The long standing joke is that when black men get money, black women are nowhere to be found. Of course, there are many prominent black men who have been able to enjoy their success while married to a black woman. Chief among them is President Barack Obama. But generally when you see rich and powerful men like Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Kanye West, it is not uncommon to see a woman of another race grace their arms. Sure, some marry for love however there are some men, who marry for status. And within this group is a sizable portion of black men, who abide by Eurocentric standards of beauty, which places whiteness at the top and blackness, which on women is viewed as unfeminine, at the bottom. Therefore by obtaining a white trophy partner, these men can feel themselves closer to endowing a status, which would enable him to acquire all the privileges that come with whiteness in American society.

It may seem like a terrible nuance to nitpick who gets to sit up on the pedestal and be subjected to the male gaze but it says something when white women can be valued just alone by their physical appearance and lineage whereas a black woman has to obtain education, have a good career and basically work like a damn mule in order to be considered a viable spouse. Some may actually prefer it this way especially considering that Porsha’s situation as a trophy didn’t work out for her. However all may not be lost: Luckily for her, she didn’t sign a pre-nuptial agreement. Maybe she is not that dumb after all.

More from Styleblazer

More from Mommynoire

MadameNoire Video

Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN
  • http://twitter.com/docbndgrl9113 Keesha (Киша)

    I just have things that I want to do in my life. When I think of a trophy wife, I just think of a woman who has no other goals or aspirations in her life, other than just pleasing her husband and looking good, in the physical sense. Maybe that’s the wrong way to look at the term ‘trophy wife’, but that’s what I think when I hear it. It just seems too confining to me though.

  • hmm

    Lol.
    I don’t agree with the authors views on what a trophy wife has to do (ex fall back). Has the author ever been a trophy wife?

    • yeppers

      I strongly doubt it…

  • http://www.facebook.com/barbara.codner Barbara Codner

    With time, a trophy loses its value to the one who obtains it.

    Kordell never really loved Porscha. That’s why he could just divorce her when she didn’t obey his wishes. When you truly love someone, you can’t/don’t want to live without them. If Porscha was caught cheating, stealing, or hurting his son, those would be grounds for divorce. He’s extremely selfish. He was blessed to make his dreams come true by playing football. You would think that he would encourage his wife to follow her dreams.

  • Akiko

    Being treated like an object and not a human being is a problem.

  • yeppers

    MN its really sad of yall to keep going in on this girl who is obviously going thru a difficult time right now…SO FOR YALL TO PRINT 5 DIFFERENT STORIES ABOUT THIS IS OVERKILL…let the girl breathe.DAM.

  • TheseWords

    Don’t put all your stock in something that loses value. Beauty depreciates with time. There will always be someone younger and prettier. Always. Focus on education, spirituality, and becoming a better person – the intangibles that no one can take from you. That way, even if you are blessed with “beauty”, you will always have a secure sense of self value.

  • JaneDoe

    Times have changes and no one’s position is safe anymore lol.. Dude took a page from D. Sander’s book. This should be a lesson to both women and men.. Be wiser in all life altering sections we make. Cross your T and sit your I bc nothing in life is guarantee. Not even love.
    Nothing wrong with being a house wife but make sure if all else fail you have something to fall back on and I don’t mean babies

    • JaneDoe

      Damn this iPhone.. I am not illiterate but the typos are insane. My apologies
      Changed, dot

  • Breeze

    I don’t really like the term trophy wife but personally I would love to be with someone who didn’t want me to work even though I would like to have some type of part job or a job I could incorporate my future children in. It’s important for me when I have kids to be at home with them while their young. Growing up my mother worked multiple jobs and I missed out doing fun things with her and just having her presence around, but I also wouldn’t totally give up on a career because I want my own money and a lot of mothers find themselves at a lost when their children get older, so I would need some job that I really enjoy and help me keep up with the times and not have me engulf in my husband and children lives while neglecting my own.

  • Guest

    Welp! He filed for divorce now so….

  • Natasha T

    There’s nothing good about being a trophy wife at all, it takes more than just look good all the damn time to keep a man. The only I look good is for church and a date night with my husband, but all the rest, work and being a wonderful wife and mother to of our children.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PC3VICMILDFDI2RKWVJQ5ACD24 jason

    Check the interesting examples she gave of black men with money going to white women. Athletes and entertainers (the smallest % of top wage earners of black males). So what does that kind of show you? That the smallest % of top wage earners can AFFORD a trophy wife that may happen to be of another race. MN why not show what the rest of us working class people do? US census states that over 85% of black males with a college degree marry……BLACK WOMEN. So in conclusion MN….kill the stories about people who are just a blip on the radar among working black people.

    • Nicole

      Jason I could kiss you!!! Lol.. I couldn’t have said it better. There’s a misconception that black men are flocking to white or non-black women. That’s simply not true. This site is notorious for promoting that lie and for the life of me I can’t understand why. I would like to elaborate on your comment even further but you nailed it. Well said!!!

      • chanela

        this is true in los angeles for sure!!

  • TeahMonae

    I went to a private high school with mostly white kids and the majority of my white girlfriends from school didnt’ really have any career aspirations. They were all smart and got good grades, but it wasnt really a priority to them to have a successful career. They all wanted to get married and have children as soon as possible. They saw college as a place to go to find your husband. Getting the degree was just a byproduct of that. Their husbands wanted them to be well educated and be able to partake in intellegent conversations at dinner parties, business events and such, but they werent really expected to find a job or climb the corporate ladder. I personally, dont think anything is wrong with being a “trophy” wife, or housewife. When did being a homemaker become a negative thing? Maybe its a cultural difference that causes this to be looked at negatively in the black community?

    • SheBe

      Every word in every sentence; I agree.

    • Nikki

      I’m still in school, and I see girls who are there to get their MRS title. It’s really sad to watch because here you are in college getting an education to make something out of yourself, but you want a man to rely on, while you lie on your back with your legs in the air.

      I’m not going to lie, I want to get married after I finish school, but it’s not a priority. And when I have a kid, I do want to stay home until they start school, but if doesn’t happen I know it’s not the end of the world.

    • bitchsbrew

      Mmmm, I think there is a difference between a homemaker and a trophy wife. A trophy wife has negative connotations whereas a homemaker doesn’t necessarily mean you are just there to look pretty for your husband. A homemaker is hard working, looks after her house and family, needs to actually be intelligent to be able to balance all the things she has to take care of.

      • TeahMonae

        I get what you’re saying but I question why you can’t be a homemaker AND look good for your husband? Just because you are hardworking, dedicated to maintaining your house and family, and intelligent doesn’t mean you can’t look good while doing it! Who says you have to sit home in a robe and hair rollers all day just because you aren’t going to work? I’m not a homemaker, and don’t consider myself a trophy wife but I still WANT to look good and maintain my physical appearance to the best of my ability. What’s wrong with that? I figure if I can get dressed up to go to work or out to dinner with friends, surely I can do the same or better for my husband. Maybe I’m confused on what a trophy wife is…..

      • TeahMonae

        I get what you’re saying but I question why you can’t be a homemaker AND look good for your husband? Just because you are hardworking, dedicated to maintaining your house and family, and intelligent doesn’t mean you can’t look good while doing it! Who says you have to sit home in a robe and hair rollers all day just because you aren’t going to work? I’m not a homemaker, and don’t consider myself a trophy wife but I still WANT to look good and maintain my physical appearance to the best of my ability. What’s wrong with that? I figure if I can get dressed up to go to work or out to dinner with friends, surely I can do the same or better for my husband. Maybe I’m confused on what a trophy wife is…..

      • TeahMonae

        I get what you’re saying but I question why you can’t be a homemaker AND look good for your husband? Just because you are hardworking, dedicated to maintaining your house and family, and intelligent doesn’t mean you can’t look good while doing it! Who says you have to sit home in a robe and hair rollers all day just because you aren’t going to work? I’m not a homemaker, and don’t consider myself a trophy wife but I still WANT to look good and maintain my physical appearance to the best of my ability. What’s wrong with that? I figure if I can get dressed up to go to work or out to dinner with friends, surely I can do the same or better for my husband. Maybe I’m confused on what a trophy wife is…..

      • TeahMonae

        I get what you’re saying but I question why you can’t be a homemaker AND look good for your husband? Just because you are hardworking, dedicated to maintaining your house and family, and intelligent doesn’t mean you can’t look good while doing it! Who says you have to sit home in a robe and hair rollers all day just because you aren’t going to work? I’m not a homemaker, and don’t consider myself a trophy wife but I still WANT to look good and maintain my physical appearance to the best of my ability. What’s wrong with that? I figure if I can get dressed up to go to work or out to dinner with friends, surely I can do the same or better for my husband. Maybe I’m confused on what a trophy wife is…..

  • Taj

    I don’t know what happened to my first comment. However, just because a role is desired in the white patriarchal society that we live in, doesn’t mean it should be valued by other races. It is time we define who we want to be.

    • MissFLondon

      Yes, I agree, but I tend to find that, like rebellious children we Blacks are simply trying to be the antithesis of whites? There has to be more than one type of woman. We can’t all be superwoman.

  • Brit

    Yea, I don’t really think there’s anything wrong with being a trophy wife, but I couldn’t do it. Naturally, I am ambitious and I’m not one to keep my mouth closed. Call me stereotypical, but it’s true. I don’t have a problem with being submissive, but I can’t be a trophy that just sits there and looks pretty. I personally feel like it’s a vain and shallow kind of life to live. We all have a purpose on this Earth, and I’d rather spend my time fulfilling that purpose. Even Porsha knows deep down that she wants to do more with her life. My worth doesn’t come from whether or not a man wants/admires me, because I feel worthy regardless. Loving yourself is one of the most powerful tools ever.

    • sabrina

      Amen sistahhh!!!

    • she

      I don’t think they do it for selfworth….more like a luxury. And you gotta be ambitious to look the way u do to find a man who can afford that luxury.js

  • Taj

    Can we stop exalting these football players, basketball players, and entertainers? Maybe if we put more emphasis on the common man, other professions can be paid more while entertainers and sport stars wouldn’t be so overpaid.

    • JaneDoe

      Amen.. And not to down play the intelligent ones but ball players are the bottom of the barrel.. They are little boys with money and zero common sense

    • http://www.facebook.com/kayla.esbjorn Kayla Ancrum

      Or maybe start hyping great scientists like Neal DeGrasse Tyson. The amount of black people who don’t know who he is is freaking shameful.

      • Taj

        Yes, I know him. I’ve seen him in interviews He is very intelligent and charismatic. However, some people don’t even know the three branches of the government and assumes the President makes the law when that is the work of the Congress. So we should probably start there.

  • http://www.yourtango.com/users/cheekee-baby cheekee baby

    Nothing wrong with it if that’s what a woman wants to do. All bullsh*t aside, they regularly trade your azz in for a newer more docile model. Holla at your boy Donald Trump.

  • NikkitaMichelle

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a trophy wife if you have no other asperations. This article does not mention trophy wives are professional cheerleaders for their men 24/7. And men who want trophies are not used to their trophies talking back to them. I didn’t realize that the couple had only been married a little under 2 years. This first 3 years of marriage is extremely hard adding lights, camera, action will only magnify any disagreements.

    • http://twitter.com/@Mz_Undrstd Miss_Understood

      Definitely. They have this show coming out (I can’t remember which channel) and it follows several couples from the wedding date through the first year of marriage to see who can make it..sounds like a recipe for a disaster but I am curious and will be watching!

    • SunshineBlossom

      And not only that, but being a trophy wife is NOT a permanent title. Once you lose your luster and prestige, either by talking too much or growing a brain and supporting yourself, there is another woman waiting to be given that title. I do not fault a woman who wants to get her own, however there is a difference between being a trophy wife and a homemaker. They are not interchangable, and only one is permanent.

Get the MadameNoire
Newsletter
The best stories sent right to your inbox!
close [x]