The Myth Of The “Pretty Crazy” Woman
Halle Berry is crazy because she has been doing to men what they have been doing to us – and getting away with – since the beginning of time: loving them and leaving them.
It’s the leaving them part that really makes me love her more.
After all, she could be talking about “For better or worse” while steadily digging a deeper ditch into a bad relationship out of fear of being labeled as someone who can’t “keep” a man, or worse, Pretty Crazy.
If you don’t know what the latter is, allow me to explain. According to ancient folklore, which is a based on every comment made by every loser dude and hating ass lady on the sideline, every Halloween a succubus named Lilith rises from the pits of feminist hell and gives birth to a legion of drop dead gorgeous yet two-faced women called the Pretty Crazies.
Dressed in all black like the omen and armed with nothing more than their mesmerizing good looks, the Pretty Crazies roam the streets, bars and groceries stores of the world, luring “nice” guys into their dangerous traps with promises of love, happiness and whatever else men envision should come with dating pedestals.
Once these sad and pitiful lamb-like creatures are firmly in their clutches, the Pretty Crazy reveals her true dark and twisted She-devil self. She then goes to work tormenting and torturing these poor souls for no good reason at all.
The more these poor guys try to resist, including telling her “no,” the worse the torture on their souls becomes. That is until these broken, wounded animals somehow find the strength to break free (i.e., habitually cheat or beat her up).
It sounds like a ridiculous horror story, but we see warnings about the Pretty Crazies everywhere. In film and television, she is the femme fatale known as Carmen Jones. In music, she is the archetype of the classic Jimmy Soul song “If You Wanna Be Happy”: “If you ever want to be happy for the rest of your life, never make a pretty woman your wife.” And on the Internet, she is a man’s “crazy” ex-girlfriend, wife or baby mother.
Generally speaking, society has a strange relationship with pretty women and girls. They are the object of our desires, but we do not always love them. Their beauty is inspiring, but they also can’t be trusted. They are cunning and manipulative, but also deemed dumb and shallow. They are they symbol of confidence, but deep down, we all see them as insecure narcissists. And finally, they are considered trophies, but no man (or woman) really wants to do the work to win them.
With the duplicities in expectations we place on pretty women and girls in the world, it is no wonder many of them can’t “keep” a man.
Or don’t have complexes.
Speaking as a pretty girl (here is the part where folks run to Google to check out my picture, but relax–nobody said you weren’t a pretty woman/girl too), I can certainly see the perks of having a pretty face. For instance, a starry-eyed store clerk once gave me a free slice of pound cake because I had a pretty smile. I graciously took my free pound cake and wore my pretty smile all the way to the train station. Then I was accosted by another starry-eyed man who too told me I had a pretty smile before offering to suck my right breast.
The point is, the pretty grass ain’t always greener on the other side.
Street harassment aside, I once had a boyfriend who looked me dead in the face and told me that I was the most beautiful woman he had ever dated. In the same breath, he also said that he didn’t trust me. I thought he was joking because he was wearing the same starry eyes and dubious smile as the guy at the train station.
But then he spent the rest of our relationship doing things to show me that he was dead serious.
For instance, whenever we were out in public, he would grip me up tightly by the arm and lead me down the street just like I was John Coffey in the film The Green Mile on the way to the electric chair for killing those little White girls. He also had a habit of being suspicious of my male friends and even some of my girlfriends. And then there was the time when he picked a fight and tried to belittle me in public when he caught some man checking me out. And he also constantly accused me of lying and trying to manipulate him.
For a while there, I thought it was me. For a while there, he told me it was me. My angry reactions, which often were responses to his gas-lighting, were proof to him that I was too emotional and crazy. That’s what he told folks.
But the truth is that he was insecure. And although he had considered me his dream girl, he couldn’t handle the glare. In particular, from other men who snuck peeks and smiles in my direction. Having a pretty girl on his arm was supposed to bring him attention. But very few folks were paying attention to him at all. And some even questioned how he was able to snag a catch like myself.
It wasn’t that I was crazy, it was that he was insecure, jealous and stricken with fear that I was going to eventually leave him for someone more worthy.
And after a couple more months of his prodding and pushing to make me crazy, I finally snapped. No need to explain what that looked like (we’ve all been there), but let’s just say that my snapping eventually became his self-fulling prophecy.
Looking back, my relationship with this dude was not my proudest moment. I should have left as soon as I saw the signs. And after him I began to seriously do the work on myself to figure out why I attracted men like him into my life. But through that relationship I also gained a deeper understanding of how mental illness is used to malign women, particularly in relationships.
It is true that some pretty women have unchecked mental issues. Unchecked mental illnesses are a serious problem that affect millions, regardless of gender or personal aesthetics, in this country alone. But some of these pretty women who supposedly are too crazy to keep a man are actually just average women trying to own their own choices, particularly about what they want and expect in a partner.
In other words, many pretty women are single not because they are crazy, but because they haven’t found the right one yet. And a pretty woman might go through multiple relationships, not because of some mental illness, but because she recognizes that she does not have to stay in bad relationships and that there are better options.
And she has better options not because she might fit society’s narrow physical standard of pretty and because men (and women) are drawn to her, but because she knows that regardless of how she looks, she is too pretty for that crap.
Besides, even if a woman is mentally ill, does that mean she deserves to be abused?
What’s most interesting about the pretty crazy lore, particularly as it relates to Berry, is how very few are questioning the sanity of her exes for the part they played in these bad relationships. The mysterious “WS” abused her like a Black ninja. Christopher Williams hid behind a bookcase, a potted plant and his current wife (whom he once denied) when a fight broke out during an episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta. David Justice seems to attract women who “erroneously” accuse him of domestic abuse. And Eric Benet doesn’t wear shoes.
Halle Berry may have really bad taste in men, but none of that detracts from the fact that these men are the bad taste.