All Articles Tagged "joneses"
There’s been a rash of celebrities renewing their wedding vows as of late, and just last week Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon did so at the Eiffel Tower in luxurious fashion. Tori Spelling, Jennifer Lopez, Heidi Klum and LeAnn Rimes are other famous faces who have chosen to walk down the aisle multiple times with their spouses to renew their vows. Everyday couples also commemorate their anniversaries with commitment ceremonies with the passing of each year. On the surface, the gesture is romantic.
Couples shouldn’t be begrudged for taking the time to rejoice in another year of marital bliss. At the alarming rate of spiking divorces in this country, unions that are thriving should be celebrated. Marriage is a 24/7 commitment that offers the highs and lows of two people sharing their lives as one. Love, for all of its different meanings to people, is an action. It takes active work to make a marriage function. There are daily sacrifices and hurt feelings that are absorbed for the sake of the other person, and it’s no longer an “I,” but a “we,” which means give and take. If having a big party once a year to toast the effort helps, so be it. If you have the money to spend or wish to go bankrupt in order to keep up, by all means, do so.
However, when you look at the celebrities walking down the aisle over and over, there’s an underlying issue of whether these couples are genuinely celebrating their love or attempting to prove a point about how happy they are. It all seems sincere, but there’s the lingering suspicion that it is all for show. To be in the public eye, the famous have to carry themselves a certain way and project a particular image. Those optics often include making people believe they’re in the perfect marriage. There are the cynics who raise the point that many of these celebrity vow renewals are just grabs for attention, when in reality, things aren’t so peachy keen. In Hollywood, if you can make it past the one year benchmark, that does deserve some recognition given the relationship turnover rate. However, there’s something about constantly having these ceremonies that doesn’t come off genuine. We get it. You’re happy. Do you really need to continuously prove it to everybody else?
On a smaller scale, John and Jane might also want to keep nosy neighbors out of their business by keeping up the pretenses. No one wants to be talked about behind their backs and neighborhood gossip can be just as vicious as public rebukes.
‘Doin’ the most’ isn’t just an expression that flows from the lips. It’s an observation that the eyes can see. It traces back to the first wedding itself. Many opt for grand affairs that resonate for a day at the expense of commitments that are meant to hold until death. For instance, Heidi Klum and Seal are such an example. For every year of their marriage, they renewed their vows and led the world to believe that it was only getting better. Now, they are in the midst of a divorce and many are asking if the vow renewals were just a Band-Aid to their fracturing dynamic; grasping at remnants of their original special day to rekindle a fading flame.
Ultimately, to each their own. Grown people will do what they want to do and there’s no set right or wrong way to honor an anniversary. But at the very least, it should be for the right reasons. There’s no point in going all out for one day if that same effort isn’t being put in all year round.Stephanie Guerilus is a journalist and author. Follow her at @qsteph.
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It is no secret that black women today are on the receiving end of a full on media assault. We see this in the way we are depicted in popular culture, in movies, television, music and blogs. We are portrayed as undesirable, uneducated, unfit and uncouth. Despite the fact that these depictions are categorically false and preposterous as evidenced in our real day to day lives, the media is all too happy to continue to spew this caricature of us.
The effects of this onslaught can be seen in the way we lead our lives. Some of us –though we may not readily admit to this, react to our vulnerable standing in society by looking outward for validation. We become shopaholics, addicted to staying on top of the trends; we skim online retailers while multitasking at work and hit up the mall after work incessantly looking for the newest piece of fabric or MAC blush, with the hopes that our purchase might even in the tiniest way give us that edge over the competition. Or, if that’s not you, maybe you seek validation in the arms of a man by going to great lengths to please him, whether that means loaning your car out to him twice a week, giving him money, or allowing him to get away with behavior that disrespects and demeans you, all for the sake of being able to say you have someone that claims you as their woman.
Then there are the women who spend a small fortune on their hair and keeping it impeccably styled while they are simultaneously late on their rent for the month. Now please don’t get me wrong, if this is not you, then I am not talking to you, but I think most of us can either relate directly to this or we know of someone who can. I understand that ALL races of women shop, allow men to get away with what they shouldn’t, and spend money on their hair. My concern is us as women of color and our underlying motivations when we participate in this irresponsible behavior. Could it be that we are trying to compensate for our feelings of unworthiness brought upon by our perceived low rank in society? If so, I would like to say that it will not work! These vices only help to further erode our self-esteem. The only way to respond to the media’s lies is to reject them!
We can show our rejection through our refusal to watch, purchase and patronize media outlets that propagate this false and incomplete image of Black women as a whole, instead of tuning into Basketball Wives on Vh1, we can tune into OWN. Instead of purchasing a Lil Wayne record, we could check out the latest offering from Esperanza Spalding. We can further show our rejection by using our education, intellect and ambitions to infiltrate the powers that be behind the networks and media outlets and becoming manufacturers of our own entertainment a la Tyler Perry and Oprah. And perhaps most importantly, we should show our rejection in our hearts, by affirming our self-worth inwardly; we do this by reminding ourselves of what our Creator says about us: “We are beautifully and wonderfully made in His image.”
Instead of seeking validation through unhealthy shopping excursions, men, and our hair, we should refocus our efforts into more formidable ventures such as learning about wealth building strategies; money is power and we as black women need to master our money in order to leave something for the generations to come. We can demand more from our men and carefully lay out our expectations, and if they are not met we can follow through on our threats to leave, fully knowing that there will be someone out there who will see us for the exemplary women we are. We can volunteer, get involved with a church or community group, or take up a new hobby because we know that when we focus on others and not ourselves, we begin to see the world differently and new possibilities and opportunities (not to mention new places to meet like-minded men) befall us. I challenge every woman reading this to turn your face from the lies you see about yourself on the television or computer screen, funnel your energy into more substantive entertainment and create new and more satisfying life habits that work to affirm and reinforce your self worth.
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The hit reality show, ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ certainly took its name from the infamous phrase ‘keeping up with the Joneses’. As a large number of women, and some men, aspire to look and act like the three reality stars, it seems as if more people are attempting to ‘belong’ by buying their way into a social class, even if they can’t afford it.
The phrase, which originated in the early 1900’s from a comic strip in newspapers, used the name ‘the Joneses’ as a generic term for neighbors. The phrase simply meant to strive to keep up with your neighbors in both spending and in social standing. And while this phrase was coined years ago, it’s probably more relevant now than ever with the obsession of celebrities and reality stars’ lives; but possessing a ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ mentality isn’t limited to your obsession with your favorite Basketball wife. It could be the woman at your job (who clearly earns more money than you), but you somehow feel compelled to outshine her.
This mentality usually leads to living above your means in efforts to buy your way into not just approval but to gain some sort of admiration. While most of us won’t admit that this behavior is a result of the need of approval, it surely isn’t an attitude of the most confident, content person.
So how do you tell if you’re trying to keep up with the Joneses? Here are seven signs that you’re living a life that is way above your means.