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“Love & Hip Hop” star Amara La Negra sent the internet into a frenzy when she posted a picture of her cleaning a bathroom with the caption: “A man’s house is a reflection of the woman’s he’s with. Food for thought.” Even though some months have passed by, the social media backlash didn’t shake the Latin superstar’s position when it comes to catering to her man before marriage.

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During a recent interview, Amara clarified that she took the Lysol toting picture herself, and emphasized that she is very “traditional.”

“I still have traditional values. How do you expect to get a ring and all that stuff if you don’t show what you can do?” She asked the audience.

A woman off camera chimed in, saying, “I feel if you do all that for him he’s not gonna give you a ring. because he’s gonna feel like okay, she’s already giving me everything that a wife would so why would I marry her?”

To which Amara responded “So then you don’t believe in sex before marriage right?” The audience erupted in laughter, silencing the questioner. Amara, satisfied, quickly shifted gears, “Moving forward.”

I think the problem here isn’t that Amara wants to clean the house of a man that isn’t her husband, it’s more that she used what she does in courtship as a way to shame other women. By saying a man’s home is a reflection of the woman, she’s unintentionally holding women accountable for the state of a man’s living quarters. What she could say is “My man’s home is a reflection of me,” to which we could all collectively give an “okay sis,” and she can go about scrubbing away.

I feel in the absence of traditional marriages and traditional gender roles, both sexes have tried to come up with some formulaic route to “getting a ring.”  But the truth of the matter is, it’s all random. There is no set of rules that works for any women or man that would guarantee their willingness to commit. A man, or a woman, is going to marry who they want, when they want. I’ve seen people get married off of one night stands. I’ve seen people get married who have never lived together. I’ve seen people decide to jump the broom after a few months together– there is no “one way,” and that’s the beauty of it.

And perhaps, if we focused more on maintaining happy, healthy relationships then just “getting the ring,” the state of our partnerships would be better off.

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