Those of us of a certain age have watched Reginae Carter grow up before our very eyes. There is something of a built in interest when you watched someone as a child and now they’re a whole adult out here, making adult decisions, living an adult life.
Reginae, who is 20-years-old, is dating now. And because she is a public figure on reality television, she’s doing it publicly.
The young Carter is dating a rapper named YFN Lucci. These days, I’m increasingly less concerned about new music, particularly rap, so I can’t say that I’ve heard any of his music. I don’t know him, outside of his connection to Reginae. And from what she’s shared about Lucci, none of it appears to be great. First, there was the clip of Toya speaking to Reginae about Lucci tweeting that he “You stuck with me.” Toya told Reginae that she didn’t like that he said that and it represented an abusive attitude and a red flag.
You might have assumed that since Lucci knows that Toya is clocking his movements, he would have calmed down. But he hasn’t. Instead, in what was supposed to be a vulnerable moment, Lucci went to the internet with some more problematic behavior.
In reflecting about the lift of Nipsey Hussle, Reginae noticed and admired the way that Lauren London felt protected and safe with Nipsey. She realized that she doesn’t have that same feeling with her boyfriend. And stepping into her grown woman steez, she approached Lucci with her concerns.
“Even with my relationship with Lucci, I need change. The other day, he tweeted something that really betrayed me. With Lauren and how she talked about Nip and how she felt safe. I felt as though I was cool enough to tell my boyfriend, like I don’t feel safe. I want you to make me feel protected. Then you go tweet:
‘This girl said I don’t make her feel safe [four laughing cat emojis] u should leave me then because your lie is wayyyyy more important than this relationship.’
Why would you tweet that? That’s just humiliating. You got people tweeting me like, ‘This is not right. He putting your business online. Bruh, get off the internet and let’s talk about it.”
Instead of hearing this vulnerable moment and attempting to make Reginae feel more safe and protected, he exposed her vulnerabilities for the public to see.
That alone speaks to the fact that she needs to leave homeboy alone. And her mother has told her as much. What I find really interesting about all of this is Toya’s reaction to all of it. As women, we all know what it’s like to watch your friend be with a man who doesn’t have her best interests in mind, who doesn’t care for her like she deserves. It’s painful and frustrating. All of that is amplified by the fact that Reginae is more than just Toya’s friend. She’s her daughter. Watching her with an unworthy man has to be exponentially hurtful.
I watch the clips of the mother and daughter having this conversation and I want to scream. “Girl, listen to your mama! Leave that man alone.” There are times when I’m feeling more anxiety, more angst and anger than Toya is expressing to her daughter. But I know there’s no way I care more.
What Toya is doing is strategic. She’s playing it cool. All the time my mother speaks about the way my grandmother’s insistence that my uncle stop dating a certain woman didn’t do anything but push him further toward her, to the point of marriage and children.
Toya knows her daughter, Reginae has said over and over again that she’s going to go her own way, that she has every intention of doing what she wants, despite her mother’s warnings. Coming down with a heavy hand would be ineffective. Particularly because Reginae is over 18. She’s legally grown and doesn’t have to follow her mother’s rules anymore.
But like Toya said, what is encouraging and inspiring is the fact that while she’s making her own decisions, she’s still coming to her mother to talk about them. She’s letting her know how her boyfriend’s behavior has hurt and effected her. So, Toya still has a level of insight into the relationship. She can keep a close eye on Lucci’s behavior through her daughter’s stories.
It’s a lesson for parents, for friends etc. We can’t rush anyone’s growth and development—especially as it pertains to romantic relationships. Toya has struck a balance of sharing her opinion but still allowing Reginae space to share her stories. That way if things get too out of hand, Toya will know and be able to step in.