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Meagan Good is an accomplished actress. With a resume that goes back to her childhood, she’s more than proven herself as a capable actress over the years.

But these days, a reputation can be torn down for anything, despite decades of work.

And Good’s certainly took a hit at the 2013 BET Awards when she presented a gospel award in a curve-hugging royal blue dress that plunged to show everything from Meagan’s cleavage to her navel.

The reaction to her attire while presenting a gospel award was swift. So swift in fact that by the time she rejoined her husband in the audience, the tweets were already rolling in.

Recently, Good talked about what happened that night and how she managed to pivot from that moment and move forward on the podcast Going Through It.

Hosted by Tracy Clayton, Going Through It,” features profound conversations with prominent Black women – as they talk about the crucial moments in their lives when they made a decision to make a change and turn something around.”

During her episode, Good shared that night, she believed she would be presenting a Hip Hop Award. But at the last minute, producers told her that she would be handing out a gospel award instead.

Good said she was completely oblivious to the fact that her attire would cause such an uproar.

“So I present the award, got off-stage, got back in my seat, was super proud of myself. I was like, “I did it — look I did a good job.” You know, sitting with hubby. And then he was on his phone and it came up on his Twitter feed. And, you know, he showed me a, a little snippet of one person. And then, you know, then I went on my phone. And then I looked on Twitter and I was trending on Twitter. Some of the comments were like, really, really nasty.”

The Christian community called Meagan everything but a child of God for her attire. (To be honest, I also thought the dress was inappropriate for a gospel award. But having this context certainly reframes things.) But the criticism didn’t end that night. It went on for years, including during a 2016 book tour stop when a woman in the audience asked Meagan if she was going to “cover up” now.

Good said initially her response to all of it was hurt and shock. “And then I retreated a little bit, which was walking on eggshells and really feeling like anything I did I was going to be attacked. After two years, I realized that I wasn’t going to win that way. Um, and that I also wasn’t going to be happy that way. And that I was also dimming my light that way. And that I was allowing people to control my life that way. And so, I got to a place of realizing that you can’t win either way. The only way you can win is by being exactly who you feel that you’re called to be or who you know that you’re called to be. And by focusing on God instead of man. And checking him, checking with him, instead of checking with them and hoping that they have a positive reaction. And so, after that, I realized, um, that there are gonna be times where I was going to just be walking out to the firing squad and I had to be okay with that. Um, and I had to walk in my truth and what I believe is the truth for me. There’s some things that I’ve been through that probably I should struggle with more, but I’ve gotten to a place of peace. And there’s things I probably shouldn’t struggle that much with, and I do. And even in these last three weeks, you know, I was praying for strength to help me be free from certain things that were painful for me. But now that I’m — I’m on the other side of it, I realize that that pain actually freed me. So I just started fixing my mind to understand that even what seems like a bad thing is really a good thing, because God does use it for your glory and for his glory. And it’s all about perception, attitude, and mentality.”

But in the midst of learning all of this, Good shared that she was never pissed by the reaction from people.

No. I’ve never been pissed off. Um, I have been around religion — like, once I decided to get saved, I got crazy religious [Laughs]. Like, around, like maybe 14. I mean, I remember telling my sister, when she lost her virginity, I cried to her and I was like, “I just don’t want you to go to hell… And, um, and nobody told me when they lost their virginity because everyone’s like, “Don’t tell Meagan.” [Laughs] Um, I was like a real like, you know, Bible thumper, and, like, um, very religious and very –.”

Meagan became a devout Christian at 14. But she said it took her until she was 19 before things started leveling out. She shared this is we all have to have compassion for new Christians who are just trying to figure it out.

“When you become a new Christian, you’re growing, and you need love, and you need nurturing, not people judging you and telling you that you’re wrong. That, yes, you need correction and you need information, but you have to be patient ‘cause it is a process…”

Good shared that now she relies on her actual relationship with God.

“And having, um, more perspective, and, you know, I started reading my Bible and, and, I would read things literally. But where I’m at now is, so in love with Jesus. And I hear him crisp and I hear him clear, um, to the point of, you know, God literally told me DeVon was my husband. And I was like, “Really? I don’t know if he gon’ be able to handle me ‘cause I’m a little crazy,” you know?”

In terms of being a sexy Christian, Good shared that it’s more than just attention-seeking.

Um, because for — from my perspective, it’s not about being sexy in the sense where you want people to have sex with you. You know, or like you want to present yourself in a way like, “Look at me, I’m so sexy. You know, bring me all your men’s attention and energy.” Sexy to me is how you feel in your own skin. It’s how you love yourself. It’s looking in the mirror and feeling like, I’m beautiful. I’m sexy. I feel good. I feel good about all facets of me. And it’s okay to talk about sex as well, you know? But, um, I think it’s the intention of your heart. And you know when I, like when I wore the BET dress, I didn’t wear it to say, “Everybody, look at me. I’m so sexy.” I wore it because I’m like, “I just turned 30 and I’m embracing what’s next.  And I love me.” Yeah. And I’ve got my husband, and I just got married, and I want to look nice for him. And it — my intention and my heart, when I look at myself, I know it was good. And, and I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with loving yourself, and expressing yourself, and feeling good, and wanting to look good.”

You can listen to Meagan’s full interview, here.

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