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Friday, July 25, 2008

Pride and the "B" Word" (Column Excerpt)

I just want to apologize beforehand, as this column may not be as funny or as humorous as some that have been written, it’s just that I was struck by something during one of the few opportunities when I am actually able to sit still and watch daytime television programming.
I was watching “The View” recently – one of the few days that I have had off for some “just for me” time. Today’s guests were Dina and Ali Lohan, mother and sister of the publicity-embattled actress Lindsay Lohan and stars of the new reality show “Living Lohan”.
Apparently Ms. Lohan had been receiving a lot of flack and had been portrayed as an overbearing publicity seeking, spotlight hogging stage mother for the way she has at-tempted to shield her children from the brutal glare of the publicity that comes with star-dom. Her method of refuting her bad press - put it all out there within the public forum of a “reality” television show and refusing to allow access to her young brood.
For this, I am sure that Ms. Lohan has been “graced” with a great big scarlet “B” from one individual, photographer or another whose toes she may have stepped on. But what stuck in my mind long after the segment was done and after the show had gone to a commercial break was the statement that Ms. Lohan made during the clip, that “a lioness protects her cubs.” That got me thinking.
No doubt the “B” word and Ms. Lohan have been and will continue to be linked now and in the future as she has a younger daughter who is determined to become an ac-tress and singer like her famous sibling.
She will no doubt continue to have run-ins with those who will perhaps want to exploit her children and she will have many more opportunities to earn the “B” title. Ms. Lohan is the obstacle that stands between their story/photo-op and her children. Hence therefore the label.
Ms. Lohan describes herself as the lioness protecting her cubs. I certainly can un-derstand this, while some may not like the way she handles her business and though I may not agree with everything that she says or does, I can understand her motives. The lioness is the protector, the provider, and the caretaker of her pride. She is built for strength, not for speed. She guards her territory and hunts for the pride, traveling some-times five miles or more daily to provide for the needs of her pride.
She allows no strange animals to hunt her territory, ignore her warnings at your peril. The lioness rarely attacks unless she is tormented, injured or something threatens her young. She shelters her blind, helpless newborns, sometimes even against their own fathers. And only when the cub is able to hunt for and protect herself does the lioness let her go.
Ms. Lohan is going to be around for a long time, the lioness protecting her cubs no matter who approves of her methods.
Mid life Divas no doubt may encounter equally as many opportunities to earn the “B” label as we move through the next stages of our lives. It is difficult to be strong, con-fident and fearless without raising a few eyebrows or ruffling a few feathers. So be it.
We protect our prides to the death, letting our young go free only when they are ready. We are not necessarily concerned about the attitudes of others as they wonder what on earth we think we are doing with the choices that we will make with regards to our futures and how we want to live the remainder of our lives.
Not everything that we will do or attempt to do as we move through midlife is go-ing to meet the approval of friends, family or society. Change, as difficult as it is for us, is just as difficult and perhaps even confusing for others as they feel uncomfortable with the women that we are becoming. Unfortunately strong women with strong opinions and strong wills may often find themselves bearing the “B” label.
With all of that being said, it is important that Mid Life Divas protect not only their own pride, but also the entire pride of women and not indulge in the labeling of other lionesses.
Refuse to use the “B” word for any reason. This single word lays to waste the ef-forts of many strong women - past and present. How far would we be today if women of generations past had not dared to buck the status quo, perhaps earning the “B” label for themselves?
Strength and tenacity in a woman does not a “B” make.
We may not agree with the methods of others and how the other protects her own and stands up for her own. But we must protect the pride as a whole. Work together as a whole to provide for the whole. And defend the pride to the death.
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Beverly Mahone said...

I don't mind being called the "B" word because I'm Beautiful, Bodacious and a BAD Mama Jamma at 51!

T L Thomas said...

You go Beverly, that's what I'm talking about!