Ariana Proehl Ariana Proehl

Ariana Proehl + Single Black Women

It feels somehow wrong to write about Ariana Proehl. She’s the creator of a YouTube video calling for the “Death of the Tragic, Scientifically Less Attractive, Unmarriageable, Single Black Woman Narrative” in 2012. Proehl, like many Black women who have sat through a slew of monthly trend pieces, news segments and blog posts analyzing our alleged miserable dating lives and the multitude of causes (always attributed to our generalized disposition, basic expectation and the overall lacking of Black men) wants all the fuss to finally come to a full stop.

“Deading it, it’s done, it’s over,” Proehl says in the video. "So after 2011 I don’t want to read any more articles. I don’t even want to read any more well researched, intelligent thoughtful responses. It’s a waste of our brain trust that has better issues to be attending to and has real issues that need to be solving.”

Sorry, but I wouldn’t be doing my duty if I didn’t give Proehl—and the others who champion single Black women-- some shine for positivity and truth-telling when I’ve always responded, and by unfortunate proxy, spread the fear-mongering negative news. Proehl might not agree, but what the conversation about single Black women needs more than anything in 2012, isn’t the moratorium she calls for, more like more conversations to undo the damage by giving sensible souls a voice. Maybe just maybe that will combat the idea that their sum total of a Black woman rests on whether a man puts a ring on it, and if she can call her partner, if she has one, her “huszzzband."

The tragic Black single woman narrative is the deceased horse that seemingly everyone loves to beat. And it’s been effective. I hear traces of panic and fear from many of the clients I work with as a life coach, from the dating and relationship questions I answer on Formspring to casual conversations where women I barely know pull me aside and say with more than a hint of panic and a full cup of shame about being single, “Can you help me meet someone?” The damage has been done, and calling for a moratorium on the issue as a whole won’t clean up the BP-sized spill.

Forgive me for adding to the Single Black Woman Archive of Stories, but I feel compelled to because the affirming, positive stories like Proehl’s don’t get told often enough up on the mountain. When Psychology Today releases a story “verifying” that Black women were less attractive, or when Tyrese adds his two cents about Black women being “too independent,” or author Rick Banks publishes "Is Marriage for White People?", I can’t go to Facebook or Twitter or e-newspaper or e-mail without hearing about it 50-11 times.

But when researchers from Howard and Morehouse put forth a joint study, as they did in August, declaring that 75% of Black women have been married at least once by 40, or that, despite all the seeming e-complaining from Black men about Black women, more than four out of five marry a Black woman, or that the more educated a Black woman is, the more likely she is to walk down the aisle—essentially deading the idea that we lose bonus points, or men en masse are intimidated by Black women’s education and subsequent income—I don’t hear much chatter. When Angela Stanley, a researcher at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University declares, “This culturally popular notion that 70 percent of black women don’t marry is just a myth,” in an op-ed piece for The New York Times, as she did earlier this month, I don’t get mass e-forwards on BBM and e-mail asking, “Have you seen this?” And I don’t hear and read mainstream media stumbling over themselves to report on it the way they do for, say, a man who releases a video of cartoons mocking Black women’s dating expectations.

If only good news traveled as fast as the bad. That video with the cartoons, created by a long-time married man, went viral with upwards of a million views. Proehl challenges viewers to “think of what it would mean if the Black woman was truly empowered in our society. That would mean we would have addressed issues of race, and issues of gender discrimination in our society, and tied into that issues of class and potentially advance conversations about issue of homophobia.” As I type, YouTube says her video… (drumroll, please) has 2,061 views. That’s worth shooting the Sherriff and the Deputy.

As a fan of Proehl’s video and a cheerleader for her cause, I apologize for adding one more story to the (longest ever) list. It’s still 2011, so maybe this can get read without incurring her—and your--wrath.


Demetria L. Lucas is the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. Follow her on Twitter @abelleinbk

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SZA Calls For Peace While Receiving 'Rule Breaker' Award At Billboard Women In Music

SZA called for peace and understanding at Billboard's Women In Music event Thursday (Dec. 6).

During her speech for the Rule Breaker award, singer-songwriter recalled today's climate, asking her peers and those watching at home for a little bit of peace.

"I'm sorry for the state of the world honestly, for everybody in this room and I pray that all of us just get through it a little bit easier and just try not to lash out at each other," she said.

The recurring theme of unity among women was also heard on the carpet from artists like Tierra Whack. In addition to her message of love, the "Broken Clocks" singer also thanked her TDE family for rocking with her creative process.

"I'm just so thankful for everybody having patience with me, " she said. Shouting out the key members of her family in attendance, the TDE affiliate gave praise to her mother, father, and grandma. In this brief speech centered around the artist's growth Solána Imani Rowe, known more commonly as her stage name, Rowe everyone for their trust in her.

"I'm grateful for everybody taking the time to have the patience to watch someone grow, it is painful and sometimes exciting but mostly boring. And I am thankful for Top (Top Dawg Entertainment's Anthony Tiffith) for not dropping me from that label. For Peter, who I change my ideas every day and he be like okay I like this," she continued.

Thanking the likes of musical powerhouses like Alicia Keys and Whack, "The Weekend" singer offered her appreciation and condolences to Ariana Grande.

Watch SZA accept the Rule Breaker award above.

READ MORE: Anderson .Paak, Tierra Whack And More Praise Female Artists At 2018 Billboard Women In Music

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Beyoncé, Rihanna, And J. Lo Make Forbes’ Highest-Paid Women In Music List

As November comes to a close, many publications will be crafting their year-end lists for all things pop culture. Forbes released a ranking of the world's highest-paid women in music on Monday (Nov. 19), with Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, and Rihanna holding it down for women of color.

Beyoncé comes in at No. 3 on the list with an earning of $60 million as she made most of her money through her historical Coachella performance, the joint album with husband JAY-Z, Everything is Love, and the Carters' On The Run II Tour in support of its release.

Jennifer Lopez made No. 6 for earnings tallying of over $47 million thanks to her lucrative Las Vegas residency, endorsements, and shows including World of Dance where she serves as a judge.

Rihanna follows behind the "Love Don't Cost A Thing" diva at No. 7 with earnings of over $37.5 million. Although she hasn't toured since 2016—thanks to her cosmetics and lingerie lines, Fenty Beauty and Savage Lingerie—the Bajan pop star has been keeping herself busy.

Forbes' annual list (which factors in pretax earnings from June 1, 2017, through June 1, 2018) has placed Katy Perry at the top with over $83 million in profits due to her gig as an American Idol judge and her 80-date Witness: The Tour that brought in an estimated $1 million per night.

Scroll down to see Forbes' full list below.

Katy Perry ($83 million) Taylor Swift ($80 million) Beyoncé ($60 million) P!nk ($52 million) Lady Gaga ($50 million) Jennifer Lopez ($47 million) Rihanna ($37.5 million) Helene Fischer ($32 million) Celine Dion ($31 million) Britney Spears ($30 million)


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Kelly Rowland Hops In Her Bag With New Single "Kelly"

Kelly Rowland has it all and isn't afraid to brag about it on her new single, "Kelly."

Released Thursday (Nov. 22), the singer goes the clubby, confident route while rightfully dropping her attributes like her relationship with God, smoldering looks (a.k.a the drip) among other things. With "Kelly" being the first single since her 2013's Talk a Good Game, the singer comes out swinging, reminding everyone of her power in the game.

The mother of one has promised that her new tunes will be edgier and most honest than her past work that included vulnerable tracks like "Dirty Laundry" and massive hits like "Motivation" and "Commander." Speaking with Vogue over the summer, Ms. Kelly disclosed a few details behind the album.

“It’s about love, loss, and gain and whether it’s professional or with family or whatever, it’s just honest," she said. "I had no choice but to be honest and authentic with this record: it’s about friendship and marriage.”

She also explained a drop in confidence caused her hiatus. “I was thinking about pulling back from recording, but I couldn’t help myself: I still wanted to record. I still felt like I was missing something. The third year just came and left so fast. The fourth year I said: ‘I have to get to work’ and now I’m ready to release some music! I felt like I wasted so much time, and it was my husband who actually called me out on it. He said: ‘Babe, as great as those records were, I think you were nervous, you got gun-shy’, and when he said that it was like boom, a gong went off.”

Glad to have you back, Ms. Kelly. Listen to the eponymous record up top.

READ MORE: Kelly Rowland Debuts Smoke x Mirrors Eyewear Collection At Barneys New York

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