Being Mary Jane’s Subliminal Lessons for Side Chicks

What a woman does with her vagina — or her mouth — is her perogative, as long as those actions impact her life and no one else’s.

BET @BETMaryJane

In spite of social media, reality television, and perhaps Olivia Pope constantly advocating for the “side chick” lifestyle, the premiere episode of Being Mary Jane showed just how damaging that path can be for all parties involved. As news anchor Mary Jane Paul (Gabrielle Union) shrieked with pain and confusion in an operating room, post accident, I squirmed in my seat. I could understand why she woke up confused — going from enduring a jolting car accident that nearly killed her to waking up in a metal tube would’ve thrown me, too. What captivated me more than her busted face was her resulting heartache from learning that Lisa, her depressed and suicidal friend, was a trollop! A trollop who’d preyed on her boo, no less.

Had M.J.’s near death car accident; loss of friendship, romantic love and dignity (and almost career) been solely caused by her own actions, that would’ve been her business to deal with. But what we’re dealing with here is her friend who gave her [soon-to-be] man — and not just any man, but the “my mama likes him” man — fellatio. Talk about girl code violation!

As cringeworthy as the Louieville Sluger scene between Lisa and M.J. was, it was desperately refreshing because it showed the harsh reality of being a side chick, even if it is short-lived. Lisa choosing to give David head stripped her of good friendship, “adopted” family, warmth, and someone to assure her when she needed it. Not to mention pure love and trust amongst sister-friends. She didn’t suffer in the same way (considering she wasn’t involved in an accident), but her losses were equally stacked with M.J.’s and is something I hope all side chicks take heed to.

Before you come at me side ways about not being sensitive to Lisa’s mental health or David’s involvement, know that I personally understand being depressingly suicidal and want to kick David’s ass for not doing better, too. Its just that whether or not Lisa set out to galavant, that’s the way it played out and it is worth addresssing in this era of “doing me”.

Shows like Love & Hip Hop, Basketball Wives and the classic Flavor of Love have desensitized millenial women to what it means to play second best. It’s like the twisted fascination of “taking someone’s man” is fun and devoid of consequences, when it is truly crippling, demoralizing and cruel.  Regardless of any perks that might come with playing the side chick, the detrimental devaluing of self and surrounding relationships isn’t worth it. David, M.J. and Lisa reminded us of this and I’m glad they did.


Ariel C. Williams is the author of The Girl Talk Chronicles and Editor-in-Chief of Slay Culture. She’s on Twitter as @ArielSaysNow

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Slay Culture curates content and experiences for smart and lit Black millennials. Follow us online everywhere at @SlayCulture.

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