Tuesday, December 16, 2014

What About Camille Cosby?

While many have expressed both concerns and disgust about Bill Cosby in the wake of the recent allegations of his drugging and sexually abusing young women years ago, my heart goes out to Camille Cosby, his wife of 50 years.
I can only imagine what her life may be like during these very dark days. At a time when her season should be blooming with flowers, she has to endure the harsh realities of being the wife of a celebrity at its worse.  Not only is she publicly dealing with the effects of a spouse that has been unfaithful, she has to somehow keep her family together and wear a smile even when her heart is aching.
Camille Cosby has issued a statement in support of her husband speaking to his love, kindness, gentleness and that he is a good husband. She further stated, “He is the man you thought you knew.” I am not one to challenge a wife’s relationship with her husband and I take her statement to be based on her relationship and not public opinion.
I have admired Camille from a distance for so many years. She always appears so graceful and never allowed the Hollywood lifestyle to dictate who she was, even in her youthful years when Bill was in his prime. I am sure it must have been difficult at times. She chose to discontinue coloring her hair and showcased the premature grey many years ago when it was not popular for a young Hollywood couple. Instead of being caught up in the glamour, she devoted her efforts to raising her family and giving millions to education and philanthropy as a way of sharing her blessings. As a result, the Cosby gifts have benefited many.
Mrs. Cosby’s humanitarian acts along should give her peace, but how can she be at peace when allegations against her husband threatens to destroy a lifetime of work. It’s despairing to think her good deeds may be tarnished by actions not of her own doing.
I am disturbed about the numerous allegations against Bill Cosby. I absolutely believe there was infidelity in their marriage. Something Camille appears to have forgiven years ago. My prayers are the truth is revealed by the accused and the accusers, because the truth will set them all free.
I can’t suggest to Mrs. Cosby how to feel or what to say about her husband. After all, she has been with him for 50 years and the accusers allegedly only a brief time. I can agree with the statement Bill Cosby said to a reporter about Camille, “Love and the strength of womanhood.  Let me say it again, love and the strength of womanhood. And, you could reverse it, the strength of womanhood and love.”

Thursday, March 6, 2014

What We Should Learn from Lupita Nyong’o Dark Skin?

Lupita Nyong’o, Oscar’s 2014 Best Supporting Actress is a role-model extraordinaire. She is beautiful, exciting to watch and represents a woman who is confident in her skin. I recently described her as ‘beauty from head to toe.”

For many of us, Lupita appeared from nowhere to master her first major movie role as Patsy in Oscar’s Best Picture of the Year, 12 Years a Slave. So compelling was her performance, I left the movie theater thinking more about Patsy’s survival then Solomon being freed.  Little did I realize the young woman who played a sexually and physically abused slave, would months later rise to become one of the most significant people of the award season?

On a recent Hot 97 radio interview with Angie Martinez, supermodel, Naomi Campbell described Lupita as “The lady of the moment who is elegant and stunning, yet simple and humble.” Amazingly, comedian and host of Fashion Police, Joan Rivers was in awe and found it difficult to say anything negative about Lupita. How did she emerge as the break-out person of the year and quickly rise to the A-list in Hollywood? Most of the glamour portion of her rise, we can attribute to heavy media coverage, but it is Lupita who has turned her quick fame into a message of hope for many women of all ages, in particular young Black girls and women.

What makes Lupita stand out and why is she significant? What can we learn from this young woman who has inspired many by openly discussing her past pain?

In her well-documented acceptance speech at the Black Women in Hollywood awards luncheon, Lupita revealed publicly how she endured “teasing and taunting about my night-shaded skin” while growing up. As a teenager, her emotional pain grew so severe; she tried to make a deal with God to lighten her skin. Nothing she offered changed her skin color. God had a plan for her. He needed her to stay beautiful just as she was for a time such as now.

Women of color in all walks of life from celebrities to villages in Africa are sadly using extreme and often dangerous products to whitening their skin, Lupita’s comments are so profound and hopefully a welcomed alternative for many women who believe that somehow their lives will be better and they would look pretty if only they had lighter skin. As co-directors, Bill Dukes and D. Channsin Berry pointed out about their documentary, Dark Girls, the conversation is now open. We should continue the dialog and address the pain caused by the dark skin/light skin color issues and keep the conversation alive in order to raise awareness of the biases that govern the standard of beauty in our world.

As Lupita Nyong’o so elegantly pointed out in her Oscar acceptance speech, “It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is due to so much pain in someone else’s.” I translated that to mean, “don’t get it twisted, we still have a lot of work to do and a long way to go.” The door is open for all to walk through. Your skin color does not validate you!

By Sheila L. Agnew author, inspirational speaker, life coach and blogger. http://www.sheilaagnew.com

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Chicago, IL, United States
“Mo Better” Inspiration is an arena for a sharing of informative, education, and discussions on issues pertaining to our world, lifestyles, communities, personal growth, inspiration, and cultural awareness. “Mo Better” Inspiration is a global blog where people with similarities and differences can exchange information, ideas and viewpoints designed for a positive blog experience. I encourage people from around the world to participate in engaging discussions that stimulate the mind.