Is 2014 going to turn out to be the year of the side chick?
It is beginning to look that way. The wildly successful show Scandal with its highly anticipated season 3 returning later this year & now with the reintroduction of BETs tv show Being Mary Jane, it seems the taboo title of ‘side chick’ is on the verge of becoming a culturally accepted norm. From radio to television, our media is continually pumping out the message that every man needs a side chick in his life & every woman needs to consider the possible benefits of becoming some man’s side chick. We all know the power of media & its very prominent influence on the minds of young people. So it is probably a fair assumption to say that 2014 will spark a sort of revolution in which side chicks come out of the shadows to let their positions be known proudly & the main chick/wifey/wife will eventually begin to accept the reality that having a man that’s 100% devoted to them may become a thing of the past. As Trinidad James would say…“Don’t believe me just watch.”
Who Are These Side Chicks?
By definition, a side chick is any woman who is NOT the main woman in a man’s life. The main woman is often defined by the terms main chick, wifey, or wife. The main woman is the woman the man can see himself settling down with, possibly marrying, starting & raising a family together with, sharing his life dreams & goals with, and bringing around his family on a regular basis. The side chick’s main purpose is to fulfill the man’s sexual needs. In exchange for fulfilling these sexual needs, the man may occasionally buy her gifts, give her money, & in a lot of cases, let her do her thing on the side as well…but ultimately she is there to provide sexual satisfaction to the man & nothing more.
What’s In It For A Side Chick
There aren’t very many benefits when it comes to being a side chick. The only realistic benefits that come to mind are: receiving gifts, no real commitments, the thrill, & forever having a reason to expose the relationship to the wife if things were to go sour (which they almost always do). Honestly, that’s about it. The pros of being a side chick are very limited when you really sit down and think about it. I mean, a side chick, all she really receives is a consolation prize. In most instances, she will never win the coveted prize of becoming the main chick. So in the end, the thing the side chick may want the most is the thing she will never get. So she will hopefully & quietly “play her position” as life goes on. If you can think of another reason, feel free to let me know in the comments.
The Rise Of The Side Chick
Being a side chick used to be so taboo not too long ago. Most women who fell into the side chick category knew they were the side chick but most never truly accepted that role. Most side chick women back in the day held out hope that their man would leave his girl or his wife & start a true meaningful relationship with her. Even these women who were the side chicks, most of them probably never really came out and admitted to the public or to anyone for that matter that they were side chicks to a man. It was embarrassing & shameful to think that a woman would be so desperate that she had to share a man. Now the tables are turning.
Thanks to reality tv shows like Love & Hip Hop, being a side chick is no longer embarrassing…it’s almost like a badge of honor. It may not be 100% totally acceptable even by the side chick, but it’s no longer a place where women whom are side chicks just quietly parlay in the shadows. Side chicks are coming out & letting the world know that they are side chicks AND they are proud of it AND the wifey in most cases know they exist & feel a real sense of threat from them. There is no real shame in the game anymore. The objective for most side chicks is to get what they can get from the man in exchange for giving up their goodies. Most would like for the man to leave his wife, but a lot would be happy with just settling for playing second string because they can fulfill certain aspects of the wifey role and get treated (sometimes better) just as well as the wifey but they don’t have to carry the official title of being the wife. Thanks to our culture of music and television, this thought process is constantly being promoted & becoming more accepting.
One of the hottest television shows of 2013 leading into 2014 is Scandal starring actress Kerry Washington. Kerry Washington plays the character Olivia Pope who is one of the most powerful people in Washington DC & more importantly, she is the mistress to the President of the United States played by actor Tony Goldwyn. The show is all about Kerry Washington’s character Olivia Pope “fixing” problems of the political class in & around Washington DC. As she & her team of “gladiators” go around fixing everybody’s issues, Olivia Pope is trapped in a situation that she herself can’t seem to fix…being caught up as the mistress to the President. As much as her character tries to fight off her love & desire for the President, she can’t seem to break his spell, nor does she really want to.
At first glance when watching the show, it appears to be a love story about 2 people who met each other later in life & one person [the President] realized he was married to the wrong woman [The 1st Lady]. Upon looking deeper & discovering the real Olivia Pope as she goes about through the rollercoaster ride of this love affair, Olivia Pope is really nothing more than your standard side chick. As a matter of fact, she is the poster child of all side chicks. As I described earlier, one of the only real benefits to being a side chick is receiving gifts. In Olivia Pope’s circumstances, the best gift she has received from the President is the gift of unlimited power. By sleeping with the most powerful man in the free world & both of them falling in love with each other all the while both understanding that their relationship will never progress to a true meaningful one beyond occasional creep sessions, Olivia Pope inherited power beyond her wildest imagination. When I say power, I mean it in the literal sense. Olivia Pope runs Washington DC in the shadows thanks to her solidifying her position as the premiere side chick.
In July of 2013 BET debuted a new television show called Being Mary Jane starring actress Gabrielle Union. Gabrielle Union plays a character by the name of Mary Jane who is a successful television news broadcaster who is also the breadwinner for her entire immediate family. She’s smart, sexy, classy, witty, caring, single, & caught up in a love affair with a married man as well. I haven’t watched as many episodes of this show as I have Scandal, but what I have seen on the show, Mary Jane did develop strong feelings for this married man, tried to end it, but ultimately went back to him despite his active marital status. In this instance of being a side chick, Mary Jane is not out for power unlike Olivia Pope. Her character is single, no kids, beautiful, & successful. She could quite possibly have any single man she wants but she finds herself entangled with a married man. The only logical conclusion I can draw from Mary Jane is the thrill she finds in doing something she knows is wrong. As the show progresses & I catch a few episodes here & there, I strongly suspect that this thrill will become a more intense ride for Mary Jane which will provide her an extremely addictive high.
Whether you want to admit it or not, American media has a strong impact on our daily lives. The people in Hollywood & the corporate world pour millions on top of millions of dollars backed by extensive research into helping them to predict what the average persons habits will be. The more time one spends watching television, the more their views on the world are being influenced by Hollywood & the corporate world. It’s no accident that if someone were to ask you when you think of soda, what’s the first brand that pops into your mind. More than likely you would respond by saying Coca Cola. Millions, if not billions have been poured into advertising to get you to purposely think that way. The same goes for television programming. A lot of cultural norms are molded based off of what people see on television. Television has replaced the dinning room table as the central area for families or individual people to huddle around.
Studies have revealed that when people watch television their minds actually enter a very relaxed state similar to that of being asleep. So imagine you are sitting on the couch watching television with your eyes wide open, but in reality you are very much in a trance day dreaming while soaking up the images, words, sounds, and more importantly the concepts being spoon fed to you with very little control. Somebody way out in Hollywood is directly impacting the way you think and view the world whether you want acknowledge it or not. Our brains are like giant sponges that constantly soak up vast amounts of information in the concious AND subconcious minds. The concious state is what we can immediately percieve and attempt to make sense of in the now. The subconcious state is where information is stored in our minds without us even realizing it. So when you think of Coca Cola as the first immediate response as to what brand of soda immediately pops up in your mind, understand that your subconcious mind has been overwhelmed with more images of Coca Cola than any othe brand that you are conciously aware of…all thanks to aggressive marketing campaigns by Coke.
How Does The Subconcious Mind Relate To The Cultural Acceptance Of Being A Side Chick?
Women are more open to the idea of being a side chick or more “accepting” of their man having a side chick due to the numerous depictions of men’s sexual conquests in the media. We have tons of songs about them. Just turn on the radio and listen to all the hip hop and R&B songs out today. A vast majority of these songs promote men describing their lifestyles about having side pieces and guess what…it’s not just men who are thoroughly enjoying the messages in these songs…women are singing them too. There’s a popular song out right now called “They Don’t Know” by recording artist Rico Love. That whole song is about a man getting his love on with a side piece AND his wifey knows about it…listen to the lyrics. Aside from the music, we have shows like Love & Hip Hop that put on display people caught up in love triangles, then we have Being Mary Jane all the way up to the poster child of side chicks Olivia Pope in Scandal.
Now I know some of you out there will say, “but that’s just tv & radio…it’s purely entertainment.” But is it? In 1968, television experienced its very first interracial kissing scene on the show Star Trek between William Shatner (Captain Kirk) & Nichelle Nichols (Uhura). During the 60s into the early 70s, attitudes about equality were drastically changing in this country. These attitudes were greatly reflected in the music of that era as well. This shift was so strong that the powers that be in Hollywood felt it appropriate to display a white man & a black woman kissing on screen for the very first time. This forever changed the course of television in terms of interracial relationships. Fast forward a few years later to the television show The Jeffersons, we have an interracial married couple co-starring on the show. Jump back into reality, go around and count how many interracial children were born in the late 70s & early 80s…I’m one of them.
The direct influence of pop culture on the masses is very real. The slow acceptance of the side chick is becoming very much real. So now imagine young people constantly being bombarded by sounds & imagery portraying the acceptance of the side chick. Young boys who grow up will think this is the norm to help to them to further solidify their playa-playa status. Young girls who grow up will come to think that young men having a wifey & a side piece is standard male behavior. Young women who come to accept this norm will fully enter relationships as either the main girl or the side chick who has aspirations of possibly becoming the main girl. If she doesn’t become the main chick, she will possibly be content with maintaining her side chick role as long as the “rewards” come in. Usually the rewards are merely materialistic possessions because attaining the awards equal to that of an Olivia Pope are purely entertainment, but accepting the role of being the mistress/side chick isn’t simply just entertainment…it will become the norm because this is what is currently being programmed into their minds at an early age.
In the end, every woman wants her own slice of love & happiness. Settling for the role as the side chick will present temporary false happiness expressed in the form of gifts & thrills…but understand, side chicks are side chicks for a reason…they exist for the sole purpose of sexual escapades. A wifey/wife or whatever term a man uses to describe his true woman…she is the one who has his heart on lock down & the ratio of men leaving their wives for side chicks is no where near in comparison to those whom go on to grow old & create genuine life long memories with his wife.
DISCLAIMER: I’m not advocating it’s ok for men to have side chicks or for women to accept the reality of a man possibly having a side chick or for women to accept the role of being the side chick. It’s your life, only you can make the best decisions you see fit. I’m simply pointing out a cultural shift currently taking place which is being played out in the entertainment industry. When people tend to give the green light to cultural norms or ideologies on the television screen it’s usually not long before those norms transcend to reality to portray a more accurate reflection of how Hollywood percieves the world. But Hollywood’s perception of the world is merely rooted in what they believe their viewers are willing to accept as “entertainment”.
Like always, if you agree or disagree…leave a comment.