Side Chicks

The Evolution of the “Side Chick”

The ‘side chick’ is also known as the other woman or the mistress.

According to Urban Dictionary;

She is typically perceived as being disrespectful of other women and their relationships.

However, television today portrays these woman referred to as side chicks (mostly woman of color), as if before reality television and the new hot sitcoms, these women did not exist. And recently it is as if they’re being worshipped.

The question “How side chicks went from shameful to glorified” is a difficult question to answer. The side chick epidemic has been existing for years.

America has been displaying mistresses to white men for decades on television but the judgment was never that harsh or stereotypical because the man was financially stable to finance both of the lives he was living, keep all his women in fancy clothes and cars, and support all the households- with little to no drama. Mistresses’ were also mostly seen as being some delusional woman that is obsessed with a man that is involved but these women were never worshipped and given credit for having affairs. When it comes to black television, the women the black men alternates between are almost always labeled as either his “baby mama”, main chick or side chick.

This sidechick epidemic is becoming culturally accepted because of the things we see and hear, that is how they become “normal”.  Writers and producers today can’t seem to give a black woman a lead or major role that doesn’t involve her in bed with another woman’s man. The audience is often left feeling sorry for these women rather than viewing them in a derogatory way and the media is the one to blame. We have been exposed to shows like ABC’s Scandal, BET’s Being Mary Jane, and VH1’s hit reality show series- Love and Hiphop. Not only do these shows promote cheating, but they’re all displayed as honoring the women initiating the affairs.

Black television went from viewing portraying women like Clair Huxtable, a beautiful lawyer, mother, and wife to a doctor. To having young black girls look up to Olivia Pope, an educated, well dressed, business woman/ formal lawyer that is having an affair with the president. Then we have Mary Jane, a beautiful journalist whom had an affair with a married man to help her get over her ex. Television illiterates these type of scenarios into fiction because they say people can relate but people get the idea and thought that these things are tolerable from television.

It is not new to us that a lot of rap songs can be degrading to women. Many lyrics we hear convince society that women are objects to be played with. Young boys will forever go around thinking it is okay to be a “pimp” and constantly juggle through multiple women, and young girls will grow up thinking it is acceptable to settle and be “the other women”. When you think about it, women are the triumph in the rap game. Rappers always tend to have what some may say, the cutest girls in their videos and they constantly speak on their appearance, why isn’t their intelligence mentioned? Or perhaps their accomplishments.  Being portrayed in such a derogatory manner but also being represented such beautiful women negatively influences women to become what they see.

We live in a culture where we lack fathers, uncles, brothers, and sons. So idolizing this promiscuous behavior is not only degrading to black women, but Black America as a whole. Television and music will continue to evolve, as will society and the way we view things.