Donna Alexander's Death Is A Reminder That Toxic Masculinity Is Deadly
Human Interest

Donna Alexander's Death Is A Reminder That Toxic Masculinity Is Deadly

When my 20-year-old mentee revealed to me that she was in an abusive relationship, memories of my own damaged past resurfaced. After years of being single, I still felt just as embarrassed, exhausted, and empty as the day it ended. As she struggled to share her empathy for the man who had beaten and abused her, I thought about how similar her excuses sounded to my own.

"I hit him too." "I can't just leave him, because he would never leave me." And let's not forget my personal favorite: "But, I love him."

As she continued to talk, I began to realize that her situation was much different than that of my own. I was not afraid that my ex would harm my family or my child. I had not lost my mother only months before. I was not a single mother with no income and nowhere to turn. My young friend's story was one that I did not know how to fix, and this fact filled me with a multitude of anger that I then directed at her:

Why don't you just leave? Don't you see that this is a toxic situation? Don't you think that you deserve better? What if one of you gets killed?

I bombarded her with questions that I wouldn't have been able to answer myself, and although I initially got her to leave him, I ended up pushing her away even further and right back into his arms. Because of my hypocrisy, I haven't talked to my friend in days.

Recently, news broke that Real Housewives of Dallas guest star and entrepreneur Donna Alexander was beaten to death by her boyfriend in her home in Grand Prairie, Texas. The 34-year-old was initially admitted to the hospital with several severe brain injuries, but was later taken off of life support and died.

People Magazine

When I heard Donna's story, I immediately thought of my young friend. Donna left behind two small children, a family who loved her, and a life of potential when she was taken away. The gone-too-soon business owner had recently expanded her business, The Anger Room, to three new cities, and was prepared to take the world by storm until it was all brought to an end by a case of extreme toxic masculinity. The RHOD guest star spent much of her life advocating against domestic violence, and still became a victim.

Donna's story is unlike mine, or the one of my young friend. Her story proves that domestic violence doesn't discriminate based on class, potential, or ambition. Stars like Kelis, Rihanna, Tiffany Haddish, and Mariah Carey have all spoken out about their histories with domestic abuse in hopes that other women will feel less alienated by their experiences. These women prove that being in an abusive relationship doesn't make you weak, it makes you human.


As friends, we have to check up on our girls. If we find that they are in an abusive situation, give them the tools and the support to leave, rather than shaming or criticizing them for their decision to stay.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, and in honor of Donna, I'd like to share a few resources on how to help a friend that you suspect may be an abusive relationship:

Rest in power Donna.

Featured image via NBC 5.

Shop on xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty's site
Three Influencers Show Off Their 2022 Holiday Hair Looks Using Their SheaMoisture Faves

This post is in partnership with SheaMoisture.

For Black women, there’s one compliment that will boost our confidence like none other: “Come through hair!” You know the vibe! Walking into a room with folks acknowledging that your hair is laid for the gawds, and the effort that it took to get it there, is a top five feeling. And with the holiday season just weeks away, you’ll be hearing that quite often. Between Thanksgiving gatherings with the family, Friendsgiving, company parties, and Christmas get-togethers, the opportunities to let your hair show up and show out aren’t too far away.

Apart from the holiday stuntin’, the end-of-year slow down is also the perfect opportunity to reevaluate the year your hair has had. Whether you kept it cute with protective braids, went big with blowouts, or let loose with textured twist-outs, this is the perfect time to give your hair the gift of TLC - tender lovin’ curls. Like the weather, our hair goes through seasons and has different needs depending on what we’ve put it through. Perhaps the transition into fall/winter has left your curls a bit parched and in need of some serious hydration. Or maybe your strands could use some restorative conditioning after taking it down from a convenient protective style. No matter what category you fall into, SheaMoisture has hundreds of ways that you can clean, treat and refresh your hair for a healthy shine that will bring you into the new year right. Bring your curls back to life with the nourishing and fragrant Coconut & Hibiscus line. Boosted with natural ingredients such as coconut oil, neem oil, carrot oil, and shea butter, this line is the antidote to reviving thirsty, dehydrated hair. Even better - with SheaMoisture’s custom quiz, you can get a hair analysis that will lead you to the right products for your hair needs. Say hello to sleek edges, and moisturized, stronger strands.

In need of a little hair-spiration? We got you covered! xoNecole and SheaMoisture have teamed up with three natural hair influencers to debut their holiday hair looks. Meet Ambrosia Malbrough, Jasmin Moses, and Daye Covington - beauty bawses who’ve created some incredible holiday looks that are stylish and easy to achieve. They also gave us the scoop on the SheaMoisture products they’re loving right now, as well as their 2023 hair goals.

Read on for more:

Ladies, This Is How To Date Smart Instead Of Hard

While recently talking to a couple of early 30-something never-been-married-before women about how much they want to settle down, and yet, at the same time, they’ve gotten to the point where they almost loathe the thought of dating, I got inspired to write this article.

Shop on xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty's site