God made woman from Adam's rib. Not from his head to rule over him, and not from his feet to be trampled, but under his arm to be protected and near his heart to be loved. With that being said, we can all agree the popular theory that a strong woman is behind every powerful man is incorrect, because the truth is, she's at his side.
Times have changed, and men are no longer the only ones in the household who can bring home the bacon, and women like Gabrielle Union-Wade and La La Anthony are proof.
In the past, Gabrielle and La La have both been open about marital struggles, ranging from infidelity to infertility, but recently, the celebs opened up about the real reason they struggle with being "basketball wives". In February, at the National Basketball Wives Association Summit, La La revealed that her preconceived notions about the term took a significant toll on her marriage.
At only 15 years old, Brooklyn-born La La Anthony started her career in radio with an internship at a Georgia radio station. She later went on to study communications at Howard University, was co-hosting her own radio show by 19, and despite having no on-air experience, landed ongoing hosting gigs on MTV's TRL and Direct Effect. The young businesswoman built an entire career for herself based on her own merit, but to La La , it felt like that was all somewhat diminished the day she became a basketball player's wife.
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"For many years, I personally fought against the term 'basketball wife.' I was so focused on having my own and not being known as someone married to a basketball player. And to be honest with you, my marriage really suffered because of that. I'm so proud to uplift my husband and not feel as though I'm sacrificing myself by doing so."
The road to finding her independence as a married woman came with animosity toward her husband and other "basketball wives" alike. Now, after allowing time for self-reflection, La La has learned to find balance and relinquish her judgment for other women in the same position.
"I'm so sorry I had those judgments about basketball wives. I'm continuing to grow and understand how much we need each other, and there are things we go through that only other basketball wives would understand."
National Basketball Wives Association
Longtime friend and fellow industry professional, Gabrielle Union-Wade echoed this sentiment and said that part of breaking the stigma means allowing more room at the table:
"What's the point of getting a seat at the table if you're looking at the door every time it opens to judge the person coming through who is trying to pull in a chair?"
Gabrielle, new mommy and star of the new show L.A.'s Finest, also had a few words for people who want to put her in a box: don't do it to yourself, playa. The clap-back queen herself has made it known that she's more than just the First Lady of the Wade Household, and has a new term she'd like to bring to light. She told InStyle:
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"I prefer 'Hollywood husband.' How about Dwyane Wade is Gabrielle Union's husband? There are no stereotypes or terms for men who are married to successful women. It's only in the reverse."
Gabrielle also had a very important piece of advice for women, both single and married, hoping to find their identity: Build yourself up first, sis. The actress explained that before she was able to discover stability and security in her her current relationship, she had to spend some time alone:
"I met [Dwyane] after getting divorced and failing miserably at marriage. I was already me and fully formed, financially solvent, and educated. I recommend you come in fully formed before going into a relationship because that whole Jerry Maguire 'you complete me' bullsh— is exactly that."
According to Gabrielle, the idea that falling in love will make us whole is completely backwards. Falling in love with YOU is actually the first step in finding true happiness. She continued:
"You complete you, and then find your person."
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Featured image by National Basketball Wives Association