Amina & Tara Are Proof That Love Triangles Are A Losing Game
I haven’t delved into Love & Hip-Hop in quite a while, but in catching up on VH1’s latest reunion, I see nothing has changed. Cardi B is notably the fave on the show, her presence garnering think pieces on feminism, being unapologetic about the skin you’re in, and the past you’ve lived, but the storyline that gets the most attention are the love triangles, particularly between Tara Wallace, Amina Pankey and Peter Gunz.
We love a relationship that’s salacious and far from anything we’d possibly put ourselves in. The failures in someone else’s union makes for good TV, weeks of entertainment and harsh criticism. But it’s unfortunate that after three straight seasons, nothing or no one has evolved from the unhealthy relationships rooted in a rapper and his poor choices. The inception of their situation on the show resulted in pointed fingers and the labeling of “victims,” but if the pattern continues and history repeats itself, should we refocus our attention to other sources? Instead of saying Peter is solely to blame for the chaos he’s caused his family, is it possible to say the two women involved have also greatly contributed to the mess we witness on television? Joe Budden certainly thinks so.
Some of y’all are victims of piece of shit men…… Some of y’all volunteer….. The 2 shouldn’t share in empathy.
— Joe Budden (@JoeBudden) March 22, 2016
Nothing changes if nothing changes… Sounds so simple. — Joe Budden (@JoeBudden) March 22, 2016
The former Love & Hip-Hop star weighed in on Twitter after part one of Monday’s reunion, offering his two cents about the three way affair–an area the rapper has quite a bit of familiarity with. As tweets poured in from viewers who dragged Peter for his interminable desire to be with both his wife and ex simultaneously without a care in the world, Joe questioned why all the fault fell on the man. Letting it be known that he was in no way defending Peter, the rapper let off a series of tweets that implied that Tara and Amina were content with their situation because of the re-occurring incidents. Without going in depth behind his thoughts, Joe did drop some gems that left many questioning the worth of the women--the ones who tolerate the tomfoolery, yet, cry and fight about it later.
When ppl show u who they really are, believe them…… What’s not to get here ?
— Joe Budden (@JoeBudden) March 22, 2016
Admittedly, Joe had a point. When Tara and Amina first appeared on the show, I will admit that Peter’s lack of respect, his incessant need to have his cake and eat it too, and live a double life while straddling the fence left a sour taste in my mouth, leading me to empathize with both women. Tara cried about another woman playing the third wheel and every Monday night, I silently shamed Amina. In the season that would subsequently follow, Tara would go back for what she felt was rightfully hers in hopes of bringing her family together again–even if Peter made the decision to “move on” and marry someone else.
And as episodes progressed, Amina and Tara left me wondering if they respected themselves for putting up with the emotional turmoil and justifying Peter’s behavior. They made excuses as to why they permitted the back and forth: “I’ve been with him for over 10 years.” “Well, we’re married.” “But I have his children,” so on and so forth. After two seasons, I realized that the problem between the women wasn’t about who had Peter first and who “took” him away. The issue was who had one up on the other, who was the main chick, and who had to revert to the struggles of side piece live on national television. No man or woman wants that title.
Earlier this year, the xoTeam spoke on infidelity and how we’ve come to live in a world where the cheating ways of men are normalized. Entertainment Editor, Soraya, spoke on the realization of a thin line between women fighting to be the ‘main’ one versus the ‘only’ one.
“I think some girls think that a man having another chick is expected and accepted, and as a result, succumb to just wanting to be the ‘main.’”
It’s a fitting statement that mirrors that of Peter, Amina, and Tara’s situation, with the women bickering over personal history instead of looking at Peter’s past with women in general.
During the first part of the union, Amina made sure she added insult to injury by letting it be known she–not Tara–would be the last one to have children by Peter. It seems to be a competition between the two, with both failing to understand the losing game they’re playing. Amina took to Instagram to address her public announcement that she was with child again after opting to terminate her pregnancy months earlier. While a myriad of side eyes could come out of her caption, she did make a valid point in regards to locking down your partner.
There is one reason and one reason only why I got pregnant again. Actually there is no "I" in this, its "WE"! But since i am the one carrying: "I Got pregnant again because I made love to the man I love." Now y'all can debate on why we did it until ya hair turns grey.. I feel good knowing that WE know and you just 'think' you know... A baby does not keep a man and being spiteful does not make you a winner! This is not a game. This is my life. But No matter what the circumstances were and are, I now feel happy to be expecting again and even happier to know I have the best baby daddy I could ask for. @petergunz174 I love you 4ever and I will never be scared to show or say it because of people. #babyBX 💝 A photo posted by Amina Pankey (@aminabuddafly) on
For years in my twenties, I’ve realized the validity in Joe Budden’s tweets, in observing people who thought they can change someone in the name of love. I, for one, had a moment at 22, 23 when I thought that a baby would change the dynamics of my relationship for the better. My naïvety led to a rude awakening when that baby led to long nights, little money, and lots of arguments. I have girlfriends that believe a ring, a piece of paper and a Mrs. at the beginning of their name means everything would be smooth sailing now and forevermore. But if a person wants to change, they will, with or without your stamp of approval.
[Tweet "If a person wants to change, they will, with or without your stamp of approval."]
Although Peter acknowledges that he has a problem, the women that feed into his sexual desires by giving into what he wants only contribute to the complacency. Why would he feel compelled to change when the women are still there–available and willing to rationalize his toxic actions in hopes of being the one that ultimately gets him in the end?
Pete been Pete for 3 years now… I’m lost lol
— Joe Budden (@JoeBudden) March 22, 2016
3 years & 3 reunions he’s said verbatim “IM SICK, I HAVE A PROBLEM, THIS IS WHO I AM”.. https://t.co/QrvLOsjNa7 — Joe Budden (@JoeBudden) March 22, 2016
It is unfortunate that these women–these mothers–are putting their health at risk by willingly engaging in unprotected sex and exhibiting unsound decision making before their children’s eyes. With Amina already the mother to a daughter and Tara the mother to three sons, what examples are they setting about healthy choices in love? Surely we don’t all make the wisest decisions when it comes to relationships, but when you consent to continuing a dangerous cycle, you’ve normalized the problem. When it comes down to fighting over a man, stress wins, egos are stroked, pride gets in the way, and the initial issue is never really settled. In fact, it’s expanding the problem even further. Peter wins, while both are stuck in a lose/lose situation.
As women, we need to do better and stop aspiring to compete with the next person to look better. I love how Cardi B stood up for both woman, but what hurts is that the two women involved can’t seem to step their own standards and their self-love up. Maybe Joe Budden was right; maybe they’re aren’t be taken advantage of. They’re well aware and need to take accountability for their own actions. They still have that much power.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
The Fall Equinox begins on September 23, 2023, and it’s time to embrace abundance, gain clarity, and know that you are worthy of your desires. The Fall Equinox marks the beginning of fall and the end of summer and is a turning point of the year, where things settle in and come to fruition. The energy that fall brings is one of harvest, but it is also one of release, letting go, and finding your ground. Coming from a summer of intensity, drama in love, and overall moving through a space of deep spiritual growth- now that fall is here, we are ready to decompress, dream, and enjoy that which we have created for ourselves.
What Is the Energy of the Fall Equinox 2023?
The energy this fall is opening up new doors of abundance and is a time of reaping your rewards in life. Fall begins at the same time as Libra Season, and a lot of these blessings have to do with love and the relationship developments that will be taking place over the next few months. With a New Moon Solar Eclipse in Libra occurring a few weeks after fall begins on October 14th, something enchanting is happening in romance right now. The scales are coming into balance, new beginnings are occurring, and clarity prevails.
Relationships over the next few months are about focusing on the gifts and gratitude you find in them and accepting where things need to change as well.
By the time winter begins, most of the planets that are currently in retrograde will be direct, and this signifies the change of pace that fall is bringing. This fall highlights Eclipse Season overall, and the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Taurus on October 28th will be a time of creating boundaries, honoring your values and energy, and closing a chapter in your life that doesn’t align. Financial worlds are growing and finding new ground, but with Jupiter still in retrograde in Taurus until December 30th, patience is needed here.
Over the next few months, give yourself the space to gain some new perspectives, make room for love, and grow in abundance.
Your guidance this fall is to take those first steps toward the goals you have been pondering over this year. There is a Full Moon in your sign a week after fall begins, and you get the opportunity to enter this season with less baggage and more closure. You will possibly be starting a new position or working in a new field, and you need all the good energy to back you right now. Know that you can count on your skills and talents to move you further in life and that help will be there when you least expect it. This is a fall of abundance for you, Aries, claim it.
Your lucky days this fall are: Sep. 29, Oct. 13, Nov. 13, Nov. 21
Patience, patience, patience, Taurus. You are creating something beautiful in the world right now, and the time it’s taken to get you here will all be worthwhile. Your guidance this fall is to nurture your world and your dreams and to bring more love and compassion to your life. You are preparing for a new reality but need some more time to dream it up and define that which you want for yourself and your future. The Full Lunar Eclipse happening this fall is occurring in your sign, and you are moving through some major closures in your life right now. This is a creative time for you, Taurus.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 28, Oct. 29, Nov. 6, Nov. 20
This fall is all about taking care of yourself and valuing your time and energy, Gemini. The way you see yourself and your life are coming up for review right now, and you are being urged to look at yourself in a better light. Your ruling planet, Mercury, goes retrograde for the last time this year on December 13th, just before fall ends, and this time is all about taking what you have learned and choosing better for yourself. You may be tested to be more confident or true to yourself right now and over the next few months, and it’s about owning your part in this life and standing up for what you want.
Your lucky days this fall are: Sep. 25, Oct. 21, Nov. 20, Dec. 12
This is an abundant fall for you, Cancer. You have worked diligently on claiming the opportunities and new doors that have been opening for you, and you are feeling free to be your successful self. You are encouraged in your independence right now, and you have proven to yourself just how talented you are and how much you have grown. No major aspects are happening in your sign this fall, giving you the space to breathe, create, and receive your rewards. Happiness fills your world, and even though you still feel like you are just getting started in a sense, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the gifts that are presenting themselves today.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 13, Oct. 15, Nov. 12, Nov. 13
This fall is a turning point for you in love, Leo. New developments are taking place in your relationships, and you are being received especially favorably. This is the time to open your heart to growth and new possibilities and to get creative with what you are looking for right now. The Last Quarter Moon happening in your sign on November 5th will be a turning point for you this fall. Your unique charm and charisma are enough, and you attract many to you through your natural energy and love for life. Your ship is coming in this fall, and your heart is fulfilled.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 1, Oct. 31, Nov. 5, Nov. 14
Virgo, this fall is a blessing for the heart space. You are feeling in tune emotionally, and there is positive energy coming your way and into your love life. You have spent a lot of this year healing, forgiving, and finding your voice, and over the next few months, you will be creating the spaces you have been looking to enter in your life. Venus enters your sign for a month on October 8th, and there are some pleasant surprises in store for you during this time. Fresh starts are coming in for you, and spiritually, you are awakening to the gifts within you and in your heart. Your beauty is showing, and love is coming in for you this fall.
Your lucky days this fall are: Sep. 25, Oct. 22, Nov. 5, Nov. 20
This fall is a new beginning for your financial world, Libra. Autumn begins the same day Libra Season does, and you have some extra motivation and energy within you right now. You are ready to put the action behind the intentions you have been setting for yourself financially, and this is a time of plans coming together and falling through to success. The more you stay focused and diligent, the more opportunities that can come for you right now. The first month of fall, the Sun is in your sign, and this is really the time to get things moving in your life, especially with a New Moon Eclipse in Libra on October 14th happening as well.
Your lucky days this fall are: Sep. 27, Oct. 14, Oct. 30, Nov. 20
It’s all about the vision for you right now, Scorpio. You are focused on the future, your path ahead, and manifesting your dreams, and there is something passionate about the next few months for you. You may be taking some risks this fall as you test the boundaries on how far you want to go with something and what worlds are opening up to you now. Mars is in your sign from October 12th until November 24th, and life is exciting for you right now. You have your eyes on the prize and are ready to move forward toward the things that are lighting you up right now.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 12, Oct. 13, Nov. 6, Nov. 13,
This fall is about taking a leap of faith, Sagittarius. Your guidance over the next few months is to do the things that you would do if you knew you would be supported in doing them. Less self-doubt is needed now, as you are walking on new ground. You are moving towards personal healing you have been wary of from the beginning, and you are ready to let go of some energy that has been holding you back. Trust that once you decide on something, the universe instantly begins to make it happen for you. Your season begins on November 22nd, and it’s time to put yourself first more. Have courage in yourself this fall.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 8, Nov. 22, Nov. 24, Dec. 12
This fall is all about clarity for you, Capricorn. You are a wise soul, and you are owning this energy about yourself right now. Over the next few months, you will be developing spiritually, helping those who need your sound advice, and evolving in life. You have found a new sense of enlightenment and are enjoying the clear perspective that has been gained. Mercury goes retrograde in your sign on December 13th, right before fall ends, and this is when you will be feeling more tested to take the lead in your life and use your voice. Overall, fall 2023 is your time to surrender to the good within you and in your life, Capricorn.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 10, Oct. 23, Nov. 4, Dec. 1
Things are moving fast for you this fall, Aquarius. This is a successful, harmonious, and passionate time for you, as many opportunities come your way at once. It will be hard to settle down with all the energy flowing through your life over the next few months, as you have so much to do and so many people to see. Overall, however, this is positive energy that you have been looking forward to in your life, and everything is coming together and moving forward where it was once stagnant. Fall is giving you the closure and the opportunity to reinvent yourself and start on new, solid ground in your life.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 30, Oct. 31, Nov. 20, Nov. 28
Your guidance for fall is to have balance in your life. There is a lot of new coming in for you, but you are also working on letting go of what has fallen. You have grown in many ways this year, and financially, you have seen growth as well but may be feeling the weight of responsibilities this has come with now. To move through this season with the most grace, give yourself more time to rest, to be, and allow things to fall into place on their own. Saturn has been retrograde in your sign since June and goes direct this fall on November 4th, Pisces. This is your opportunity to see things more clearly, protect your energy, and feel more in tune with your internal guidance system.
Your lucky days this fall are: Oct. 22, Nov. 4, Nov. 6, Dec. 12
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