Kenya Moore Shares How Working On Herself Allowed Love to Enter Her Life at 46

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Kenya Moore is getting real. Not The Real Housewives of Atlanta "real," where the lines between scripted scenes and real-life feuds are often blurred and distorted for public consumption, but the kind of real that forces you to really dig deep within yourself, confront your flaws, analyze your decisions and make peace with your mistakes—the real that many are afraid to embrace.

As a staple cast member of one of reality TV's long-standing franchises, we've caught glimpses into the life of the former Miss USA pageant winner as she ducked and dished out her share of shade and arguments, as friendships and relationships were tested, and as meltdowns and breakups played out over the last few seasons in front of millions of viewers.

But the Kenya that we see an hour a week doesn't define the woman that she is or aspires to be.

Courtesy of Kenya Moore

Because when the camera stops rolling, she's most certainly still a woman—one who desires love, motherhood, and fulfillment that television alone cannot provide.

To get what she desired, though, Moore had to look in the mirror.

Her self-confrontation led her to the office of her therapist. It was there that she was able to break down the walls that the ghosts of her pasts and the spotlight of her present had caused her to build up, and it was there that she would repair the parts of herself that could both accept and give love in return. "I had to really take a look at my life and why I made bad choices in the past and try to do more work on myself before I was ready to get back into the world of even meeting someone serious," she says on our brief call. "I had to look at my previous behavior and go back to the mistakes I've made, and do an overhaul and be really honest with myself about my past, and not bring past mistakes into my future."

Her self-reflection led to the realization that some of those choices—many of which have played out on air—didn't always stem from a healthy place. "Sometimes women make choices because we don't want to be alone," she says. "I think that's the biggest mistake that women make is that 'Oh, I don't want to be the girl that they say can't get a man or can't keep a man,' and you kind of succumb to peer pressure or pressure from your family members or co-workers. I think that's the biggest mistake that women make, making choices for themselves based on other people's opinion of them."

"Sometimes women make choices because we don't want to be alone."

Discarding other people's presumptions has been a challenge for Moore as she fought to keep her marriage to businessman Marc Daly, whom she said she met through their mutual friend Chef Roblé a year prior to their exchange of vows, away from naysayers. Her fellow castmates and fans questioned the validity of her relationship due to her keeping tightlipped on her union, not realizing that when you treasure something, you go to whatever lengths necessary to protect it.

"I just didn't want any nonsense to interfere with how someone feels about me," says Moore. "I wanted to have an honest and genuine relationship where I could be 100% me and someone doesn't buy into what a blog says about me or radio host or talk show host— people that just have an opinion on the internet—say about me. I wanted him to know who I was without all of the distraction, so I would never change that for anything, because I think it allowed him to really see my heart and judge me for who I am, the woman that I am now and not the woman that people form opinions about based on a reality TV show."

Still, despite her attempts at shielding her new beau from public scrutiny, Moore shares in an interview with Bravo TV that their first couple of weeks as newlyweds was everything but peaceful. "We were targeted with so much hatred, negativity, and interference at that time, and I was overwhelmed and emotionally drained. The things that people did to try to hurt us were incredible to me. I was breaking down over the things people would say to him about me in hopes of tarnishing his image and love for me…As a wife, I've had to learn that what is between us is between us. We are in this together, and he is my heart. We fight battles as a team, and together we have to deal with what comes our way. We are one. We solve our problems together and privately."

"As a wife, I've had to learn that what is between us is between us."

She confesses that it was Daly's character qualities that attracted her to her husband, which arguably are the same characteristics that helped the couple weather the storm. He was very honest and caring in a way that she hadn't experienced before. He was protective in a way that she needed him to be, and supportive on a level that allowed her to evolve into the best woman he knew she could be.

To get the love, the marriage, and, one day, the family that she deserved, though, required Moore to change in every aspect of her life. No longer was she operating solo, now she had to consider how every action and reaction affected those that she loved.

"My character preservation and also my brand is more important to me now more than ever. It's important how my children see me, too, so I have to navigate how that will work for me and my family moving forward."

A part of her growth also meant accepting that sometimes those that we desire love from the most aren't always capable of giving the love that we deserve. Throughout the show we've watched Moore battle with abandonment from her mother at just three days old, to the extent where she attempted to confront her on camera without success in hopes of building a relationship with her estranged parent. She tells me that her own lack of relationship with her mom only motivates her more to be the best mother that she can be.

"Most people say that I'm very nurturing and I'm warm and I'm kind; I just want to be that same person to my children. I want my children to be better than me and make better choices. I think most people want that for their children, they want them to be better than them."

The Kenya that walked onto The Real Housewives of Atlanta six years ago is most certainly not the same one that walked down the aisle just six months prior. She's a little more humble and a little less naïve about the ways of the world, but also more forgiving, because as she will tell you, she's no more perfect than the next person. "I've worked so much on the areas that I think most of my closest friends would agree that I need to work on, but no one is perfect, so I just strive to continue to be a better person everyday and the best wife I can be. It's a new role for me and I make mistakes, but making choices for my family as a team is important to me."

The reality star recently announced some exciting news in the form of a pregnancy announcement. She and her husband Marc are expecting their first child. The big reveal happened on on The Real Housewives Of Atlanta's season 10 reunion special. "We will definitely be welcoming a boy or girl in late this year," Moore shared. "Oh my God, I said that! I don't want to talk about the details because I'm still very nervous about everything so I want to get past a safe place."

For the 47-year-old who thought that true love was just a fairytale and no longer an option, Moore has proven even to herself that to attract what you want you first have to become what you desire—and that means removing the masks, doing the work, and fearlessly embracing the better you.

For more Kenya Moore, follow her on social @thekenyamoore.

Featured image via Kenya Moore/Instagram

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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