Lauren Craig @inawordfab is a former attorney who escaped the corporate grind to pursue her own personal brand of happiness. She is now a full-time writer, TV/radio personality, marketing professional, serial entrepreneur, yogi, Glambassador, and THE TABLE. Join the movement by visiting iamthetable.com.
The past 72 hours have been a whirlwind of #RoyalWedding coverage, and for good reason. Saturday's ceremony was seriously one of the most gorgeous spectacles I've had the pleasure of witnessing. Many have been left wondering, how did Meghan Markle, an older, divorced, half-black, American, actress, with no royal pedigree, gain the affections of one of the richest and most eligible bachelors in the world?
Well first, despite all of those descriptors that would seemingly deem her ineligible for such a catch, you can clearly see in Harry's eyes that it was Meghan who was the prize. He made this clear, in fact, in an interview after their engagement, when he said that he knew he "had to up his game" when he first laid eyes on her.
To give some backstory, they were set up by a friend on a blind date, so Meghan must have been exhibiting all the appropriate princess-like behavior even prior to their meeting. After all, even the best wing-woman on Earth wouldn't risk an important contact like Prince Harry by setting him up with a woman who was trashy, inappropriate, or uncouth. The fact that Meghan traveled in the right social circles and spent a lot of time doing charity work both here and abroad furthered her cause, she already acted like a royal before they met.
So what was Meghan's secret to having Harry so smitten from the start?
In my opinion, it's all about how she has harnessed the power and magic of feminine energy. Think about her body language during the ceremony: it was like she was beaming positive energy out of every pore. She was all smiling eyes, soft giggles, affectionate hand-holding, bashfulness (mixed with a healthy dose of confidence) and warm adoration for her man. And the whole world was spellbound.
Femininity is a helluva drug.
This magical energy coursed through their entire courtship, and Meghan took the more feminine route at every turn. She shut down her lifestyle blog and deleted her social media accounts once their relationship was leaked to the media, putting a premium on their privacy rather than her personal brand. She gave up her acting career in order to focus on royal duties, after realizing she could do more for her personal causes as a princess than an actress. She stayed silent as vile things were said about her in the press and family members trashed her on every available platform. These sacrifices gave Prince Harry the space to be her protector, standing up for her via an unprecedented official statement from Kensington Palace both confirming their relationship and calling for restraint in media coverage of her.
Despite what she gave up, in return she gained an alpha male partner who adores her, protects her and provides for her (that and a role in the royal monarchy). Had she held onto "independent woman syndrome" or listened to "friends" who expected her to maintain her career, she would now be yet another in the long list of Harry's ex-girlfriends.
Each of us can manifest our inner feminine in that same way. The key is vibrating on that level energetically.
You can have curves to die for, hair laid, nails done, eyelashes poppin' and designer heels to match every bag in your closet but if your energy is competitive, aggressive and alpha, none of the other qualities matter when it comes to attracting a high-quality man. So many successful women have everything going for them, but because we're so used to doing everything ourselves, we don't allow ourselves to let our guard down and be soft and vulnerable when a man is around. We don't ask for help, we make all the decisions, and we talk more than we listen. It also doesn't help when people are constantly asking what you bring to the table, because you start to think your worth is connected to your work, your grind and your hustle, which is a totally masculine mindset.
Your worth is not measured by what you do, but who you are, a woman worthy of the dreamiest of love stories.
Want to access your feminine power?
- Start with some self-care. Get your nails done, take a bath, or book a regular massage. It's much easier to be positive and playful when you're feeling relaxed and beautiful. Your smile and your happiness is your secret weapon.
- Refine your speech by lightening your voice and speaking more softly. Whether you're on a date or ordering a pizza, you will receive more when you turn your feminine charm on high. Cutting down on cursing is also a good idea.
- Let men do things for you, even if you can do it yourself. Everything from opening a jar of tomato sauce to pumping gas in your car. Treat door handles as if you've never contemplated such a contraption in your life. When you act as if you don't need any help, you won't get any.
Going forward, let's manifest a little more Meghan and tap into our feminine power. Let's leave aggression at the office. Let's heal those hurts that cause us to lash out. Being gentle, vulnerable, and soft are our strengths. They will allow you to attract the alpha male that's going to want to protect you, rather than have you forcing a relationship with a dusty you have to take care of. Even if you are married or partnered, matching your man's masculine energy will throw your entire relationship out of balance and leave you wondering where it all went wrong.
Meghan is no different from any of us. We can all reclaim our fairy tale.
Women, and black women especially, absolutely epitomize the divine feminine. We were born with the knowing, we just have to remember how to harness it again. Let the royal wedding be yet another reminder that we ARE wanted, adored, and coveted by the best of the best.
And when we walk in that truth as a healed, happy, confident, feminine women, we can have anything and everything we've ever wanted.
Featured image by Giphy
On an early Thursday morning last week, a friend and I, both over-caffeinated and excited to be playing hooky from work, traipsed into the city to attend a live taping of The Wendy Williams Show.
The only real plan was to sit, laugh and look cute in the audience, but by the end of the episode I had spilled the tea to Wendy and the world that I exclusively date wealthy men. Then, things got interesting.
My question, posed during her "Ask Wendy" segment, went a little like this:
"Hi Wendy! How you doin? I'm going to level with you, I only date wealthy men. My friends judge me because they say I'm too picky. I do want to settle down some day but they have to have the 'ching ching'. Should I lower my standards?"
Her follow-up questions came in tandem. "How old are you and what do you have to offer?" Wendy responded.
"I'm 38 years old," I answered, "And when people ask me what I bring to the table, I say 'I am the table.'"
The audience cheered as Wendy shook her head and looked at me with a mix of judgment and disapproval. A tense conversation ensued both on and off camera, with Wendy ultimately telling me I needed to "grow up".
Little does she know, only a fully grown woman can make the declaration I did, and mean it.
To provide some context, which many, including a barrage of online trolls, completely missed, at this age, I'm old enough to have lived the struggle love fantasy more than once. Because of that, I have finally awakened to the understanding that pure self-preservation requires both higher standards and higher boundaries in my dating life.
It is a powerful realization when you step into the role of creator of your own life.
You realize just how much you are worth, and as a result, begin to take more care in deciding who does and who does not get access to your magic. This shift can happen at any age, but too many of us come to this realization late, only after we've been drained emotionally, financially, and/or spiritually by a member of the Ashy Association or the Dusty Delegation. That being said, it is never too late to wake up to your power as a woman and demand your worth.
Which is why Wendy's second question is so infuriating. As a connoisseur of the online dating arts, the "What do you bring to the table?" line of questioning is a popular male response to any slight indication on a woman's part that she is expecting more than a cup of coffee and a hard penis.
The response, "I AM the table," is my way to communicate concisely that yes, I have it all, beauty, brains, credentials etc, so you should actually be trying to impress me, not the other way around.
Of course, I could rattle off the fact I'm a Spelman grad, I have a law degree, am a successful entrepreneur, a marketing professional, Glambassador of Newark, author of 100 Things to Do in Newark Before You Die, yoga teacher, and a bad bitch. But does any of that define me or somehow entitle me to a high quality man?
Absolutely not. I could be a circus clown (no disrespect to circus clowns). Irrespective of my size, age, or color, I have the freedom to demand a certain standard and pursue relationships with men that have reached a certain level financially.
Because really, what are the requirements for dating a wealthy man?
If I looked like an Eastern European supermodel or was an A-list celebrity, would Wendy have posed the same question? Did anybody wonder what credentials Elin Nordegren had in order to date and marry Tiger Woods? What about Melania Trump? Or Salma Hayek? Of course not.
What makes me or you any less worthy to date and marry someone of a higher income bracket?
To go even deeper, the "table" question is offensive on its face, because it puts a woman, who by nature takes anything a man gives her and improves on it, in the position of having to defend her worth to a perfect stranger based on random qualifications like looks, credentials, or "freak number." Whenever that question is posed, I now know that you've sized me up and have determined that what little you know or see so far is not enough, so you need a list of additional qualities that I'm "offering" in order to take me seriously.
Newsflash: A woman does not have to "offer" a man anything other than her companionship.
Revolutionary concept to some, but these are the facts. The whole reason men are driven to get up everyday, go to work, have successful careers, and make a lot of money is so that they can afford to impress women and date/marry the dream girl of their choosing. So it goes without saying that the woman is the table. What that means is a woman simply IS worthy, and that has nothing to do with how many degrees she has.
Our value is intrinsic and intangible. It's in the peace you feel when we're around, the joy you get from making us happy, and the diamonds that spring from our womb should we choose to bless you with children.
All the rest is simply table decor.
If you have a hard time understanding this, you are either a woman who has been socialized to think that you need to go above and beyond in order to get or keep a man (it's the other way around, sis), or you're a man who's not a provider and is instead looking for a woman to "help" you (aka cook, clean, provide live-in sex, have your babies, raise your babies, do all the emotional labor of sustaining the relationship AND pay half the bills).
Good luck to you guys. As for me and my dating life, I have made a conscious choice not to settle, because I've learned once you settle, you end up getting even less than what you settled for.
Still convinced that love is the only thing we need? How about some stats?
Black women are the most educated group in America, but we are still not on track to get equal pay until the year 2124. That's how far we are behind. Then, black women leave college with more debt than women of any other race, and to make matters worse, college-educated black women are less likely than any other groups to practice assortative mating, that is, the decision to marry a man with a similar level of education.
Our nonblack peers are practicing it at higher rates than we are, which is contributing to both the wealth gap (white families have nearly 10 times the net worth of black families) and also the phenomenon of downward intergenerational mobility in black families (middle class black children are more likely than their white counterparts to become poor adults).
These stats are horrifying. And yet, black women are still seen as selfish, superficial or "gold diggers" if we decide to set a standard for our dating life that other women wouldn't blink an eye at. This is not about using anyone for a come up, it is about wealth-building for the next generation and the one after that.
It's time as black women that we level up not just in our careers, but our romantic relationships as well.
To do so, you don't have to focus solely on super rich men, but assortative mating requires that you date and marry out, rather than down.
And no, money isn't everything, but we just marked Equal Pay Day 2018, the day each year where the gender pay gap is highlighted and women are encouraged to demand what they are worth and negotiate salaries accordingly. Ladies, I am here to tell you that you should keep that same energy when it comes to your romantic partnerships. Marriage is a business, so you should go into with the knowledge that if things don't work out, you'll be better off or similarly situated as you were prior to marriage, not worse.
Love comes and goes, but community property is forever.
So men, please do us all a favor and stop asking women what they bring to the table. Instead, start contemplating how you can provide a home and a lifestyle that your ideal table fits comfortably in.
Do you think women should be asked what they bring to the table or do you stand behind the belief that we are the table? Share your thoughts in the comment section down below.
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