If you are familiar with the Lifetime television series, 'Married at First Sight' several adjectives pop into your mind when you hear the name, 'Michael Watson' from Season 10 (Washington D.C.):
Perched Lip Guy
Fake-Ass Yoga Instructor
I simply know him as Michael Watson, my loving and charismatic soon-to-be husband.
Since going public with our relationship, I have received countless messages from people either talking shit about him or questioning why I would be with him.
One message, in particular, stuck with me:
"Shannon, what is it like being with a reality television super villain? He's a habitual liar and is never going to change! Liars just get better at lying. I feel bad for you. You will be divorced in less than a year if you go through with this wedding in September."
How dare she come for me and my man like that! When I received this message, I ferociously began typing a response full of 'fuck you's' and 'yo mommas' when suddenly I had an epiphany.
Not everything deserves a response.
Yes, we all know Michael lied. I am not justifying his televised behavior, in fact, I have spoken out against it on several occasions, but let's be real here - ALL OF US HAVE LIED AT SOME POINT IN OUR LIVES. Show me a person that has not lied, and I will show you a liar! The only difference is his behavior was filmed and forever captured in the minds of those who watched the season.
He has taken emotional punches from both internet trolls and bloggers who have viciously torn him apart, yet he has remained silent. Instead of responding, he has channeled his energy into becoming a better version of himself.
He understood, to some degree, the backlash he was going to receive, but it is very rare that people consider the realties of marrying a reality television villain.
People (specifically Black Women in my case) COME FOR MY NECK… DAILY. They question my mental health, attack my intelligence or “lack thereof”, and threaten to physically harm both my daughter and me. Why, because of their disgust for Michael Watson!
What the fuck did we do, Sis? What happened to Queens respect Queens? Black Girls Rock? Protect Black Women and children at All Cost? Yea, that shit went clean the fuck out the window, that’s where it went. I always go out of my way to respect and speak life into anyone who contacts me! I have no issue answering questions, or having a conversation, even if it results in us agreeing to disagree, but why take it to a nasty place?
That shit is lame. What joy do you get in attacking and threatening others?
When we are out in public, especially in the DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) we get stares from people who immediately recognize Michael. It is so uncomfortable, and frankly, I would prefer that they come up to us and say something versus staring at us like caged animals at the zoo. The worst are people who snap photos of us and circulate them either online or to their friends.
Like damn Sis, I am fat. Can you at least let me catch the appropriate angles to maximize my sexy? Got me online looking like a swamp donkey.
I am constantly being questioned about Michael's true character versus his behavior on the show. People feel as though they are owed an explanation, and feel it is my responsibility to provide it.
STOP THAT SHIT!
The one question I HATE THE MOST: Does Michael lie to you?
No, he does not! We are best friends and provide each other with a safe space to discuss anything. We do not need to lie to one another.
Michael is a beautiful soul with a huge heart. He treats me like a queen, and loves my daughter as if she was his own. He loves us, and we love him. I will never disrespect or belittle him, so why ask me to talk shit about my partner. It is not going to happen. PeriodT!
Body Image Pressure
It is no secret; I have struggled with my weight. It has been difficult for me, and many of you have had no issue throwing that shit, and other things, in my face! For example, a message I received this evening:
"Shay. Darling. Sis. The face is giving me cute, but the body is giving me diabetes."
I get it, I am far from perfect, but why try to belittle me in this way? It is hurtful. I actually did not have the energy to get out of bed all weekend, because I have been beat down so badly after our engagement photos went public.
If it is not my weight, it’s my freckles. If it is not my freckles, it’s the fact that I “talk white” (someone explain to me what the fuck that means please).
As women, we have enough body image shit to deal with!
Pussy Hungry for Fame
Women are either disgusted or intrigued by Michael. Let’s be clear, by intrigued, I mean ready and willing to fuck in order to receive exposure. They see him and see opportunity. If they can get close to him, they can get close to another person, that gets them that much closer to getting them their five minutes of fame.
On the flip side, people automatically assume that I am with him for those same benefits. I often have to remind people that slide in my DM's that I come from a well-respected and accomplished family. If I wanted that type of attention, I could get that, plus more, by simply using the lane given to me at birth. I am with Michael because he is the love of my life. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Grace and Mercy.
Understand that none of us are perfect, and we are all working to become better versions of ourselves. We all make mistakes, and all hope to receive a bit of grace and mercy when we fall short. Michael is evolving, and his growth has been beautiful. Give him a break... and support him on his journey versus attacking him 24/7. Encourage him! Show him love!
Also, take it easy on the partners. Even the strongest can fall victim to the pressures of online bullying and judgement. This television show has many of you twisted, and it is sad.
Simply put, let's be kind to one another. This world is crazy enough.