Being married to a sex symbol and multiplatinum pop star can't be easy. Just ask Usher's wife, Tameka Foster Raymond.The stylist and owner of Swanky Image Group and Hides & Dungaree collection has had to develop a thick skin to endure a hailstorm of criticism and gossip ever since the couple began courting, wed and had their first child, Usher "Cino" Raymond V, in November 2007.
So it's not surprising that the blogosphere is abuzz with the recent release of Usher's steamy video for "Trading Places," his third single from his latest album, "Here I Stand." A risque portrayal of seductive role reversal, the video shows the 29-year-old singer in compromising positions with a lithe, lightly dressed video vixen who unabashedly woman-handles a boxer-clad Usher.
Although little is left to the imagination, Foster Raymond, who is expecting the couple's second child, stands by her man. "My husband is a consummate artist and entertainer," Foster, 37, told ESSENCE.com. "This video is strictly entertainment and was made for his fans. I am clear that he is a sexy man and looks amazing in this clip. I support my husband in his endeavors."
It’s been alleged that the video had to undergo several edits before being deemed appropriate for television. Most can't recall Usher ever appearing so sexually aggressive on-screen during his bachelor days. Many blogs have hand-slapped Usher for his overt display of affection and question whether a married father and founder of a nonprofit youth foundation should conduct himself a bit more conservatively. Ironically, some of these same naysayers crucified him for choosing to be an honorable family man by marrying the mother of his child, whom he’s repeatedly defended.
Perhaps Usher has decided to remind the masses of his sex-symbol status by force-feeding the fantasies of his female fans. Whatever the reason, the public court has apparently ruled that one of ATL's finest is damned if he does take a stand as a family man, and damned if he doesn’t.