From the time you burst onto the scene, you have been a breath of fresh air. Your ethic of “real hot girl sh–” reminded us to have fun and embrace our sensuality, even if it meant living vicariously through you and envying those knees! More than anything, you were the girl from around the way who was everybody’s friend. The one who wrote the nicest messages in our senior yearbook and promised to keep in touch. Everyone, including your famous peers, enjoyed watching your rise and did so with immense joy. You are such a light.
That made it even more devastating, when you broke your silence to let us know you’d been a victim of gun violence. As one of the elder “Hotties”, I wanted to know who did it and where I could find them. Even though some of us have never met you, we’re protective of you. Because you are one of us. When you took to Instagram Live to give us an update, I watched with immense pride and sadness. I am happy you’re alive and continuing to thrive. Many of us are right alongside you, thanking God and your ancestors that you will make a full recovery. And we are heartbroken that you had to endure any of this at all. You didn’t deserve it.
While the specific details of what happened are yours alone to share, the first and only question for many of us is “why?” Why would anyone do this to Meg? She is so nice. Maybe too nice. There were more than a few times we saw pictures and videos of you posted up and “driving the boat” with folks who warranted a side eye. There are many who wanted to be around you because, as your star rose, it gave them momentary status and validation. They used you for clout. But even if we were skeptical of folks around you, the truth is you are navigating all of this–the good and the bad–without the people who would protect you from these people the most. To the world, you are Megan Thee Stallion. But, in so many ways, you’re just Megan Jovon Ruth Pete, a girl who wants her mama and daddy.
I don’t think many realize that it has only been a year since your mother passed. An essential barrier of protection is gone and it takes a minute to wrap your mind around that. I was grateful for your transparency that, after her death, you tried to fill your life with as many people as possible in hopes of reaching the void created by her passing. After the death of a parent, 40 percent of people experience a major depressive episode within the first month and, unfortunately, Black women are less likely to seek help with depression and grief. So many of us tried to fill our lives with other people and overall busy-ness to cope with the loss of our mothers. It left us vulnerable to those who didn’t mean us any good. It made us prey for folks who took advantage of our kindness and grief. It wasn’t until recently that I realized I was looking for my mother in other people. I let certain people close to me because I thought that, if they were around, I could feel my mother through them and she would still be alive. It sounds crazy when I think about it, but grief is like that. It doesn’t make much sense.
Like many, my heart and my prayers have been with you as you’ve journeyed through this while also having to watch as others make a mockery of your pain. It amazes me how, in a moment of global uprising where we are calling for an end to systematic oppression, we fail to realize how oppressive we can be within our own communities. I waited to see how many of those who couldn’t wait to publicly post their pictures with you, when you were up, would take to those same platforms to denounce what was happening and stand with you while you were down. Maybe they sent you flowers and texts, as you said. And that’s good. But we need more people–especially Black men–calling out the mistreatment of Black women whenever it happens.
I am glad you are taking time for yourself and taking inventory of those who are around you. As you continue healing and adjusting, I hope you continue to have grace for yourself. Grief is a complicated thing and a constant companion. As this has undoubtedly caused you to face the parts of loss we think we’re running from when we fill our lives with the wrong people, I hope that the right people are surrounding you and you have everything you need to be well. I hope that, when you return to us, you haven’t lost your twerk or your smile. More than anything, I hope that you don’t dim the light we love so much but learn who deserves to stand with you in the fullness of its brilliance and glory. It is beautiful sight to behold.
You are ours and we love you.