This week was a lot, to say the least. Many Black women experienced sudden shock and extreme disappointment after witnessing the exposure of relationship influencer Derrick Jaxn’s extramarital affairs. But we didn’t exactly experience disbelief, now did we? We’ve seen people say one thing and then subsequently do another before.
However, there’s something about this particular recent scandal that has sent shockwaves throughout the Black community and sparked innumerable memes, videos and comments threads. The shocking news and the fallout that has followed has Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and TikTok abuzz.
And you know why? It’s because we’d all been pitched a story of someone who invited us to believe in him—and bought it, willingly and voluntarily over time (nine years to be exact). One million plus YouTube subscribers followed him. He’d legitimized himself with twelve books (two interestingly titled A Cheating Man’s Heart, Parts 1 & 2), paid premium subscription group, country wide appearances (including ESSENCE Festival and Wellness House). So, many single or unhappily partnered women, including myself, believed Derrick to be our champion, advocate and even savior from men’s woes, and didn’t see this coming. Derrick wasn’t our everyday influencer, he was genuinely respected, a person we just knew we could trust—until last Saturday, March 20.
And while some people are saying that they saw right through his social media facade, there are many women who are actually hurting, and confused, wondering what, if anything, he said was real. Many may now be asking, “Is an unfaithful, dishonest husband the best we can hope for given our exalted faux-exemplar’s example?” Did we voluntarily give our hearts, minds, time and money to a self-professed relationship influencer to aid him in monetary gain? Were our minds manipulated, hearts penetrated and pockets pimped in the name of our romantic hopes and desires? Trigger warning.
I spoke with a respected psychotherapist this week who shared that in her virtual sessions over the past several days, she’s seen clients who are hurt, angry and feel taken advantage of by this exposure. So, this article is for these ladies. I invite all of us women who are feeling some kinda way, whether that is hurt, abandoned, confused, angry, duped, to use this time to go within.
It is natural to seek solutions outside of self, however, if there is anything that we can all take from this collective experience is that we are all human. In humanity there is fallibility, even to those who present themselves as infallible, perhaps even more so for such people. So, choosing who to trust, look to and put our confidence in is a precarious and serious notion. So, why not choose yourself, your woman’s intuition and your feelings? These things may fluctuate, but they rarely lie.
Use this opportunity to evaluate your relationship with yourself. Your confidence in yourself. What do your actions and feelings tell YOU to do every day? If you create time to connect with your inner divine daily, your need to outside counsel—from an influencer no less—on what to do, how to feel, or how to act, will be limited.
The influence of influencers—macro, micro and nano—continues to proliferate and prevail, in small part to the pandemic’s impact of increased at-home media consumption. So, growing forward from this one example, we invite you to choose yourself and what you know to be true, because all that appears to be just may be fabricated, and your soul knows best.
Forgive yourself. Acknowledge that Derrick and all influencers are human. And speak blessings over Derrick’s wife and children. Cultivate your inner divine and your relationship with yourself. Trust yourself. And seek your answers within.
Olivia F. Scott is the creator of the Freedom At The Mat wellness platform, an Adjunct Marketing Professor at New York University, Loyola University and University Of New Orleans, and founder of Omerge Alliances (a production firm that works with ESSENCE Festival and ESSENCE Wellness House).