The Discourse of the Black Wife Effect

May 13, 2024

If you’re on TikTok, at some point in the past week, you’ve probably seen or heard of the black wife effect. If you haven’t heard of it, I’ll summarize it for you. It’s basically men, mostly white men, showing videos of them before and after being married to a Black woman. Before, they were usually a

little nerdy, unkempt, not very stylish, etc. You get the picture. Afterwards, they’re more put together, looked very much loved on and look to have better

confidence overall. These videos started popping up like crazy. It was amazing and refreshing to see Black women being acknowledged as an enhancement to someone’s life. Because we are constantly told how unattractive, worthless, masculine, insert anything else negative about us. This was a much-needed change. And of course, like all good things that involve praising Black women for being amazing, you have the people who tried to copy it; insert other race here, the white woman who wanted Black women’s labor to improve her husband, and the people that flat out decried it.

The Copies

It feels like every time someone shows appreciation for us; you have people who need to deter the conversations to themselves. In walks the “white wife effect” or the “Hispanic wife effect” and the “Black husband effect”. It seems certain people cannot handle being the center of attention for a little while. I call them the “All Lives Matter” folks. Why’s it so bad for Black women to get praise from others, especially from their partners? What is it in people’s brains that tells them to derail the conversation and focus back on the people that are always praised and given the spotlight? Why can’t we

have our moment? It appears people’s brains explode when we’re given the littlest of crumbs. They’re so used to us being given negative light that when we aren’t, their brains malfunction and can’t handle it. “This can‘t be correct.” This isn’t about YOU.

The Labor

Next infraction. There was a white woman that posted a video of her and her husband saying that she needed a Black woman to give HER HUSBAND the Black wife effect. Of course, this angered a lot of Black women because it was completely tone deaf on her end. Regardless of if she meant it as a joke or not, it’s clear she doesn’t care about the history and stereotypes of Black women. The Mammy stereotype is a Black woman who’s seen as the caregiver. Someone who is obedient and “non-combative”. She pretty much does what she is told and doesn’t make a fuss when she is wronged. She’s usually depicted as a dark-skinned, overweight, older woman. Likewise, there is a history of Black American women being forced to take care of white people. From slavery to the early 1900s. Black women worked for white people as their maids, caregivers, etc. Hell, sometimes we had to breast feed white babies. Even today, our labor is constantly being requested for various things. White women calling on Black women to speak out more on the abortion bans, when we’ve already warned about stuff like this happening. Especially considering the majority of white women vote against their own self-interest. So, when it comes back to bite them on the ass, who do they call to help get them out of their mess? Black women, of course. Then it’s “all women need to stick together”. “We’re all in this together.” While fundamentally turning a blind eye to all the things that negatively impact Black women. See, unearned labor.

The Protestors

Then we have the decriers who have found something so wrong with this “trend”. And I am going to call out my people for this. I have seen so many Black men and women say how wrong this is. They’re talking about the Black women who are partnered with nonblack spouses. Anyway, I’ve seen comments about how these women are turning these men into Black men. It’s the folks that say this is another way to divide the Black race. I’ve seen people say that Black women need to put that amount of effort into Black men. This is the one that really gets me upset. For so long, Black women have poured into Black men, many have lost their lives to those men in the process. We’re usually the ones that are there when they have nothing and when they get someone, as Kanye West once said, yes, I know, I am not a Kanye fan, “When he gets on, he’ll leave your ass for a white girl.” That speaks volumes, especially considering Kanye did the same thing he rapped about. The point is, many Black men see the world not valuing Black women and thus, a lot of them do not value us. They see us as the ones that should lift them up but not reap the rewards. When they see someone that does, then it’s a problem for them. Then we’re all types of bed wenches and such. Which creates a ripple effect. Black women do not deserve struggle love.

This whole discord around The Black Wife Effect shows just how much the world at large does not want or doesn’t value us at all. There always has to be some dissection or derailment to the conversation at large. What I see is men who love their wives and are proud to announce that for the world to see. I see men who are happy and looking better. I see women who are being loved on properly and having that love to pour into their significant other. I think it’s a positive thing against the unfair negativity and attacks that we’re constantly receiving from all over, including from Black men. I hope this “trend” picks up a lot more steam while drowning out the “All Lives Matter” folks, the decriers, and all the people that are looking for unearned labor. I

want to see more Black women being loved on by all types of men and being appreciated for being who they are. And if that makes people mad, good, because those are the ones that need to see it the most.