Kelly Rowland Ain’t No Diva For Honoring Her Boundaries

Before it was reclaimed by Beyoncé, the word “diva” was used to paint women as attitudinal, difficult and demanding. While other superstars like Queen Bey and Mariah Carey have embraced the diva persona, the negative undertone of “diva” assigned specifically to Black women further perpetuates harmful characterizations. The way the term is used also differs for Black women with darker skin tones like Rowland. For dark-skinned Black women, being called a “diva” does not share the same social acceptance when light or fair-skinned women are referred to as one. While other women may get a pass on the diva trope, in this case the label deprives Rowland of her humanity and negates her feelings and her right to demand her worth. Outsiders automatically and unfairly chastised Rowland without knowing the context of the situation. The “Mea Culpa” actress later addressed the incident in an interview with The Associated Press, explaining that the security guard crossed a boundary. “The woman knows what happened. I know what happened. I have a boundary, and I stand by those boundaries, and that is it,” Rowland says in the 30-second clip, visibly emotional. She also pointed out the difference in treatment on the red carpet for other celebrities who attended. “There were other women who attended that carpet, who did not look quite like me. And they didn’t get scolded or pushed off or told to get off. And I stood my ground, and she felt like she had to stand hers. But I stood my ground.”

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