PHOTOS-VIDEOS-EVENTS

You are cordially invited... 


OraQuick presents the "life. as we know it" video series, frank discussions on dating, relationships and safe sex.(Click image for video)

"Ask Demetria" is back DAILY!Ask away! 


Cocktails with Belle, celebrating #7YearsofBelle (06.17.13)  

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Belle on "Life + Times": Making it Past the Internship (06.05.13)

WATCH NOW: Cocktails with Belle: A Women's History Month Celebration (03.20.13)

 


Cocktails with Belle: A Women's History Month Celebration (03.20.13)


Belle on The Root Live (02.19.13)

Belle visits VH1's Big Morning Buzz Again! (10.17.12)

Belle visits VH1's Big Morning Buzz Again! (10.17.12) 

Black Enterprise dubs Belle "Belle of the Boardroom"  for Conversations with Belle: Careers (9.26.12)


Belle hosts "An Evening with Iyanla Vanzant" to celebrate her new show "Fix My Life" on OWN (09.12.12)


 

Hosting GAIN Your Match at EMF (July 6-8). Go to ilovegain.com to find your perfect scent.

 

Belle visits Big Morning Buzz (Vh1) 6.21.12

PHOTO GALLERY: Brunch with Belle (6.17.12)


 Belle visits PIX11 in NYC  (05.04.12)

Belle visits Dr. Drew on HLN (05.03.12) 

 
Belle visits The Anderson Cooper Show (03.12.12)

PHOTO GALLERY: Cocktails with Belle 01.10.13, Ludlow Manor (NYC)

PHOTO EXHIBIT: Her Word As Witness: Women Writers of the African Diaspora

Belle on VH1's Big Morning Buzz 

ABIB Book Signing @Sky Room (NYC)

Belle on The Today Show

 

Belle on HLN discussing dating 

 

Belle on HLN discussing Oprah Winfrey

  Brooklyn News 12 names Belle the "Best of Brooklyn"

Belle on Fox, Dating Challenge 

Check out PHOTOS from JI Group presents Cocktails with Belle, Oct. 24, NYC  

  

Belle featured on "Being Terry Kennedy" (courtesy of BET)

   

Belle featured on Let's Talk About Pep (Vh1)

Belle breaks down dating expectations on NBC4

 


Belle breaks down her transition from blogger to author 

 

    Check out PHOTOS from X-Rated Fusion Liqueur celebrates A BELLE IN BROOKLYN'S nationwide book tour.

 



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    Read Demetria's weekly take on politics, & pop culture. 

    Read Demetria's take on relationships, politics, & pop culture Each Tuesday & Thursday. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Friday
    Jan032014

    The Root: A Life Coach Exposes Her Life to TV Scrutiny (A Long Q&A) 

    We’re witnessing the democratization of celebrity. There’s the selfie phenomenon, and those impromptu photo shoots in which everyone seems to take part, even for the most unceremonious occasions. The exploitation of our ordinary lives is faciliated by Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook. Our lives are everywhere. Everyone is everywhere. Everyone is special, therefore no one is special. The same goes for being famous. In 50 years, some predict everyone will be followed around by cameras.

    But until then, we are all guilty of indulging in the lives of those who choose to partake in that phenomenon a bit more directly. Yep, we're talking reality television. As she previously discussed, Demetria L. Lucas, contributing editor at The Root, is one of six professional women who will appear in a Bravo reality show titled Blood, Sweat & Heels. It airs this Sunday, Jan. 5, at 9 p.m. EST.

    The premise is fairly clichéd: All six women are hustling, building their respective brands in media, entertainment, fashion, etc., in New York City.

    In a candid exchange, Lucas chopped up it with The Root about a bunch of stuff, primarily whether she thought she would be compromising the integrity of her brand by appearing on a reality-TV show. Her engagement came up, too, since her fiance is featured—every now and then—on the show. Lucas prides herself on being a fairly open book, given her work as a life coach and dating expert. Even so, we were curious to know what her impetus was for doing the show, beyond the clichéd "I’m doing this to improve the perception of black women on TV."

     The Root: How does your professional work influence your relationships with your cast members, especially since issues relating to dating and marriage come up fairly often for successful women?

    Demetria L. Lucas: For the last decade, dating and relationship talk has consumed my working life. I’m a life coach, have authored a dating advice book, A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-To Guide for Living Your Best Single Life, with another book, Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love coming in March. I was the relationships editor at Essence magazine for years, and before that an editor of romance novels at Harlequin. But when I’m off the clock, just like attorneys don’t like to give legal advice and CPAs don’t want to talk taxes, I don’t like to coach or advise over brunch or cocktails. When I have to, it’s frustrating.

    In my downtime, I’d rather be a friend, not an expert, which means if someone shares their dating woes, I tend to lean back, listen and let them vent. No one wants to hear, “what you should do is ... ” when they didn’t ask. That said, if we’re chatting, and I think something is blatantly wrong or detrimental to a healthy relationship, I can slip into “coach” mode when it’s someone I care about.

    TR: A media outlet once dubbed you the "black Carrie Bradshaw," and in Carrie’s case, she went through some pretty tumultuous times with her relationship with Mr. Big, which at times had women question just how much she knew about dating and love. Do you ever fear that you’ll have a disastrous moment in your personal life, akin to Carrie and Mr. Big’s “runaway groom” incident, that might cause your castmates to ridicule you, or question your professional advice?  

    DLL: Carrie Bradshaw was a convenient shorthand to describe me at the time. I was working as a relationship editor at Essence, penning a blog and book about my dating experiences in my 20s. Oh, and I live in New York.

    Disastrous moments are a part of life, and they happen to everyone who lives long enough. I recently celebrated the seventh anniversary of my blog,ABelleinBrooklyn.com, which is a humorous take on all the things that have gone wrong in my personal life, from not setting boundaries, being assaulted by a friend, breakups, etc., and how I learned from those experiences. When something else disastrous happens, I’ll write about that, too, and try to find the bright side. Optimism is my signature trait.

    My validity as a life coach and relationships columnist isn’t based on my personal life. I have a resume and a decade of experience to back up my profession. A lawyer who loses a case isn’t suddenly a hack, just like a CPA who misses a number isn’t inept. People, including life coaches, take hits like everyone else.

    Oh, and Mr. Big and Carrie never should have been together anyway. The emotionally unavailable thrice-married guy who drags you along for 10 years, marries someone else while you’re “on break,” cheats on his wife with you and makes plans to move across country without telling you only makes a “good” husband in scripted TV and movies. As a huge SATC fan, I always wished Carrie went back to Aidan, or found someone like him. He wasn’t the guy she wanted, but the one she needed.

    TR: In the show’s trailer, we see you weigh in on an issue relating to feminism and gender. Were you generally disappointed, or underwhelmed, by the group of ladies whom you were cast alongside, because of their views on these sorts of issues?

    DLL: Surprised is a better word. This isn’t the first time I was approached about doing a reality show, only the first time I accepted the offer. What attracted me to the show is that each of the women are leaders—either they are running a business or have a solid business plan in place. So I was shocked to hear women who lead in their professional lives say that they didn’t think that is a woman’s role. "I’m sorry. What?" That conversation still boggles my mind.

    To be frank, some of the opinions were startling, but that’s tolerable. The times I woke up wondering, “What have I gotten myself into?!” came from the behavior of some of my castmates, not their perspectives. I wear my thoughts on my face. When you watch, you’ll know every moment I’m referring to now.

     

    Read more: here 

    Friday
    Jan032014

    You are cordially invited...

     

    Thursday
    Jan022014

    Sneak Peek: "You Wore Timbs on Bravo?!" 

    Thursday
    Jan022014

    Ask Demetria: The Fallacy of Relationship "Breaks"

    Ross & Rachel: "We were on a break!" “How do you feel about couples taking a break? My girl suggested it, but I don’t know how I feel about people being able to check in and out of a relationship when they feel like it. Does it say something about my self respect if I let her take a break?” —R.Y.

    Taking a break isn’t an indictment of your self-respect, but it does seem to indicate that there are some glaring issues in your relationship that you may be overlooking. The most obvious concern is poor communication. You and your lady seem to be facing an unnamed conflict that you aren’t able to resolve via communication—and I’m sure you’ve tried—or compromise. The suggestion of a break is the result of ongoing frustration and an attempt to avoid a major issue.

    Here’s one of the problems with breaks: They don’t solve anything—and they often make the problems worse. The idea is that you take some space to clear your head. But if it’s a conflict between two people, it will take both of them to resolve it. On break, you’re free to do as you please as a single person, including dating and having sex with other people.

    The relationship and the problems in it tend to be placed on the back burner. You’re not focused on solving the issues anymore; you’re focused on getting freedom from a situation that’s been bogging you down for weeks or months or even years. Problems don’t get solved by avoiding them. 

    The other glaring issue here is that there are no real rules for breaks. You’re technically single, but there’s the idea that you’ll “work it out” someday—not likely with no effort to solve the issue—so you’re not supposed to really behave like a single person. See how ridiculous—and gray—that sounds?

    Breaks also have the potential to get very messy. There is no way I could broach this topic without bringing up pop-culture examples of “breaks” where the situations have gone awry. On Monday, Entertainment Weekly reported that basketball player Dwyane Wade had fathered a child while allegedly “on break” from his then-girlfriend actress Gabrielle Union. (The couple are now engaged.) And two days later, TMZ alleged that rapper Ludacris had a new daughter by another woman while also “on break” from his long-term girlfriend, Eudoxie Agnan.  

    While I’m not sure these celebs were actually “on break” when they had sex with other women—the excuse sounds like a way too convenient cover-up for cheating and an effort to help significant others, who both stayed, to save face—it’s notable that “on break” is being toted as a justifiable excuse for condomless sex and creating a

    child with another woman while in a long-term relationship. Because the couple is not technically together, the guy may have used bad judgment but technically hasn’t done anything wrong because there weren’t clear boundaries. (I’d like to think that “don’t make a child with someone else” should be understood; it clearly is not.) The gray area works great for partners who screw up while “on break,” but it's not so great for the partners who certainly weren’t expecting to add new children—or their mothers—to the relationship dynamic if and when they reunited.

     

    Read more: here 

    Wednesday
    Jan012014

    The Root: Maybe Our Parents Were Wrong About Dating 

    Over the weekend, the New York Times published “A Reluctant Bride Conquers Her Fears” in its Weddings section. The story focused on a black couple who said “I do” on Dec. 14. It was a celebratory tale with a happy ending, but some women found themselves in tears before they finished.

    “I’m crying over this Demetria,” one woman wrote on my Facebook wall after I shared the story on Sunday.

    At 39, Rachel Skiffer married Marvin Coote nearly 20 years—and a few breakups—after they met. Surely Coote isn’t perfect—no one is—but the holdup here was on the bride, who owned up to a mistake that many black women can relate to.

    Skiffer was “known for her independence.” Her family schooled her to “avoid the attention of boys” and “warned her: career first, family second.” Her mother told her, “[Don’t] marry [your] first boyfriend or rely on a man for anything.”

    Sound familiar? It did to another reader, too. She wrote, “Reading this reminded me of everything my mom has told me: ‘Don’t rely on a man’ and my dad telling me to put my career first ... and that advice has held me back with my relationships. I am struggling to break free from it.”

    A dutiful daughter, Skiffer listened, too. In college she met Coote, who would become her first boyfriend. They moved in together. During her senior year, he bought her a “promise ring.” And then one day in 1996, she took her mother’s advice and broke up with him.

    “Marvin took care of me and I equated that with being vulnerable,” Skiffer told the Times, as if vulnerability were a bad thing and not a necessary component of a healthy relationship.

    Over the years, the couple gave the relationship two more tries. On their third attempt, Coote offered to move across the country to be with Skiffer, who was working as a lawyer. She recalled fatherly advice about how moving would disrupt their careers and broke up with him—again.

    They didn’t speak for six years.

    In the meantime, she set a goal of making partner at her law firm, a blessing and a curse that she equated to “winning a pie-eating contest but the prize was more pie.” By 2011 she had bought a condo, had a flourishing (and lucrative) career and had been a good girl who took her parents’ advice, which, at its core, was, “You don’t need a man.” She was successful, self-sufficient and also unfulfilled.

    Read more: here 

    Thursday
    Dec262013

    Ask Demetria: Why Is There A Double Standard on Cheating? 

    “It amazes me the double standards of cheating: Friend cheated on wife; both their families more or less were upset but shrugged, expected her to stay/forgive. She then cheated two years later and everyone was screaming he should leave her. Why is a woman cheating more unforgivable?” —F.T.

    We live in a patriarchy that's full of double standards that often benefit men, especially when it comes to sex. There’s a “boys will be boys” outlook that stems from the idea that monogamy is just not natural for men. For men, sex is believed to be just pleasure and nothing more.

    Of course, women are not believed to have similar sexual desires as men and sex must “mean something.” Thus, women are perceived to be naturally faithful and expected to be faithful. When a woman is not, it is perceived to be a grave betrayal to the relationship.

    You know, if a man or woman doesn’t believe in monogamy, I’m totally fine with that. I just encourage them to stay single-single—no relationships and no marriage, unless, of course, they have a spouse who is fine with them having sex with others and they are happy to extend the same “courtesy.” If they’re both on the same page? Good for them. May they get tested with their partners, have safe sex and carry on happily. Singles, of course, can do as they please and should take similar precautions to protect themselves and anyone with whom they have sex.

    I do take issue with the couple you’ve described. If the family, who shouldn’t be all up in this marriage anyway, is telling the wife to stay and forgive when her husband cheated and telling the man to go now that she’s returned the “favor,” then these folks weren’t in an open marriage. My grandmother liked to say, “What’s good for the goose

    is good for the gander,” which loosely means, what applies to one, should apply to all. There shouldn’t be a different outlook on the consequences of cheating solely based on the sex of the person who’s doing it.

    But, unfortunately there is. Last week, a woman wrote into my ask.fm to say that she recently discovered her husband of eight years had fathered a 6-week-old child with his ex-girlfriend. She was, unsurprisingly, devastated to know that her partner had lied to and deceived her for at least the last year of their union. Her inclination was to leave her marriage, which you can guess most people who read her story supported, as that is a huge betrayal.  

    However, there were naysayers, who didn’t think this heinous scenario was worth “throwing away” her marriage. When I posted about the situation on my Facebookpage, one woman was adamant that she stay with her husband:

    “I always thought the women who stayed were strong and powerful and I've always applauded them for not letting some lesser chick tear down their house or take control of their husband. I think I'd feel, she may be his entertainment, but I'm his wife. I clean his dirty underwear until death do us part and no woman is going to make me leave so she can try to fill my shoes. When he comes home, I get his paycheck. No one else gets that privilege … I worked hard to get him where he is, and she isn't getting the fruits of my labor. You're taking care of that kid and you're coming home every night.”

    The outlook of holding women to higher standards than men is pervasive and unfortunate. The commenter missed—or was willfully overlooking—the quality of the man she would be keeping. She’s washing the dirty underwear of a man who lies, who has unprotected sex with other women and risks catching a sexually transmitted infection that he could pass on to his wife. Much like the families that you described, her vitriol was only reserved for the woman. She didn’t seem to get that the other woman isn't so much taking a man as he is giving himself to her.

     

    Read more: here