Who’s Getting It Right #3 Paula Patton: Ethnic Pride, Marrying Well & Finding Love At A Young Age

We spend so much time at this forum discussing strategies for self-improvement, the damage to the collective and identifying the Flat Earth Theorists and other enemies I wanted to make sure we also look at key real-life examples of black women who are living ahead of the curve and their choices that lead them there.

Marrying at a more mature age has advantages as well, but the ability for a black women to work through indoctrination, procrastination and confusion as quickly as possible will vastly improve her life, especially when there are children involved.

Paula Patton is an actress married to singer Robin Thicke. They have one child together so far. We’ll let the role in that dreck Precious go because she’s going to be starring opposite Tom Cruise in the next Mission Impossible film.

I wanted to feature Patton because she had some very interesting things to say in this interview in Women’s Health:

People judged me because I was light-skinned. [They’d assume] I didn’t want to be part of the black race,” she says. In fact, Paula, who has been referred to as biracial, says it’s a word she doesn’t care for. “I find it offensive. It’s a way for people to separate themselves from African-Americans…a way of saying ‘I’m better than that.’ I’m black because that’s the way the world sees me.

It’s becoming increasingly rare to find people who have been instilled with a good self-image and as we know black women have been constantly bombarded with a lot of negative portrayals in the past two decades by self-hating and misogynistic black males.

It’s even rarer for a celebrity speaking candidly about —

  • Skin Color prejudice amongst blacks
  • How she eschewed her light skin “privilege”
  • Having pride in her ethnicity and heritage without it being an either/or fallacy

Who knows if this will be repeated? She most certainly could have remained silent because she’s on the the side of the fence where she benefits from the current (deviant) status quo.

I also have appreciated how Ms. Patton/Mrs. Thicke is —

  • Not at all apologetic or second-guessing her choice of “bringing home a white boy”

If she was astute enough to pick up on the color racism, then she was probably smart enough to know to avoid those males who were interested in her as a means of rejecting their own heritage. In order words, she didn’t tie herself to racist black males who were mostly interested in her because of her lighter skin shade.

There was also an interview she gave in Giant magazine about one and a half years ago where she very briefly mentioned a benefit to being married to a white man (as being part of the dominant group).

Hollywood tends to try to repeat itself in selecting certain archetypes as well as actors that fit particular demographics. To use one such example we can compare and contrast Julia Roberts and Sandra Bullock. Roberts’ career took off quickly and she was well-established by the time of Bullock’s ascent. Bullock has however, accepted roles (or at least read through scripts) that Roberts has turned down. You know Roberts could’ve played the lead role in The Blind Side just as Bullock could’ve portrayed Erin Brockovich.

Their careers have veered into different directions (though they both have Oscars now) and at one point their niche was the “woman in peril” role. Likewise, professionally-speaking Paula Patton and Halle Berry could be interchangeable as the heiress and spare. Thandie Newton as well – but she’s British and doesn’t live in Hollywood like the other two.

Though for various reasons we don’t have the same body of work to compare and contrast with I think you get the point. On a personal level we see how Patton managed to avoid a lot of the internal conflicts and drama (Indoctrination Effect) played out that Berry could not escape.

It does come down to perspective and choice. Berry has consistently chosen poor relationship material in her men. Wesley Snipes allegedly beat her repeatedly, causing permanent hearing loss. David Justice was a wash out of a husband. Eric Benet was the sex addict/serial cheater. When she did date interracially she has publicly stated how “hard she’s tried with black men” in (MESSence no less) which I’m certain caused permanent damage to her relationship with Gabriel Aubry, the father of her daughter.

No one wants to be the “grudge” secondary choice. Who knows…maybe he was a jerk as well, but the point is that Berry did not proudly claim her man the way Wissam Al Mana has with Janet Jackson as I highlighted in Who’s Getting It Right #2.

Patton has been involved with Thicke since they were teens. She has credited him with being the one who nurtured and supported her career aspirations while still pursuing his own. Being married to your best friend, resident cheerleader and a man who writes love songs must be nice.  They now have had their first child together and by all accounts are a solid couple. For people who grew up in and operate under the ‘Hollywood’ lifestyle that takes dedication. Any good relationship requires a renewed commitment by all parties concerned, in fact.

For black women to live better more have to figure these things out early on and discard the spirit-crushing tactics of those who’d prefer to see our demise.


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21 Replies to “Who’s Getting It Right #3 Paula Patton: Ethnic Pride, Marrying Well & Finding Love At A Young Age”

  1. I think Paula Patton is an excellent actress (exceptional). I love her and Robin together. I think they make a great couple!
    I wish her and her husband continued success!


  2. They moved in together when she graduated college, so they lived together 8 yrs. before they got married. They both come from divorce homes and have stated it was one of the reasons they wanted to be settled in their careers before they got married. Once their careers started taking off, they got married. She told Ebony they became official when she was 18 so she has been with him her entire adult life.

    1. Thanks for the background. The point is they are married NOW. So kudos to them for finding each other and amking it work.

  3. The comment that Paula Patton made about considering herself to be black because that is how the world sees her and embracing her black culture really allowed me to grow respect for her. I'm glad Paula is happily married to Robin Thicke, but I can't shake the fact that their relationship is very atypical because they were dating since high school. I'm not sure how fair it is to compare what Paula has to what other black women face as far as relationships go.

    1. They've dated on and off since high school. They've only been married for about 5 years. That still doesn't negate the work they've had to put into their relationship. The atypical aspect is that Robin MARRIED Paula instead of stringing her along for most of her adult life. She didn't let the grass grow beneath her feet.

  4. They are cute…should I have included a photo? Ah…I figure enough people know what they look like. I'm off to go play "Lost Without You" right now… hehehe….

  5. I love Robin Thicke! I can even almost forgive him for that collaboration with Lil Wayne… >:^(

    I start smiling everytime I see them together. And I was cheering when I saw her in his "Lost Without You" video. It's just beautiful. <3

    1. That song with the DBR Gremlin shall NOT be mentioned. Ugh. It almost put me off Thicke for good but he treats his wife well and hopefully limits his personal interactions with the miscreants -- unlike say John Mayer.

  6. I don't know Patton or Berry either but one thing I enjoy about Patton (and I shouldn't be a groupie like this) is that she has been honest about her self image (even the doubts) and her relationship with Robin Thicke (her stories about their early dating are hilarious).

    When it comes to Hollywood roles, it's tough enough for black women as it is, but at the end of the day, if you have a dope agent who looks out for your interest, YOU will work and YOU will find very good roles.

    I can say this though: Patton is a waaaaayyy better actress than Berry. HANDS DOWN, but alas Hollywood doesn't nurture great actresses

    1. Hmmm interesting perspective. I do appreciate her candor. I can't help but wonder how long that will last as her profile rises. Go on be agroupie! It's okay. I still *heart* John Taylor from Duran Duran.

  7. I never really read much about her, but I like what I'm hearing here about Paula Patton.

    It sounds like her parents did a good job of raising her to be a healthy, self-respecting woman (unlike the many examples of the Tiger Woods-type of "don't you dare call me Black", self-proclaimed "biracial" racists). Good for her!

    1. That's because Tiger is a male mixed w/ AA male blood makes him weak by default.

      When one look at our history, it was always the BF who carried the race. We could have gotten despondent and abanded our kids & family like the BM did & continue to do today.

      So Paula's response does not surprise me. I used to admire Alicia Keys for being proud of her AA heritage until she took it too far when she married that deadbeat Swiss Beats.

  8. Paula's attitude is refreshing-I remember reading on another site how the author didn't like the fact that she identified as Black instead of biracial. While Paula would benefit from identifying as the latter, she chose the former, because she knows that the world at large views her as a Black woman and doesn't feel the need to identify as "other." I respect that.

    One of my good friends has met Robin Thicke twice-he was a perfect gentleman each time. He autographed the same photo for her on both occasions, and told her that he remembered her. While the radio station (who ran the "Meet Robin Thicke" contest) rushed the fans away after briefly introducing them to Robin, he (Robin) told them to wait for him until after he was finished with the station. Once he was done doing his radio interview, he came outside, took pics, did autographs, and was an absolute darling to everyone. I can imagine that his kind personality is geniune. Paula's a lucky girl 🙂

    1. If it was a racist's white guy's site then I'll be addressing THAT bit of nonsense in another post. As well as the meddling person who linked to this on what's supposed to be a BW life-enhancement forum. Yes, Paula is usually smiling and it's ncie to see.

  9. I love them together. The main difference I see between the two is the joy that Paula has and the lack of joy that Halle has. Paula Patton is always glowing. The smile she has on her face when she's with Robin or talking about him is beautiful. Halle, on the other hand, rarely looks happy to me. I'm sure her daughter gives her joy but something is always missing.

    1. It's the indoctrination that leads to making less-than life affirming choices. When we limit ourselves we're diminishing our potential and it reveals itself one way or the other. I wish Halle well, though. She still has time to turn it around.

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