Art is universal. Whether it is poetry or music. Maybe even vlogging and photography is what tickles your fancy. Regardless, I bet at a moment’s notice you could drop a favorite line from a song, poem or movie that helped stitch a wound in your heart.
Personally, I can ramble off at least ten from different styles and mediums of art. I can even pin point beautifully captured photography or perfectly executed music videos that brought lyrics to life for me. With that being said, I’m sure a crush has developed at least once in your lifetime on the artist delivering the heartfelt lyrics or mind blowing stanzas that you treasure so deeply. Why? Because, we feel connected to them in some kind of way. When an artist writes or performs something, it’s coming from a very real place. Especially when they are speaking out of hurt or brokenness – that’s a language that we all can understand. On most occasions, the artist might even be easy on the eyes. In those cases – instant crush mode.
We start to formulate in our minds a persona based solely on art. And when these brothas (or sisters) are single, the possibilities become endless. Throw in a little Christianity, a mic (or camera) and some God-lovin’ lyrics and it’s a wrap. It’s like God made this artist specifically for you to stumble across their work one day, rendezvous at a show, lock eyes and live happily ever after. You will literally meet, date, get engaged, plan the wedding, name your kids, and pick the flowers that will be planted behind your white picket fence in a matter of minutes.
Don’t lie, you know you’ve done it once or twice in your lifetime. Don’t feel bad though, you aren’t the only one. The problem is that sometimes as ladies, (and even the fellas out there) we take it too far. We dance on a line between appreciating and inappropriate.
Joseph Solomon (@whatisjoedoing), a musician, poet and vlogger for ChaseGodTv (youtube.com/chaseGodtv) shared, “As artists, we always appreciate hearing how God has used us to bless the life of someone else. Testimonials are always encouraging! We are still people too and often question if this is where we should be.” Joseph adds, “When we hear how our God given creativity has a hand in the salvation of others, we are encouraged to keep going with our craft that we have been lead to pursue.”
So is it bad to be a fan of and touched by what they do as an art form? Not at all. “I appreciate everyone who listens to my music (or spoken word), attends a show, or comments on my work because really – they didn’t have to.” says Carlos “Los” Bedoya (@Loso_CHE), a spoken word poet, up and coming rap artist (soundcloud.com/loso_che) and winner of last year’s Rapzilla 16 Bar Challenge. “Go ahead and compliment the art, let me know how it encouraged you. I want that! I would love to hear more of that” agrees Los, with the same enthusiasm. But what happens when we let it go too far in our minds? When we begin fantasizing about this person based just on their performed words or skills. All of a sudden, we’re the expert on who he (or she) is, and what a perfect boyfriend and future husband he will be, and how compatible we are.
DJ Aslan (@DjAslan), a well known and acquainted DJ (soundcloud.com/djaslan) for labels such as Humble Beast, Reach Records and Collision Records advised, “Ok, first off: you’re gonna have to hide your crush. Second: Don’t always talk about how much of a ‘Godly man’ he is if you don’t know him personally. You don’t know what he’s doing when he’s alone. So don’t puff him up with all your tweets.”
Now comes the beast known as Social Media. Networks like Twitter and Facebook give you insight on the artist’s interests, sense of humor and of course, a chance for legal stalking. Depending on their Social Media presence, it’s likely you can pin point their whereabouts, associations and dining locations at any given time of day. Throw in a little Instagram and you have every base covered. Audio, visual, and emotional are all connected in this set up. With Social Media, it gets you as close to your favorite artists you can ever get without actually knowing them. Key words: Without actually knowing them. With that being said, as fans, we can get carried away. And that persona you may have already created in your day dreams, will cause your actions to scream that affectionate title, “FanGirl”.
But, being a fangirl is pretty innocent…right? Think about it for a second. Ask yourself a few questions: Why are you following them on their social media accounts? How much of your fascination is really and truly based on their art? Do you want them to notice you? Not to mention, many of these brothas are married…but that’s a topic for another day…
As we all know, the safety of the internet will give many of us a boldness that may not have ever been available otherwise. Normal boundaries begin to blur. Those seemingly harmless crushes start to take on a personality of their own.
Remember that line I mentioned earlier? The line we like to dance on? Wait for it…
Marty (@DeathByMartyMar), one half of the eclectic hip hop duo, Social Club shared, “I think it’s always been there. Social Media just makes it more visible. In person, people don’t have the same confidence. We [Social Club] don’t entertain it either way.” When we start looking to these artists and “virtually falling for them”, we have a problem. That’s when you start seeing the comments and posts that send you doing the Nae Nae all the way into the realm of inappropriate.
We start in with the “cute”, “sexy”, and even the “oh em gee, I love you” comments in an attempt to be seen as, “the one”. At times, we may even be using our femininity as bait. Whether we are communicating with the artists online, or in person, the idea that these artists are anything less than a regular human being should not be quickly forgotten.
“Just be normal,” says Kidd (@kidd_mmf), a Las Vegas native and one of the youngest Christ-repping emcees to create a buzz in the Hip Hop community. “Don’t FanGirl out, we’re just people.” Kidd adds, “If you want to talk about the music that’s cool, otherwise, keep it on check. No ‘I love you’ statements or that awkward ‘Man Crush MCM’ thing – you don’t even know me!”
Ladies, if we’re honest, we know that we can be seen as a threat to the fellas. That’s nothing new. We hear it in their music and interviews, and we even have brothas ourselves who talk about it. With guys being guys, they have enough on their plates trying to be good examples and keeping every aspect of their lives accountable.
Serge (@JustSerge_), Miami based rapper and Rapzilla’s #3 Top 10 Freshman of 2014, expressed his caution, “Keep the mentality of brotherly love [when approaching the artist], because [the artist] is still a man at the end of the day. Coming up and using your femininity can still be a stumbling block for some men.”
Now, let’s back track a sec. It’s a universally known fact that females are a struggle point for guys. Period. But what about the pink elephant in the room that we like to ignore? Ladies: the fellas are just as much a struggle point for you, as you are to them. Just because you are a female, doesn’t mean you are above the same kind of issues.
Guys may have a tendency to visually lust after a woman, and you may even have looked down on your fellow brothers because of such an issue, but that doesn’t get us off the hook. As females, we are programmed differently and because of the kind of creatures we are, we lust E M O T I O N A L L Y.
That’s right. You, a girl, are still capable of lusting. Emotional Lusting. It’s a different limb of the same monster. Created as emotional creatures, our imaginations are sparked when our heart strings are played to the tune of love. When we hear him drop his lines about his longing for a wife, struggles with loneliness, or really anything that is transparent – our emotional tendencies go bonkers.
And the imagination runs wild. We put them on these pedestals and create relationships in our fantasies that skew our perception of reality and more likely than not we will start acting on them. Especially behind the safety of a profile and username. Put simply, “Chances are, the guys you are trying to talk to [online] are not going to be seeking their future wives via social media.” says Joe Solomon.
When we start in with those comments about their looks, or tagging our friend’s profiles implying our attraction, you put yourself in that “little sister is in love with big bro’s best friend” category. Basically, it is dismissed without a second thought. Los advised, “It just isn’t beneficial to start getting at [us] physically. As a tip to the ladies: That doesn’t work,” In regards to the attraction comments, “Just because you tell me I’m cute doesn’t mean we’re getting married tomorrow” he laughs.
Is it normal to be attracted to someone’s heart and creativity? Of course. And even hope to be the object of their affection? I’d say yes, because you’re human. “I can’t knock the ladies for being on that Ruth and Boaz tip (Old Testament reference – Hint: The book of Ruth) and trying to be in the line of view in hopes of being pursued, but even that needs to be checked.” says Joe.
We must remember though, the “heart” you are falling for in the art is only a portion of who they really are. At the end of the day, you’re hyping up someone you don’t even know. How does that come off to these or any guy for that matter? Thirsty. Serge comments, “Sometimes the thirst is real. No dude – well, no decent dude, wants a girl who is thirsty, that’s not even attractive.” Realistically, if part of your attraction to the artist truly is based on their maturity, self control or Godliness, then it should be expected that certain behaviors will not be acknowledge. Your actions should also reflect that level of respect.
Marty adds, “I’ma be honest, you will always have girls or guys who get excited.
But the only thing that matters is how the artist reacts. We need to set the standard and be responsible in our conduct as leaders.” When you dissect it, it comes down to a heart issue. Chances are the infatuation with the artist isn’t the only time something like this happens. Maybe it even happens with a crush in real life. Someone who is within reach, but is still the subject of your imagination and created expectations. In the same manner guys have to guard their eyes, we need to be guarding our hearts and emotional tendencies.
Analyze your intentions when following an artist. If his art speaks to you, and you feel the need to express your testimony then by all means feel free to let them know from time to time. Each of the fellas who have graciously shared their thoughts and opinions all agree that when it comes to conversing – be it in person or social media – keep it art related.
Admiration and idolization are separated by the thinnest of lines. When we start obsessing incessantly and fantasizing frequently, one can so quickly and easily shift into the other. Honestly, there is nothing wrong with being a fan of something you enjoy and genuinely admire. But leave it at that. Don’t use their art in combination with their social accounts to fuel your desire for a relationship. If you’re looking for a good man to call your own one day, great! Live a life of self control, trust and obedience in The Lord and the desires of your heart will be granted.
In the mean time, while you decide to admire (in a healthy way) the God-glorifying art that these brothas so fiercely display, keep some things in mind as a rule of thumb and proper representation of yourself:
- Keep your comments/posts/tweets about the art – Don’t veer off into the zones of attraction. It’s unnecessary.
- When meeting them in person, remember that they really and truly are just regular people. They may have some uncommon talents, but they also frequently remind us that they are an imperfect instrument being used by a perfect God. So, don’t trip out. Just keep it cool and say hello. No biggy.
- For pictures and greetings, be aware of yourself and your body. No wandering hands or too-close hugs. Yes, even single fellas like to have their boundaries and personal space respected.
Don’t feel as though you are a danger to these guys, and neither should they be a danger to you. As long as you keep your heart on check, then support them as much as you can. Buy albums/CDs, watch and share videos, go to shows…that’s all okay! It’s good practice to seek out wisdom from the older ladies in your community. If that sounds like a completely foreign concept then now might a good time to look into it. Having someone to help sort stuff out is always a good idea. Especially when she’s a seasoned believer with a lot of life experience to share.
As a final thought on the need to be in a relationship I will leave you with this: As Serge so eloquently put, “Love God as you’re patiently waiting for a man who loves God.” Maybe you aren’t sure where to start, or maybe reading this surfaced some questions on feelings or thoughts you didn’t have before.
Just visit the Ask Vanessa section, we’re here to help.