According to the Washington Post, marriage rates have declined steadily since the 1980s. Today, they are lower than at any other time in history, including the Great Depression. In 2015, marriage is not the ultimate goal and many people are creating alternative relationships. Affairs and polygamous “situationships” are becoming the status quo as we move into a new relationship landscape lead by social media and reality TV. Pop culture has accepted the side chick as a part of life. Public humiliation is a thing of the past with stars like soulful songbird Fantasia, R&B’s resident feminist Alicia Keys, Black Hollywood royalty Gabrielle Union and even country music sweetheart LeAnn Rimes wearing what used to be the scarlet letter proudly. VH1’s megahit, “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta,” definitely celebrated the “side chick” Joseline Hernandez, as she became the breakout star of the show and gained a spin-off show with co-star Stevie J. Atlanta author and socialite Antoinette Smith wants everyone to know that she is a proud side chick and has no desire to be the “stupid main chick,” aka the wife. Smith says side b—–es are winning and the main chicks need to realize they are on the wrong side of the bed.
“I call myself a proud side bish; and that stands for beautiful, independent, successful and happy,” Smith says proudly, “I would never want to be my boyfriend’s wife. I tell him if he leaves his wife, I’m going to leave him.”
While Smith’s boldness is shocking, her thought process makes sense. “This man makes me happy and happiness is hard to find. He is cheating on someone that he stood in front of God with and said he would love and be faithful to until death do us part, yet he is here with me. Why would I want to change places with her?” she asks.
Smith met her married boyfriend seven months ago and refers to him as her own personal Morris Chestnut. “Not only is he chocolate with pretty teeth but he treats me well. I love him and his actions tell me he loves me so why would I give that up? I already know about his wife so he isn’t lying to me about that. I think I’m getting the better end of the deal,” she says.
Smith is a product of a challenging childhood, and shares her story with other women to empower them. “God has been so good to me. There are so many things that happened to me growing up that would say I should be dead by now,” she says. Her fighter’s spirit has refused to allow her to pity herself or to make excuses; instead, Smith has taken the negative stereotypes hurled at her and other women like her and has turned them into a booming business for herself and her five children. She makes T-shirts with the “proud side bish” slogan and others she has flipped into positive acronyms. “Another favorite shirt of mine is one that says THOT; I turned THOT into: ‘that hustler over there’ and the shirts have been selling.”
An entrepreneur with a distinctive voice that can also be heard in her six published novels, Smith says she doesn’t know how to be anything other than honest. “I didn’t have a mother growing up so that’s been hard for me being a mother to my children,” she admits. When asked if she’d ever experienced love she pauses for a moment. “The closest thing I’ve felt to unconditional love is with my married boyfriend. That’s why I am not going to give that up.”