Google Michelle Williams and you'll see a ton of articles. Not about her success as a solo artist or her newly released single, Fearless. Nope instead, you'll find articles and short clips about her relationship with now ex-fiance, Pastor Chad Johnson. Even while a part of Destiny's Child, Michelle would receive very little attention and often was the less talked about member of the group. Sometimes people on social media would go as far as to make fun of the woman. Remember the website poormichelle.com? It's a website dedicated to showcasing “all of the times that Michelle got the short end of the Destiny's Child stick.”
However, on her own, Michelle has accomplished a lot - she has been a part of several Broadway shows, including The Color Purple, Chicago, What My Husband Doesn't Know and Fela! She's released four solo top-charting Gospel albums and won a MOBO award and Stellar award. She also released and created her own line of scented candles called Believe.
Despite these great accomplishments, Michelle's name only in recent months made headlines because of her relationship status - more specifically because she was engaged to Pastor Chad Johnson. She even has a show on the OWN network (Oprah Winfrey Network) that was based on her relationship to Pastor Chad Johnson and the preparations the two were making for the big day. It might even be safe to say that this year may be the most social media attention that Michelle has ever received during her career as an artist which spans almost 20 years!
However, all of those years that Michelle was single, she did not receive nearly this much attention on social media.Yet the moment that the media got wind of the fact that Michelle was in a relationship, she became a topic of conversation. Why didn't we hear much about her life when Michelle was single? Was it because it wasn't newsworthy? What about Michelle's long battle with depression, a topic that she has recently begun sharing with her fans. The fact that Michelle is sharing her personal battle with depression and actively taking steps to fight her depression is a topic deserving of more attention.
The fact that Michelle is receiving so much attention because of her relationship status points to a bigger societal issue. That being that a woman's value and relevance is tied directly to her relationship status. Our society is obsessed with relationships and love. From movies, shows, music, and novels, often the end goal is for the lead woman or girl to meet a guy and fall in love. Whereas for men, the end goal is to have a successful career or be financially secure. Oftentimes a woman's relationship status overshadows all other parts of her identity and her life. Yet we know that this isn't true, we know that women are much more than their relationship statuses. We wear so many other hats (friend, sister, mom, cousin, businesswoman, teacher, etc.) and do so many other things, besides being in a relationship, on a day to day basis. We are complex human beings and reducing us to our relationship statuses is not only limiting but it's insulting. Paying more attention to women when they are in relationships sends the message that we need a relationship to validate us. Bottom line your relationship status shouldn't define you, nor should it make headlines. Hopefully, now that Michelle is no longer engaged, people can start paying more attention to her as an artist and entrepreneur. Now, this is purely my own opinion. Do you agree or disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments below and let’s get a discussion going.