Lori Harvey is a person. She’s not the patron saint of sexual liberation, nor is she the scourge of the Earth. But social media tells a different story. Online, people don’t allow Harvey to be who she actually is—elaborate scenarios are created for her, based off of people’s personal experiences. Stereotypes about Black women, particularly our sexuality, are quite literally the basis of how we are perceived in America. But this trend of making women the mules of our own desire feels different, and it’s quite unfair.
Her step-father Steve Harvey wrote a book titled Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man. I honestly don’t believe my peers have read it. But it’s a running joke that Lori heeded her step-father’s advice and in turn is treating our favorite misogynists the way that they’ve publicly treated other women. But here’s the thing—we don’t actually know Lori. We see selfies and try to piece together intentions from quick Instagram stories. We still don’t know who she is or what her thoughts are. Fact and fiction become bound to one another when you don’t have the receipts.
Over the weekend, ROSEGOLD, a Toronto-based DJ paraphrased a sentiment she saw about Lori that later went viral. “Lori Harvey don’t even speak and y’all already made narratives of her entire life up for her on here,” she wrote.
I wonder how it feels to live your life, while knowing that a version of it will make headlines. And from that version, people will pretend to know you. How did we arrive at this point?
Lori is human—neither the angel or devil on your shoulder. We don’t know who she’s sleeping with, and that’ll never be our business. If she chooses to caress Future’s face while riding through Jamaica, so be it. It’s not her job to uphold puritanical views. It’s not her job to be the karmic badass of our dreams.
When it comes to Lori and her relationships, just let her be.
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