If you’ve been watching Bravo’s “Blood, Sweat & Heels,” then you already know Demetria Lucas doesn’t mince her words. So far, we’ve seen Lucas, an author and relationship blogger dubbed “the Black Carrie Bradshaw,” call out her five co-stars for antiquated views on women’s leadership and the general belief that all men are “cheaters.” While this assertiveness has been championed by many (her social media following has swelled tremendously) it was frowned upon by her co-stars, especially after she wrote a blog post about it.
In Sunday’s episode the ladies confront her about the write-up at co-star Mica Hughes’ dinner party, with style expert Daisy Lewellyn immediately going in on her before the ladies could take their first bite.
“Daisy, can we get through the appetizer first, sweetheart? We haven’t even had the first sip and you’re like already going in. Can we talk about something that’s less controversial?” Lucas asked. Her other co-stars, who include Melyssa Ford, a former music video model-turned real estate broker, real estate partner Brie Bythewood, style and pop culture journalist Geneva S. Thomas, and Hughes, a modeling agency owner, observed the heated exchange. That would soon change.
Thomas chimed in, accusing Lucas of doing the very thing she mocked her for doing—snooping on a boyfriend—which fueled the already tense environment and led Lucas to calmly exit early.
Whether you agree or disagree with Lucas’ decision to write about the discussion, the 33-year-old will argue that it’s what she does for a living and she knows her boundaries. She’s been writing about relationships for a decade. She worked as an editor at Harlequin Books and worked as a relationship editor at Essence magazine. She’s bared her soul and dished out advice via her award-winning blog, A Belle in Brooklyn, and penned two books: “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” and the forthcoming “Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love.”
The engaged Lucas talked with XFINITY about her co-stars’ reaction to her blog post, opines about why some women find themselves in undesirable relationships and her thoughts on the pitting her against Lewellyn. “Blood, Sweat & Heels” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on Bravo.
[iframe http://www.youtube.com/embed/2b0Wq4AB4Gg 580 476]
A lot of people tuned in for the show’s debut last week, giving Bravo its highest-rated series debut. What has the response been like for you?
I got amazing feedback from the show. My Instagram jumped up 4,000 people and my Twitter timeline an extra 5,000. My website crashed because 1.8 million people tried to log onto it in 24 hours. There’s been great discussions about the conversations that the ladies and I had at brunch. Many people have applauded me for being a strong woman and taking a stand for strong women and for standing up for men and saying that they’re not children—I had no idea that many men watched Bravo.
I did live-tweet during the first episode and could see people found your costars viewpoints, including the generalizations about men, to be disheartening. Why do you think a lot of women are quick to label all men dogs or cheaters? Women cheat, too.
I think some people have had bad experiences with men. They see it in the home growing up, they see it in their dating life, they see friends go through really bad things and I think that provides a not-so optimistic outlook on dating. It is disheartening, as you said. But, you know, all women aren't great and all men aren't either. All of them aren't terrible, also. There are good people in the world who will do right by you. I really do believe that.
Why do you think some people constantly find themselves in bad relationships? Any advice on how to change that?
To their credit, bad people don't come out the gate acting like horrible cheaters, liars, abusers or anything like that. They're usually quite charming, they usually go out of their way to deceive a person about the lesser part of their character or personality. And some of that stuff comes out over time. I also think that as women, we kind of have an innate sense, about a guy who chats on you or about a guy who lies to you all of the time. You kind of know when something is up but then you say no,' I'm just trying to make a big deal out of nothing, I'm just being paranoid.' I think a lot of us who want to be in relationships very much and sometimes we overlook some things that are red flags just in order to keep the thing that we've got going.
The ladies weren't feeling your blog post. Did you expect them to respond that way during Mica's dinner party?
Absolutely not. I don't know if you got a chance to read the blog post but I updated my site so that it was more prominent so people could evaluate for themselves. But I never named names in the blog post or said anything negative about Daisy's brunch. They all received an email saying that I had blogged about what happened and then I put it up and left a note, 'let me know what you think.' Only two of them responded. One of them said they thought it was funny. I was very surprised to hear that they were upset. Three of them were very upset and I was surprised that they tried to ambush me like it was in junior high school at the dinner party. I didn't expect that at all.
Just to be clear: you did email them ahead of time to let them know that you were going to write about the brunch?
I had put the blog up and I emailed them to say, "Hey I wrote a blog about the conversations at brunch; you know, know check it out and let me know what you think." I did ask her on-camera later to see if she did receive it and she said that she hadn't. But she was cc'd on the email like everyone else. I will also add, that in my defense, I guess, there was nothing that I said in my blog that wasn't said to the women during the conversation. Again, I didn't use names, I didn't name call in any way. I really just wrote about the issue of it and explained the things that they had said as an example of what some women had said.
Do you have any regrets about not telling them before the post actually published to avoid some of the conflict?
You know, I've been a blogger for going on eight years at this point and I've never had a conflict such as this. Certainly not when we're having a conversation where a microphone is being passed and cameras are on us. So the idea that it was a private conversation seems very strange to me. But over the years, I've always written about my personal life, I've written about people that I've dated, I've written about conversations that I would have when I'm out with my friends. Things that are told to me in confidence, of course are entirely off limits. Things that are general conversation that we may have… no one was talking about having an STI or anything like that or nothing life changing, it was just sharing a perspective about dating and relationships and women's leadership. I didn't think that that would be anything anyone would be ashamed of or embarrassed by. I mean, you did say it.
What is your current relationship with the ladies? Who are you closest with?
I'm super close like Geneva, Brie and Melyssa. I talk with them on a daily basis.
Seems like people have already began choosing sides between you and Daisy. What are your thoughts on the Daisy versus Demetria siding?
I was very disappointed with the idea of being put against each other. That was not the intent of the show. I definitely wouldn't sign up for something like that. I don't feel that Daisy is an adversary, I don't feel that she is an enemy. She is an entrepreneur in Brooklyn. She has an amazing work ethic that I definitely respect. We just don't see eye-to-eye on anything.
Daisy did say that there may be some other conflicts that would be shown. Some people who felt that they didn't want to see bickering black women TV. When you were taping were you worried about that type of portrayal?
Absolutely. As a journalist, as a blogger, I’ve been very critical about the imagery of women in general, but black women in particular, on television so, yeah, I was definitely conscious of that and sometimes disappointed in how we behaved.
Were you hesitant about having your fiancé on the show with you?
Of course. My relationship and my fiancé are a huge part of my life. But making a reality show and him not being a part of it would look weird. I’m a dating expert and a life coach and all of those things and I don’t have anything to hide. I will say that I did shy away from getting into the nitty-gritty details of our relationship. One of the things that you know as a dating and relationship expert is that having a bunch of people in your business doesn’t benefit your relationship in any way. So he’s there and it shows him being very supportive of me in my career and in the things that I do. He’s a great guy. I’m happy that he agreed to be on the show.