‘My Validity as a Life Coach Isn’t Based on My Personal Life,’ Says Demetria L. Lucas

The Root’s contributing editor has been critical of reality-TV shows but is now featured on one. Here’s why she wants you to give Blood, Sweat & Heels a chance. 

Demetria L. Lucas in a scene from the new reality-TV show Blood, Sweat & Heels, premiering Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014
Demetria L. Lucas in a scene from the new reality-TV show Blood, Sweat & Heels, premiering Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014 Screenshot from Blood, Sweat & Heels

Disastrous moments are a part of life, and they happen to everyone who lives long enough. I recently celebrated the seventh anniversary of my blog, ABelleinBrooklyn.com, which is a humorous take on all the things that have gone wrong in my personal life, from not setting boundaries, being assaulted by a friend, breakups, etc., and how I learned from those experiences. When something else disastrous happens, I’ll write about that, too, and try to find the bright side. Optimism is my signature trait.

My validity as a life coach and relationships columnist isn’t based on my personal life. I have a resume and a decade of experience to back up my profession. A lawyer who loses a case isn’t suddenly a hack, just like a CPA who misses a number isn’t inept. People, including life coaches, take hits like everyone else.

Oh, and Mr. Big and Carrie never should have been together anyway. The emotionally unavailable thrice-married guy who drags you along for 10 years, marries someone else while you’re “on break,” cheats on his wife with you and makes plans to move across country without telling you only makes a “good” husband in scripted TV and movies. As a huge SATC fan, I always wished Carrie went back to Aidan, or found someone like him. He wasn’t the guy she wanted, but the one she needed.

TR: In the show’s trailer, we see you weigh in on an issue relating to feminism and gender. Were you generally disappointed, or underwhelmed, by the group of ladies whom you were cast alongside, because of their views on these sorts of issues?

DLL: Surprised is a better word. This isn’t the first time I was approached about doing a reality show, only the first time I accepted the offer. What attracted me to the show is that each of the women are leaders—either they are running a business or have a solid business plan in place. So I was shocked to hear women who lead in their professional lives say that they didn’t think that is a woman’s role. “I’m sorry. What?” That conversation still boggles my mind.

To be frank, some of the opinions were startling, but that’s tolerable. The times I woke up wondering, “What have I gotten myself into?!” came from the behavior of some of my castmates, not their perspectives. I wear my thoughts on my face. When you watch, you’ll know every moment I’m referring to now.

TR: Describe the process of your becoming more comfortable with revealing the identity of your fiance and filming with him. Now that you’ve finished taping, do you have any regrets about that decision?

DLL: I’ve always been candid about my personal life. There’s seven years of blogging and a book to prove it. I’ve talked about being assaulted, seducing a guy in a club, sexual experiences and so much more. I think of the show as a TV come-to-life extension of all the things I’ve written about.

My fiance is a private guy. He’s not a writer or in entertainment, and when we began dating, he asked not to be written about in detail on my blog. That’s a fair ask, I thought. As far as the show, it would have been weird to be on a show that includes my personal life and ignore the biggest part of it.

My fiance agreed to appear “a few” times, just as you mentioned, and he’s there to support me. We drew a line at getting into the nitty-gritty of our relationship, which I’ve always been clear has its ups and downs like anyone else’s. If you want the details on that, you’ll have to wait until there’s a book.