Fantasia's False Equivalency

Singer Fantasia Barrino (Isaac Brekken/Getty Images Entertainment)
Singer Fantasia Barrino (Isaac Brekken/Getty Images Entertainment)

(The Root) — Logic and rhetoric aren't for everyone, especially celebrities. R&B singer and former reality-TV star Fantasia Barrino proved as much earlier this week when she first made an anti-gay statement via Instagram and then tried to recant that same statement, claiming it was taken out of context.


On Sunday, Dec. 30, the "Baby Mama" crooner — who has gotten flak in recent years for dating a married man — posted a picture on the popular photo-sharing site with the following caption: "I Rise ABOVE IT ALL!!! THE WORLD IS GONE MAD. KIDS, THE GOVERMENT, THE church House … Everybody Trying!!!!!!! Its a lot that going on that the Bible speaks about we should Not be doing. Weed legal in some places, Gay Marriage Legal BUT YET IM JUDGED!!! Im not doing Nothing for you … My Life!!!!"

Unsurprisingly, the post has since been deleted, but also unsurprisingly, that didn't stop "TasiasWord" from going viral. What's been described as the singer's "anti-gay rant" has been dissected across the Internet several times over by entertainment outlets ranging from E! to headier online pit stops such as the International Business Times.

Angry fans took umbrage with the singer's decrying the acceptance of sins-according-to-the-Bible, like gay marriage and smoking marijuana, in the face of continued scrutiny about her own actions. Almost immediately, Fantasia's publicity team attempted to quell the flames with a statement that smelled a lot like gasoline.

"Comments made by Ms. Barrino through her Intragram [sic] account were recently taken far out of context, and the purpose of this release is to set the record straight," her publicist said in the statement. "Ms. Barrino is not now, nor has she ever been an opponent of the LGBT community. She has supported and performed at numerous events that are sponsored by the LGBT community."

Unfortunately, Barrino's backtrack wasn't enough, because the "controversy" surrounding her statements has yet to die down, despite juicier celebrity news on the pop-culture menu — namely the announcement of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's imminent baby "Kimye."

But apparently the bloggers didn't listen, because on Thursday Barrino had more to say on Instagram, albeit not as politely this time. "NOW IM ANGRY!! MY WHOLE TEAM IS GAY, MY MANAGER IS GAY, MIDDLE FINGER UP TO THOSE WHO SEAK [sic] TO DESTROY ME." She went on to explain that the first Instagram outburst was meant for "those who sit back and try to judge" her. She never meant to throw the gay community (or marijuana smokers, who've stayed pretty silent on the subject thus far) under the bus.


What's really sad? I sort of get her point.

Fantasia's life, as Lifetime so eloquently put it in 2006, is not a fairy tale. The winner of American Idol's third season has been put through the wringer these past few years, with a publicly tumultuous relationship with a married man, a failed suicide attempt and an aborted pregnancy that should have been no one's business but her own. I'm certain the singer experienced no shortage of judging, not the least of which from her own bathroom mirror.


And if the Bible is to be believed — or, more accurately, manipulated to support certain beliefs — then many things are indeed sinful and worth being stoned over, including gay marriage and pot smoking. Still with me?

Thus, Barrino might have been trying to suss out why this mob of invisible "haters" are judging her for perhaps having children out of wedlock, dating a married man, etc. The only problem with her logic is that there are plenty of pot-smoking gay people who might not have made the same choices Barrino has made on their own moral grounds. Drawing a straight line from sexuality and recreational-drug use to extramarital affairs is a bit of a stretch for some people. But tomato, to-MAH-to.


Regardless of whether Barrino's life is as highly scrutinized as she claims or whether having a gay manager makes one's daft statements about gays any less potentially offensive, Instagram is hardly a pulpit. The sermons that come down from that mount are probably better left unsaid or, at the very least, spell-checked.

Helena Andrews is a contributing editor at The Root and author of Bitch Is the New Black, a memoir in essays. Follow her on Twitter. 


Helena Andrews is a contributing editor at The Root and author of Bitch Is the New Black, a memoir in essays. Follow her on Twitter.