If you’ve been following the career of Kevin Samuels, who calls himself an “image consultant,” you’d know that he has amassed a large following over the last 2 years by dispensing dating advice. Those messages frequently disparage women with some of his most notable YouTube videos being: “How Much Does Your Submission Cost?,” “Modern Women Are Average At Best?” and “Why Aren’t You Married?” Apparently, all you need is a nice suit and a pair of glasses to play the part of a relationship expert. Earlier this year, he received the ultimate co-sign from Future—which should tell you all you need to know.
Last week, Samuels caused controversy after saying that women who are 35 and unmarried are considered “leftovers.” In the clip that circulated on social media, he took to his soapbox to spew this misogynistic rhetoric: “If you have made it to 35 and you are unmarried, you are a leftover woman. You are what is left. Men know that there is likely something wrong with you. Whether you want to hear it or not, I’m going to go there with you. I’m telling you the truth that you don’t want to hear.”
Why does Kevin Samuels continue to have a platform when it’s built on the backs of the women he hates?
Samuels himself is 56, twice divorced and currently unmarried yet somehow he—and all men—are excluded from this logic. Despite data proving single and childless women are the happiest population subgroup, the self-proclaimed influencer still voices his deep-seated contempt for us. Statements like these reinforce sexist beliefs that we alone carry the burden and shame of singledom. Not to mention, Black women are constantly being reminded about the discriminatory nature of modern-day dating.
We are the least likely to be approached on dating apps and for years have been barraged with statistics claiming that we are the group also least likely to marry. Samuels’ not only plays on the hysteria that a woman’s greatest fear is being single—he amplifies it. For Black women, his words are even more damning. He went onto address women directly in that same video:
“And here’s the thing—when you were between the ages of 22 and 25 and you didn’t want to settle—you were trying to get the CEO, the pilot, the investment banker, you were trying to get flewed out…if you are a woman 35 plus and you want a man that’s on the same lifestyle level, you’re going to have to share him.”
Samuels is: 1) shaming us for not being married by a certain age 2) implying that we are golddiggers and 3) advising us to partake in unhealthy relationships that are solely advantageous to men. Black women are abused at alarming rates in this country, which frequently comes in the form of domestic violence. Advocating for this instead of something safer—like staying single until you find the right partner—makes his words not only asinine but dangerous.
As we all know, our culture loves to construct dating gurus out of men sporting thinly-veiled disdain for women. However, Samuels’ line of thinking goes beyond he’s just not that into you or think like a man. It promotes low self-esteem in women, which makes them more vulnerable to harmful encounters. Yes, he has been called out for his lowly antics before. But for a society so obsessed about the ramifications of being “canceled,” when do we start canceling the people who actually deserve it?