About two weeks ago I saw a documentary. It involved a pimp, jail time, whores, lots of heroine and most of all a broken heart. The documentary, “Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp,” lays out the life and times of one of the most notorious pimps in American history. It also showed me that through the most conniving hustle known to man, the number one desire for arguably every human being who has ever existed is love and appreciation. No matter how many statuses, tweets, or declarations from those screaming “f*** love,” it’s just not true. “Team no love” does not exist. So how does a movie about a pimp using women for his own monetary gain inspire a post about how love is desired by all?
The documentary on Iceberg Slim has inspired me to write about trust and communication. I believe that for every action there is not just a reaction, but a reason. The pimp with the hard heart, the whore who is selling her body, the bus driver, the artist, the janitor, etc. Despite what they may be showing the outside world, they all desire love.
Iceberg Slim was more than a pimp. He was a man that had a deep-rooted desire to be vulnerable but given his line of work could not be. It all started with his mom. She left the one man who truly showed him love for the love of another man. Henry was the only true father figure in Iceberg Slim’s life. When his mom took him away from him, it was more than just a separation of a parental unit, but a separation of hearts. Her actions had significant affects on Slim and his view of the world and women.
This post isn’t to analyze the film or Iceberg Slim for that matter. It’s to show that no matter what a person does, with the exception of some suffering from certain mental or psycho pathological disorders, they want love. The problem is, that it’s presented in this unrealistic way, that feeds into the notion that it isn’t accessible. Love is often this romanticized idea that permeates society through movies, sitcoms, television shows, books, blogs you name it. It’s often presented in the storyline of someone stumbling through a series of relationships, and life in general, to ultimately be rewarded with their lifelong partner in some sort of serendipitous way. The people mostly live pretty normal lives with decent careers and looks and rarely do you think of love in the context of pimps and hos. It’s presented as something that only romantics crave, no real n****a needs it or wants it because “they don’t love these hos.”
The thing about love, is that it manifest itself in many different ways. If you ask a good ten people what love is, they’ll tell you something different. Webster defines love as: a (1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties <maternal love for a child> (2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers (3) : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests <love for his old schoolmates> b : an assurance of affection <give her my love> warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion <love of the sea>
Some folks don’t give a damn about being alone and I can understand why. If you have a track record for getting your heart broken, have only seen relationships where two people claiming to love one another hurt, cheat and use each other, then why would you desire romantic love? When I say that everyone wants love, I mean in the context of not just romance, but trust from family, fans, even pets. At the very least, some people aspire to be loved for who they are.
Underneath it all, we’re just raw humans with many emotions, felt daily that we ignore most of the time just to function.The challenge is to look at individuals not from a place of judgement or pity, but out of compassion.When you look at someone from the outside, all you’re going to see is what they present. But take a deeper look and you’ll see that we all have one thing in common; the need and desire to be loved.