Lessons on Becoming the Perfect Woman

Words & photography by Briana E. Heard

I was raised to be a self sufficient, independent woman. I paid for my own education; I work fifteen jobs to support my travels, and I virtually never ask for help. For the past decade or so, I thought these characteristics made me a desirable partner, more than just desirable, ideal. I thought every man would want a Destiny’s Child independent woman who didn’t need anyone to pay their automo bills. Man, was I wrong.

A couple years back I was having a conversation with a local character I refer to as Cuban Tony Soprano. We were discussing a recent break up between my then Spanish paramour and I. Cuban Tony Soprano was more than flattering and seemed to genuinely think I was a good girl, however, he made it very clear as to why my Latin lover had moved on to greener pastures. According to Tony, it was not my impeccable sense of humor, considerate nature or killer ass that did not keep my man happy; it was my inability to cook – plain and simple. Cuban Tony Soprano actually said to me in the year 2009 that my boyfriend broke up with me because I could not cook.

This statement stuck with me and, being the talker I am, I have been taking my own informal poll about this subject in particular over the past couple of years. Turns out, there is some truth to it. Although I confirmed with my ex that it was not my lack of culinary expertise that resulted in our going our separate ways, it seems that, although the modern women can join the military, vote, and wear pants in public, they still are expected to be the little Mrs. in the kitchen.

Becoming less obstinate and combative in my old age, I have begun my adventures in kitchen craftiness. Baking has never been a problem, but cooking…that is a whole other story. This is why yesterday, when I made a breakfast utilizing more than my toasting acumen or expert ability to pour cereal and milk into a bowl, I took pride, and photos. Above is a shot of my first attempt at homemade maduros. Not rocket science, I know, but proof positive that I am not only becoming a cook, I am becoming a Dominican and, most importantly, I am becoming the perfect woman.

For more: http://beheardphotography.blogspot.com/

You Might Also Like

  • Eileen
    February 22, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Very Nice post…I often get caught in similar predicaments (independent woman vs. traditional UGH). Your awesome-Love your pics, never knew you were a writer! Here are suggestions to get you started:

    website: http://www.dominicancooking.com/
    (healthy) Latino cooking: http://veganlatina.com/

  • Ayisha
    February 22, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    As much as I strive to become the whole well rounded woman I wish to be. I cook extremely well and am constantly in motion making positive strides for myself and my community however with all the juggling I do I’m bound to drop the ball at some point. I’m working on it. However, I have a friend who is the every woman type that can do it all except cook. You know what? She found a man that not only makes 6 figures just like her but doesn’t mind being the only chef in the kitchen and respects that her forte lies in other areas of life and doesn’t make her less of a woman. To hell with the Spanish paramour that equates womanhood with some form of servitude. Your woman enough as you are. Your newfound talent of maduro making will be a bonus to the right man – not a requirement.

  • beheard
    February 22, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    thanks ladies!

    i wrote this mostly for me, but seeing that other chicks can dig it means a lot.

    i will look at those cooking links and keep my eye out for a 6 figure making chef in the meantime!

  • carolina
    February 22, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    I can totally relate. Still trying to learn how to cook arroz con gandules but Im def the one to call for money advice! Glad Im not alone in the “Im an awesome Latina that cant cook” crew 😉

  • Tweets that mention Lessons on Becoming the Perfect Woman « -- Topsy.com
    February 23, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by R. Nieves, UPTOWN COLLECTIVE. UPTOWN COLLECTIVE said: RT @Uptowncollectiv: Lessons on Becoming the Perfect Woman http://bit.ly/hdKNCt #WaHi #Inwood # NYC […]