‘You’re average at best.’
It’s a statement that has gone viral and sparked a range of emotions – from anger to understanding – ever since image consultant and lifestyle coach Kevin Samuels uttered it to 35-year-old Jessica Gardner during a recent conversation on his online show.
Gardner was a call-in guest seeking advice from the dapper Samuels on how to nab herself a ‘six-figure guy’ since it hasn’t been working out dating guys who are ‘not on my level’.
But after some probing questions and pushing her to evaluate her own physical appearance, Samuels told Gardner she was average and needed to adjust her expectations.
The video has exploded online with discussions focused mainly on whether Samuels was too harsh and condescending in his treatment of Gardner or just hitting her with a well-needed dose of reality.
Either way, Samuels made it clear that the key question a woman hoping to get involved with a high-earning man should ask herself is “What value can I bring to a man?”
Shelly-Ann Weeks, founder and director of HerFlow, believes that when it comes to relationships, Americans tend to view them from a financial perspective.
Both Samuels and Gardner are black Americans.
Weeks said even comedian, talk show host and motivational speaker Steve Harvey frequently advises people to look for a partner with ‘money’ and focus on what type of career a person is in before getting involved.
“I don’t know how much of this is culture, but I realise it is very popular on the American dating scene. However, in my experience, I see rich men take up poor women all the time because they like the woman or think she is sexy or looks good or whatever it is. The idea of wanting someone with money is always on the list, but I think there is more to it.”
Dr. Karen Carpenter, psychologist and clinical sexologist, said humans aspire for the best but are not willing to put out the best.
“Women and men overestimate their value, so it’s like the other person should bring more to the table,” said Carpenter.
But others might argue that men with money don’t care about women with money.
As Samuels put it: “Those men have options. So, if they can get arm candy, with no difficulties or baggage, why would they choose an average looking woman who has an outside child with no education?”
The view is that they care about who that woman is, and what other value they offer, which is contrary to a woman’s wants.
It’s argued that what women want is ‘a money man who can take care of me and my children’.
But Samuels says a woman’s history and the ‘young and dumb’ excuse is not a get-out-of-jail-free card. People with nothing but baggage to add to a relationship turn out to be more of a liability than an asset and who wants that?
Furthermore, he says a woman who only dates for finances is unclear about who she is and therefore doesn’t really know what she wants.
After watching Samuels discussion with Gardner, Weeks told Our Today that Gardner “has her own insecurities and she has it in her head that she wants to find a man who earns a certain amount of money. That mentality comes with its own problems as is”.
Weeks said despite Samuels abrasiveness towards his guest, he is right.
,She said that. from her own observations, most men who make high incomes do not want to ‘take up’ a woman who already has a child. They normally go for younger women, more so ones they can control, especially if they are going to be spending their money on them.
“So yeah, I do agree with Samuels that Gardner wouldn’t have been able to attract a ‘six-figure man’, based on what’s going on in her life, but it really is not impossible. People get together for different reasons, it’s just unlikely for a man to want to take a woman with all of this baggage,” she said.
In closing, Weeks advised that “a person’s focus should be on themselves, in order to build one’s value system”.
Carpenter told Our Today: “With a healthy self-esteem, where one knows their worth, that person will then be able to accurately gauge what they bring to the table without being a fraud, claiming what is when it isn’t. Therefore, both men and women should consider what they want and what they bring to the table.”
At the end of the day, a person’s finances should not be the sole reason for getting into a relationship. One should always work to acquire their own and should want to build with their partner for a better life.
Also, people should choose wisely the men or women they date, as it tells a lot about their self esteem.