Does All Dirty Laundry Need To Be Aired


Over the last week, Kelly Rowland has received so much praise after voicing her trials and tribulations in her new single, Dirty Laundry You’ve probably heard the song by now, but if not, here’s a recap:

A) Kelly talks about her abusive relationship:

“Hitting the window like it was me / And still it shattered / He pulled me out and said, ‘Don’t nobody love you but me / Not your mama / Not your daddy / and especially not Bey.'”

B) Kelly also sings about being in the shadows of Beyoncé, post-Destiny’s Child:

“When my sister was onstage / killing it like a … / I was enraged / feeling it like a ….,” she sings. “Went our separate ways but I was happy that she was killing it / Bittersweet, she was up and I was down / No lie, I feel good for her but what do I do now?”

Although news about being in an abusive relationship shocked many people, one could say the jealousy between Kelly and Beyoncé was something that people already assumed existed. The gossip blogs long speculated a rift between Kelly and Beyoncé’s friendship, but with Dirty Laundry Kelly proved at least some of the assumptions to be true.

In a recent Billboard interview, Kelly explained why she felt the need to vent on her song. Her goal was to inspire fans, not bring them down.

“It was very emotional. It took me days to record,” she told the magazine. “I had to get past being so upset and actually sing the song, not sob through it. I always hope that my music can inspire someone, the same way other artists inspire me.

Kelly isn’t the first artist to air her dirty laundry through song, and it’s not only being done by women. In Rihanna’s song Cold Case, which was released shortly after the infamous beating at the hands of Chris Brown, she sings:

“What you did to me was a crime/Cold Case Love/And I let you reach me one more time/But that’s enough/Your love was breaking the law/But I needed a witness/ So wake me up when it’s over/It don’t make any difference.”

Even one of hip-hop’s G.O.A.T’s, Nas, waxes poetic about his divorce from Kelis in his song, Strong Will Continue:

“How in the hell am I supposed to stay comfy/When I pay child support, alimony monthly” (…) “So I’ve stuck with some married women so fine/cheating while their husband rushing on the 40-yard line/Wonder if this is what my ex did the whole time.”

Sure, get it off your chest. When people vent, a weight feels as though it’s been lifted, but is there a type of person that vents?

According to Dr. Carla Rhodes, a D.C based psychologist, there is. She says, “A person who feels the need to vent and air their dirty laundry may have a high need for approval from others, and they also feel as if they should be accepted for their shortcomings and forgiven for their transgressions regardless of how dissonant they are with the personal values of their audience.”

We all know it’s good to vent at times, but does airing your dirt leave you open to even more criticism? There are tons of people who get joy out of knowing others are in pain and having a tough time emotionally.

Schadenfreude is real.

If you’re not familiar with the term schadenfreude, it’s pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.

I’m sure we’ve all experienced people who get a cheap thrill out of seeing someone’s downward spiral, or even to have their assumptions confirmed when someone vents about the issues going on in their life.

Sometimes maybe it’s better to keep things to yourself and not vent publicly.  People will always assume things about another person, no one ever said a person has to prove them right.

What’s your opinion on venting and airing your dirty laundry? 

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  • MimiLuvs

    IMO, the topic of the abuse is not discuss because it is a ‘can of worms’ that can cause some trouble.
    I know Roy Williams (Kelly’s ex-fiancee) had to address some people from his Twitter page after some accused him of being the man who abused her.

  • J

    I love me some beyonce however, WHY do all of these media sites reporting on the song act like the ENTIRE THING was about beyonce? IT WASN’T. that was like 3 lines of the song. but all these headlines like “Kelly’s new song: talks being in Beyonce’s shadow”
    Making it seem like she secretly hates her and the whole song is a bitter jealousy filled rant about bey.

    • jcross

      Exactly; isn’t there also a line where Kelly says she missed Beyonce? I think people just like focusing on the negative because it’s more entertaining to speculate and gossip about…

    • My grandmother had a saying– “even tongue and teeth fall out with each other,” meaning that no matter how close you are, rifts happen. It’s how you handle them that matter. They both handled it like grown women and moved on. Good for both of them. I’m so sorry Kelly went through such abuse. The shame lies with the abuser, not Kelly for telling it. She’s better than I am because I would’ve sang his name, birthday, address and SSN.

    • J

      Yup she said it was bittersweet that bey blew up more than her like once and the rest of Bey’s cameos was about how the man turned kelly against her
      she calls Bey her sister throughout the whole thing so i’m pretty sure they’re alright.
      smh people love concocting drama

    • OMGoodness my sentiment exactly! Damn you media leeches.

  • The Comment

    Not anymore. By now everyone has/is coming out the closet. Everyone has been molested and everyone has suffered from bullying or abused by an spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend etc. All bases are covered and there is a face for every horrible misdeed done to mankind is now accounted for.

    If I were a black celebrity I would closely guard my past and say nothing to no one unless they did up Ed Bradley and then and ONLY then would you know anything about me outside my glamours career. People can only tear you down when they know facts about you.Why feed the haters? Keep them guessing and keep them speculating.

  • As long as it’s done sincerely and used as a tool for growth, venting is natural. In regards to other people, you’re damned if you do damned if you don’t. I’d rather vent and get the weight off of my chest than hold it in because other people derive pleasure from my misfortune or are waiting to criticize me. You make it seem as though the people who cherish seeing others struggle are more normal than those who vent.

    At the end of day if you can vent properly, learn from it and come out on top, you’re the winner not your audience.

    In Nas’s Bye Baby, he addressed the people who spoke about his misfortune and how it was dumb of him to even get married/trust kelis and his response:
    “you live with your baby moms and scared to make an honest women out of her….at least I can say I tried plus enjoyed the ride, plus we got our little boy…next go round I hope I pick the truest type and watch me do it all again it’s a beautiful life.”

    You can’t move forward holding onto past hurts. Let it out, grow, and keep living. At least you’re living, forget people who enjoy your misery and want to critique you. Shoot send them the counselor you used they’re the ones who are sick.