Stop Placing People on Pedestals (Jelisa)


It’s easy to get caught up in their smile, or their magnetic energy. Sometimes you forget your own light that shines within you. Out of all the lessons in love that I have learned, not putting guys I’m interested in on a pedestal has been the most important.

I remember meeting him. He performed in a reading of a play and I had a bit of a crush him. Cue “Crush” by David Archuleta. He had beautiful brown skin, dazzling eyes and a sly smile. He also had a quiet confidence that made me think he had it all together. When he stood on stage, he commanded the audience’s attention. I chatted with him after the reading, he flashed a smile and I, like many of the audience members, complimented him on his performance. I had fallen, not in love, but it was diffidently a crush.

I did my due diligence and looked at his social media. Don’t look at me sideways. We all do it. Now, I know that social media is a reel, a “resume” per se. No one posts the mundane occurrences of their boring days and no one highlights their struggles. His accounts presented himself as a passionate actor with a love for artists, Game of Thrones and his heritage. He posted photos of the countless projects he’d worked on and his time in a prestigious theatre program. I left my research session with the confirmation like he was it! In my mind he was Laz Alonso, or Kori Siriboe, or Bluey Robinson, and that didn’t help me at all when it came to asking him to meet to talk about theatre. For weeks, I mulled over the right words to say and I eventually asked him to meet at a local coffee shop.

When nerves would hit me about our meeting, my best friend told me something I needed to hear: “Stop putting this guy on a pedestal.” He basically told me to chill because this guy was just a person like me. Yeah, I like him and think he’s nice looking, but that doesn’t mean that I should spend so much time worried about making a “good impression”. That I should just be myself. That’s all I can be.

When I met with him, I was surprised at how chill and personable he was. Here I was getting to know the man behind the gorgeous headshot. He had made mistakes, many of which he proceeded to tell me about. He was a lot like me. He had a lot of passion for his dreams and was willing to do what he needed to do to get where he wanted to be. He had the twinkle in his eye and inspiring passion. As we eased into our conversation, I wondered why I was so afraid to ask him to meet up in the first place.

“Don’t gas these boys up.” I remembered one of my friends saying. “You are fearfully, wonderfully and beautifully made, remember that.” So, why should I be nervous about meeting people I find interesting, cute or intriguing? Putting people on a pedestal is not healthy. Yes, they may look good to you. Yes, they may have talent. Yes, they may have a charisma. But at the end of the day, they go home and watch Game of Thrones like you. They are just people. I’m the person who goes home and binge watches Insecure (sorry Game of Thrones fans), but also that I am an incredible individual deserving of someone extraordinary. I spend a lot of time being enamored with the dopiness of other people but I have to remember to be in awe of the fearless woman that God made me to be, as well.


Jelisa Jay Robinson, Negra-Americana (Black American) storyteller, playwright and educator. She is the founder of #Teatrolatinegro, a blog dedicated to Black, Brown and Afrolatin@ theatre. Robinson is motivated by the desire to help the next generation of Black and Brown artists feel empowered. When she is not writing, she can be found traveling, gushing over Bluey Robinson and Laz Alonzo, jamming to Los Rakas, and spending time with her family. She is a firm believer in God and bringing a positive impact in the world. You can stay connected to Jelisa's story at 

Honoring the collective voice of womanhood, the Lessons From Love series was created to provide a community of support for women currently in love, or healing from love. The series will use personal narratives + testimonies to empower women to make effective dating decisions and to pursue the love they rightly deserve.

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