By Candice Iloh
I don’t know Bobbi Kristina. Most of us don’t really know Bobbi Kristina. But we, as fans and spectators of her mother and fathers careers, have watched her development for years from the sidelines. We have watched her grow in the shadows of Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston and, therefore, many of us have wrongly felt we had the right to negatively comment on the trajectory of your life.
I have heard it. The snide remarks about her presentation. The lacerating projections suggesting that she lacked a promising future due to the decisions her parents made.
The blogs and news media taking jabs at her physical appearance and public behavior.
That poor baby. She thinks she’s grown. What is going to happen to her? The whole world almost pining for your fall.
And she grew up a Hollywood baby, where the kids grow up too fast and nobody really knows who they are beyond their family’s name but I see Bobbi Kristina. She is a young black woman who has never gotten to stand in the sunlight of her own name in peace. Instead she seems to have still been mourning; still fighting to live anything resembling a normal life while trying to come into her own within the throngs of grief. She is now approaching the three year anniversary of her mother’s death and holding on to her father—both of whom she has witnessed suffer the public castration of the media as flawed artists in the limelight. To say she has been through a lot is an understatement. Probably more than any of us will ever know.
Even now it seems the newspapers and social media feeds are feasting at Kristina’s sudden illness while she lays in that hospital bed with her father by his child’s side and family hoping she gets to keep her life. If anyone has not told her this yet, I hope she is now allowing herself to break. It is okay to feel no other option but to crumble under the venomous expectations of this world that has always had too much of nothing to say when all you have ever done is try your best.
Without regard for what anyone thinks or what anyone has to say about us, before all, we are all trying our best to just be people and to survive this world. We want to be happy and whole and free to do the things that make us happiest. I honestly can’t imagine what it would be like to live my entire life under a magnifying glass for public consumption simply because my mother is Whitney Houston; because my father is Bobby Brown. I can’t imagine just anybody—people that I have never seen or spoken to a day in my life—using their tools and platform to speak about me and my family and our pain for their entertainment. I couldn’t imagine the world theorizing over my family’s destruction and rarely hearing anything good about the love we share for each other.
I think undergoing such a torturous public existence would have the potential to destroy me too. Feeling like I was unable to escape this matrix that is my life in every newspaper, on every blog, and on every social media website has the potential to tear down anyone. I can only hope that in this difficult time for the Brown and Houston family that the world displays some humanity by giving them space and silence. Whichever way this goes I wish Bobbi Kristina peace and solitude.