This Is Not Your Everyday Love Advice

No matter how many romantic comedies we watch, advice columns we read, or love songs we listen to, the truth is that there’s no perfect way to navigate a relationship. And, though it’s scary to admit, we’re all going at it a bit blind. Whether you’ve got a steady S.O., are in the midst of an emotionally exhausting “Where is this going?” talk, or are exploring love of the non-romantic sort, it’s only natural to wish for a guide.

So, in our final installment of Beauty Nation’s The New Provocateurs, we teamed up with Revlon to hear from seven leaders who've made it their professions to learn about, and guide others through, the ins and outs of love, relationships, and sex. If you want the lowdown on how a matchmaker can be more modern than a Tinder swipe, or why breaking off an engagement is sometimes the best idea, read on, and meet the daring women who’ve chosen to wear their hearts on their sleeves as their jobs. All the tough love you ever wanted, straight ahead.

The Self-Lover: Nicole Byer

Photographed by Ben Ritter.
Nicole Byer is wildly ribald and totally inappropriate, but she might just be the best friend you need. She’s the type of person who will tell you straight up what is wrong with your love life — whether or not you’re prepared to listen to it. And, as a featured comic on MTV’s Girl Code, a show dedicated to the sacred session of R-rated girl talk, Byer is full of sage and wickedly hilarious relationship insights that all women really do need to hear.
In addition to making people laugh on television, Byer is half the brains behind the raunchy web series, The Pursuit of Sexiness, about the ridiculous trials and tribulations of dating and finding happiness (alongside Saturday Night Live’s Sasheer Zamata). She’s also a regular performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade in Los Angeles. Below, Byer gives us a sampling of the love advice she most abides by — and why, even when you’re in a relationship, you still need to love yourself first.
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The best advice I can give
“On [Girl Code’s Twitter], girls ask us stuff like, ‘How do I know he likes me?’ A lot of times my answers are just, ‘Worry about yourself.’ If you like yourself, other people will like you. Just do you. Love is about focusing on yourself so that you can open your heart and let others love you. I think focusing on loving yourself is what [my work is] about.”
When you should break up with someone
“If you think about it, everyone already knows the answers. People just ask questions to validate the wrong answer that they want to hear. It’s like, ‘My boyfriend yells at me. Do you think I should break up with him?’ You know you should. You’re just waiting for someone to say, ‘He’ll change.’ Really? Don’t do that to yourself. You have to say, ‘I don’t need you.’”
Don’t get ahead of yourself
“I had a really big crush on this guy named George. Whenever I saw him, my heart would start beating, and then I would hide. Later, I got to know him, and I realized he wasn’t for me. I didn’t even know him before I started acting like a crazy person.”
Why love makes for great comedy
“I think it’s because everyone has felt love. Everyone has felt that romantic friendship to somebody. And, everyone has fucked it up. No one in the history of people has had one perfect relationship. That’s why most TV shows are about finding love. Anything and everything can go wrong. If you have a perfect relationship, you need to ask yourself, ‘What’s happening?’”
I draw upon my own life
“Everything I do is based on my life. I did this diversity showcase where I wrote sketches, and the director asked, ‘How will this show you as a big, black woman?’ I was like, ‘I think when I walk on stage, they’re all going to know. It’s not a secret that I’m big and black.’”
Model's own dress, flats, rings, bracelet, and necklace.
Photographed by Ben Ritter; Styled by Sasha Kelly; Makeup by Ashleigh Ciucci; Hair by Adam Maclay.