When Khloé Kardashian gave birth to her first child earlier this week, she had already been through a lot more than the challenges of pregnancy. The reality star had to weather persistent rumors that her baby’s father — boyfriend Tristan Thompson of the Cleveland Cavaliers — had been cheating on her while she was pregnant. Though little more than a grainy video of Thompson kissing another woman has been offered as evidence of the basketball player’s infidelity, there has been no shortage of backlash from Kardashian’s supporters and Cavaliers fans. During Thompson’s first post-scandal game, the player was booed by audience members decked in Cavs gear.
Amid the harsh reactions from Kardashian’s fanbase to dump Thompson, rapper Cardi B had a piece of advice for the new mom that went against the grain. “Just do what your heart feels like doing," Cardi said during a radio interview with Big Boy's Neighborhood. "Do what your heart feels like is right. At the end of the day, everybody wants to act like they're dating deacons and pastors and their relationship is perfect and you don't know what type of things are going on in their relationship.”
Cardi offers a unique perspective on Kardashian’s situation because, well, she’s been through it, too. The hip-hop artist revealed that she was pregnant with fiancé and Migos rapper Offset last week during her debut hosting slot on Saturday Night Live…but that happy announcement was the payoff from the couple working through a cheating scandal of their own. In January, People wrote of an alleged sex tape Offset had made with another woman, but throughout all of the talk, Cardi has maintained that all relationships have flaws, and if you want to make them work, you have to work hard. “We had to fight for our love,” she told Big Boy.
Between Cardi’s sharp self-awareness and Kardashian’s dedication to her new family, one wonders if women are now navigating a post-cheating approach to relationships. While pop culture has long presented images of woman hysterically crying, throwing clothing over balconies, and writing venomous breakup albums when confronted with adultery, Cardi and Khloé’s reactions seem to indicate a new method for modern romance: when something bad happens, get angry, but also breathe. Think about it, talk it over, and weigh what’s worth salvaging in a relationship. These are things Beyoncé did throughout her 2016 masterpiece, Lemonade, which chronicled her turbulent relationship with an unfaithful Jay-Z. Bey’s lyrics volleyed between fury, jealousy, hurt, and pride, addressing the volcano of emotions that erupt with the news of being cheated on. But Beyoncé, as we all know, didn’t burn everything down. She didn’t forget either, but she forgave, and eventually moved on. Cardi, Khloé, and Bey are redefining what it means to be a powerful woman; flipping the narrative of the victim into the one who has the power to forgive…or not.
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