Just yesterday, Real Housewives of Atlanta's Peter Thomas saw his family become a viral sensation for all the wrong reasons. His daughter, Porsche Thomas, was hit with a monsoon of foolishness after she posted a photo of herself nine months pregnant with twin boys (she is due next week!). The model and actress showed off her beautiful belly, but haters attacked her for being "too dark" and having a white husband, whom she just married in March.
We exclusively talked with Porsche who explained how she brushes off the haters, gives advice to other girls and has a message to everyone who was mad that her husband is white. Take notes, cyber bullies!
What was your reaction when your photo went viral?
I was baffled. I didn’t understand it because, to me, it wasn't even a great photo of myself. It was just a photo to embrace the belly. It wasn’t that deep when I posted it. I sometimes tag pregnancy pages that have a huge following so they can post it. I did a maternity shoot and I have this one photo that was reposted and it’s a photo of me wearing a blue denim shirt — it’s my husband’s shirt. Everything is covered but you can see the belly and you can see a little bit of side-boob. There were negative comments on it when they posted it. We’re so used to seeing white baby bumps. We don’t really get to see Black baby bumps and when we [do], people have a negative reaction to it, for some reason, like it’s vulgar. So I think that when I posted that and the response happened, I wasn’t totally surprised because I have seen that response, but not in this magnitude.
Were the comments hurtful or did you shake it off?
I shake everything off that’s negative. I don’t hold on to other people’s opinions that have nothing to do with me. I laugh at the ignorance. I know it exists, it's there and it's sad. The fact that we're in a Trump era made it less funny. But I don't let things like that bother me. I'm pretty secure in myself.
Why do you think, in 2016, there is still so much colorism toward darker skinned women?
I don’t think there’s a lot of self-love in the Black community. It obviously from slavery, then we had the paper bag test. We’re so quick to say, “Black Lives Matter” but we’re so quick to turn on each other. I just don’t think there’s a lot of support in the Black community. I think the reaction to my photo is evident of that. Most of the negative comments I received were from Black people, a lot of dark-skinned Black people, a lot of young Black people, which is crazy to me. We live in a time with social media and the internet, the world is so small and you'd think it would open people's minds and a lot of that old thinking would be history and it's not. It almost feels like it's getting worse.
Before you were married and dating, did you find that Black men were more attracted to lighter-skinned women?
There were very few Black men who were interested in me. When they were, they tended to be much older -- like late forties and fifties. I didn't find that I was appealing to a lot of Black men. For example, when I lived in Harlem, I would walk down the street and a Black guy would cat call me, I would not respond to that because I'm a lady. [Laughs] His response would be, "You look like Macy Gray!" So he would take what was beautifully initially and try to flip it to a negative because he felt rejected. There's been a lot of that — my skin is too dark, my hair is too natural, I didn't have light eyes. I never really experienced that from other cultures. On the other hand, since elementary school, white guys have been digging me. They have been all about it! [Laughs] Just a quick side bar, to all of the people who are outraged that I married a white man, I've always been under the belief that we are attracted to the people who are attracted to us. We're not going to be attracted to the people who reject us. Naturally, I have dated white guys because they were interested! [Laughs]
Sadly, a lot of people don't have the confidence you have. What did your mom and dad do to raise you with this much confidence?
Growing up, my father constantly told me I was beautiful. My mother, as a single Black mother, I just watched her be a strong Black woman. She didn’t complain. We had everything we needed. I watched my mom as a Black woman who was single do her thing and that gave me confidence. I grew up with a very strong Black woman in my life.
And how did your father, Peter Thomas who is on Real Housewives of Atlanta, react?
He's a reality villain so he's used to backlash! [Laughs] He knows the kind of person he raised and we talked about it. He said, "People are so ignorant, I'm going to repost it and check them!" [Laughs]
What was your husband's response?
I think he fed off my energy. He also kind of laughed at it. When I posted my response, he loved it. He thought it was clever, great and strong. He's been incredibly supportive.
What advice do you have for other dark-skinned black girls who have been bullied?
We’re strong and beautiful. We have that already and I think that we need to embrace that and we can’t let external people, their issues, their insecurities and their preconceived notions affect us. We have to own our strength and own our beauty. Everyone is different and that makes this world a beautiful place. I think knowing that gives you power. I love my Black skin, I love my father's Black skin. Haters are going to hate! [Laughs]
What's coming up for you?
I've been working on a show called Hungry with Russell Simmons about two models aging out of the modeling industry. I'm also working on a vegan cookbook with Russell Simmons. Also, Black Radiance is a cosmetics line and I’m going to be the face of it this year. The ad is coming out in the next couple of weeks, which is specifically for darker hued Black women. It’s an amazing line. It’s a pharmacy brand, so I’ll be in CVS!
What's your final response to the haters out there?
I guess I would ask them, how does it benefit you to make somebody feel bad about themselves? That's something I really want people to think about. What purpose does it serve to share a negative thought with a person you don't know and, on top of that, to be a pregnant woman? What do they gain from it?
See another gorgeous Black woman who is expecting a baby in the Wendy Williams clip above.