Judging from the dozens of thirsty Bougie Black Girls on my Facebook page, Twitter feed, and GChat list, within the last week or so Jesse Williams — best known for playing one of the doctors on that Shonda Rhimes show that airs before Scandal — has cemented himself as 2014's holder of the Bougie Black Girl Celebrity Crush Crown.
How exactly has he done this? Well, he looks like a Benetton model, which helps. But more importantly, he's been very outspoken, passionate, and articulate in his support of the uprising in Ferguson. And, as we all know, a man with model good looks + social consciousness is to a Bougie Black Girl what cocaine + the shit you use to turn cocaine into crack is to a crackhead.
Anyway, Williams seems set to hold the crown for 2014. But what about last year? And 10 years ago? Who were the crownholders then? Curious, I dispatched a one person research team (Me) to get to the bottom of this, giving myself complete leeway to make completely arbitrary decisions about this, going back to 1994. (Why 1994? Because 1994 was a great year, and no one reading this gives a shit about what happened before then.)
Before we begin, let's establish a couple rules.
1. The celebrity crushes have to be specific to Bougie Black Girls. For instance, you won't find people like Idris Elba, Denzel Washington, or Justin Slayer on the list because they seem to appeal to all women.
2. If you have a criticism about my extensive determination process, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On to the list.
1994-1996: Kadeem Hardison
Although A Different World ended in 1993, Kadeem Hardison's "Dwayne Wayne" had such a hold over Bougie Black Girls that he managed to extend his reign for three years. Sadly, he also convinced an entire generation of young Black boys that hot Bougie Black Girls loved guys who loved math. Which explains why the male/female ratio at every NSBE convention is 2634 to 1.
1997-1998; Larenz Tate
Although Love Jones is an iconic movie, I think it's better if we all collectively forget Darius Lovehall was an unemployed stalker who'd totally catch a street harassment charge today.
1999-2000: Taye Diggs
With his turn in The Best Man, Diggs seemed poised to hold the celebrity crush crown for years to come. Unfortunately for Diggs, a requirement of holding the Bougie Black Girl celebrity crush crown is that you actually need to like Black women.
2001-2004: Mos Def
The Brooklyn born rapper, who narrowly beat out strong contenders Common and Andre 3000 for the crown in each of these years, became such a ubiquitous figure in Bougie Black culture that local Mos Def doppelgangers — the usually dreadlocked deep brothers at every poetry slam who used words like "aura" and "essence" in regular conversation — also experienced a popularity boon. Hence, the six to eight kids all by different women they all have now.
2005-2006: Kanye West
Hard to believe now, isn't it? Admittedly, this affinity for Kanye wasn't so much a romantic crush as it was a deep appreciation and affection. But that deep appreciation and affection definitely did exist, which is why many steadfastly believe North West is the Antichrist.
2007: Hill Harper
Let me just say this: If you were an educated Black man in this period, and you weren't writing a relationship advice book, what the hell were you doing with your life? (And yes, I'm calling myself out.)
2008-2012: Barack Obama
There's a reason Michelle stays in such good shape. Because she needs to be able to kick the asses of all the Bougie Black heffas in DC trying to "invite her man to brunch."
2013: (tie) Melissa Harris-Perry, Kerry Washington, Lupita Nyong'o
With no real strong male contenders this year, Bougie Black Girls collectively transferred their affections to this trio of talented and lovely ladies. And no, the popularity of Orange Is The New Black totally had nothing to do with this, at all.
2014: Jesse Williams