I’m sensing a pattern here, maybe Mercury is in Barcade, but the specter of imperfection has reared its ugly head again. Last week we got a raw look at the imperfections of Kirk Franklin, this week we have Derrick Jaxn of Instagram fame getting exposed for repeatedly cheating on his wife. Why do people care? Well Jaxn, who has 1.3 million followers on the ‘Gram, built a whole brand around directing women on the type of men that they should date and more notably, how “a real man” behaves. He’s known for admonishing men in the areas where we need to step it up. It all reeks of a moral high ground, something that I’m certainly not a stranger to in my writing as well.
Creating content for public consumption is often a slippery slope. About six years ago I wrote a piece called Why People Can’t Stand Relationship “Experts.” The gist of it was that many times people are guilty of the very things that they come out against. Not only that, but they set impractical standards, making it easy to end up falling short. Jaxn isn’t the only unfaithful man. But there is something particularly disingenuous and manipulative about a relationship commentator being the very man he’s telling women to leave.
A few years ago I could remember an ex mentioning Derrick Jaxn to me. She wondered if I had ever seen his videos. I hadn’t. So she sent me a link one day, and all that I can remember from what I watched was that he wasn’t speaking from a position of contrition. He spoke with an air of hubris—and I can only assume I wasn’t the only person who felt like he was posturing. Still, his content, and the wide range of responses piqued my curiosity. So, I decided to follow him.
From time to time I would catch some of his clips and noticed throughout all of his content that he would direct women to set high standards for their men. Tips such as, “seek providers” and “don’t settle” for less than stellar treatment seemed very healthy, but also concrete and often lacked nuance. It also begged me to question quietly, “what about you?”
Well by chance, one day I came across Derrick Jaxn on the Cocktales podcast of which I’m a fan. During his interview he was asked about the type of guy he was as a younger man. He responded by saying in so many words that he was a wild boy in his day. At one point or another he reformed and became the Derrick Jaxn that we have come to know. For the life of me, I couldn’t understand why he would reveal that on the show, but his content would never refer to any of his past transgressions. So fast forward to this past weekend and I didn’t even bat an eye. Knowing what I knew, and knowing generally that anyone has the ability to disappoint you, I wasn’t surprised.
After being exposed, Jaxn took to Instagram with his wife by his side to confirm the rumors of long-standing infidelity that had already gone viral. This wasn’t a confession. It was a confirmation, a re-tallying of receipts already stacked by those looking to hold him accountable for his blatant hypocrisy. I felt for his wife, who looked awfully uncomfortable, and understandably so, seated next to him with their hands interlocked in a vice grip. He began to speak on how God became nonexistent in his life all of a sudden. The Lord? In this particular moment?
As a viewer it felt somewhat disingenuous. Jaxn made his own decision, had all of his God knowledge prior and just decided to do his own thing. That was his choice. But why tell us about your walk, now? Why not share the journey, and its teachable moments, sooner? Frankly, this all comes across as being about the the bag, which, clearly, you have to protect that at all costs—except fidelity.
Man, for the sake of the couple, and especially his wife, I hope Jaxn’s changed outlook is true. If not, time, and scorned women, will tell.
Big picture, the message isn’t wrong because the messenger is flawed. Jaxn’s behavior doesn’t negate how men should treat women. It is a reminder that many relationship male “experts” are in the business of selling women fantasies they aren’t even living. I’ve always liked the phrase “keep your words soft and sweet in case you have to eat them.” This life will humble you. Be authentic in every thing you do, whether you’re on social media or not.
Kahlil is a writer, author, and content creator from Brooklyn, NY. He really thinks that you should be familiar with him by now, but if you aren’t, feel free to be. Follow his work on Instagram @Damnitpops and his thoughts and rants on Twitter @Damnpops