'Grown and Sexy' is all about marketing


Patsy Pridgen


Life Columnist

Sunday, April 21, 2019

As a Rocky Mount resident, I was more than a little disturbed to see the name of the party booked for Good Friday at the Rocky Mount Event Center: Grown and Sexy.

Grown and Sexy? This didn’t sound like a wholesome sporting event or a family-friendly concert. Were my city tax dollars helping to fund a venue for an R-rated party better suited for a nightclub?

I decided to find out more about this gig and Googled “Grown and Sexy.” I found the advertisement for the Good Friday party —more about that in a minute — but I also learned that the phrase “Grown and Sexy” was not coined for this particular happening at the Rocky Mount Event Center.

To begin with, according to Urban Dictionary, Grown and Sexy is a dress code meaning “don’t even think of showing up at my function in baggy jeans, Air Jordans, platinum chains, bandanas and XXX white T-shirts.”

I’ve heard of dressy casual and country club casual, semi-formal and formal. I guess I can now add Grown and Sexy to my list.

To those who listen to R&B and rap, Grown and Sexy rings a musical note. Someone named Babyface has an album by that name, and there’s a single hit titled “Grown and Sexy” from The Sound of Revenge by an artist called Chamillionaire. This song has a clean album version and an explicit album version.

There’s a line dance called Grown and Sexy. A YouTube video shows smooth, synchronized moves that look a lot like an old Temptations performance. On the more risqué side, VH1 features a television series called “Grown and Sexy.” One episode is titled “Getting High, Relationship Baggage & Having a Baby.”

Oh my.

There’s also something called the Grown and Sexy Cruise, founded by Keith “KJ” Jones in 2000. According to the website, Jones noticed the need for an African-American themed cruise when finding that he, his wife and their friends were often the only people of color on an entire cruise ship. Evidently, the Grown and Sexy name is recognizable by the intended target audience.

Simply put, Grown and Sexy is a marketing term. Whoever wrote that description for the Good Friday party at the Rocky Mount Event Center knew that — even if he or she needs a spelling lesson: “… with the line up we got its gaurenteed to be the party of the year so grab them tickets now because they want last long!”

Sorry for my ex-English teacher digression. The point here is that there seems to be contrasting views of what people expected to see at the Rocky Mount Event Center. Many of us who are helping to foot the bill with our city tax dollars anticipated G-rated sporting events and concerts. Others are obviously thinking adults-only, big-time, bar-scene parties marketed to a particular population.

Maybe the new Event Center manager can determine the suitability of events to come. At the very least, I hope any future Grown and Sexy parties will be scheduled at a time other than the Christian Holy Week.

Check out Patsy Pridgen’s blog at www.patsypridgen.com.