As someone who is a self-proclaimed "awkward black girl", I’ve started to realize that our come up is near and it’s finally our time to shine. Really, we can get that love? Have we achieved that outpour of admiration from the world? Were we ever properly represented in media?
Generally, black women are never given satisfying depictions without it ALWAYS being biased. We haven’t had as much appreciation as we should be getting mainly because we are so unique. I’m not trying to make being a black girl sound like a club of extreme exclusivity. In reality, we have always been made to feel as if we were abnormally made and of another species (which would be exciting to find out I were an alien).
Yet, as unique and misunderstood as we are, were finally being depicted in mainstream media as exactly who we are. We exist! We are surfacing in the media world and are being welcomed with open arms. The release of the british comedy, Chewing Gum and HBO’s Insecure, (both achieving high acclaim from critics and audiences) proves just that!
Chewing Gum and Insecure (both released in 2016) examine the lives of two black women who live on different sides of the world. Despite, the distance they both go through parallel obstacles in their young adult lives. The main characters Tracey (Chewing gum) and Issa (Insecure) deal with hilarious, eccentric, honest, and exhilarating situations that openly cover black sexuality, relationships, racism, and culture. The bold eccentricity and confidence that prevails within the main characters makes you fall irresistibly in love with both of them.
Most of the scenes in Insecure and Chewing Gum provoke me to yell “ME” as I watch along .The ferocious empowerment that I see rise from the two characters gives me reassurance and courage to cultivate the same superpower within myself. Two black women in their 20's going through these typical portals of life is what is fascinating, enduring, and absolutely satisfying because you want them to win.
You want them to win because you see yourself in them and you definitely hold yourself to a level of success . They are amusingly vulnerable. Letting themselves spill out to whomever is around them even when its their quirks, neuroticism, their abrasively loud personalities that is overrun constantly with anxiety. They are wholeheartedly embracing who they are and we should too.
It’s not like these characters haven’t been seen on TV before. What makes Tracey and Issa so captivating is that they are black women being unapologetically themselves. That is the beauty and excitement behind these two shows - the diversity and the relativity. I see MYSELF! These shows are culturally impacting black television particularly in the category of black women. A new genre has been introduced to the world. A genre in which our women are being seen with a positive more honest outlook.
So I send out a thank you to Issa Rae and Michaela Coel for creating these shows. Thanks for allowing us awkward black girls realize we have a voice. For paving a way for awkward black girls that felt they never fit the prototype of societies mashup made for black women. You are loved. And you are adorable. You have a voice, it’s loud and goofy as hell.
Catch up on season 1 &2 of Chewing gum on Netflix!
HBO's Insecure will be returning this summer in July! (so excited)