Issa Rae and Melina Matsoukas are the real MVPs of 2016. They’ve taken the dating plight of every African-American millennial (typically ages 25-34) and introduced a ground-breaking sitcom, Insecure, that gives us real situations that we can actually relate to. And, they’ve officially won our hearts.
Personally, I found myself drawn to Molly’s struggle of being a young black woman, thriving in the corporate world while being handicapped when it comes to finding love. Based on my own dating experience, you either intimidate men based on what you have (i.e: higher education, a car, a house, etc.) or the meeting of the minds simply falls into the realm of “friends with benefits”. I watched anxiously as she sifted through man after man, just searching for that precious longing to be loved and it was an immediate reflection of my 20s. Issa and Melina tastefully execute each episode with all Black girls and Black boys in mind. The iconic duo has effortlessly mastered the art of easing into the homes, Instagram accounts and Facebook timelines of our nation’s young professionals while giving a nod to everyday situations that define our perceptions and outlooks on life as a whole.
This is the kind of content that’s been missing from television for years: provocative, thought-provoking themes that represent the struggle of an entire generation. But, more surprisingly, the introduction of Issa, Lawrence, Jared, Daniel and Kelly has given us a glimmer of hope when it comes conquering the fears of “pleasing” a society that simply wasn’t built to encourage our success as a people.
Insecure even made us reconsider the way we love.
At times, we can be so critical of our partners. We’re raised to have a certain set of “standards” that reign supreme over a man’s (or woman’s) true potential. Insecure proved that we can be so stuck on what an individual is lacking that we will sacrifice an entire lifetime of happiness to indulge in a moment of seduction and lust. Insecure also taught us to be extremely grateful for what the good Lord gave us because there’s always a ‘Tasha the Bank Teller’ lurking to catch you off guard in her low-cut lace-up top and six-inch stiletto heels!
Point and case: It’s easy to get so mixed up in what you “feel” you deserve in a relationship but, in exchange, you should also be willing to compromise for love because no one is perfect. You may want a six foot, well-paid stallion who owns at least three homes but God may send you a gorgeous, hard-working blue collar Enterprise employee who wants nothing more than to please your every need. In reality, it is up to you to look past material aspects while striving towards something more concrete: a mutual and exclusive relationship.
I’m not going to lie! I’ve fallen victim to this mentality but time has caused me to be more receptive to a wide variety of men. I used to turn my nose up at anyone who had kids or didn’t have a college degree; in addition, I would flee to the hills if I came across a man who couldn’t even provide for me financially. Yet, after kissing frog after frog searching for Prince Charming, I learned that a real man isn’t defined by his job nor his current situation. I realized that a man is defined by his actions, his spirituality and his morals.
Let’s take ’ol Lawrence for example: The poor guy was stuck in a professional rut – he was educated, ambitious and unemployed. While his girlfriend Issa could see that her boo was having a tough time, she consistently threw his flaws around like they were a few of her random lyrical monologues. And, despite her nit-picking, Lawrence continued to be the best man he could be. Although her was lacking in a few areas, he cooked, he cleaned, he listened to his woman, he sacrificed for their betterment, he was a solid support system… I mean, dude even landed a job at Best Buy, continued working on his business plan and slowly started to get back on his feet. But, that simply wasn’t enough for Issa…
She had to go ride the Daniel train.
Moral of the story: Cherish your men. Or, Tasha the Bank Teller will.
*Photos Featured: I do not own the rights to these photographs.