I never knew how much I needed Girlfriends. Never in my life have I craved such a relatable show to help get me through some of the toughest times of my life.
Yes, I was familiar with the series growing up… I mean, I’d watch a few episodes, aimlessly, not really understanding the weight of the plot nor the lessons. It wasn’t until about a month ago that I learned that Toni, Joan, Lynn and Maya were more than just mere characters. They were depictions of Black women in their true essence. Through their interpretations, Black women are allowed a chance to escape into a realm where they can see themselves. And, that means so much more to me, especially in today’s sensitive racial climate.
The show’s iconic screenwriter, Mara Brock Akil, has helped to transform society’s perception of women of color; with that, Girlfriends is more than just entertainment. The pilot episode first aired in 2000, but now in 2020, this show hits on so many different levels! From defining your own version of success to finding genuine happiness to simply living life on your own terms, I find myself binging episode after episode – truly appreciating the chance to view Black women through a more refined lens. Girlfriends proves that Black women can be multifaceted while grasping the reins of their own destiny.
Now, I can never pinpoint which girlfriend I’m able to relate to the most, but the only thing I do know, is that I see a little bit of myself in every single woman. I can totally understand Joan’s control complex and I also get Lynn’s indecisiveness and her ongoing quest to extract every ounce of God-given creativity. Toni is the one that keeps me laughing – her views are quite extreme, but her firmness is what I can appreciate. Maya is my spirit animal; everything she says out loud, I am literally thinking.
Not that anybody asked, but I believe this is what we’re lacking: real storytelling. Black stories need to be told, but very rarely are they done so seamlessly. I’m just happy that I can now (fully) appreciate such a dynamic show. It’s a celebration of friendship, love, life and just being fabulous! And, for that, I am grateful.
So, to Netflix, you’ve outdone yourself with this one. Not only am I a continued subscriber, but I am a Black woman who feels even more pride, by simply switching on your platform. Thank you.
Photo Credit: Popsugar, Everett Collection