How “Insecure” restored my confidence as a Black millennial

Now that it’s been a few weeks and I’ve had a chance to properly grieve and process the ending of this iconic show. I have some things to say.

Insecure made me laugh, bawl, dance, eye roll and often left me speechless. But most of all ‘Insecure’ restored the confidence of this black 30 something woman and I’ll tell you how.

Black Bodies

Insecure starred an awkward dark-skinned black girl (without a BBL, boop!) rocking her natural hair. She was a main character and she was deeply desired and loved by her love interests in a real way. Not in some “throw a dog a bone way”. She could be corny and clumsy and say the wrong things and still be a sexual being worthy of engaging in relationships that were complicated and passionate. She wasn’t the dowdy best friend with one guy that was confusingly devoted to her. No. Issa fu*ked. And she did it well and with diversely attractive men. And they didn’t cower away or try to hide her. They were attracted to, intrigued by, and sometimes obsessed with her. I live.

Black Relationships

Issa’s friendship with Molly showed that black women are capable of loving one another authentically and being supportive in a way that is missing from television. They even portrayed her jealous moments as ones that were rooted in her need to figure herself out and live up to her own expectations instead of being rooted in hatred and jealously (typically over a man).

Her romantic relationships again were imperfect but not of the “ghetto” like we’ve seen in “Baby Boy” or other black TV shows. She wasn’t a girl desperately in love with a gang banging hood ni**a who put her physically in danger at every turn. For once this love was complicated by emotions, insecurities, inexperience, and down right growing up just like we’ve seen many a white relationship be. Because *surprise surprise* we’re more alike than different. In the end, love is a human experience and it’s important to show it as a thread that runs through all relationships regardless of race.

Black Professionals

There was not an a eye-lash business, rapper, or athlete to be found! Issa and all the girls (and even the guys) were EDUCATED. They were capable individuals with thoughts, ideas, drive and excellence that spearheaded their careers independent of white people. There was not a white savior to be found. These people weren’t struggling because of some perceived deficiencies. They were late 20’s to early 30 something’s that were figuring out the best places that their potential could be utilized. My god. How refreshing.

Insecure restored my black confidence through the on-screen portrayal of Issa Dee and everything that surrounded her but also in the story of Issa Rae, the creator of the series, and how she took an idea, an experience of blackness, and made sure to bring that to the screen in the realest way possible all while bringing her people along for the ride. Insecure showed that black people can create something beautiful and moving and become a smash hit without pandering to white people. It existed without the exhaustion that so many black experiences exist with. It was free. It breathed life back into millennial black people everywhere. It made me feel ok with where I have been, where I am now, and wherever I could be on my way to.

Thank you, Insecure.

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