I’ve been contemplating this post for a while, holding off on writing it, because….well….some people are going to be very offended. It occurs to me now, that there are always people who are offended, especially by my somewhat estranged relationship with sugar coating.
It comes too after one particular conversation with a young lady, almost a decade my junior, who identifies with this character in all the wrong ways. Intelligent, educated, pretty and sassy. But totally confused about the value of herself. It hurt, in fact it hurts every time I watch this show. Every time this character launches into a tirade about how hard it is being a black woman in this world, or how hard it is to be black in general, or how hard it is to be single, or how hard it is to be career driven, or to find the perfect man, or….. I mean really. And of course, she would be the stereotypical angry black woman, hiding her insecurities behind rage at her “underprivilaged-ness”.
Three or four occasions from the last two seasons come rushing to mind. Let’s take a seat shall we?
1. Mary Jane’s weave panic and the ugly black woman. -_- I mean seriously? Did nobody in the writing room pick up a fashion magazine? EVER? How is this woman not aware that that head of natural hair is something that most women, even those of the not cocoa persuasion would kill for? How do you lead your show into a direction of Afrocentrism and advocacy, but cry when there is nobody to put in your weave? After hosting a segment about the perception of the black woman as ugly? After sending a message about embracing blackness and it’s beauty? Or is it Miss Mary, that that only means after we have tamed our dark-skinnedness into something less…natural? Are you seeing the hypocrisy?
2. Being one of your networks, star attractions, having the power and authority to spit in the face of the very company that signs your paycheck over and over again and STILL being celebrated, as the executives stand by and pander to you. Standing around in your designer digs, sipping wine that cost more that the average working woman’s work attire complaining about how the economy has done you wrong? How you are victimized and relegated to the menial? No NO No my sista. How about giving a seminar ever so often to girls in low income neighborhoods, motivating them, and no, not by attacking white america, but being the dream they want to achieve? You are one of the privelaged who didn’t have to beg and scrape for education, which is the universal door opener. I’m sorry it just feels so fake to hear those commentaries from those characters in the upper echelons.
3. Mary and the men. Now I know this is gonna crush some toes but really now. Mary you are the queen of the booty call. Either calling in bedtime action, or giving it out. You bark and degrade the men who try to get close to you, and your best relationship is with the simpleton that you call for a little night time exertion. What’s so wrong with that? In all seriousness, if that’s what you are in for them that’s what you are in for.
It worked for you for years, it’s working, why are you desperately running yourself ragged for a relationship? Or a baby? So much so that you would embarrass yourself by imposing on a stranger in a very obvious attempt to force a relationship into being, only to reject the one offer you get that very much fits the path you have chosen to trod? If noncommittal sex is the thing for you, then by all means, go for it. If not then be done with it and go for the more involved option. Stop flaking between the two, commit to something dammit. Genuine done told us, ain’t nobodies business.Ugh. P.S. David ain’t that fly, move on.
Plus, new flash, there is no Mr Perfect. Men are as diverse and messed up as we are. More so in fact, because they have to hide their insecurities from us and each other. We at least have our sororities of support. They are all in the alpha race for our approval, which we cannot give if we are holding out for Edris Alba’s Daddy’s little Girl character, with Christian Grey’s money. Sorry, relationships require from us. Sorry to say it.
But here is the kicker the real kicker, and correct me if I’m wrong, but we here are a world away form the sad surroundings of Miss Mary. Separated not only by geography but by culture. We live in a society which, even though a lot of us choose to deny it, we as black women have it really good. I don’t have enough fingers to tick off the number of positive female role models we have, we have women in parliament, in the senate, in almost all institutions I can think of in managerial positions. Some of our most influential voices are women. Well at least some of mine are. Yes there are men, but we all know that the Caribbean woman has her finger on the pulse of the social norms and economics. Not only are we the economic leaders holding the financial power in most cases, but we are all predominantly black.
So why would we choose to adopt this culture of insecurity? I tell you I really don’t know, I’m not even sure if it’s really a thing, or if it’s just a farce set on by the media. But we are falling for it it seems. Little sister, I just want to say, relax and love yourself. Men come and go, people come and go, but you are as steadfast as all the mothers before you. Where you are a success refuse to apologies but do no harm to get there. Miss Mary is a weird contrivance of fiction, with no basis or bearing in your life.