Why Issa Rae’s New Show Will Help You Feel A Little Less Awkward About Being ‘Insecure’
Starting with a YouTube series called “Awkward Black Girl,” Issa Rae gives us a taste of her love for bringing out the humor of everyday life. In her new show, Insecure, Rae plays Issa, a woman in her late 20’s struggling to navigate her way through life and find her passions alongside her boyfriend Lawrence and best friend Molly (portrayed by Jay Ellis and Yvonne Orji respectively).
She encounters several situations throughout the season that project her insecurities and make her question if she is “doing life right.” On the show, Issa works for a poorly named, inner city, non-profit organization called “We Got Y’all”, while her best friend, Molly, is a successful attorney. She questions her relationship with her long-term boyfriend, Lawrence, which leads her to make a choice that she later regrets.
Rae created a relatable character that is on a journey to finding what Millennials have eloquently coined as “Black Girl Magic.” She attempts to start a path to becoming confident in every aspect of her life.
As black women, I think we spend a lot of time comparing ourselves to others whether it is based on career success, love, or appearance; by doing this, we lose confidence in ourselves making it hard for us to know who we are. In Issa’s group of friends, through comparison, we get to see examples of everything Issa feels that she is not. There is the friend with the successful career, the successfully married friend, and the “confident-in-her-situation” friend. For example, her best friend Molly is a successful attorney, while Issa is working for a poorly named non-profit “We Got Y’all” that continuously struggles to meet the needs of the community it is serving. She also struggles throughout the season to define the type of person she wants to be. In Episode 1, she has a fight with Lawrence and stays with Molly for a few days because of her insecurities with their relationship’s stability. When Issa and Molly decided to go out and celebrate life as a single black women, Issa is faced with the reality of what her identity means as that. She stood in the bathroom trying on different lipsticks and their matching personas before she went out with Molly only to come out just wearing chapstick. In Episode 6, she makes the decision to cheat on Lawrence after she proceeds to go through a series of unfortunate events. At the end of it all, she reflects on her actions and realizes that all that she went through was because she was too busy trying to be someone she wasn’t.
Rae also does a great job at making the rest of the characters relatable by bringing out their insecurities. Molly, although a successful career woman, is still having trouble finding her “Mr. Right.” Lawrence, a brilliant college graduate, has been struggling to get his career off the ground while trying to become the man he wants to be for Issa.
If you struggled or are struggling with any of the aforementioned identity crises that these characters face, I strongly recommend this show for you. For myself, I felt comforted by the show and all the character’s experiences. Although I am only 20, I am already feeling the pressures of life trying to make sure I am “doing it right.” I struggle every day trying to do what I am “supposed to” therefore after graduation I stand out on that job application or hoping that my relationship will be able to withstand the ups and downs of life.
Rae’s new show does a great job at comforting black people by catering to their real-life issues and not the struggles that have been created for them through mass media. Her show makes it okay to be unsure about your next steps in life because she shows you that you are not alone in trying to figure it all out. Although the first season has officially ended, make sure to binge watch all 8 episodes on HBO before the new season premieres in late 2017.
Article by Adrienne Lloyd