Friday, January 6, 2017

I Don't Like Issa Rae's New Show

I wish it wasn't so, but I don't like Insecure, Issa Rae's new HBO show. The show has gotten a lot of positive attention so I don't think this post will matter much (I am not trying to sabotage). I watched two episodes and I was so disappointed! I don't usually watch comedies because I prefer hour-long shows especially sci-fi, legal, medical, or superhero shows. But I took a leap to watch Insecure because a long time ago, I watched maybe 2 seasons of Awkward Black Girl, and I didn't hate it (from what I remember). I was also happy to see a Black woman succeed and do a show starring Black women. I am a big fan of Shonda Rhimes' shows, I watch Becoming Mary Jane, and I seek out shows with diversity and Black women. I really wanted to like the show and support Issa Rae, but other than having Black women, there was nothing I liked about the show.

First of all, in the episodes I watched, all of the music was rap music! The rap music was full of vulgar lyrics, curse words, and the n-word so for someone who hates that type of music, this was a huge strike. There was no variety in music at all. Even when it was a woman "singing" it was rap music. Every Black person doesn't like rap music! It wasn't even something tame, it sounded hard as hell!

Second, all the characters swore so much! I have watched many HBO shows, but I don't know, is it normal to have so much swearing? The women called each other b**** repeatedly! All the Black people constantly referred to Black men and even the women with the n-word, and I HATE the n-word! Is this how people really talk? Of course they also kept saying f*** and s*** too. I am not a hypocrite so if I condemn rap music for this sort of language I have to use the same standard for this show. The language is filthy for no good reason. Do they swear like this on Girls? I watched Sex and the City (because it was on all the time) and they definitely did not swear this much.

Third, the show did nothing to make Black women look appealing at all! We complain so much about how we are represented in the media by non-Black people. This lead to calls for Black women to represent themselves. Well Issa Rae was given so much support for creating a televised show and this is how she chose to represent Black women! Issa Rae's character appears pretty androgynous, hard, she raps in a vulgar way, she curses, she was cold to her boyfriend, and she was texting another guy. Her behaviour and appearance would only be attractive (as a friend or romantic partner) to a select group who are used to that. Compared to Black women in the mainstream (e.g., Gray's Anatomy, Scandal, Sleepy Hollow, etc.) she was hard as nails! Very unfeminine, not classy, not sweet, not nice, and not a woman to admire. Her friend was only slightly better in terms of feminine appearance but her speech was as bad as Issa's. Just think about the MANY shows with single women and how they compare to the women on Insecure--it's obvious that other shows make single women look appealing and feminine (e.g., GIRLFRIENDS!!! Friends, Gilmore Girls, New Girl, Gossip Girl, 90210, etc.).

If I wanted the world to appreciate the qualities of Black women and see us as just as good as other women, Insecure is the last thing they should watch. Even on the Walking Dead the Black women characters are more desirable and admirable! If I don't support negative images of Black women then I can not support this show because it makes Black women look awful. I can barely relate to the characters, I would not want to be friends with them, and we would not get along (my friends and I don't call each other b****). I'm not even mad about showing the best friend as a stereotypical single Black woman because single women finding love is a part of many dramas. But the friend came off as so hostile and angry, not sympathetic. I did not love the women on Sex and the City, but they had some class. Being Mary Jane is so much better at representing a single Black woman who is also desirable.

Fourth, I just didn't find it that funny. I thought Awkward Black Girl was funny, but I didn't find much humor in this show. There were no "jokes". I also liked that Awkward Black Girl had more multiculturalism but this show is just focused on Black women with Black men. I don't know if this changes later on or if they have a non-Black friend, but I just have a preference for multicultural shows. This one has an Asian woman, but the best friend is envious of her so it's not the same. I don't know, maybe it gets better but I was so disappointed. This reminds me of when I tried to listen to rap music while ignoring the n-word, cursing, violence, and misogyny because of the beat...what's the point of consuming something for entertainment it if I dislike so many parts of it? I won't consume or promote something that makes Black women look bad just because it supports someone Black. I just can't get behind something that makes Black women look bad. When I think about how HARSH some bloggers have been about how Black women were portrayed on other shows (e.g., Sleepy Hollow, Scandal, Person of Interest) I just can't excuse this because it's by a Black woman. So for any readers who want to see a show with feminine and desirable Black women that make us look good, skip Insecure and try Being Mary Jane instead.

To be fair, I'll post some reviews below so you can make your own choice (take note of the race of the authors and think about the types of roles that the mainstream celebrates as being "real"):

Is Insecure Preying on Black Women’s Insecurities?
Insecure Is Quietly Revolutionary
Issa Rae's 'Insecure' Isn't Niche—It's Just Never Been Done Before
Issa Rae talks ‘Insecure,’ stereotypes, and ‘bitch’ as a term of endearment
10 Reasons Not to Watch HBO’s Insecure by Issa Rae
Insecure lets black women watch ourselves on TV – at last
‘TV is full of black women fighting’: Issa Rae on kicking stereotypes into touch with her HBO comedy ‘Insecure’


  1. While I haven't watched the show I do agree with you overall. Bitch is not a term of endearment. No one can clean that up.

  2. You know what this blog has some good articles, so why are we talking about Hollyweird? I remember reading an article on this exact blog about 2-3 years ago, and it said in the article something about if you have a tv, give it to a white friend, because tv only shows whites in a good light. Well that was very good advice. Whether it is about negative stereotypes of BW, interracial dating (ugh tiring), violence, shitty white and black politicians, both male and females, nonsensical white and black, male and female athletes, and celebrities with tons of money, who are not giving the rest of us any. Why are we still talking about them? It is 2017, let's get to self -improvement Remember those people do not give a shit about us and they are not going to change and empower the rest of us. There is no surprise with this Issa Raye, tv show. I like the articles on this blog that deal with complete self-improvement for us such as "How to be an elegant BW in 10 lessons, and your femininity article, BW must advertise their unique features, if BW wore sarees, pin up girl styles for BW, those are empowering articles. This is just a suggestion but I would also like to see articles, on good communication skills for BW, how to have an organized life and home ( I found personally too many BW are disorganized), how to eat healthy, self-pampering, meditation and actively pursuing your goals, money management(how to live well, save and invest, even if you're on a limited income) positive parenting tips for BW, should we or should we not homeschool our children. How to graciously accept a compliment,etc, etc, etc. The list is so long on articles that could be written about that would empower us as BW.

    I am not trying to be critical, but talking about BP and WP who do not give a shit about BW who are seeking to empower themselves, in my opinion is futile. We are abusing ourselves by always having these people in our psyche. Yes we should be aware of people like Trump and his supporters, who are even more racist than him, and once again we know mainstream tv hardly ever portrays BW in a good light, no natter what color or sex the writer, director or producer is. Let's stop looking to the media and everyone else to put us in a good light. We BW on this blog should be directing our energy to supporting each other in being the best we can. So let's have more empowering articles, because I'm tired of negative articles, and talking about WP and BP who do not have our best interest in mind, and frankly once again for the millionth time, they do not give a shit about empowering BW.



    1. Elegance has written many articles about how black women are portrayed in the media, well yes she did say in an article that it is better if black women stop watching television and take up other hobbies, she still watches tv and so do many other black women. I also do not think it is polite to tell her what she can write on her blog. If you do not like an article, you don't have to read it or comment on it. It would be better to read and comment on articles that you do like. While there is nothing wrong with criticism, you are veering away from the topic at hand.

  3. By the way A BIG THANK YOU FOR THE ARTICLES" and resources on femininity, I read them passionately and refer them to other BW who are interested in self improvement.



  4. You made a lot of fair points and also some very subjectively-rooted ones, but your reasoning behind all of them is very troubling to me.
    This is my first time on this blog, so perhaps it's just because I don't know you very well. However, your conclusions about this show seem to be rooted in some pretty outdated ideals. If this is an indication of what this blog is about I think it'll also be my last time here.

    1. I agree with you completely. This is my first time on the blog as well and this was the first article I read. Black femininity is more than just not using foul language etc. This article does what every body else does when it comes to black woman-push respectability politics and I'm not for that

  5. Yay you're still here. I agree with you. Issa Rae isn't to my taste due to her 'ratchet' female characters I refuse to sit and listen to black people call themselves N and B and H over and over. Nice to know I'm not alone in boycotting her. Anyway isn't she African and raised middle class so why try to front as a hood rat??

  6. Thanks for the recommendation. I'll look into Being Mary Jane. I saw one series of "Awkward Black Girl" to support, but found I wasn't quite liking the humour.

  7. Hey this is off topic but your blog reminds me of The Prep Pursuit's youtube channel and blog.

  8. Awkward Black Girl was okay, but I too couldn't get behind this show... I also wasn't the biggest fan of BMJ but maybe I could give it another shot. We'll see. I really enjoy your blog. Write more.