Impact of Insecure: How to Honor a Black Woman with Dark Skin

In late December 2021, the long-awaited finale of the “Insecure” series was aired. This is nothing more than a cultural phenomenon in the television industry. The show may be over, But the impact and heritage on television, how to show, affirm, and praise dark-skinned black women, is undoubtedly felt over the years to come. “Insecure” is a show for and about blacks. From stories, music, costumes to filmmaking to Black Los Angeles as a background, “Insecure” is the first show to focus on black female characters in a non-token way.

Usually, if a TV show has black characters, they are the only black characters. Their main purpose is to support the story of the white protagonist as a close friend or colleague. For tokenization of dark-skinned female characters, Mommy Trope, An “angry black woman” stereotype, or an overly sexual companion. Even programs with mostly black casts tend to have few dark-skinned blacks. Many focus on how white and black characters navigate White America.

This practice is the result of both racism and less-discussed. Prejudice against people with darker skin who favor colorism or lighter skin.. Colorism comes from slavery. At that time, slaves enslaved with lighter skin were perceived to be smarter and more desirable because they were privileged and closer to white. Colorist heritage It’s happening today on TV shows over the last 50 years, who was cast as the lead and who fades into the background (even if it appears). When black women dominate as the main or main love concern, they are historically almost exclusively thin skin, thin or racist with the characteristics of Eurocentrism, and sometimes people. It looks racist and ambiguous.


Ray reflected the lack of expression of dark-skinned black women in the media July 2018 Interview with “Teen Vogue”, “. “Dark-skinned females still draw a particular prototype, so I’d like to change that .. They are very strong, emotionless, robotic, or over-libido, and you I don’t really get in the middle. “

Ray has achieved her goal of shining a spotlight on a black woman with “anxiety” and dark skin. The main character, Issa (Rei), is not only her dark skin, but her best friend, Molly (Yvonne Orji), who is a catgut. Starting with Kelly (Natasha Rothwell) and Tiffany (Amanda Shields), their extended circle of friendship is also important for black sisters, shown not as a monolith but as an expression of black women of various shades, sizes and social classes. Illustrates sex. Ray deliberately tells a subtle story of the living experience of a dark-skinned black woman on the screen, such as when she noticed that Molly received a much lower salary than her white male colleague. Choosing that (a too realistic experience for black women), or when Issa is expected to be the voice of all blacks in the non-profit organization in the area where she works. When you feel the burden of the representative.

And “unstable” not only casts dark-skinned black women, but also amplifies natural hair. This is in contrast to the overwhelming tendency of black women to straighten their hair in order to ascribe to the norms of white professionals in society. Ischa, who shakes her natural hair at work, tells a black woman who has long been afraid that her hair, when worn with braids and natural textures, will look “too black” to her white gaze. Send a powerful message. colleague.

Seeing two dark-skinned characters on the screen for five consecutive seasons challenged the colorism that has been popular in Hollywood and beyond to this day. It helped viewers rethink who in the black diaspora and which color is considered beautiful and desirable. Issa and Molly are not defined or measured by what is considered “black beauty” by the “light is right” standard, functionalism, or social standard.

The final chapter of “Insecure” is over, but one of its most lasting legacy is what it does for dark-skinned females.How “anxious” as a dark-skinned black woman Eccentric Eurocentric beauty standards And by focusing on dark-skinned black women as multidimensional, desirable, and worthy of love, I felt I was seen on television for the first time. Being able to see Molly and Issa navigating their friendship-I don’t think her colleagues can fulfill her responsibilities like when Molly doesn’t share her mother’s health problems at work. So she relies on Issa for support-it’s an important moment in itself. The friendship between black women is rarely featured on television, but the essence of how we connect and care for each other is the sisterhood of black women.


In the future, psychologists, film courses, and next-generation television enthusiasts will analyze and study the effects of “anxiety,” saying that the place in the cultural zeitgeist is beautiful for dark-skinned women. Imagine how it revolutionized the way it is understood, necessary, and for now. I am grateful for the “anxiety” that affirmed the dark-skinned black women everywhere. It’s a show that has made us seen, appreciated, and reassured in the magic of our own skin. Through “anxiety,” we see and love ourselves. As a dark-skinned black woman, I never forget how monumental “anxiety” lies in celebrating dark skin as a mirror and a reflection of self-love.

Impact of Insecure: How to Honor a Black Woman with Dark Skin

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