By Jenise Jackson
Blog Content Contributor
Thanks to my HBO subscription, I recently got hooked on one of their original series titled Insecure. Now that I am all caught up with the series, I think it is safe to say that I have never related to any other TV show this much in my whole life. Sure, I am only 20 years old. but this show takes a satirical look at what it is like to be young and black in America and I absolutely love it. I now understand why the show has made such a buzz this past year.
Issa Rae, the star and creator of Insecure, loosely based this show off of her web series The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl. Throughout the show, Rae wanted to give fuller meanings to black identity by defying stereotypes, exploring inter-racial diversity and authentically portraying blackness. In my opinion, Insecure does an even better job of that. I am not ashamed to say that I am practically the main character, Issa Dee (Issa Rae). Issa Dee could be considered a self-assured, yet self-loathing individual who is also confused and vulnerable as she juggles her job, friendships and relationship. We see Issa Dee battle through her dating weaknesses and office conflicts all with comical sensibility and I can not help but think this equates to my young adult life so far.
Let us discuss Issa’s career first. She works for a non-profit organization that benefits students of color. However, she is the only black person on staff. She deals with co-workers who talk behind her back and underestimate her potential while also stereotyping minority groups because they do not seem to know any better. It is no secret that this happens to people in real life sometimes. In fact, it happens in my life. Although they have not been all job related, I have been in situations when I was dealing with people who assumed that because I am black, I could never live up to or exceed the expectations set for my positions. And when I did prove them wrong, the chatter among my coworkers would begin. Not only is it hard being a female in a job setting, it is more difficult being a black female. Of course, people are going to talk about you regardless, but when that talk is based off of your gender and the color of your skin, it makes it tough to just live through it and not pick a fight about it. Luckily, I am learning from Issa. I can just write little raps about the hardships of racial ignorance and recite them in my mirror.
The parts of my life that I really see portrayed through Issa is her relationship struggle. She has been in a long-term committed relationship with Lawrence for years. Now, Lawrence is not like most of the men we see portrayed on screen. He is not a player or a dog, he really loves Issa. He is just jobless and has a lack of ambition because his college degree seems to be going to waste. Through the first season, we see Issa question whether or not she and Lawrence should be together because everything is so predictable with them and nothing is like what it used to be. Questioning this eventually leads her to cheat with a guy from her past and it tears Lawrence apart. He leaves Issa and she starts to realize that “you do not know what you got ‘til it is gone.” Again, I am 20 years old. These are the years that most people are commitment-free and just going with the flow in terms of relationships. However, I have always valued my relationships and taken them seriously. As I go into my last year of college, I have realized a lot of things that I want in a relationship and what I want from my partner. I have been with people who had all the qualities that I was looking for, but lacked ambition for their future and were content with being complacent. Maybe they needed someone to inspire them to be greater and I just did not take the time to invest in them. Maybe I missed out on real love because of that and that starts to become clear once you see that person doing all the things they did for you but for someone else. I might not have as hard of a time moving on like Issa seemed to be having in season 2, but I do in a way understand her relationship woes. I probably should not turn to Tinder like Issa either (sort of been there and done that).
I guess I got hooked on Insecure because it is a show where it actually feels like someone just like me is being portrayed. But even if you are not like Issa Dee or the other characters, you can still enjoy the laughs the show brings. If you have an HBO Now or HBO Go subscription, do not miss out on season 2 with new episodes each Sunday at 9:30 P.M.
Featured image via HBO.