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To Issa Rae And "Insecure," On Being Every Awkward Black Girl's Safe Haven

Updated: Nov 18, 2021

Before we met you, we were hiding in the shadows of mainstream media. Their version of the Black girl's story had less to do with encouraging us to be our best selves. In their version, we could only ever be one thing or another, never both, and sometimes never anything at all.

(Image Source: Jenna Greene/WWD)

But in your version of our story, Issa, you brought together these extremes of either being too radical and ratchet, or being silent and palatable, and then met us in the middle, teaching us that we exist in multiplicity and cannot be boxed in. Insecure couldn't have come at a better time than when we were fiending for change. It unearthed a burning need for us to witness our true forms, to examine and challenge ourselves and others, be it through friendships, romantic relationships, heartbreak, loss, love, sexuality, or the full spectrum of adulthood.

Listening to you rap to yourself in the mirror, watching Molly fall in and out of love, seeing Kelly rock out at Afropunk and you moving out of your apartment at The Dunes to sleep on Daniel's couch made us realize we were not all that crazy, not all that broken, and not all that alone in our experiences.

So as we go into the final season of Insecure, this is a love letter to you and this revolution you have created where we can fall apart and come together as we please, where we can ask the difficult questions and sit in the discomfort, where we can give ourselves a chance with the knowledge that we are not our mistakes and that it's okay to not have it all figured out. It is because of you that we feel safe and without judgment. You said "We got y'all” and really meant it.

When we ask ourselves what life looks like on the other side, we'll confidently say it looks like a fearlessness that is rooted in us embracing our stumbling feet. It looks like us finally exhaling, knowing that the world is watching us a little less from the gaze of its unrealistic expectations of perfection.

So thank you, Issa. We needed you.


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