Black Woman Wednesday: Molly

It has been a few days since the season finale of Insecure and I was disappointed with this episode. Lawrence and Issa mended their relationship, but the creators had to ruin it by bringing Condoleezza Rice back with a baby. Issa and her team of writers refuse to allow a fictional story take us to a fantasy fair tale land. They want us grounded in reality. 

Issa and Molly both have growth. But people think growth is a straight line. It’s not. It’s two steps forward. Three back. One forward. Etc. #InsecureHBO 9:22 PM – 14 Jun 2020 from Ladera Heights, CA

Prentice Penny via Twitter

Prentice Penny is the showrunner for Insecure and I think what he tweeted perfectly sums up my opinion about Molly. I am happy that he is allowing her character to be as dysfunctional as a white protagonist can be. There are too many examples of self-centered white protagonist like Piper from Orange is the new Black and Serena from Gossip Girl.

In Gossip Girl, Serena, screwed over her best friend by sleeping with Blair’s boyfriend. Her narcissism was worse than any fight between Molly and Issa. Yet people love Serena. I have to note that I hopped on the Gossip Girl train late, so I don’t really know if people hated her as much as Molly or not. Since, Serena can stab her friend in the back and be forgiven, then Molly is allowed to be stubborn and self-righteous. There would not be a show if Molly slept with Lawrence. People would have petitioned to cancel it like they petitioned for Lawrence to come back.  

 It is a known fact that dark skin women receive a lot less empathy than other women. And if you are light skin and take offense to that statement, just stop reading. I am not writing about dark skin versus light skin. It is about a fictional dark skin character who can not afford to be human partly because of the strong black woman trope. And I am not talking about white people either. We as a black community do it to dark skin women.

I think Toni Morrison captured it well with her character Pecola in the Bluest Eye. Pecola’s father rapes and impregnates her and the community judged her. She was an actual victim and people -black people – black woman still looked at her with contempt. Pecola is the representation of how dark skin black woman are viewed in society.

Yvonne Orji’s character gets so much flack on Twitter and it’s so harsh because she is a dark skin. Insecure is way too real. We are so use to the trope of the strong black woman that when we see a black woman showing human characteristics we hate it. I will admit that Molly is brash and after episode 7 I thought their relationship was doomed.

I don’t care who’s side you were on this season, the right one (Issa) or the wrong one(Messy Molly), Prentice Penny wrote and directed his ass off in that season finale last night. #InsecureHBO

@PhenomBlak via Twitter

As an advocate for nuanced representation of black woman I appreciate Molly’s character. If white women can be the weirdo, the goth, the mean girl, the girl next door, the smart girl, or the main pixie dream girl*, then Molly can be the stubborn, self-righteous black woman who makes mistakes. She is allowed to be imperfect. This does not mean I agree with her decisions. It means that I empathize with her. 

Honestly, Issa, isn’t perfect either and has made several mistakes. She also played apart in the demise of their friendship by avoiding the difficult conversations before things blew out of proportion. The difference is that Issa doesn’t hold grudges like Molly. Issa is the forgiver and Molly is the punisher. 

So that’s my hot take on the character Molly. Even though the season finale wasn’t my favorite episode, I loved the ending shot with Issa and Molly reconciling made me heart happy. That along with Tyler Creator’s “Are We Still Friends” was perfection. 

*The Take – This channel covers all of these tropes and more. They were spot on with the strong black woman trope.

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