I like lists.
Y’all like lists.
So I started to make one of all of the things that happened in pop culture and politics this weekend.
We had MGK and Eminem; then there was Colin and Nike; there was even a bunch of chatter about that Bobby Brown biopic.
But then I realized I’ve had enough of that stuff for a while (hell, for the rest of my life, but who’s counting), and decided to start the month of September stanning for Issa Rae … in list form, of course.
I mean, why not?
So I “met” Issa Rae a few years ago on her “Awkward Black Girl” YouTube Series.
It was a cold winter day when my sister said, ‘hey have you seen this show?”
I indeed had not …
And when I did …
Well, it changed my life.
And while that entire description I just gave was grossly dramatic, I will say that ABG is an excellent web series for many reasons, but most importantly because it reminded me of how much representation matters.
So without further ado, I present to you, the top 3 reasons why Issa Rae is my spirit animal – aside from the fact that she’s a fellow Capricorn, of course.
Issa Rae is her Whole, True, Unapologetic, Black Ass, Awkward Self
I’m a mess.
One day I’m up; the other I’m down.
Some days, life kicks my ass. On others, I stand atop it like a mighty warrior beating my chest.
And sometimes, I frankly have no idea what to do.
And that’s OK, because I’m human.
But there are sometimes I feel alone in my quirkiness. I mean I’m a black woman, after all, aren’t I supposed to be loud and boisterous and overly confident all of the time?
Sheesh! The pressure!
But I’m not that, never have been, and while I know many other women living in this awkward space, I had never seen us represented in pop culture or the media before.
Until … until … I saw Issa walking down the hallway at work on episode one of ABG, overthinking about whether or not she should speak to a passing coworker; what tone of voice should she use; should she wave; should she smile.
And I said, by golly, that’s me. Somebody finally gets it. There are no absolutes. I’m not always one way or another and sometimes I’m just downright awkward and unsure and dorky af.
And guess, what?
That’s totally fine.
And sister Issa is giving us our awkward asses shine some well deserved.
Issa Rae is the Goals of all Goals
Sis had an idea.
Sis made a plan;
Then put said plan into action.
And she turned that idea into a thing.
And she kept doing that thing;
Again and again;
And the next thing you know …
She had a New York Times best seller …
Her own series on HBO …
Won a couple of Golden Globes …
And spread all types of multi-shade, melanated goodness as the face of Cover Girl!
*places hand over my head and feigns exhaustion from being overwhelmed by her goals smashing.
It may not mean much to some people and it may sound stupid and superficial, but the third and final reason why me and Ms. Rae will forever be bonded is because of her TWA, or “tiny, weenie afro” for the uninformed.
Yeah, I said it.
Sis gets her tiny, curly tresses slicked to the side, pulled in a pineapple, braided, pomped, flambéed, and all kinds of coiffed cuteness.
And I’m sure by now at this point in her career, someone has tried to tell her how she should change her hair; how much prettier she’d be with a bob or some “inches”. Hell, I get those kinds of comments, and I’m not gracing anyone’s TV screen, so I know she gets them.
But I can see her in the dressing room with her stylist now – or at least this is how it plays out in my head:
“Maybe you should get a we—“
“But your hair is long enough for –“
“Girl, you’d look so cute with a –“
“Somebody call this woman an Uber.”
And then a gang of women with equally fabulous TWAs come in and whisk the offending stylist away from the queen’s crown in a haze of coconut oil and shea butter.
So as much as I love a good Beyonce concert and will always bop to “Diva”, I can never be a member of the hive.
Because my spirit animal is not an international popstar, but a nerdy, awkward chick who made something out of being true to herself.
And who else could ask anything more?
Until next time folks,
I’m not a member of the Beehive;
But I’m dang sure an Issa Sting Rae
Love and Light,
What did you say?
You miss me when I’m gone?
Well, you know you can keep up with my antics every other day of the week:
You can also find all of my books The Becoming of Us, Vol. I, The Becoming of Us, Vol. II, What’s Hiding in the Dark: 10 Tales of Urban Lore, and They Eat on Amazon: