Credits: My Bathroom Mirror.
Let's start off with Issa and Lawrence and the pillars of their relationship.
I've decided to separate these because I want to analyze each one individually. The first is Issa and Lawrence's history. What's ironic is that the same amount of time they have been together is how long Monique and Andre (characters from the book) were together before Monique ended up pregnant. In "Mo's Mix," Monique and Andre faced problems in their 5th year too because they wondered what was next for them as a couple.
Quite similarly, Issa seems to be wondering the same thing. However, these is one difference between Issa and Lawrence and Monique and Andre: job statuses. In the first book, Monique and Andre are both working decent paying jobs, her as a CEO of a growing business and him as a 3rd year associate at a law firm (like Molly). For Issa and Lawrence, it is different. Issa works at We Got Y'all, which is a program designed to help kids while Lawrence is between jobs and this causes a riff in their relationship. Issa is tired of footing the bills while Lawrence chases his pipe dream of designing an app. Eventually, they break up, but their love for each other and their compromise brings them back together. Lawrence gets a job at Best Buy and eventually a tech firm while Issa learns to communicate and be more patient.
Everything seems sound in their relationship, until Daniel comes along. Now, Daniel was already around when Lawrence was messing up the first time. He became that "I can do you better" type of man and Issa fell into it. So, although she rekindles with Lawrence, she still holds a semi-lit torch for Daniel, wondering what could have been. This causes major problems when sleeps with Daniel. After this, Lawrence is done with Issa, although his financial instability may have been the cause of the problem.
Photo: The Tracking Board.
Now onto Molly and Jared. The pillars of their relationship are as follows:
As they hang out more and more, they begin discussing their younger years. Molly talks about a girl-on-girl experience she had in college and Jared sees this as an opportunity to say he's also had a same-sex experience. Molly's revelation doesn't bother Jared much because he doesn't have a problem with it, but Jared's revelation turns Molly off. When she's with him, she thinks of him being with a guy and it makes her question his sexuality. Jared's revelation emphasizes the standards Black can sometimes impose on Black men. As women, we have the leeway of having same-sex experiences without being labelled as lesbian, while men who do the same are automatically labelled as gay. Les Fabian Brathwaite went more in-depth about it in his article:"Insecure Asks, ‘Why Can’t Black Men Explore Their Sexuality Without Being Labeled?’
So, what can this dynamic duo teach us? Well, for one, it's that women are not perfect. Molly and Issa are hella relatable because they take Black women off this pedestal and humanize us. We are capable of great things, but we are also capable of making mistakes that can ruin relationships. Issa taught us that, sometimes, we don't have it all together and we don't have to. I like the title "Insecure" because it highlights the fact that Black women can sometimes be insecure. We don't think we're pretty enough; our hair isn't long enough; our check doesn't have enough zeros; our living situation isn't ideal enough; our relationship isn't perfect enough. Issa is showing us that even in our instability, we are enough and we have enough. We make mistakes, but they don't take away from our greatness.
From Molly, we learn that Black girls cry too. In many ways, Molly is that "strong friend" who needs checking on. Her decision to go see a therapist represents an emphasis Black society is, thankfully, beginning to put on our mental health. It's no secret that we suffer from PTSD for a slew of reasons and I'm relieved that Issa Rae is using her show as a platform to address that.
Issa's cheating cut deep because I personally thought that she had a good thing going with Lawrence. But, then again, how good could it be if he had been inconsistent with work for four years? Although I stand firm in my beliefs on cheating and she probably should have left long ago, I also believe in peace. How much peace can there be when, financially, Issa's giving 80 and Lawrence is only giving 20? They are both responsible for their wrongs and I hope that in this season, they will find a way to remedy their mistakes. I don't foresee them getting back together, especially after Lawrence's childish quickie in the season opener, but I do think that they will get to the root of what went wrong in this season.
I want Molly to find herself and become at peace with herself. She has a good job, she's intelligent, and she's attractive, but she's also very alone. Jared was a consistent love interest, but Molly wasn't able to appreciate him because she didn't appreciate herself and this goes back to what I was saying about her being the strong friend.
She has cleared all these hurdles with her career, but she is not romantically satisfied. I read an article saying that if she put as much effort into her relationships as she did her career, she might get somewhere. I agree with this. Many times last season, we saw Molly give up when it didn't work for her anymore, especially with Jared. I hope this season she can find something that works for her, even if that means finding comfort in solitude.
After one season of "Insecure," I'm hooked because it approaches everyday issues from a comedic, organic standpoint. I enjoy Issa's writing and acting styles and I am excited to see how this show grows for the women and men characters. As of now, my stance on the show is that it's great because it's hella relatable.
The "Rebellious Woman" blog is a periodic scoop on hair, love, race, politics, and everything in between. Stay tuned for reflections the life of a rebel with a cause!