Grown-ish: It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp

BY NIAIA BOSTON

Image Source, Grown-ish

Image Source, Grown-ish

The first season of Grown-ish has been surprisingly refreshing as the dramedy followed Zoey Johnson (played by Yara Shahidi) and her group of friends as they struggled with dating, sexuality, political differences, and prescription pill abuse during their freshman year at Cal U.

In its tenth episode, “It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp,” sisters Jazz and Sky (played by Chloe and Halle Bailey) were center stage as they revealed some hard truths about dating as black women. The girls shed light on the racial bias they faced while dating in startling contrast to their white, Asian, and mixed-race counterparts. All backed up by statistics from OkCupid confirming that 82 percent of non-black men show some bias against black women but, their well-meaning friends Nomi, Ana, Aaron, and Vivek were still seemingly unconvinced. Begging the twins to consider other factors for their bad luck, like the school’s small black population or their attitude, this disregards the lasting effects of the Sapphire stereotype which has been used to depict black women as inherently hostile, a foil to the delicate femininity of white women. 

Thankfully, the girls weren’t going to let their friends have this one by exposing “The List”— undeniable proof that throughout the years, social media has shown athletes, actors, and rappers actively thirsting over white women like Kylie Jenner, exoticized women like Karrueche Tran and Chrissy Teigen, and latinas like Jennifer Lopez. The show was even bold enough to include images of interracial celebrity couples in which particular black men have had a track record of seeking women of any race besides black.

Telling it like it is the twins let it be known that men are always “checking for the girl who looks black but no one wants the girl that actually is,” hence the popularity in lip injections, butt shots, cornrows, and “rocking timbs.” Despite the fact that black women have been proven to be most likely to respond to a potential match when looking for love and reply the most, yet get the fewest replies. Essentially every race— including other blacks, singles them out for the cold shoulder.

Still, the girls remain undeterred while continuing to seek romantic prospects. Jazz decides not to limit herself and attempts to try something new in a quest to cure her loneliness by chopping it up with a white dude named Chad at the bar. Meanwhile, Sky looks for answers to her concerns by asking a fellow classmate named Doug (played by Diggy Simmons) why he has been deliberately flirting with white girls the entire night and around campus but has been ignoring black girls. In which he bluntly states, “Because I can.”  

Sure, there’s no definitive way to date or any reason to limit the myriad possibilities of finding someone to love in this day-and-age, but Grown-ish’s attempt to call out prejudices that would otherwise be swept under the rug is reassuring and full of potential. 

Niaia BostonComment