Dear Issa: Sis, Please Do Better With Big, Black Women Characters

Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

So, let’s start with this — The HBO #BlackGirlMagic sitcom “Insecure” is HELLO DOPE; however, on behalf of Big, Beautiful and Black queens everywhere — we need the writers to do better with our sista Kelli. How many more “Kelli” characters of Hollywood do we need always showing up as the sex-crazed, funny, fat girl.

But even more than that, why is the perception of plus sized Black women STILL reflecting aspects of the “black mammy” character? Why do we as a culture (because we already know wypipo be with the shit) think the only role Big, Black women can play is one for kicks and giggles? Why can’t mainstream media AND our own people take us seriously? In the words of our Black BBW Ancestor Fannie Lou Hamer, we are “sick and tired of being sick and tired”!

Let’s take a look at 3 missed opportunities where the writers of Insecure (and folks who claim to love ALL BLACK WOMEN) can get this right for all the Kellis in our lives:

1. Respect Black BBWs Excelling in the Workplace

Kelli is a whole Black ass accountant, but we wouldn’t really know that because we associate Kelli’s character with comic relief. Now, we all love that about Kelli’s character, but we think she and all the Big, Beautiful and Black women in your lives deserve their flowers for more than bringing the world a good chuckle. We need to celebrate the Kellis in our lives who are defying stereotypes about Black Women in underrepresented fields. Out of 650,000 CPAs in the U.S., an estimated 5,000 are black, according to the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA)…and chile, Lord knows how many of the 5,000 are PLUS SIZED Black Women. Take a look at these stats —

Have you ever took a step back in your own profession and analyzed how many plus sized Black Women are in executive and C-Suite leadership roles? Have you ever listened to some of the nuances associated with fatphobia and Black Womanhood? Nah…its likely rare. Even in a few episodes of “Insecure” in previous seasons, Kelli has tried to vent about how the wypipo on her job are trash, but the much needed rant gets cut short with…you guessed it…another joke by the “fat girl”. We have to do better by Big, Black Women in the workplace.

2. Big, Black Women Deserve Healthy Romantic Relationships

Now don’t get me wrong, some of Kelli’s romantic interests had me CTFU! In season 4 with the whole “Poppycock” and faux British accent scene, my sides were bursting at the seams. But bruhhhh…the romantic interest was fine af, but his level of intellect was disrespectful to the genius that is Kelli. THEN this season, there was a kind of a potential “zaddy” situation that could have sparked some real chemistry…**sigh** but then the writers decided to add the “sex-crazed fat girl” element once again…for kicks and giggles.

Listen, our role as Big, Black Women is not solely for your pleasurable consumption. We deserve our pleasure too…romantically, physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. There is intersectional strife associated plus sized Black Womanhood [MESSAGE: INTERSECTIONALITY]. Plus sized women are often stereotyped as being matronly figures combined with Black womanhood, its a double whammy of the fat matronly woman and the nurturing spirit of Black womanhood. While many (not all) plus sized Black women take pride in being the nurturers of the Earth, wtf y’all ass not gon do is put us in this dry ass, one-dimensional box. WE ARE NOT YOUR DAMN MAMMIES…PERIODT! When you date a big, Black Woman, it is a blessing indeed, but don’t come to Big Girl Land thinking you are about to have a second mother as opposed to a future life partner. Don’t you dare think that you are about to continue the legacy of “fat girl shame” where you sleep with Big, Black girls in the late night hours and ignore them in public. NOT TUH-DAY! Big, Black Women our worthy of WHOLE and healthy love — not this warped idea of struggle love. We have to do better by Big, Black Women in love and romance.

3. Big, Black Women Are Some of the Best Friends You Can Ever Have

Can we take a minute and talk about how Kelli is the BEST friend of all on “Insecure”? She is THEE most consistent and dedicated to the bonds of sisterhood. In season 3, Kelli and Tiffany were beefin’ pretty hard; however, in season 4, during this emotionally jarring fallout between Issa and Molly, you hear Kelli giving some really helpful and mature advice to Issa about putting on their big girl drawers and sorting out their differences. Now they slaw ass didn’t listen to the advice, but it was a lesson we can all learn from — compliments of the Big, Black Girlfriend. There have been so many lowkey gems Kelli has been dropping for 4 seasons straight, but her wisdom is often hidden by the writers’ obsession with emphasizing the character’s wit.

How many of us have Big, Black Women who we can’t live without in our friendship circles? We have to be more grateful for our Big, Black Girlfriends.

So there you have it! Please act accordingly, writers of Insecure AND the friends and lovers of Big, Beautiful and Black Women across the globe. We deserve healthy love and adoration at all times. Dassit.

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Written by & for Big, Beautiful & Black Queens, "The BBW Slay" is a body positive, intersectional blog packed with all the #BlackGirlMagic...PERIODT💋

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The BBW Slay

The BBW Slay

Written by & for Big, Beautiful & Black Queens, "The BBW Slay" is a body positive, intersectional blog packed with all the #BlackGirlMagic...PERIODT💋

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