The first episode of Girlfriends aired in the year 2000 (otherwise known as Y2K) and it was like nothing else on television. It portrayed 4 independent, smart, complicated, beautiful, educated black women embracing the real world in a way that the viewers had never seen before. These black women weren’t satisfying the stereotypes that society had set forth for them and I loved that. I weep on a yearly basis because this show isn’t on anymore and totally should be. While my girl Tracee has moved on to other successful, groundbreaking ventures, I will never forget the lessons Maya, Lynn, Joan, and Toni taught me on Girlfriends:
Women can be independent and loved
Joan was my favorite character. She was beautiful, smart, and independent af! She fell in love a couple hundred times and accepted love into her life without sacrificing her independence. Watching her switch careers, face crisis after crisis while still maintaining was amazing.
Friendships can be fucked up sometimes Doesn’t mean you give up on them.
Joan and Toni had a strange and complex friendship that separated them at times. But, even when Joan almost ruined Toni’s wedding to her future ex husband, they still managed to pull it together.
You don’t have to have it all figured out
I thought it was so inspiring how Lynn transitioned from one career, education, and life to another. She never knew exactly who she wanted to be and, in some ways was running from who she didn’t want to be. I truly learned that not having it all figured out doesn’t mean you are a failure. You can evolve and learn at the same time.
Circumstances don’t determine your outcome
Maya was a teen mom, married young, and had little to nothing. By the end of the series, she was a successful author that followed her dreams ruthlessly. She pulled herself up and became something outside of her beginnings. I look at her story often as one of heroism.
These women were flawed and dealt with issues that transcend color barriers. Thank you Girlfriends for reppin’ one time for the black girls looking for representation of what a real black women can be.