Black women are burdened by what I call a triple consciousness. Prose written by W.E.B. Dubois defined double consciousness as the veil under which citizens of color in the U.S. live, due to the contrast of their separate identities. He explained that his identity as an American was separate and individual from his identity as a black man, simply because the two facets of himself had different needs and faced different injustices.
For years, women of color didn't have the option to be feminists because their needs as African American citizens were more prevalent at the time. In 2018, as we stare into the eyes of a black girl revolution, it is clear that things have changed. Though my rights as a black American are constantly trampled on, I, unlike my ancestors, have been given the option to also fight for my rights as a woman. But time and time again, the world reminds me that this fight for the rights of my triple consciousness will not come without some war wounds.
Issa Rae recently shared some new details about the upcoming season of Insecure, and mentioned that the show would tackle a subject that is rarely discussed in mainstream media. Issa told the Hollywood Reporter:
"I don't want to give anything away! But I love black masculinity as it relates to black women. I think that's something interesting that we haven't gotten a chance to explore yet — and specifically toxic male black masculinity as it relates to black women. I'm trying to find a way to explore that and get a rounded storyline that isn't preachy."
She also shared that the characters in the show would reveal show some dynamic growth on their path to true adulthood. Though we all go through periods of 'insecurity', this season will focus on each character discovering accountability for their actions. She continued:
"This season is about adulting in a new way. I think we've watched our characters really fumble and fuck up — and in some ways in your 20s you are allowed that — but this season is about not acting like you're naive anymore or that you don't know better. So it is about, what does it look like to know better and to do better?"
When I first heard the news, I thought like most of you did: That's f*cking lit. Toxic masculinity is a major issue among women of color, which in my hometown has led to the destruction of lives and a number of deaths of young black women. I was relieved to hear that Issa and the other writers of Insecure had read my mind and would spark a conversation that's been needed for a long time.
But wait, let's not forget. It's our place as women of color to be black first, and women second. At least according to the internet. One user wrote in a thread:
"Issa Rae teases Season 3 "Insecure" will be about black masculinity. A topic I bet she thinks she's an expert on. My guess is she'll follow the trend of other prominent black women producers/directors/writers in filmmaking and promote some sort of fuckery about black men."
He goes on to talk cash money sh*t about prominent black women like Shonda Rhimes and included some homophobic and misogynistic commentary which further iterated that the toxic masculinity that women of color experience is extremely real.
Little did he know, he was in for the clapback of a lifetime, because Reagan Gomez and Jay Ellis had the time. The former Parent 'Hood actress mentioned that not only is Insecure's showrunner a black man, but the show also has black men as a part of their team of writers. In a series of tweets, Reagan tweeted:
"I thought ya'll were team Lawrence? Loved that he had options. Ya'll loved that season 1 finale but now that they might discuss toxic masculinity, ya'll think it's about the Black woman agenda?? Which is it?"
"Nothing about the show suggests that the men are horrible. They really aren't. From Lawrence to Daniel to the banger (always with his daughter, teaching her her ABB's). Well, Lawrence's lightskinned honie is kinda horrible but…they're all tryna figure it out. So why…"
"…would toxic masculinity be off limits? Take Lawrence, he immediately went from Issa, to Tasha, to Aparna. Takes all of his baggage with him in each relationship. When he has that threesome with those random white women who I SWORE were gonna rob him & was OPENLY…"
"…fetishized, he felt like shit but had to lie to his homie (the light skinned one😂) about how dope it was…while sitting outside of Issa's house. We can see him fuckin & cussin Issa out but can't go into toxic masculinity? Please."
"Larry Wilmore is one of the friggin producers. All of this info is out there but sure. Black women/FeminisT agenda. K."
Jay Ellis followed suit, tweeting:
"As a black man who was a part of the first two seasons of @IssaRae and the very diverse writing staff of "Insecure's" work, I'd have to say STFU! …btw pick your pants up, your toxicity is showing."
And, it's hella unimpressive.
Featured image by Giphy
Taylor "Pretty" Honore is a spiritually centered and equally provocative rapper from Baton Rouge, Louisiana with a love for people and storytelling. You can probably find me planting herbs in your local community garden, blasting "Back That Thang Up" from my mini speaker. Let's get to know each other: @prettyhonore.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
There’s nothing quite as humbling as navigating adulthood with no instruction manual. Since the turn of the decade, it seems like everything in our society that could go wrong has, inevitably, gone wrong. From the global pandemic, our crippling student debt problem, the loneliness crisis, layoffs, global warming, recession, and not to mention figuring out what to eat for dinner every night. This constant state of uncertainty has many of us wondering, when are the grown-ups coming to fix all of this?
But the catch is, we are the new grown-ups.
As if it happened without our permission, we became the new adults. We are the members of society who are paying taxes, having children, getting married, and keeping our communities afloat, one iced latte at a time. Still, there’s something about doing all these grown-up duties that feel unnaturally grown-up. Enter the #teenagegirlinher20s.
If there’s one hashtag to give you the state of the next cohort of adults, it’s this one. Of the videos that have garnered over 3.9M views, you’ll find a collection of users who are overwhelmed by life’s pressing existential responsibilities, clung to nostalgia, and reminiscent of the days when their mom and dad took care of their insurance plans.
no like i cant explain to her why i had to buy multiple tank air dupes from aritzia #teenagegirlinher20s #fyp
The concept of being a 20-something or 30-something teenager is linked to the sentiment of not feeling “grown up enough” to do grown-up things while feeling underprepared and even nihilistic about whether that preparation even matters.
It’s our generation’s version of when we ask our grandmothers how old they are and they simply reply with, “I still feel 45,” all while being every bit of 76 years old. In this, we share a warped concept of time while clinging to a desire for infantilization.
Granted, the pandemic did a number on our concept of time. Many of us who started the pandemic in our early or mid-20s missed out on three fundamental years of socialization, career development, and personal milestones that traditionally help to mark our growth.
Our time to figure out and plan our next steps through fumbling yet active participation was put on pause indefinitely and then resumed provisionally. This in turn has left many of us hanging in the balance of uncertainty as we try to make sense of the disconnect between our minds and bodies in this missing gap of time.
Because we’re all still figuring out what the ramifications of being locked away and frozen in time by a global pandemic will have on us as a society, there really is no “right” way of making up for lost time. Feeling unprepared for any new chapter of life is a natural rite of passage, pandemic or not. However, it’s important to not stay stuck in the last age or period of life that made sense to us because self-growth is the truest evidence of personal progress.
So whether you’re leaning on your inner child, teenager, or 20-something for guidance as you fill the gap between your real age and pandemic age, know that it’s okay to grieve the person you thought you would be and the milestones you thought you’d hit before you ever knew what a pandemic was. If there’s anything that the pandemic taught us, it’s that we have the power to reimagine a better world and life for ourselves. And if we tap into our inner teenager as a compass, we can piece together our next chapter with a fresh outlook.
Sure, we’ve lost a couple of years, but there are still some really amazing ones ahead.
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