All Articles Tagged "Girlfriends"
If it weren’t for endless reruns of Law & Order Special Victims Unit, Criminal Minds and everything on Food Network, I would probably get rid of my television all together.
Simply put, there is nothing on the tube. To be specific, there isn’t enough variety in the stories being told. Particularly the ones about and, sadly, made by Black women.
The original programming I see with a Black woman lead character focuses so much on her love life that we forget these women have lives outside of the men they’re dating, dodging and being dogged by. From Mary Jane Paul leaving Andre only to have the next stage of her storyline revolve around her ex, David, to Scandal focusing more on Olivia’s relationship with Fitz than her work with her consulting firm, it’s all about love. Everything else about a character’s life that is also of importance has to take a backseat, and frankly, I’m frustrated with this narrow focus.
And please don’t tell me that reality television is our new normalized reality. If we’re not watching every Black woman’s struggle boil down to the hands of a man (hence the word “Love” and “Wives” in all the program titles), we are squabbling with other women. But we are not shadows of the opposite sex. The opposite sex does not consume the ways in which we conduct our lives or our relationships with other women. Or at least they shouldn’t.
There are no sitcoms or late-night shows to binge-watch that showcase Black women in the real. Our daily life. For instance, pursuing businesses – and not striking another female contender down while doing so. Balancing healthy relationships with friends and family first, and dealing with the quirks and problems with everyday life–and then the men who provide us with intimacy and sometimes heartbreak after the fact.
There are no Girlfriends, just frenemies using each other until the water runs dry. I don’t see women facing loss and having the unwavering support of true friends. Women who are a shoulder, filling up your glass and still affirming your beauty and purpose as you sit there with a tear-stained cheek, runny mascara and all. All of our encounters aren’t catty. And that’s the problem: there is no variety to offer a semblance of balance. Yes, there is attitude and shade, but do not forget the support and love. Yes, characters should have relationship issues, but does that have to be the breadth of every episode? Where’s the variation? Where’s the depth?
I loosely base the pursuit of my writing career on Khadijah James. I wanted to write and eventually start my own magazine just like her. In my head, my friends and I would be the modern-day “Living Single” – quirks and all. On that classic sitcom, a woman owned her own business, and though James (played by Queen Latifah) didn’t have a man by her side a majority of the time, her life was full. Amazing friends and experiences provided her with the comprehensive story she needed and that we needed to see. Bringing a man (i.e. Scooter) into her life didn’t become the center of her storyline, but a side story that provided her with a healthy partnership.
If it’s more and more of the same, TV can keep their dime-a-dozen Stevie J and Joseline spinoffs and their lovelorn Black women characters. I’m holding out hope in the meantime that Issa Rae’s upcoming HBO series, Insecure, will fill a void, and that her characters will have more to talk about and deal with than the same old woes.
Until then, mindless reruns and missing Elliot Stabler will have to suffice.
I don’t want to be a kill-joy, but in the midst of laughing, have you ever sat back and listened to some of the back stories of some of your favorite characters?
Sometimes the writers allude to it and slightly reference it; however, when you really digest the background of some of these characters, it can make you really sad, especially since they’re in comedy shows.
Let’s take a look at some of these down, but not out, characters, and add your favorites (or any that I missed) in the comment section (and maybe there will be a part 2).
Being the mother of a tween girl in 2015 is no easy task. There are a multitude of dangers and pitfalls that await her that simply didn’t exist when I was her age. But no matter the decade, the friendship of young girls has remained the same. They are your first loves, heartbreaks and the meter by which you measure yourself. As a mother, I want so much to prepare my daughter for what is to come without being overbearing or crossing any boundaries. I know that she needs to experience a few things on her own because it will make her that much stronger. I also know that as she prepares to leave elementary school there are just few things that I think she needs to know before venturing off into the world of junior high school. If you’re a mom of a tween daughter, maybe you can relate to these gems.
It’s okay to have more than one “best friend”
Some people will say that best means “best” but I beg to differ. At your age, you need to get to know as many different types of people as possible. If you find you like to spend time with someone but your other bestie (even if your bff isn’t that fond of them) then you definitely should. There are some really great girls out there and you might miss out on key friendships if you only focus on hanging out with just one person.
They are going to hurt your feelings
Unfortunately, there’s no way around this one. At some point your friends will hurt you. Whether it’s on purpose or inadvertently, it will happen. And it’s up to you to decide how to respond. Just know that a true friend, when confronted with that fact, will apologize and make an effort not to repeat the offense. Anyone who doesn’t is not your friend.
You don’t have to be friends with everyone your friends are friends with
Sometimes you’ll find that you hang out with a group of girls and you may not really like all the girls in the group. And that’s okay. You don’t have to be friends with the same people your “best” friends are friends with. Feel free to branch out and spend time with the girls you do like…even if your bestie isn’t too sure about them.
They don’t know everything. You don’t either
It may seem that your friends have all the answers and there is always one “know it all” in the group, sometimes there are several. No matter how knowledgeable they seem, they aren’t the end-all-and-be-all to life’s questions…no matter how convincing they might sound. Also, just because you may know that they’re wrong doesn’t mean you have to be rude if you point that out. You can simply state that perhaps the correct answer might be XYZ.
Keep secrets / Don’t gossip
If someone says, ‘please don’t tell anyone else’ and swears you to it, stick to that. A key element of friendship is trust and you want your friends to stay friends so they feel like they can trust you with anything. Unless they are in danger or you know what they’re doing is wrong, keep it to yourself. If someone else approaches you with the same information, never let on you already know. Simply nod and move on, they are telling you that they can’t be trusted with secrets and you shouldn’t share with them.
I sincerely hope these simple tips will help my girl (and yours) sail somewhat unscathed into the tumultuous and dramatic world that is the life of pre-teen girls. It’s hard out there, and while I want her to enjoy her experience, I also want her to be smart about her friends, her words and her future.
When was the last time you and your girls had a chance to hang out? Take advantage of the frigid temperatures outdoors and throw a shindig at home. Invite all of your girlfriends and stock up on a few bottles to help in the festivities. Remember your life before kids? You ladies always made time for each other, whether it was just catching up or having an all-out gabfest. Take into account that your lives — and schedules — are a little different now, so allow enough time for everyone’s free days to match up and plan a girls’ night big enough to last till next time.
Spend Time: 9 Ideas For A Ladies Night In
My female friends give birth to me over and over and over again. And I do the same for them. We have a spoken agreement to be each other’s mirrors. Each other’s lighthouse. Each other’s home base.
There is not enough I can say about the importance of having empowered sister friends in your life, but I will give it a shot. You see, we live in a world where the most salacious reality show featuring a group of women constantly hating on each other is top-rated. I can’t go to my Facebook timeline without being assaulted by what nastiness which housewife did or said to the other. I can’t. Seriously. I cannot.
And while I understand that there is a place for such “entertainment” in our culture, I am disheartened that we aren’t given an opportunity to see the opposite of that on television. Where are the shows that celebrate women and the wonderfully-magical community that we are? Where is THAT show?
You know where it is? It’s inside of you, my empowered sister. That showing of unconditional, supportive, tough-loving if necessary, shoulder-providing, co-creator of a beautiful reality lives within you. And it lives within the women you are surrounded by, whether they know it or not.
We empowered women must collectively BE the sisterhood we want to see always. We must root ourselves in the truth of our knowing and help blossom our sistren. It is our responsibility. I once wrote a piece entitled, “She’s Not A Bitch, She Just Needs A Friend.” It spoke to the “Even Her” concept that all women are beautiful, valuable, and lovable. Even her. So when we find ourselves rolling our eyes and sucking our teeth at “her” behavior, it is at that moment that extending your heart is required. Because you AND she need it. There is work to do there.
I have the extreme privilege to be surrounded by, for as far as mine eyes can see, a group of a-freakin’-mazing women. Goddesses is how I refer to them. These fully-realized, yet still-unfolding women are my home. My safe space. My litmus test. My mirrors. These women feed my insecurities with extra helpings of love. They calm my worries with copious amounts of truth. They embrace my scared inner little girl with their mothering wisdom. They love me through and through. And I them in return. Goddessing is cyclical.
In the safe confines of these women, I recently experienced a rebirth. I was taken to the depths of my fear about that which I cannot see, touch or prove. They challenged me to be still and listen to that “wise old woman” inner voice of mine that has been telling me to “Be Still Tomiko” for quite some time. I am stubborn. I think I know a lot. I fought that call to stillness with every fiber of my being. And then, “they” sent in the Goddesses. Chile, I was not ready!
They spoke to ME. Directly to ME. They didn’t mince words or sugar coat a damn thing. It was real and raw up in that piece. And I was laid bare with all of my fears and they held me (figuratively and literally) as I gave birth to this new version of myself. They were my mid-wives and they whispered words of strength and wisdom in my ears as I labored. They wiped my brow. They gave me water. They held my hand until I was ready to deliver myself to ME. And I am reborn. Thank you sisters! Thank you for never giving up on me. I didn’t have the words to ask for what you all saw that I needed. Thank you, always, for your vision.
I share this with you because I can’t encourage you enough to get you some of these women in your life…Now. They’re out there waiting for you to call on them. Some of them have probably already made themselves known to you, but you’ve put up walls of “I don’t trust women”, “Women are catty”, and “I don’t need any help”. Stop those lies please.
Women are each other’s gifts to one another. We have gathered together for centuries with the sole purpose of creating each other anew. You deserve that. You deserve to BE everything you came here to be. Please stop denying yourself and allow these magical women to introduce you to your truest self.
I promise that YOU will never be the same.
Tomiko Fraser Hines is a mother, wife, model, actress, and motivational speaker. When faced with infertility, Tomiko chose to share her story openly and honestly with the public. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she currently resides in Los Angeles—where she plays her most passionate role yet—mother to twins Kaden and Bryce and wife to her husband Chris.
Mara Brock Akil Reveals That She Wants A ‘Girlfriends’ Movie To Happen, But It’s Ultimately Not Her Call
For quite some time now, there have been discussions of a “Girlfriends” movie. At one point, there were even rumors that the show’s executive producer Mara Brock Akil confirmed that one was in the works; however, that turned out to be untrue. The writer and producer recently opened up to Essence about the project and the rumors saying:
“I did not confirm it. I did say this: I want it too.”
She quickly added that ultimately, the decision to move forward with this film is not really her call.
“The thing is, whether the public cares or understands, there is a business component to all of this. I remain diligent with CBS Paramount, who owns the rights to ‘Girlfriends.’ “
Mara also shifted some of the responsibility to fans who want to see this project come to fruition.
“I think if the fans want something to do, they can contact CBS Paramount and let them know that they want that movie, because I want to do it. They know I want to do it; I’m very open to it, but there is a business component so I still stay diligent in convincing them that this is a property that is worth thinking about giving the rights to.”
Apparently, CBS Paramount has not formally rejected the idea and Mara has already been doing some of the footwork to pull it all together.
“Let me be very clear, I haven’t been told no. So I guess the real answer is, I remain diligent in trying to get it done. I’m very happy that I did meet with the actors, and all the actors want to do it, last we spoke, so I think if the stars align, we’ll get the business component. Then the second part is you’ve got to go find the money and a studio who believes in that project, and then of course, writing that script, and getting it done. I think it would be great.”
I guess fans will just have to keep their fingers crossed and wait to see how this all pans out.
There are two things in life that every girl needs: a good friend and a good pair of jeans. Both are hard to come by, but when you find them, you hold onto them, because only they can give you the support and the comfort you need whenever you need it.
But what happens when you outgrow your friends…or your jeans?
I found my jeans early in life. Even at such a young age, I knew that they were something I wanted to wear forever. I loved the way they made me look; how confident I was wearing them. And even though they were brand new, they felt as though I had had them for years. They were perfectly worn; like they were custom made just for me.
As time went by, I came to appreciate them more and more; how their durability could withstand the wear and tear of life; and that despite any fads or trends, I could always count on them. They were always in style.
Every rip, fade, and fray was a reminder of all of the things we had been through. Preschool, puberty, graduations, marriages, motherhood, and divorce, those jeans and I had gone through everything, and I had expected us to go through so much more, until we were both tattered and worn.
But somewhere along the way something happened to those jeans. Something happened to us. It was as if they had shrunk and I had grown. It was something that I didn’t want to admit to myself, because on their own, they still looked like the same jeans, and for the most part, I still looked like the same person (plus a few pounds). Together though, together we just looked wrong. We looked uncomfortable. And as much as I wanted them to stretch to the size that I needed, as much as I tried to squeeze into them and make them work, they just didn’t fit anymore. We didn’t fit, and I had to accept that.
They were no longer right for me, but I still kept them, and every day as I looked through my closet for something to wear, I still thought of them. I still wanted to slip them on, but then I would remember the struggle that it now took. So every time, I’d push them to the side and try to find something else that would make me feel as confident and comfortable as those jeans did.
As the days and weeks went by, they got pushed further and further back into my closet, until I almost forgot that they were there. I forgot how it felt to have that support; to have something of such great quality that fit so well.
Lately, I’ve been taking inventory of my closet– my life. One day, I came across those jeans. I looked at every fringe, each one reminding me of the moments we went through; big or small. I knew that they hadn’t fit for some time now, but I decided to try them on anyway. Sadly, they still looked wrong. They still didn’t fit. We still didn’t fit.
Part of me knows that there’s a chance that they may never fit again, but they’re just too special for me to ever let them go. Even if I find another pair, they will never be able to duplicate those same rips, fades, and frays. But no matter how far to the back of the closet those jeans go, or how deep in the drawer, I’ll always know that they’re there when I need them, and I’ll still hold out hope that one day they’ll fit again.
It’s been about six years since “Girlfriends” was taken off of the air, but that may not mean that it’s over for Joan, Maya, Toni and Lynn. According to Golden Brooks, there has actually been talk of a full-length movie based off of the popular series.
“Maya would be a Pulitzer Prize winner,” Golden told Sister 2 Sister. “She’d be the female Steve Harvey; her books get made into a movie and all the girls are trying to get tickets to go to the premiere.”
“Mara [Brock Akil] would put her spin on it,” she continued.
Apparently there have been discussions about the movie with the show’s creator Mara Brock Akil, but there was no definitive outcome.
“We talked about a movie with Mara Brock Akil,” she said. “We talked of a movie, but that’s something that’s a Mara question.”
“I think it could happen,” she added.
While I absolutely loved “Girlfriends” when it was on the air, I’m not sure how good a reunion movie would be. But hey, maybe Mara can work her magic and make it worthwhile.
Would you be interested in seeing a “Girlfriends” movie?
Since the U.S. Census Bureau has been keeping record, interracial marriages have been on the rise. While there are more than 2.4 million mixed marriages in the U.S., Hollywood has been a bit slow in keeping up with times and portraying more interracial couples, but low and behold we’ve managed to find a few favorites over the years. Take a look.
“I Love Lucy’s” Ricky and Lucy Ricardo
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were one of, if not the first, interracial couple on television. Debuting in 1951, “ I Love Lucy” made groundbreaking history when it aired with the real-life husband and wife stars. The show followed the antics played out by comedian Lucille Ball while her husband looked helplessly on. The show lasted for six seasons and more than 60 years later, “I Love Lucy” remains popular with over 40 million Americans still tuning in.
Tags:Ben Savage, Boy Meets World, brittany daniels, Community, Cynthia Nixon, damon wayans jr., Desi Arnaz, Donald Glover, eliza coupe, Girlfriends, happy endings, hawthorne, I Love Lucy, Jada Pinkett Smith, kate walsh, Kerry Washington, lenny kravitz, Lucille Ball, modern family, my name is earl, parenthood, Private Practice, Roxie Roker, scandal, Sex and the City, Shameless, Shonda Rhimes, the game, the jeffersons
Writer and producer executive Mara Brock Akil rocked television networks’ boat with her story of black successful female friends, Girlfriends. The show became a favorite of black women who loved seeing their narratives play out on national television. After the CW network canceled Girlfriends, Akil moved onto her iconic show The Game. Modeled after the lives of professional football players, the show became an immediate success with fans. So much so that fans petitioned networks to bring it back after it, too, was canceled. Since returning to television The Game is still on a winning streak.
But Akil has a new baby on her hands and it’s the coolest kid on the television playground. Being Mary Jane starring Gabrielle Union, reaches on average of over 2.5 million viewers (more than the HBO hit show Girls).
BloombergBusinessWeek profiled Akil about her life and work. And here are three things you may not know about the woman who has created some of your favorite television shows.
She sees herself in the ladies of Girlfriends
Raised in Kansas City, Mo., and educated at Northwestern University, Brock Akil began her career in the writers’ rooms of UPN’s Moesha and WB’s The Jamie Foxx Show…
Girlfriends ran for eight seasons; when the CW canceled it, Brock Akil and her infuriated fans were powerless. “Girlfriends was my first expression in the medium, my full voice, and it allowed me to document myself,” she says. “It was: I’m here, I deserve to be here, and I’m entitled to it.”
She orchestrated a social media campaign to “Save the Game”
“Whenever a new network starts, they typically start with a black audience, then dump them once they get ratings and bring the other programming on,” Brock Akil says. But this was 2009, and the black fans who’d clogged phone lines in 2006 had grown into a powerful force on social media. So Brock Akil savvily coordinated a massive social media campaign. A “Save The Game” YouTube (GOOG) video featuring all her show’s stars implored fans to complain on their Facebook and Twitter accounts and CW’s message boards.“Before, the studio held the narrative,” Brock Akil says. “I heard that when Girlfriends got canceled, the fans broke the phone system. The mail was overwhelming. UPN or the CW didn’t have to report that the fans broke the phones! With social media, it was all out there.”
Mary Jane is purposely flawed
An earlier generation of black television writers felt a responsibility to provide Cosby-style role models. But realistic imperfection, more often afforded to white male characters than minority women, has become Brock Akil’s signature.“The thing about writing for African American characters is, people think you have to right all the wrongs that were done in the past, and I can’t do that,” she says. “I believe if we keep trying to fix something that’s over, we’re missing out on what is in the moment. If I do that, my art is stale. I’m chasing a ghost.”
To read more on Mara, click here.