On Dec. 6, actress Viola Davis shared a video to her Instagram account and I quickly found myself stuck in the loop of watching it over and over again. Everything about this little girl, and the people around her just filled me with such joy and pride, and, well, emotion. Yes, I got a little teary eyed.
There is something so powerful about seeing little Black girls embodying all of their magic with such joy and glee and the adults around them encouraging it. I remember being a kid and watching music videos, trying to emulate the dance moves, only to have my grandmother warn me about “being fast.” I heard older ladies in my neighborhood say little girls were fast if they wore certain clothes, hugged their male friends or danced in a way they deemed inappropriate. However, in this video, where little Indea–who goes by @indybugg1 on Instagram–practices her *best* drumette moves, you can hear the adults in the background gassing her up, cheering her on and reveling in her joy with her.
It is a sight to behold.
Look at how much confidence and pride and pure unadulterated joy we can pour into our children when we simply praise them for standing ten toes down in it.
Completely enthralled with this video, I decided to head over to Instagram and apparently this is just who she is. I watched video after video of Indy living her best little Black girl life – dancing, doing her own hair, playing in makeup. It does not seem as if she believes there is a single thing she can’t do. Being a mother myself, I recognize strong mama energy when I see it, and decided to reach out to her mom and Lord have mercy am I glad I did! Indy is as sweet and kind as she is vivacious and sassy – a big dreamer with a giant heart and even bigger energy. Believe me when I tell you this child has been here before.
From trying to teach me “The Renegade” to sharing her dreams for her own future, Indy and I had a grand time, and her mama, as I suspected, is her biggest cheerleader.
MADAMENOIRE: Indy, I did a deep dive into your Instagram reels. I can’t stop watching them. You make my day with your energy and your moves. Where did you learn how to dance so well?
Indy: When I was three, my mama put on the first song I remember – “JuJu on That Beat”. I just started dancing!
Oh, if it was only that easy for me! Lucky girl! I noticed in your videos that you also have a lot of energy, and you’re also so positive. Where does that come from for you? Why are you always so happy?
Indy: *shrugs* When I wake up, I’m just happy! I wake up and I want to do tik toks and all of it!
So, you’re telling me you just woke up like this?
Indy: Yep – (singing) I woke up like this.
Rachel (Indy’s mom): She’s always had something special about her. She’s a blessing. It’s amazing just to see her grow – I’m thankful. Every day is a new opportunity, so I just let her be who she is, and guide her through the process.
You know, growing up I would often hear adults tell us children to ‘stay out of grown folks’ business’, ‘don’t dance like this’, ‘young ladies don’t dance like that’; and I still hear it today. I often wonder when do kids, especially little Black girls, get to be kids – just joyful and happy and living in their moments? How do you handle the people who might try to bring you negative energy (about Indy’s videos)?
Rachel: Well, I’m thankful and grateful for my Instagram community. I have a lot of supportive women that have helped, so I really don’t get a lot of that. I think it’s also because of the content that I present. You know, there are songs that are off limits. So, it’s been more of a positive experience for me.
Indy, what would you say to someone who was having a bad day? How would you cheer them up?
Indy: You’re beautiful and don’t let nobody get in your way. Follow your dreams. Be kind and always be helpful. Don’t talk bad to yourself because you’re beautiful! Be grateful! You don’t need to be somebody else – just be who you are! Like me – I’m Indy, I’m short, I’m cute…
Yes! We love it! I’m so here for all of that, Indy! Indy, tell me – what do you want to be when you grow up?
Indy: I want to be a lot of things! I want to be an artist and sell clothes. I want to give money to the homeless people so they can get everything that they need. I want to be the one that’s going to help them.
Rachel: I think it’s just amazing to see her journey. To see her on BET’s Instagram, or Viola Davis posts her, or to see a comment from Ciara… it’s mind blowing to me. It’s such an honor and I just feel really thankful for the community that we have. I hope someone sees her talent but really, I hope she follows her dreams. I’m just here to guide her.
That’s really beautiful, Rachel. She’s a special one, that Indy. Okay Miss Indy… one last question. Who is your favorite singer? Is it Beyonce’?
Indy: ONE of them is Beyonce’! The other is Cardi B. I love Cardi B! She’s a lot of fun, but really, I want to meet Cardi because I want to be friends with Kulture!
Honey, we all want to be friends with Kulture! Ok. Here’s the real last question, Indy. What do you do when *you* have a bad day?
Indy: I never have a bad day.
Indy: Nope. Never.
–And somehow, we believe this.