3 Things "grown-ish" is Teaching Everyone Else About Black Millennials
Tierra Loren, contributor at NaturallyCurly.com, recently wrote an awesome review of the new Freeform show "grown-ish," the spin-off of ABC's "black-ish." We thought it was so on point that we should share it here!
"Grown-ish" is a realistic depiction of undergraduate life: the constant struggle between "being grown," balancing priorities, and discovering your identity.
I've said it before and I will say it again: representation matters. Young black millennials matter too, and there are a lot of us poppin' in today's society. The leading star Zoey, played by Yara Shahidi, represents just that. As we get a close up look into Zoey's first year of college, we view her exposure to relationships, dating, and even drugs. One of the things I love most is the way "grown-ish" dissects dating through misreading the signs of Aaron's [Zoey's crush] interest, hookup culture and over-analyzing text messages. (We've all been there before).
Image courtesy of ABC
2. Zoey is Three-Dimensional
Zoey is herself, simple but beautiful. She is complex, smart and witty. She struggles between balancing classes, partying, and growing up while being introduced and influenced by her peers to use gateway drugs. She struggles to trust herself when she feels the pressures of priorities. That first taste of freedom for a young millenial can go wrong really quickly, and already into the second episode, Zoey voices, "the trick is balancing it out." Even through the growing pains, Zoey is resilient - she is identifying and figuring it all out, step by step.
3. Here for the Natural Hair Representation
It's mind-boggling that some people still don't realize how versatile natural hair is, but the reality is that most people just won't get it until they see it. I vicariously live through Zoey's twist-outs and protective styles. Her hair looks bomb in every episode. My personal fave is the jumbo ponytail braid with the gold hair accessories; kudos for showing that natural hair comes in many looks!
What a great way to highlight young Black Women
We see Zoey standing and shining on her own. She is not in the shadow of the male gaze. MAJOR KEY. USA Today said it best, "Grown-ish is aimed at young women, and focuses on issues that affect them without irony or judgment." I am really here for this. There are a lot of issues that women face, societal and behavioral pressures, unrealistic expectations, do I need to say more?
I have to thank the creators of "grown-ish," Kenya Barris and Larry Wilmore, for taking me back down memory lane and depicting to the world what it's like to be a young Black woman. Because it's lit.
Personally, I binge-watched all four episodes of "grown-ish" in one sitting because it's that good! I could go on and on, but I really want to know your thoughts. Have you watched "grown-ish" yet?
To keep up with Tierra's writing, follow her on Instagram at @blackgirl.slays, and on NaturallyCurly.com.
See you back here next week!
Janée Barbre said:
Grownish is such a great show! I always love Zoey’s hair, as well as the twins, so I’m deff here for the natural hair representation!