Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Being (Like) Mary Jane?

In BET's new hit series "Being Mary Jane", Gabrielle Union plays a young African-American women who has a successful career, financial stability, and all of the material trappings that go along with it. But every other aspect of her life is a mess. She's having an affair with a married man, and in one episode even antagonizes this mans wife in public. To top it off, Mary Jane is also in love with another man who is in love with someone else. This character is a confused trifling individual. A slender, train wreck of a woman who's narrative is told from sympathetic, and empathetic points of view. The storyline is designed for the audience to admire her RATCHEDNESS. Yes, I know it's not a real word. But it fits. I'll admitt that the show is fascinating simply by virtue of the fact that it paints a picture of the villain as a protagonist.
The problem is, practically every other day I read an article in which women talk about identifying with this character. They write things like, "Mary Jane is like all of us." "Mary Jane faces the same struggles that many of us face."
But it almost seems as if the "struggles" of this fictional character have been a catalyst for some sort of misguided affirmation amongst some women. The message is, if this successful elitist women can be a flawed mess, then no one can hold them to higher expectations, including themselves. With that being said, this show allows all of those who claim to identify with Mary Jane to side step responsibility for their actions as if things just happen to happen to them. Much like this character.
I miss the days when our heroes set a standard for us to aspire to as opposed to lows that some of us choose to identify with. Where would the world be without those among us who chose to be better and do better instead of aspiring to mediocrity and wearing their short comings as if they were badges if honor?


No comments:

Post a Comment