How Insecure Teaches Us It's Ok To Not Have Your Shit Together
By: Kala Fogg and Kayla Pasacreta
In the episodes of Insecure titled, “Hella Shook” and “Hella Blows”, Insecure stands by its goal to showcase the ever-so-interesting dynamic of relationships. Whether it’s through Issa, who in her own words is “not about this feeling shit right now”, or Molly, who sees her parents’ marriage as a gold-standard only have to her world crashing down when she learns of her father’s former infidelity. Issa and Molly are just going through the motions of life. They always have the choice between the dude whose good for them and the dude who isn’t shit. But, to no surprise, the dude who isn’t shit always seem more appealing.
Issa isn’t over Lawrence. In reality, the idea of him with bank-teller bae is actually crushing to her spirit. But, she handles the heartbreak with a classic solution: her ho-tation. Issa is basically down to f**k anything that moves, and while her sexual freedom is inspiring, it’s also an indication that on the inside, sis is goin’ through it. Issa’s quest for sex is so serious she wouldn’t even let Nico, the sweet dude she met on Tinder, take her out to dinner – she was only about the sexual action. Even though Issa is having struggles with her ho-tation, the way writers depict Issa as sex-hungry and solely DTF provide an interesting role reversal, and the often unseen sexual freedom of black women.
Issa’s relationship with Daniel is complicated. She was attracted and interested enough to cheat on Lawrence with him. But, now that her relationship is over, she’s still committed to not gaining feelings. When Issa gets into an accident while looking at a d—k pic (come on, girl), she calls Daniel to cancel their plans.
Daniel, the perfect gentleman, asks if she’s okay, where she is, and comes to pick her up without her even having to ask. He pulls up on Issa immediately to give her a passionate hug, and Issa swiftly withdraws from his firm hold to let him know they’re just smashing, nothing more. Daniel reluctantly agrees, but its apparent he’s crushed. Once again, we see Issa taking on actions we typically associate with men. In the situation with Daniel, Issa plays the role of heartbreaker, making it clear she’s not looking for anything more than sex.
Molly, has been Issa's ally through her infidelity and hardships, but is experiencing complications herself when it comes to being in a relationship. No longer the reasonable sista, Molly is off some dumb shit. Not only is Molly torn between deciding if she is even ready for a relationship, the importance she puts on finding the “right” one makes her search even more difficult. In "Hella Shook" Molly finds herself pretending to be head over heels for the seemingly perfect guy, Lionel, the marketing consultant. She brings him to her parent’s vowel renewal and shows him off like any of us would if we had something to prove.
On paper, Lionel's perfect. However, when focusing on the connection he shares with Molly there's still something missing. There's no spark. In the midst of ceremony for Molly's parents she learns that her own father has not been faithful throughout his marriage with her mother. This takes him off the pedestal she's placed him on.
While riding in the car with Dro her hometown "friend" she mutters "he wasn't supposed to do something like that". This puts a lot into perspective into the role fathers have in their daughter's lives, the men they look for tend to be similar to the men they've been raised by. Lionel is clearly someone she thought she needed because it's the fairytale her mom was given when she married her father. But, this fairytale doesn't work for Molly: what she thought she needed in a man is not the key to a successful relationship. The very last scene of "Hella Shook" features Molly and Dro who has repeatedly told her he is in an "open" marriage. She finds comfort in him in the midst of her hurt and betrayal from her family, which proves to her you don't necessarily need the Mr. Right to make you feel good.
And unfortunately, for Molly, her attraction to Dro is far deeper than sexual comfort. She’s clearly gaining all the feels, enjoying being laid up in their shared hotel room, and asking him about the prospect of the future. Viewers are left dumbfounded: why is Molly, whose normally smart and level-headed, allowing herself to fall for a guy who is married?
Molly and Issa’s relationship conquests once again showcases Insecure’s ability to provide complicated backgrounds for their characters. Being a successful attorney doesn’t mean Molly doesn’t have struggles confronting the fact that she’s not paid equally as her male counterparts, and she leaves her brain smarts astray when she lets herself fall for a married man. Issa’s unhealed wounds from her relationship with Lawrence lead her to seek strictly sex. This raging desire even gets her into car accidents, beds she wouldn't normally find herself in, and overall disarray. While Molly and Issa’s sexual conquests may make us shake our heads in disapproval, they offer an important, refreshing narrative for the 20 or 30 something woman who doesn’t have it all figured out.