On Being Mary Jane

Mara Brock Akil is hands down my favorite television writer. However, she has never before captured the pure, true essence of a Black woman until now. 

I loved ‘Girlfriends,’ and ‘The Game,’ but ‘Being Mary Jane,’ is on a totally different level. I come away from the show with a deeper appreciation of the female psyche. This is the only show I have ever watched that has been able to purely capture life as a Black woman in such a realistic and captivating manner. 

Mary Jane Paul deals with trying to break down stereotypes in the white, male-driven arena of broadcast television, which plays to my journalism degree. She struggles with the fact that she let her ex go because he wasn’t where she wanted him to be, only to realize the error of her ways too late. She falls head over heels for a man that turns out to be married (been there, done that). She struggles with being a single black woman in her 30s with no husband or kids, while her friends are happily married with families (this is literally how I spent my twenties). 

She deals with fertility issues and the reality that she may never be able to have kids. What woman in her thirties hasn’t experienced this? She has the typical black woman experiences of having to work twice as hard in order to get half of the respect, of being treated like a second-class citizen and with being called names or judged by her outward appearance. 

She experiences the heartbreak of the man she loves moving on and having a baby with another woman. She is betrayed by her friends. She betrays her friends. She makes mistakes. She loves herself. She hates herself. She goes through a myriad of emotions. 

She’s constantly struggling with trying to be everything that everyone around her wants her to be. She’s taking care of her family, her job, and her friends, with little to no time to take care of herself. 

Besides the fact that Gabrielle Union plays this role superbly. It is not over acted (insert Kerry Washington) or demeaning (insert Viola Davis).  This is the show that I want to be associated with. If I had to be any character, I wouldn’t choose to be Olivia Pope. I would choose to be Mary Jane Paul. I am Mary Jane Paul. 

She is any woman. 

She is every woman. 

This show is everything. 


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