Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Being Natural as a Teen - Reed Between the Lines


I don’t watch a lot of TV.  In fact, because I know watching TV is a great time waster, I try to be cognizant of the amount of time that I sit in front of it.  I only have 2 must watch tv shows and everyone close to me, knows not to even think about calling me during those shows. 

However, when BET started promoting Reed Between the Lines,I thought, let’s see what it’s about.  It appeared to be a family show (check), that showed a successful black family (check), dealing with real life issues (check).  So far so good.  I just hoped that the writing and acting was good too.

On last night’s episode “Let’s Talk About Hair”, the story line focused on Kaci, the teenage daughter and her internal conflict over whether to wear her hair naturally curly when a boy she has a crush on compliments her when she straightens it for a school play.


As the story began to play out, I was intrigued to see how this topic would be addressed.  Let’s be honest, many grown women have expressed concerns over how attractive they would be to men if they let their hair grow in its naturally curly state. Though the part of the show where Kaci is seen trying to put relaxer in her hair (in a totally naturally curly household no less) was a little extreme some of the emotions that she expressed were very realistic for a lot of women (whether the change is hair or other things). 
“You should avoid being with anyone who wants you to change.  Once you start loving yourself it all gets easier.”  -Carla Reed

I felt that Carla Reed (played by Tracee Ellis-Ross) did a great job in talking to her daughter and showing her how loving herself was key to drawing people in her circle who would have an interest in her because of who she was, not someone that she had changed herself for to gain their approval.  Many young women need this message and its key to building a woman’s self worth.  Changing your appearance, interests, and style may get people to have an interest in the fabricated you, but will YOU like the person you had to become to get their “friendship”?   To thine ownself be true is a powerful quote and it rings loudly in a situation like this.  Constantly altering your physicality, likes, and personality can wreak havoc on your self esteem.  It eventually creates a state where you feel like you’re never enough.  Honestly, you won’t even know if you are, because you’ve never let your authentic self shine through.  It’s an issue that unfortunately we see with many young women today. By loving yourself and being true to yourself you may not be Ms. Popularity, but you will be at peace with the woman who looks back at you in the mirror every morning. You might also find, as Kaci did in this episode, that being who you are is all you need to be. (Spoiler alert:  The guy liked her just the same with curly hair.  He’d liked her all the time.  He was just too nervous to approach her before and when they both got cast in the school play it was an easy approach.  Awwww!)

So did you see last night's episode?  What were your thoughts?

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