Why Skinny Girl In Transit’s Finale Was Problematic And Why We Should Do Better

I write this with awareness of a part of my history. I have a history of being known as somewhat of a sourpuss, because I tend to analyze and overthink everything, especially when I have time on my hands like I currently do (Yay for Christmas holiday!). I don't really know how to just observe something for fun. I have to nitpick and check for subtexts and underlying messages. It irritates many people. Case in point: Friday’s season finale of the web show, Skinny Girl in Transit (SGIT). Hmmph. Of course it was cheesy, fun, lighthearted, and yes it had us grinning from ear to ear. But after it was done, I had way too many problems with it. For a little bit of context, SGIT tells the story of Tiwa, a 30 year-old Nigerian OAP* trying to lose weight, whom we follow, through the ups and down of her dating life; her dramatic Yoruba mother; and her chirpy, but spoilt younger sister. It’s fun, and as with most shows these days with black female leads, she does a lot of self-sabotaging. But it’s fun. Last season, she met this Yoruba angel**, Mide. Mide is the quintessential beau. He is FINE—read, drop dead gorgeous—RICH (owns several corporations in Lagos), generous (hellooo!), and just all round cute. Everybody loves Mide. The problem is—and I started to notice this season—Mide is a little bit controlling. He is excessively jealous (he would randomly show up on her jogging route to surprise her and make sure she doesn't talk to boys) and has a little bit of passive aggression. But, Mide is cute. So we love him. We love their relationship. We oohh and awww every time they kiss.

Now something happened (I don’t want to say what happened for two reasons: first, so as not to spoil it for you should you decide to watch the show. Second, it does NOT matter what happened). Anyway, Tiwa had offended Mide, and he got very angry. So angry, he had been planning to propose and then decided not to. Now, here is where the problem comes. First of all, Mide was so angry, he told Tiwa to get off his car IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT on the streets of Lagos. Okay let’s just say that was in the heat of the moment.  How about this: he ignored her for weeks while she attempted to contact him. She went for weeks without eating and sleeping, she quit her job, and almost practically lost her mind because of this guy. Yet he didn’t deem it fit to talk to her or even acknowledge her existence. This narrative of women as helpless and lost without a man makes me uncomfortable. In the season finale, they made up (sorry for the spoiler!), but only after she got on her knees, wept at his doorstep like a homeless person, and almost practically proposed to him. CRINGE. I’m quite angry that even I found their reconciliation cute, because honestly the so-called Tiwa’s offense was grossly exaggerated. I don’t even care what she did, like I put on Instagram, Mide’s response (or lack of) was emotional abuse. Don’t date men who hold you to ransom emotionally. The signs of emotional abuse are always so glaring, and somehow we still always ignore/miss it. I know SGIT is all fun, so I don’t blame the writers or those involved; what’s worrisome is how much we overlooked it. What’s worrisome is that the domination of men is so prevalent, it is our normal.

Now consider what's happening in real life with Kevin Hart. I don’t want to butt into married folks business because it’s really none of our business. But everyone knows Kevin Hart allegedly cheated on his PREGNANT wife. God, men really are scum (as they say on Twitter) LOL. Anyway, somehow she forgave him. Good for them. And I really had no opinion about the whole thing until I saw his most recent interview at the Breakfast Club and I wanted to puke. Guys, we need to do better at holding men accountable. When women do the slightest thing, we are supposed to grovel. When men do the worst thing, we are supposed to just ignore it. Hart kept insisting he wasn’t a perfect man. And to his credit, he took full responsibility for his actions, but kept insisting it was God’s punch in his gut to knock him back to reality. In his words, him cheating on his wife was a "blessing in disguise". [Insert gif of that white guy doing a double blink] As in, come again for big fudge?*** Gosh, men are so freaking entitled. The gall!! Jesus Christ. I couldn’t believe my ears. In the interview room of three men and one woman, ALL three men have at one point in the past cheated on their wives in what was a public cheating scandal. This idea that full grown men need to hurt and humiliate women they supposedly love, before they can actually grow up is nonsensical. I mean, I read the New York Times interview with Jay Z and I thought, aww this is so amazing and mature; you know, the way he handled questions of his cheating. I really admired it. In retrospect, that was a whole load of BS. That one was allegedly cheating on his wife while she dealt with miscarriages. Who are these people?? And how does this even work?! What sucks the most is, black women bear the brunt of this rubbish the most. Black women are ONLY ever described as strong after enduring the worst emotional and sometimes physical abuse from idiotic [and mostly] black men. This is why we need feminism. The awareness that comes with it implores you (at least me) to demand better, to require better, and never settle for less. The awareness reminds you it’s better to die old and rotten alone with 12 cats than be with a man with no respect for you. It helps you be comfortable all by yourself and never, ever settle. And if for any reason, you make the mistake of getting together with scum, feminism tells you there is a way out.  You don’t have to be stuck, there are literally more than 1 billion of them on earth; find another one. I told my siblings that dating, as a feminist, is way better than when I was ignorant and didn’t know any better. Because not only will I always hold you accountable, I flat out tell you what I expect from you. This has made me emotionally healthier.  My tolerance of BS is at an all time low. Thank you Jesus for waking me up, and for the wisdom to (try to) constantly see myself and my power as a strong, smart black woman, who rocks.

If this felt like a rant, it’s because it is a rant. We need to do better as a society. Demand better. Raise better sons. And make sure men are held accountable for their actions.

This is a hostile return after such a long break hahaha. Forgive me. I will be back to being Zen in subsequent posts ☺



*On air personality
** a  Nigerian colloquial used to describe a good guy. Coined as the opposite of another colloquial, Yoruba demon, which is…pretty self-explanatory.
***An Easter egg only fans of How I Met Your Mother can understand hahaha

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