I had a chance to see the new box office smash hit “Girls Trip” with my best friend a few weeks ago! I had the best time with her. That movie was absolutely necessary for so many reasons at this point in my life. It was hilariously funny and I loved all of the characters portrayed, I felt as though the movie helped to bring some comedic perspective to the true nature of female relationships and what they should look like especially in the black community. Historically we have always seen black women portrayed in a negative light in friendships; it was like every man for himself, they smile in your face and talk about you behind your back leave you out to fend for yourself. In this movie, each of the woman all live very separate lives and needed a little girl time. With the rise of black female friendships being portrayed in a negative light on shows like Love and Hip-Hop and Housewives of Atlanta, we needed some relief.
There is a deep need for the media to continue to portray non-romantic relationships among black women. We have not seen this in a mass way since A Different World and Girlfriends. These relationships are your chosen family, the people you can feel connected to and lean on for whatever and not feel the need to “wear the mask” and Paul Lawrence Dunbar names it. We can be ourselves and not feel the fear of being judged as “unlovable” or “mean”. In the movie each of the girls although they had their separate lives they had a persona they all had to portray in public. When they got together they could just vibe and be free to reminisce on the old times. I really appreciated the loyalty that they all had toward one another. Even after they had that huge fight they gave each other space and they made up! That one factor is key in maintaining relationships, yes you will fight and disagree but it’s your love that will kill your pride and bring you back together. Think about how many friendships that we have could have been salvaged by simply apologizing, I know I can think of a few. Girlfriends are necessary, as much as my pride would like to lead me to believe that I don’t need them, the truth is I do, we ALL do.
I recently had my own girls trip and boy did I have a great time, The way God set it up I had a person who represented each place in my life and each type of friend I had. I had a “Lifer” a friend that was always around and will always be around. I had a “connecter” a person who became a really good friend because of life and circumstance as well as common interest. I also had a “newbie” a person that just became a friend and will probably be around for a long time. Whats interesting is we all traveled with each other with an expectation and a common goal of having a great time. My lifer reminded me that we need strong lasting connections with other females no matter how much you might try to push them away. This was such a necessary reminder because sometimes we can feel that way, like we don’t need people but when they are around and they stay you feel safe. My connector reminded me that you will always have people to come into your life and those relationships might start from situations the force you together such as work. She reminded me that there is always an opportunity to connect with people no matter where you are, sometimes the relationship is for them or for you but the common thread is that someone needs it. My newbie reminded me of the fresh newness that friends can bring into your life, It’s exciting and full of adventure.
In my 20’s I learned so much about myself and others. I have learned so much about friendship and what it looks like ( Thanks to God and Dion) I made many mistakes with people, I have even hurt many. As I enter my 30th revolution around the sun I am learning from those mistakes and striving to do better when it comes to how I treat and interact with people especially my same sex relationships. As much as I hate to admit it I need them, we need them they are our chosen family.
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