top of page

The Molly Effect

The season finale of Insecure was set up for success until both Issa and Molly took ten steps back to something that was comfortable and previously hurtful. Given the decisions that were being made all season, this wasn’t surprising, and it’s easy to be angry at them for making the “wrong” decisions yet again. However, while these characters are dramatized, how many times do we find ourselves in the same situation over and over again, with slow progress in between? These women show us that lessons are retaught until they’re learned. I can’t speak for Issa because she’s been pretty bad all season, but Molly’s narrative and struggle is all too common and requires an internal moment of truth to overcome.

I am Molly. She is the character we see over and over again in prominent Black shows. She is your Mary Jane Paul in Being Mary Jane, Annalise Keating in How to Get Away with Murder and Olivia Pope in Scandal. These women are the single, self-sufficient, successful Black women who are also indecisive emotionally-damaged perfectionists unable of committing. I am all of them. I watch them week after week hoping that one of us will eventually get it right, but we never do. Fortunately Molly, like myself, at least started attending therapy to begin to uncover the psychology and emotion behind all this non-sense, and in all her craziness this season, Molly left us with some food for thought.

Work on you, first. Molly started the season focused on herself. She wasn’t looking for anyone; she was in therapy, working out and focused on her job. She lost sight of this because she started looking at the perceived happiness of those around her like the guy helping his girl pack the car at the furniture place, Candice and Dro at the cookie store, and her parents’ successful marriage. Then, she met the guy at the bar while trying to help Issa. If she was really focused, she would have kindly told him that she wasn’t looking to date when she first found him overbearing, but she entertained him, got distracted, and began her cycle of bad decisions.

Don’t get distracted. Molly started the process of self-help, but she didn’t stick with it. She stopped going to therapy, we didn’t see her working out anymore, and she started comparing herself (and rightfully so we could argue) to others at work. Personal development is a process that requires commitment. If we can’t commit to working on ourselves, we won’t be able to be the person we need to be for anyone else. There is a reason the guy from the bar was too much for Molly, but that reason had everything to do with Molly needing to figure out things within herself. I can think of several people I ruined because I wasn’t ready within myself to receive what they were offering. Like Molly, I just thought there was something more that would make things perfect.

Perfection is a process, not a destination. One thing many successful women have in common is a commitment to progress and getting things right. In the work place, this proves to be rewarding, but in our personal lives, it can create negative internal conversations where we are always measuring our life, looks, and love against this imagined idea of perfection. As a result, nothing and no one is ever good enough. Like Molly, we pick apart the good guys and chase the unattainable ones because we are used to goal-chasing. Internally we are consistently unsatisfied, and we need to start exploring why.

Let go of how life “should” go. Like I said, I’m Molly, so I don’t have all the answers, but I do know that if we don’t learn to appreciate the process of going through life, we will overlook what’s around us searching for something we will never find because perfection doesn’t exist. Molly’s therapist pushes her in this area when she challenges Molly to stop looking at life through what “should” happen and to start exploring what is and could happen. I’m pretty sure the therapist would not have been a fan of Molly sleeping with her friend immediately, and neither was I, but at least she was trying to do something different. The point remains that you have to adjust your perception and actions if you want a different outcome.

Molly is far from perfect just like the rest of us, but at least we can learn something from her, so we don’t have to live it for ourselves.

90 views0 comments
bottom of page