Tiffany Haddish is one of my new favorite people. I first discovered her in the movie Girls Trip over the summer. Honestly, the first time I saw the movie, I really didn’t connect with her character. She was too loud, uncouth, and argumentative for me. I thought to myself, “I don’t have any friends like that.” A week later, when I saw the movie again with my girls, they told me that I’m “that friend” in a lot of ways. They left me with a lot to think about.
Haddish, debuted on Saturday Night Live this weekend living as unapologetically as her Girls Trip character. On SNL she talked about how the $4,000 dress she was wearing was a red carpet repeat that she plans on wearing to every big event because it cost so much money. That’s real. She does not try to appease anyone’s perception. How many times do we make sure we find another outfit because social media has seen it, or because of who will be there? Haddish doesn’t care. She lets you see her imperfections, abnormalities, flaws and all. That, is definitely not me.
The reason I couldn’t connect with Haddish’s character, Dina, in Girls Trip is because I learned to live my life to fit a prescribed mold. Growing up in a conservative Christian environment unconsciously confined me to thinking that perception is everything. Often times, I hide parts of me from friends and family because certain things are unacceptable or taboo.
Consequently, I’ve been living behind a mask. I have a representative version of myself that people see, while the real me is longing for intimate connections with people and suffering from being suppressed for so long. If we all walk around with masks, we are forcing each other to suffer in silence.
If you haven’t seen Girls Trip, I’ll try not to give any spoilers. Dina is the friend who lives for the moment without concern for backlash, perception, or consequence. She is bold, loyal, and ride or die. She is blunt, extremely crazy, and she owns her truth.
Truth be told, if I wasn’t so concerned with perception, I could very much be Dina. I share those crazy experiences, been willing to throw down for my friends when something pops off, and I think those blunt thoughts. Unlike Dina, I often limit my true feelings, commentary and actions to be appropriate, avoid judgment, or to save face.
How many times do we hold in our truth in order to protect a perception or to avoid facing someone else’s opinion? I couldn’t identify with Dina, because she was everything I’m scared to be: fully transparent, unorthodox, and straightforward. Life will not always be a pretty bow that you can keep wrapped. Life is ugly and beautiful with pains, laughs, love, and hurt. When we hold in our truth, we cause others to hold on to things that are killing them in their quiet time. We force people to turn to drugs, sex, excessive eating, and other vices when they really need to be turning to their friends.
Haddish presents her truth no matter how squeamish or uncommon it may sound. She is by no means perfect, but she is real and her authenticity is needed. Let’s tap into our inner Tiffany Haddish and be unapologetic about who we are. People who are meant to be in our lives will love us flaws and all.