Tropes we need: Well loved marshmallow dark skinned female characters

In recent shows, brown to dark-skinned female characters are placed into certain roles. Often as the “tough” character, the one who protects the main character or teacher them something. Or maybe she’s just the sassy Black woman. They are often not seen as feminine or soft. To the point where just them existing to some is them showing masculine energy. And if they are tall there’s almost no chance of them being considered feminine, regardless of behavior. They are also often made to be undesirable regardless of whether they are seen as feminine or masculine. Dark-skinned women are OFTEN not seen as feminine or desirable and so as Black people who make media, who better than us to change this.

I don’t want just SOFT dark-skinned female characters, no, we have to go deeper. Deeper! I want them to be marshmallows. Soft dark-skinned women who don’t have to lift a finger. Who don’t fight battles and aren’t the strong character in a story. Who are babied, cry easily, and are comforted constantly. I want them to have husbands who don’t want to or let them lift a finger. Who make it their job, to ensure their wife is happy. I want strong personalities without having to be the “STRONG Black woman. I want a character who twists her leg, cries and doesn’t stop crying until she’s comforted and feels better about it. “And still has to be carried back home, just in case, because what if she hurts it again. Who dressily cutely, and knows her worth. To be fair she could be single. If so she is I wanted by every guy in a 1,000-mile radius wanting her and all the women around wanting to be her friend. I want her hand kissed, I want men falling over themselves. I want her to be the biggest baby, and I want a story, that starts with her being like that and ending that way. She doesn’t need a lesson, she needs to keep on being soft. She is on an ebony pedestal that we aren’t going to take her off of. With her getting whatever she wants. She must be unapologetically girly. I want her to find a place where she can continue on that way or find a man that will continue spoiling her.

What does she bring to the table?

What????

Marshmallow is only one part of her personality. We could make her a genius or dumb. The daughter of a king or the daughter of a poor farmer.Whatever we want. Or maybe she has nothing to bring but JOY. How about that. Let’s see Black fantasy go:

Our marshmallow character is poor, works as a maid. She isn’t good at it at all, she’s too clumsy, but the owner can’t fire her because she’s angelic. She meets a cruel sad king. Her softness breaks down his cold heart. Making him feel a warmth that he’s never known. Just by watching how selfless and caring she is, she inspires him to be better. My soft characters are not “magical negreos”(it’s a trope that I hate), and as such can’t do any work to make other characters better. Those tropes are tired, but I think inspiring is ok. Seeing how much better received he is as a king after showing empathy. He realizes he needs her, and they get married, and she becomes queen. With her having nothing to her name but clumsiness, tears, and a happy disposition.

And that’s enough. Everything doesn’t have to be that deep.

The end.

If we are doing realism, here’s how I would do it. In a modern show, I would have her be the main character of a romance. I would have a Black guy meet her and be utterly blown away. He’s not used to a Black woman like her, but he’s intrigued. She likes horseback riding and loves the renaissance festival and cottage core. And he doesn’t know how to do it but likes her. But he’s worried he’s not sure if he’s up to her standard. Hijinks ensue(I can’t give you everything, use your imagination).

What telling your Black child they are “acting white” or doing “white things” does to your child

1.) You are messing with your child’s identity as a Black person

I don’t know how many times I will have to say it, but if a Black person does it, then it is a thing Black people do. Reading comics, watching Star Trek, snowboarding, mountain climbing, spelunking, princess core, cosplaying, gaming, watching anime. We are into everything!

Secondly, this can cause your child to have a conflict with themselves and other Black people. Imagine your child is into things that maybe not a lot of Black people in your area are into. And they’re rejected by Black kids at their school, but also by YOU.

Their parent, who should support them in their endeavors even if it’s something, you aren’t into. But you’re not supportive, you’re no better than their bullies. And how can your kid tell you about being bullied, when you’re saying the same things the bullies are.

For some, the easiest thing to do in these situations is to reject their Blackness. Why hang out with Black people if all they are going to do is bully me, and try to force me to be someone I’m not. Some Black people I see who have very very few Black friends, often have histories of rejection by Black people. For being different than the status quo of Blackness where they were. Some are fine with calling themselves a “coon” for their beliefs and don’t really care if they have Black friends.

Now this isn’t everyone,but I’ve seen this,some people manage to make it through all of this ,mostly ok. Some stay away from all of us.

2.)Your child will never be themselves around you.

Seeing Black adults who grew through this being happy that they are free to do the “white things” they love without judgment, is the saddest and most angering thing I’ve heard this year. Your child hides a part of them when they are around you. Respecting your parents is one thing, but that’s different than them hiding their musical taste and their hobbies from you.

Hiding them because you’ll deny their Blackness if you see them. You’ll spoil every mood. So rather than be themselves. They put on a maks of your “Black normal”.They perform the type of Blackness that you want.
And you’ll never get to know your child. Because they can’t trust that you’re a safe place, that they can just be themselves.

They shuck and jive for you because that’s what you said you wanted. Right?

3.) They might just choose to not be around you.

Some Black adults may fake themselves around their parents. But you have to understand some won’t. They aren’t going to pretend for you. They just aren’t going to deal with you.

And you may ask yourselves, why you don’t see them a lot…

Especially if they have children because they aren’t going to take the chance that you’ll reject their child’s Blackness. They are raising strong Black kids to be independent and to love their culture. Who will also be unapologetically themselves.

And they know the only thing you offer their child is a binding box.

Let’s expand:

I’ve seen Black adults who had a deal with their parents questioning their Blackness their whole life, and it’s heartbreaking. I was lucky. My mom didn’t get me, but she NEVER questioned my Blackness because of my hobbies. She knew me wearing black wouldn’t stop me from being followed in stores. And that watching anime won’t stop micro-aggressions.

I was so lucky, the concept of parents questioning their child’s Blackness didn’t make sense to me. But the older I got the more people I met who had the same story. Blerds whose parents saw their nerdiness and somehow correlated that to whiteness. This really doesn’t make sense with things like anime, which is Japanese, but I digress.

Very few Blerds had supportive parents unless the parents were Blerds themselves. Many caught flack everywhere and didn’t have a single place where they could be themselves. It didn’t take me long to realize, that my childhood freedom though it should be the norm, was an outlier.

Don’t get me, bullies will always try to get people to conform. “The nail that sticks out will get hammered down”, conformity to culture and society is global. But the one thing your child should know is that their Blackness is unquestionable. And you, the parent, should be the first person to build that sense of confidence.

Their foundation should be so strong that when anyone, Black, White, or whatever, tells them their hobby is white, that they can laugh in their face. And they can go back to that hobby will full confidence in themselves and the love for that thing.

Be that parent.

Because there aren’t white things.

But there are many things Black people have been “gatekeeped” from or things that class and the wealth gap have made unavailable to us. For example, people talk about Black people not swimming. But have you ever asked yourself WHY? It’s the same history with hiking, things that “people” didn’t want to share with us.

And don’t get me started on the Whitewashing of rock history. It’s so bad that many Black people don’t know who created Rock & Roll, and helped create grunge. How can our children being a part of a genre our ancestors created, be considered acting white?

So unpack your biases, and give your kids an uninhibited bubble of safety, known as home. Let your home be the place where your child can be them, even when the world doesn’t.

The world will always try to push your child into a box. It’s your job to let them know that they’re more than that.

Tropes we need: Black interethnic couples

Maybe I’m coining this, but by Black interethnic relationships, I mean people who are dating that may be the same “race” but different ethnicities or even tribal groups.

There are Nollywood movies on this subject, where people from different tribes meet and marry, but here in the States, we have very few stories about this.

In many stories, we’ll have an African American character and Jaimacan character dating or married the end. We never talk about the differences of those two cultures, we pretend that Blackness and we pretend as if Blackness is a monolith when it’s not.

 Everything’s good, their both Black, right?

You don’t see stories about an African American man meeting a Kenyan woman and then falling in love and the cultural differences that come with that. The stereotypes both West Africans and African Americans have about each other, the bullying by some Black children to 1st generation African children. The trauma that gives that lives on with some people as they grow up, about just being from somewhere else. And African Americans who didn’t grow up around anyone of immediate African descent, learning about the “African booty scratcher” taunts, and feeling ashamed, even though they weren’t involved. There are so many storylines to draw into a romance.

I need stories where a Caribbean woman falls for a man from a West African man. Or a Black Brazilian woman meets a man from Harlem and about their love story. Their language difference, their cultural differences.

There are many stories about interracial couples. 

But there are a lot of stories that we are just ignoring because we want to pretend that Black is Black regardless of culture, continent, and religion.

We are different, and that is ok.

For example, let’s have a Xhosa woman. She is working on her doctorate in the U.S., and she meets a man from Atlanta who works I.T. at her university. They meet at a party and they have a lot of mutual friends. She didn’t know much about Black American culture aside from what she sees on social media, and all he knows about South Africa is apartheid. They teach each other. He’s southern, his family loves greens and ox tales (there aren’t many African American families who cook them, but they exist, my family is one). She teaches him about umphokoqo and Inyama yenkomo, and how things were as she grew up. And they bond over stories of their lives. She sadly realizes what his grandparents and parents went through is eerily similar to her childhood and the life of her parents. She never imagined anyone outside of those back home would be able to relate. He grew up thinking Black is Black but loves how proud she is of who she is, and those differences make him love her more. And it makes him embrace what he is more than he ever had before.

Their parents grew up with negative stereotypes of the other, so they object. The story is just about our couple but two cultures exploring and coming together.

As a person who is in one of these relationships, I look for media that tells my story. But I can’t find anything.

My adventures in writing a book: Part 2 : Yay I’m rewriting half of everything

Even though I’m writing this right now, and I’ve written the drafts for two new tropes. When it comes to original content for my book, I’ve hit a roadblock.

The beginning chapter is FUEGO. I think it might push anyone to keep reading. And every chapter dealing with my main male character, also fire. He is a fully fleshed-out character with pure motives, and he’s an easily lovable empathetic character.

My female main character, I love her, but she seems boring. I’m working hard to make everyone else love her too. And it’s not going as well as I hoped. I have about eight chapters right now. And I’m unsatisfied with half of them so I have work to do.

I’m worried it’s me, can I not write women. Am I like the mangaka of Naruto, can I not write WOMEN? I’m not sure what to do with her chapters at all.

The problem is, I am having a hard time moving forward or rewriting the chapters. So I guess I’ll play some videos games until I can move forward.

Tropes we need: Black interracial characters

Interracial adoption is when a person is adopted by someone of a different culture than their own.That’s how you get Black interracial characters

Recently after watching Colin in Black in White and watching a LOT of TikToks from Black transracial adoptees(also Asian transracial adoptees). I’ve realized it’s a character we need to go over, and experiences that we need to share. Because the reality is these people exist and tend to have very unique struggles. This is new and as things change new tropes should be created to reach everyone.

Imagine going through microaggressions your whole life, but not having a family that explained that to you. Realizing how different you are from your siblings, although you’re all supposed to be the same. Your parents “don’t see color”, but you can’t put your finger on why people seem to treat you differently.

Hear me out this wouldn’t be that hard to do.

How?

Easy.

I think a romantic story would do this best. You have a guy raised in suburbia. He grew up in a loving home with parents and siblings. He just doesn’t know anything about his own culture. And he meets this woman, who makes him question himself and everything he thought he knew about himself. She’s very into her culture, and she’s teachers African American history.

All the microaggressions he had experienced and bottled up, are unleashed as he battles with the truth of his life. His denial of how people treat him starts to fade. He learns how to take care of his hair; he even grows it out. She introduces him to her family and friends, and he falls in love with her. Her family loves him, his family has a hard time at first accepting a new healthier him. After calling out a few microaggressions and biases they have, both sides come together for their wedding.

Tropes we need: Tall dark skin guy who is introverted, shy, and quiet

This is what I want.

Tall black male characters who are not hyper-masculine or athletic. A tall quiet dark skinned-guy who would much rather read a book than go to a club. I know some men, might find this soft. But I don’t care.

I want to start with darker-skinned tall men first because they are the ones who are the most tightly choked by tropes. You normally get an athletic popular tall handsome black guy, a guy in the streets, or the dark-skinned villain who beats on women.

That’s the norm.

I want Black introverted men to get a view of themselves being the main character as well. It’s almost as if we don’t believe Black men can be introverts; in media, we make them extroverts or socially awkward. And that’s not realistic. I can’t blame this on stereotypes but on our cultures. I’ve seen people tell introverted men to stop being introverted.

BUT OF COURSE, it doesn’t work.

So he can be the main character, which would be new, or even a side character.

We can have our main character pretending all of his life to be extroverted and when he grows up he throws off the mask because it’s exhausting. And of course, family and friends start to complain. He’s no longer the life of the party he had been pretending to be. Then over time, he makes friends with people who are willing to accept him just as he is. It ends with him laying back in his house, enjoying the silence.

or

We have a regular Black friend group movie, and we have one of our characters be this trope. And we don’t point it out directly. We make it normal because being an introvert is normal. He talks when he feels it necessary to. And we follow all of them in their dating experiences. Maybe he might get a girlfriend who thinks he’s cheating, but he’s actually just taking time to recharge. He can’t prove it to her, but we, the audience, see him put on headphones and just listen to music, as we see his phone going off with her calling. Which he doesn’t see.

You have to make it dramatic.

There’s no one way to do this right, but it does need to be done.

My adventures in writing a book : Part 1: my mind is weird

So yes, I’m writing a book.

The hard part isn’t what you think it is. The hardest part is that the book is continuously running in my head like an unclosed tab on chrome. Along with like five to ten other books I haven’t started writing.

Although I’ve only written like 5-7 chapters. I’ve written about 10,000 words in, and my mind is literally at the end of the story. Not the true ending but the place right before it because I haven’t figured out how to get to the ending. You’re probably thinking, I should outline my story.

BUT I FREE WRITE.

So I’m stuck. I probably will be forced to make a skeleton timeline to help me write my story. Currently, I’m making character-charts, and a mini-dictionary of the terminology I will be using. Why a mini-dictionary, it’s a vibrant magical world that I’m creating, and I have a bad memory. For example, knights in my world hold different ranks, and rather than using anything existing. I’ve created a new system with multiple branches and rankings, each fun and unique to the service you offer the king.

Tropes we need: The confident short Black man who isn’t funny

Hollywood doesn’t like short men. If you don’t believe me, look up Tom Cruise and boxes. If an actor is popular, they’ll do whatever it takes to make sure that the actor looks the same height as the other men. God forbid people ever learn that there are men shorter than 5′ 10″.

In Black media, it is normally communicated via jokes. The character bears the brunt of a barrage of short jokes or he is a comedian. It’s almost as if we can’t have a short male character without having one “little man” joke in there somewhere. Or at least one woman turning him down, because who could possibly want a short man?

I propose we have a movie with a short Black man in it and (wait for it), and we don’t make his character about his height. We don’t even mention it, I know it sounds crazy, but I think we can do it. And if we do reference it make it just a regular thing. Not a big aha, he is so SHORT, but we play it as being normal. Because it is.

We make him a confident and serious character. In fact, how about we already have in a relationship from jump. With a beautiful woman, and he has the ideal marriage. His friends’ joke that he doesn’t get dating because he’s been married so long. But as our other leads date, he gives good honest dating advice. As we get to see the world through our character’s eyes.

OR

We make this man the lead in a fantasy movie. And we treat it just like a regular fantasy epic. Maybe a villain might laugh once before it’s defeated. But he ends up saving the world.

Or

We make him the handsome romantic lead. He is working at a Tech conglomerate (he’s rich), and he’s a rising star in the company. We’ll do the stereotypical K-Drama thing where he meets our lead woman and they hate each other. But as they keep meeting through happenstance circumstances they slowly fall in love. We could even do the stereotypical thing of him being a jerk with a backstory but grows over time.

To be fair, I just want regular stories with Black short men who aren’t comedians. Because it’s almost as if we’ve set a standard if you are a short man, you are only worthy of being on screen if you’re funny.

Everyone deserves to see themselves on screen.

Tropes we need : The Soft Black Girl

Many stories contain the Strong Black Woman trope. Whether she’s the main character or not. She is a strong, independent, and sassy Black woman who “don’t need no man”. Sometimes she is a strong character from the beginning. But sometimes, she starts off as a weaker-willed woman who becomes strong through some turn of events. Generally, after dealing with a man (who is horrible) she becomes, the strong, independent Black woman she was meant to be. Her reward for becoming stronger is often a good man. Even Black little girls in stories must be warriors, fight, and start revolutions. If she isn’t the main character, she’s the “Sassy Best Friend/the black best friend” trope. Using her strength to support the lead character. Even in stories written and directed by US, being a strong Black woman isn’t just what we are. But what we are expected to be, what we must be.

BUT

I want stories where black women are allowed to be soft. I would love stories that don’t expect Black women to fight and don’t ask them to.
Black women who expect to be protected, and are protected. Black female characters who don’t teach the main character a life lesson. Maybe we could be the ones who learn a lesson, sometimes, instead of always having to be the teacher. Or us being hurt or dying to help someone else grow.

How about stories in which we are fought over. In which a Black woman isn’t fighting for a man, but is solely being fought for by men.

For example: How about a story in which the main female character is a Black princess whose kidnapped. The whole story is just about rescuing this lovable soft princess who would never hurt a flea. Her whole kingdom weeps for her, and our hero must get our sweet princess back.

Or a delicate girl who only wears dresses and loves pink and french manicures. She oozes femininity and is kidnapped by the mob because they think she is someone else, and our main lead, our nerdy Black main character, must rescue her.

We need more dainty Black heroes and villains. What about a villain whose utterly feminine and uses her magic to get men to fight in her stead, and then our hero falls in love with her.

What’s crazy.

The fact that many people would just laugh at the descriptions I’ve just made. In their eyes, they can’t see an overly feminine Black female character as being realistic. Why, well, in the States we’ve never really been allowed to be soft. Black women have been forced to be hard and work since the moment we arrived on this continent, for survival.

It’s hard to be soft in a world trying its best to push you down. It’s hard to be cute and delicate in a society that doesn’t see you that way. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be.

As I look around, I’m noticing more and more Black women embracing softer styles. More Black women embracing things such as princess and cottage core, as well as other feminine styles. As an author, I am purposely writing these characters into my stories because we need these tropes.

Just like we need to see strong Black women, we need to see soft, Black female characters whose arc doesn’t make them hard but allows them to be delicate the whole story.

We can be and are soft. Even when the world seeks to firm us up. I need Black women and little girls to know that you can go through things, and still be soft and gentle soul after.

Finding that Studio Ghibli joy in everyday life Part 2

So I was inspired to give you more things because you can never make life too magical. Only too dull.

Try to cook something you’ve never cooked before, plate it beautifully, and take pictures.

While you’re doing something mundane, make a song about it. Spit bars, have fun, sound ridiculous.

While doing some bit of serious housework start dancing with the people around, or with yourself.

Remember an old video game you once loved. Play it now. See if stands up against your nostalgia.

When it’s dark, go outside and try to chart some constellations. Even though we’re bigger now, it’s still fun.

Instead of eating your meal at a table, take it to your porch or balcony.

Find your favorite comfy outfit. Next, find the most comfortable chair you own, the next thing is the most important of all. Sit for a minimum of ten minutes.
Do nothing, just relax.
It’s super hard, but everyone deserves a moment to just get off their feet.

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