Netflix has set the bar high with Ginny and Georgia. I first started viewing the series Ginny and Georgia last night. For anyone with daughters struggling to fit in, this show is for you. It showcases how teens deal with coming into their sexuality and how little things make the difference in how they see themselves.
We get to know Georgia’s teenage daughter Ginny, who is struggling with overcoming insecurities as growing up being two races. As a mother of three biracial daughters, I can tell you the struggle is spot on. My 15-year-old has hair like Genny’s, and if you let her tell it, her hair is her worst enemy. It is very curly and too silky to keep braids. We have tried everything, but nothing helps when it comes to getting rid of the curls. We have flattened it only to see it curl back un in a day or two.
In the past, we would tease that she was just unlucky and got the in-between hair. After watching the show, I feel like those comments might have aided in her not liking herself. At one point, Ginny, who self mutilates just like my daughter did, talks about the struggle of how she doesn’t feel like she belongs to any race. She had a hard time fitting in with black people because she was too light. Yet, she couldn’t do things like wear make-up or wear certain hairstyles like white people because she was too dark. Fitting in is so important to children, after my daughter ripped her arm to shreds we put her in a self empowerment group. She just stated over and over that she didn’t feel pretty, she often talked about not fitting in. She felt separated by not only her appearance but her music.
So, as I am looking at this show, I couldn’t help but think back to all remarks Alison made regarding her hair ordeal. She would say something like I love their hair, I wish my hair was like that, or I wish my hair could at least get braided. Yet, she could never point out anything good about herself. Of course, I tried to remind her that she had great hair and that she should be happy that she would never need a perm. I grew up having to get perms and get my hair pressed which, can be nightmares. So, I didn’t feel too sympathetic to her remarks about having a different grade of hair because I didn’t understand the real issue.
I was minimizing her feelings about being pretty or not feeling happy. I think as parents, we sometimes want to put a bandage on things, but there are some issues we cannot speak on. When we were dealing with Alison cutting, I remember having daily conversations on how she felt about herself; it always ended with me trying to reassure her that she was perfect. Yet, perhaps those weren’t the words she needed to hear.
She was struggling with her identity, and it started with hair and flowed, all the way to sexuality. I finally told her about a year ago that people do their best when they no longer live by adopting labels. Labels are dangerous and often more confining than any box. This show is an excellent pick for people with children who are going through an identity crisis. I just couldn’t help but feel like Ginny was my Ally. The things she talked about in the essay/poem she read in her class, sounded so familiar. I felt like they read my daughter’s life out loud.
Not only does this series show the struggle of children, but it also shows the extremes of a single parent who will stop at nothing to make sure her kids are safe. In most cases, we would die for our children. I do not want to give away spoilers, but I get Georgia, and I can get behind some of the choices she made. She did the best she could with the deck of cards she was handed.