Webseries ‘Brown Girls’ Is Shattering Preconceptions Of Women Of Color

While it is a known fact that discrimination exists in many fields, it is striking to see how show business and Hollywood are also biased.

Only 1 in 3 actors that have speaking roles are non-white, 1 in 4 roles go to women, and the fraction is much much smaller for queer characters. This means that, for the most part, the images that we get to see on TV are about straight white people.

There are however some shows that have taken the spotlight by surprise, most notably the web series Brown Girls.

The show is not your mainstream female-driven comedy, as it chronicles the millennial struggles of two women of color in Chicago.

One of them is South Asian, discovering herself and her queerness for the first time, while the other is black, making it through her relationship problems.

But not only does the show highlight the tragedies these two women go through, but also the joys of happy endings and fulfillment.

So in that respect, the show gives out a very genuine taste of reality, which is tempered by moments of both happiness and misery.

The inspiration behind the series came from the desire to portray women from different racial backgrounds and highlight the genuineness of their friendship.

This made the show much more relatable to a widely underrepresented piece of society, but also appealed to those it wasn’t addressed to.

The series was basically “using the personal, to get to the universal”, and it seems to have succeeded in the process.

Another reason why the show was successful is partly because of the web series format, which made it much more accessible to the general public, and also gave the producers freedom of control and distribution.

Sam Bailey, one of the producers of “Brown Girls” says that “the internet has leveled the playing field a lot for a lot of people. I feel like our communities on the internet are stronger than ever. We’re combating it through humor and calling it out.”

Fatima Asghar, the second producer of the web series, continues by saying that even though the show has been well received by many, she still faces cruel and hateful comments for straying from the typical image expected from a Muslim character.

Presumably, the only way to combat this is by continuing to embrace diversity in mainstream media, and it is only then that it becomes just as normal for a same-sex couple to be kissing on screen as it is for a straight one.

Profile photo of Lara Elfeghaly
Lara Elfeghaly

Lara hails from Beirut, Lebanon and moved to the U.S. in 2012 with an eye on working in NYC. After getting her degree in economics and finance, she held multiple roles in the finance industry, the most recent being a project finance analyst at GE Capital. When she's not at her job building financial models, she enjoys traveling to sunny places and writing what comes to her mind.