“Being Mary Jane,” hit BET series, is renewed for yet another season. Its previous season, season three, ended on a controversial issue of race and left viewers pondering, “What does Mara Brock Akil [creator] have in store for us next?” While Akil allows viewers to observe the life of successful, beautiful and complicated news anchor, Mary Jane Paul [Gabrille Union], she also allows viewers to live in the life of Mary Jane, and to be quite frank, I have come to the conclusion that we, you and I, are being Mary Jane.
I have been an avid viewer of “Being Mary Jane” for years, watching the messy, emotional life unfold right in front of my eyes. However, I realized I was actually watching my life unfold on that TV screen. Although I am not black nor a woman, I found Mary Jane’s struggles to parallel with that of every other American. The struggle to find love. The struggle of a job. The struggle of family. The struggle of living. Most importantly, the struggle to be happy. To be something. That’s the real issue we all must face. We all attempt to strive for something better and greater than what we have now. We all want the best, and just like Mary Jane, we explore unconventional ways to obtain that goal.
The audience consistently finds themselves engulfed in the realistic approach that Mary Jane takes to battle daily issues. We see the ongoing perpetual lies about ourselves, relationships, beliefs and morals that we continue to feed into. We enjoy hearing what we want to hear, ignoring the blatant signs of reality. It’s easier. It’s comfortable. However, we must learn, just like Mary Jane, to overcome these delusions.
With this information comes the question, “Why do I keep messing up?” This is a question that audiences see themselves answering alongside Mary Jane. I wish there was a magic answer to these questions, but what Akil reminds us through Mary Jane’s life is that it’s never-ending. It’s ongoing. We all have ups and downs that we must face in order to be something stronger. However, these ups and downs not only make us strong but also aid in the production of our true, authentic selves. Moreover, we will continue to knowingly and unknowingly make mistakes in life. It’s inevitable.
Take away the race, sex and material aspects of yourself and look deep into yourself. You’re human. You’re going to make mistakes regardless. Embrace that concept. Understand that making mistakes only provides answers in the end. Just like Mary Jane, you will fail and you will succeed. Moreover, just remember, as Stacy Barthe states, “We’re all flawed, beautiful creatures.”