come on ross

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The “Angry Dark Skin Friend”

There’s a common pattern in many forms of black media where there are 2 black female characters who are friends or sisters, one being lighter in skintone, while the other is darker. Even though darkskin and lightskin women form friendships all the time, the way they’re commonly depicted in Black Media is what stands out and perpetuates certain stereotypes:

1. in the film/show/etc, the main character/focus of the 2 is typical the lighter skin woman

2. this makes the darker skin woman the “sidekick”

3. the lighter skin woman is portrayed as prettier, nicer, “classier”, more reserved, and/or overall more likeable and desirable

4. the darker skin woman is portrayed as shady, mean, loud, desperate, abrasive, aggressive, and/or overall less attractive (many would say “ghetto”)

These photos show just a few examples that came to mind…

Coming to America (1988) - The darker skin sister was more desperate for a man, chasing after Prince Akeem, Simi, and even her sister’s ex-fiancé. In the frame of society’s norms, this would be seen as “fast”, “tacky” or lacking in morals, which would therefore, make her less fitting to be a wife.

House Party (1990) - The darker skin friend (AJ Johnson) was the louder, more outgoing friend who was ready to date both Kid & Play, whereas Tisha Campbell’s character was more timid, and ended up being Kid’s “better suited” love interest.

Martin (1992-1997) - Once again, Tisha Campbell is playing the main female character, Gina Waters, and love interest to the main character, Martin Payne. While Gina is depicted as a kinder, classier, professional, “wifey” type, her best friend/assistant Pamela James, played by Tichina Arnold, is depicted as a loud, angry, man-less, berating black woman with “buckshots” and “beedeebees” in her “horse” hair, who was constantly butting heads with Martin.

Proud Family (2001-2005) - Penny, the lighter skin girl, was the main character with Dijonay, the darker skin girl, as the friend/sidekick. Dijonay had a less “traditional” name, as did her many siblings, was portrayed as louder, having more attitude, and was constantly chasing after Sticky, a boy who not only didn’t want her, but preferred the lighter skin friend, Penny.

Rick Ross’ Music Video for “Aston Martin Music” (2010) - In the early portion of the video, we see a young Ricky out on the block with other neighborhood kids, dreaming about owning a luxury car one day. Among the kids there’s 2 young girls, one darker skin and the other lighter skin. While the darker skin girl is quick to berate him and tear down his dreams of ever being that successful, raising her voice and waving her finger in his face, the lighter skin girl is quick to reassure him and support his dream. Once again, this display reaffirms the stereotype of darker skin women being mean, bitter, and angry, while lighter skin women are kinder, sweeter, and happier.

a fever you can’t sweat out is the strangest album ever wtf were 4 teenage boys doing creating an album inspired by cabaret and writing lyrics about adultery and sanctity of marriage and prostitution like chill guys go scratch your balls and drink a monster or something

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lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking her clothes off - UK CD/digital by panic! at the disco (2006)

i’m so shocked at the number of posts i see about how friends would be a better show if ross wasn’t on it like you don’t have to like him as a person but PLEASE look me in the eye and tell me that your life would be enhanced if you had never seen ross come tearing out of his kitchen holding a plate of fajitas without oven mitts

Marvey and romantic tropes

Inspired by these awesome posts: x, x, here’s a list of ten (of many tbh) romance tropes played with in Mike and Harvey’s narrative, starting with ones that actually are on TVTropes, followed by ones that are just general narrative things (All gif credits at bottom of post):

1. Meet Cute (+Rescue Introduction)

Do I even need to explain this one? A sick grandmother, running from the cops, mistaken identity…Literally the first 20 minutes of this series is about these two and how they’re going to meet thanks to some crazy circumstances, and how a malfunctioning briefcase full of pot is going to change their lives (and they don’t even know it yet):

2. Forgotten First Meeting (Or Connected All Along if you want to be finicky):

Harvey passed Mike and Trevor on the street ‘five years ago’ when Mike was working as a bike messenger and Mike said ‘If I ever look like that shoot me’ which is ironic because he will work so hard to look like that in five years but also not that ironic because Mike probably said that to deflect Trevor’s attention from the fact that he is 100% checking Harvey out and very interested in what he sees (And it is what he sees, since the camera is Mike’s gaze and it does a full elevator scan. Interesting choice there, editors):

3. Disposable Fiancé, and the Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario:

I’d have to post the entirety of 3x02 to illustrate it all tbh? From the ‘We’re done but I’m still going to be pissy about your new relationship nvm that the trigger for you falling into the relationship was that you were upset from our “break-up”’:

to the ‘I’m going to get right in your face for maximum UST and heartbreak for when I tell you we’re done’:

to poor Louis becoming the disposable fiancé who sees an opportunity:

and woos Mike:

while Harvey denies to himself how much he loves misses him (while looking that heartbroken jesus gabriel):

And of course it doesn’t work because right as Mike and Louis are about to ‘make it official’:

Along comes Harvey like everyone knew he would with these faces and ‘You’re not going back on your word [to Louis], you’re going back where you belong [with me]’:

And then you get the Big Damn…High Five:

(with Louis looking on which is bittersweet because unlike the usual disposable fiancé scenario he is sympathetic).

4. Race for your Love:

Okay, literally, this is even more romantic here than in its usual use?? “Most commonly found in Romantic Comedies, Race For Your Love usually occurs five minutes or so before the credits roll.” “Someone is about to leave the city/state/country forever, but their lover runs to the train station/airport to convince them to stay.” 

Except Mike is not about to leave the city he’s about to turn himself in to make sure Harvey doesn’t do the same, to protect Harvey, and Harvey’s running to stop him?? And we get shots of Harvey running this long fucking run in slow mo (and it continues into the next episode lmao):

5. Odd couple:

“A friendly (sometimes romantic) relationship between completely different people, usually the main characters.”

Good lawyer, bad lawyer. Winning vs caring, etc., their contrasts would need a whole separate post:

6. [Saving the] Damsel in Distress:

Mike is literally Harvey’s damsel in distress lmao?? It’s always because of something happening with Mike that Harvey ends up doing his angry “I’m going to save my bb” power walk:

7. Act of True Love [Fight]:

“An act of sacrifice or high risk, motivated by love, which proves beyond a doubt that you put your loved one’s needs before your own.”

Not only do they both pull these, they fight about who gets to put the other’s safety above his own, multiple times:

This happens again for a whole half fucking season I’m not going to post gifs of all of it because it would be too many but it culminates in a downright physical fight because Harvey’s pissed Mike’s pulling the Act of True Love and has locked him out of doing it and so he throws a fucking glass and then goads him into hitting him because he’s in that much pain over what Mike’s doing for him what the fuck:

And then Mike goes to prison and Harvey gets him out because of course, and you’d think it’d be over now right? But nope.

Narrative things that aren’t really on tvtropes:

8. Protectiveness/Possessiveness:

They’re just very, very protective and territorial of each other. Not hard to interpret as a romance trope at all. Again, to illustrate, I’d have to post gifs from the whole show so just have two at random:

9. “Staring at the empty space you should fill”:

I mean, I guess there’s a platonic interpretation for standing outside someone’s empty office with your morning coffee, broodingly staring at the chair they used to sit in. I usually only see behavior like this in romantic contexts in other media though:

10. “At Your Door” parallels

Doorstep parallels are just an otp staple and they have the most in the show. Like, someone still has to make an updated version with the most recent examples lmao, so here’s another two at random:

Gif credits: x, x, x, x, x, x, x, x, x, x, x, x, x, x, x, x, x, x, x, x, x

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nine in the afternoon // panic! at the disco