If you find 90 percent of your daily interactions awkward, have no fear. Self-proclaimed ‘Awkward Black Girl’ Issa Rae is single-handedly making awkward cool. Millions of viewers are checking out her web series, “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” she just got a deal with HBO for a pilot called “Insecure,” and a brand new book that’s already received praise from the likes of Mindy Kaling and Lena Dunham.
“A lot of those awkward moments come from my middle school years, my adolescent years and I put them in adult situations but they never go away,” Rae tells Fusion’s Alicia Menendez. “If you don’t get comfortable, if you’re not secure in your own skin, and if you just happen to care a little too much then those moments will always happen.”
Rae created her hit web series after feeling like her own experience as an African American woman were not portrayed in mainstream media. And fans of her series feel the same.
“They find themselves in the character and they finally found someone they could identify with. Some people have come out of the awkward closet in a sense where they feel like, ‘oh I didn’t know what I was before … but now I know … I’m awkward!'” Rae said.
So after all the success, does Rae still feel insecure? “Hell yes! A lot of my work is in the spotlight and I am grateful, I’m very excited about the direction that my work is taking but at the end of the day I’m doing stuff more publicly, more eyes are on it so I do feel like I am under more scrutiny, Rae said. “I feel like where a lot of people are happy for me, a lot of people are either judgmental or they might be rooting for my failure and all of that I am aware of so it makes everything a little more amplified in a way.”
Have no fear awkward girls (and boys!) Rae says there is a way to go through life feeling awkward. “Embrace it! Too long I was trying to deny it or I didn’t know what was wrong and once I realized who I was like ‘I’m just genuinely socially uncomfortable!’ or I am sometimes a mess and that’s OK, and as long as I embrace it and I own it, and other people know it, it makes life so much easier to navigate.”