Dec 21, 2020

Why "Girlfriends" Style Was So Significant

Significant, monumental, real is all words to describe the hit tv show "Girlfriends". It premiered on September 11, 2000, on UPN and aired on UPN's successor network, The CW, before being canceled in 2008. It became the longest-running live-action sitcom on network television that was on air during that time. It was one of the highest-rated scripted shows on television among African-American adults 18-34, including its spin-off The Game.

Joan Carol Clayton, (played by Tracee Ellis Ross) is considered the unofficial "den mother" of the group, as she frequently looks out for her friends even at the expense of dealing with her own problems, which are plentiful throughout the series run. Joan's style was always very sophisticated because she was a lawyer but Joan always gave us something sexy.

Maya Denise Wilkes (played by Golden Brooks) is a former assistant to Joan and a housewife/author. Maya is from Compton, California, and is married to her high school sweetheart, Darnell. They have one child, Jabari. Maya was always the sassiest of the group and is often at odds with Toni over her ego-driven lifestyle. Maya was that chick that everybody loved because she was so relatable. Her style was very quick because of her being a mother she was always on the go but as seasons went by Maya's style evolved into a chic boho goddess.

Antoinette "Toni" Marie Childs-Garrett (played by Jill Marie Jones) has been Joan's friend since childhood, they attended elementary, high school, and college together. Toni grew up in a poor farm family with an alcoholic mother in Fresno, California. Toni is considered the selfish and popular one of her girlfriends and the diva. Toni Childs style was very on-brand. In the early seasons, Toni only cared about name brands but as Toni grew through the years she still didn't care too much about name brands and more about style. She gave me so much inspiration through my teen years.

Lynn Ann Searcy (played by Persia White) was Joan and Toni's roommate at UCLA and lived with Joan for eight years before the series begins. Lynn holds five post-graduate degrees. Born in Virginia to a black father and a bipolar white mother who comes from a wealthy family, Lynn was adopted by a white family in Seattle (her dad affectionately calls her "Noodle"). She did not embrace her black background until attending college, where she met Joan and Toni. Lynn was on the journey of finding her true self she was the bohemian love child. Her style was a reflection of how she was truly feeling that day.

Girlfriends will forever be my favorite show because of the realness Mara Brock Akil made it to be. I only wish for a movie to be in the works because the stories can go on forever. Thank you, Joan, Maya, Lynn, and Toni for always being true. Oh, I can never forget about William for always being that strong male presence for them. All 8 Seasons of Girlfriends are streaming now on Netflix! 


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