The Tamera Mowry jokes are old, and you are petty
Stop trying to put black women in one personality box
This post was originally published on Medium on September 3, 2022.
I’ve got a not-so-secret confession. My personality is comprised of a massive combination of personality traits. Spend the day with me if you ever want to prove black women are complex.
I’ve been in board meetings and Zoom calls, and been both Maxine Waters and Phylicia Rashad’s TV character Clair Huxtable. I’ve also felt awkward and fumbled over my words like Issa Rae’s HBO character in a “We Got Y’all” event.
I’ve gone to a night club or house party, guzzled a couple of my go-to whiskey sours and transitioned into Ciara. When a co-worker told me “you are the party — at the party,” she wasn’t lying.
And even without the liquor, my closest circle knows I would easily do the lap hopping like Regina Hall. I don’t wear wigs, but I’d damn sure be the Erika Alexander in the crew dancing like a nut and playfully kicking Kim Coles’ wig around.
I’ve shown up to a door with glasses and rollers like Tracee Ellis Ross’ character Joan Clayton, and I’m 100% on board with her 90-day rule in real life. But while Joan was scared to fight, I’m not exactly proud of pulling a Joseline Hernandez and a Porsha Williams moment or two.
If you hear me speak in regular conversation, especially during journalism interviews, there are a select few who would say I “sound white.” In my ears, I sound more like Angela Bassett and Diahann Carroll. Blame it on my maternal grandmother being the Grammar Police throughout my childhood. But the shoulders relax around family and friends, and I can quickly code switch to sound like Remy Ma on “Drink Champs.” (Switch the New York accent for a southern one though.)
So why does any of this matter? Although all of these women are black, their personalities are notably different. Black women are not a monolith. We come in different shapes, sizes, backgrounds, skin tones and experiences. So when I hear black people try to put black women in a box, it annoys me. More specifically, I’m tired of people picking on Tamera Mowry.
Yes, Tamera Mowry is a black woman just like Tia Mowry
The Twitter joke was lame and tired, but it’s not the first time I’ve heard the Tamera Mowry slander. In this instance though, there was a tweet about how twins can be born as different races. Along with three other sets of twins who are clearly of a lighter and darker complexion, the Mowry sisters were the fourth image. Others laughed. I never cracked a smile.