On May 28, a new webseries will push down the walls that most of us have been screaming at. Black Panties explores the lives of four best friends Mahogany, Valerie, London and Juice as they make their way through life in New York City. A completely female fronted cast is a rarity in entertainment, but even more rare is that all the lead characters are women of color ranging from a size four to plus-size.
For the past two years, creator and executive producer, Francina Smith and her co-executive producer Candice A. Thompson have worked to make real the story that was going on in Francina’s head. As prospective actors and plus size woman, both Francina and Candice have felt the isolation that society puts on plus size woman, but specifically plus size women of color. They aimed to create a show that questions those standards.
The driving force behind the series is the power of a woman’s intuition. We aren’t just talking about a close up on an arched eyebrow to show that a woman had called someone’s bluff. They wanted to go deeper than that. What was she thinking then? How did she get there? And where will it lead? Black Panties wants to show the complexities of a woman’s mind.
Yes, that’s right complexity. A concept many creators seem to skim over, especially when it comes to women in general, but especially plus size women and even more so with plus size women of color. Each of the main characters digs deeper on common tropes used for women in series. The fat friend doesn’t just have to be “the funny friend” she can also be the smart, complicated, sexy friend. And she is.
They hit you in the face with this concept right in their trailer (check it out below) which ends with a plus size woman being sexy as hell with a very attractive man. No apologies. No explanations need. Because in this series, women refuse to be put in one single box. Which is probably why the writing process was so strenuous. It was two years of hard work and pushing through the constant thoughts of “Who are you to tell this story? Who are you to call yourself a writer?” Thoughts that this budding writer/editor can relate to all too closely.
But that’s what’s so great about this series. It feels real because it picks up on the vulnerabilities of womanhood. More than that, it insists on letting those vulnerabilities be seen as strength, be seen as peace, be seen as hope. The fact that this powerful message is being shown by a group of people that regularly are pushed to the side because society decided they should be, makes the message all the more powerful.
The hope here is that woman in general, but specifically plus size women of color will push through the hardships and the doubts and embrace who they are, because who you are is powerful. Through situations we can all relate to and relationships we have all been in, this show hopes to show that women are complex and intricate, but a woman’s intuition is one of the most powerful forces on the planet. As Francina said, “That’s God.” Don’t miss their premier May 28th at blackpanties.tv, and be sure to keep up with Black Panties on Instagram and Snapchat at @BlackPanties.TV and on Facebook at @BPWebSeries.