"we adapt or we die."
i'm a serious binge watcher when i want to be (i know, bad habit). but i cut myself some slack when aside from being entertained by a solid storyline, i find myself taking analysis of how the set must be set up, the mood the producers are trying to influence in watchers, the different times the music changes, and the lines that the actors deliver. every now and then, some writers’ reflections stimulate a part of my brain that makes me a wonderer - i wonder what influenced the thought; i wonder if the sentiment can be supported; and i wonder if i agree.
so when the OG lawyer from Ozark (spoiler alert) expressed in some of her final episodes of the show that "we adapt or die," my thirst for challenging thought burned in my mind, as i wondered where i stood on the topic.
my first thought was about my 7th grade life science class, and my understanding of adaptation as it relates to living organisms, and terms like evolution and natural selection. but then my focus became centered around my favorite mammal, the real kings and queens of all living things in human beings. and i thought about how as the times have changed it has seemed to me as though we are all in a race to have the next best idea, the next big way to get people's attention, and how in some ways "adapting" has looked a lot like following the wave.
some of the trends that have affected black women millennials have been in the way we wear our makeup; the kind of bundles we buy, and the way we install our wigs; and whether the hair underneath should be the locks of your natural curls or the strands of the pressed and the permed - and then there have been the trends of whether lighter or darker skinned people were in our out; whether or not to get a nose job or a bbl; or to build a toleration and preference for toxicity in relationship or ..
ultimately, my challenge to the thought was not what is "right or wrong," but,
"which way is the way that allows people to operate in freedom?"
beyoncé and jay-z are the new faces of the tiffany brand. the timeless, perfectly cut gems, hang from the necks and twist around the fingers of some of the day's moguls in each picture and video clip, and honestly, the campaign is inspiring, captivating, and makes viewers dream about love - and going out to buy their own tiffany jewelry. what i didn't know was that according to fashionista in 2016, tiffany & co. was facing "falling profits and stock prices." that year, for the first time, & in their fight for their company, they used celebrity faces in their campaigns, whereas before their means of marketing looked quite differently. the company was founded in 1867 - but has found a way to be relevant - and prayerfully, in the green - today. though their adaptation was good for business, i also took note of the way they chose to adapt - not by changing the product, but in the way they presented the product. they clearly believed in the exquisiteness of their collections, and over the years, the stones have not changed; they may be dressed in different jackets, or hang from longer chains, but the heart of what was established in 1867 has remained - though the delivery and the appearance have been made different.
with this in mind, i concur with helen pierce -
some things have to change.
i realize that it's every woman's choice to do what she will to her look, and i also believe that as people meant to be different than one another, look differently from one another, and add their own flavor to the mixing pot of people in this world, that we are products that God thought were perfect. beautiful. necessary. as He created us. i realize that it's every artist and entrepreneur's dream to see their product thrive, and i believe there is a way to ensure success without changing the heart behind why we create. i think that respect can be given to adaptation without tainting true freedom, if regardless of the way the product is sold or presented, the heart remains the same. i can change the way i wear my hair; change the way that i wear my clothes; beat my face to the gods or do my lashes and clear gloss; i can create my first reel on instagram; or come up with a fire campaign for my book that appeals to my demographic, all in an effort to survive - all in an effort to adapt. i can make decisions for change motivated by all the right reasons. i can evolve, and still be myself.
and more valuable than rubies.
maybe the saying should read thusly:
"we adapt. we transform. but we remain purely ourselves."