From The Fresh Prince of Bel Air to Insecure via Migos, how the trope is finally coming of age
When Donald Glover kicked off a great year for video at the Golden Globes this January, the soundtrack to his success was self-evident:” I certainly want to thank the Migos ,” he said as he professed Atlanta‘s apportion for best TV serial- melodic or comedy.” Not for being on the reveal, but for constructing Bad and Boujee. Like, that’s the best sung ever .” The next day, as if to support the deeply felt sincerity of these comments, footage of Glover going down to the line at an afterparty turned up on Instagram.
For US audiences, Migos likely necessary no introduction. The Atlanta-based trio had been in the following chart with Bad and Boujee( boasting Lil Uzi Vert) since the track’s release in October 2016( eventually reaching No 1 following that plug from Glover) and the lyric” sprinkle put, lower surface” had spawned countless Twitter memes. The video, boasting beautiful wives wrap in ivories while going dirt bikes, and dining fast food from Chanel logo-emblazoned takeout containers , currently has more than 500 million YouTube thoughts. In the UK, where the track merely contacted No 30 in February, audiences may be less very well known Migos, but they’ll still understand the note; the black, bougie princess has been a mainstay on TV for decades.
The word ” bougie”, derived from the French message bourgeoisie, will also be familiar to English-speaking TV viewers the world over. Nonetheless, as the Migos song proposes, the word’s spelling variances starting to take on subtly different meanings. There’s ” bougie”, meaning a all the members of a prosperous social class and the manners that go with it; “bougee”, which more often carries the pejorative impression of behaving above one’s true social status. Then there’s Migos’s ” boujee”, a word that is still delineating out a new, more positive definition.
The mother of all TV’s bougie princess is Dynasty’s Dominique Deveraux, a courage first dreamed up by the actor who represented her, Diahann Carroll. After Carroll was thrown in the nighttime soap in 1984, she spelled out her goals for the character in an interview with People store: “[ Tv has] done everything. They’ve done incest, homosexuality, slaying. I think they’re slowly inching their channel toward interracial. I want to be rich and ruthless … I want to be the first pitch-black bitch on television .”
As its first year developed, so did the TV trope. There was A Different World’s southern belle Whitley Gilbert( played by Jasmine Guy from 1987 to 1993 ), finickity fashion plate Lisa Turtle on Saved By the Bell( 1989 to 1993 ), self-centred valley girl Hilary Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from 1990 to 1996 and Dionne Davenport in Clueless, both the original 1995 movie and the 1996 -9 9 spin-off Tv series. Stacey Dash, the actor who dallied Dionne, afterward had a return to the prominence when she became a Republican party-supporting Fox News scholar, which, given this context at the least, isn’t an absolutely surprising occupation move.
For both lily-white and pitch-black audiences, these early Tv images of prosperou, drilled black maturity is likewise something of a oddity.” For most of movie and television services and facilities history, the portraits of pitch-black ladies have been discrediting ,” says Mia Mask, prof of cinema at New York’s Vassar College and writer of Divas on Screen: Black Women in American Film.” It was not until the 1980 s that the bougie impersonation developed and reappeared with regularity .” Yes, it was still a imitation, but unlike the mammy or the jezebel it was a glamorous one. Mask ascribes the late-6 0s sitcom Julia with putting the very first pitch-black middle-class wife on US TV, give full play to Diahann Carroll again,” but she was not what we’d call a bougie princess. She was a single mother who worked as a nanny but had middle-class evaluates .”