I Recognized Myself in the Toxic Friendship on HBO’s ‘Insecure’

Updated: May 19

Insecure’s Molly is Me…Does that make me a trash friend too?

Insecure Season 3 on HBO

Issa Rae’s Insecure premiered on HBO in October 2016 and stole the hearts of many viewers. The show showcases the ups and downs of dating and marriage, careers, sex, and friendship; it’s hard not to see yourself in the characters.

It centers around the friendship of Issa and Molly who have grown up together and how they navigate their lives together, but from completely different perspectives. Their relationship gives the viewers insight on a “ride or die” friendship that can, and does, have it’s messy moments as well. Add in Kelly and Tiffany (friends they met in college) and you have a regular cast of “Sex and The City” from a young, black, and gifted perspective.

With that said, anyone that knows me knows that I have a certain level of disdain for Issa Rae’s Insecure character Molly.

At the start of this season, I realized that I was already picking her apart and calling her trash before 10 minutes of episode one had rolled by. I wondered who did she think she was? She had a great friend in Issa, a budding relationship with #AsianBae, and a working environment dripping in black excellence. Why was she trippin?

It wasn’t until the last episode where, spoiler alert, the break down of her and Issa’s relationship was thrust to the forefront of our screens. Viewers watched on as they tore each other apart with below the belt jabs and insecure and shady comments — no pun intended.

It left viewers wondering, is this the end of their beloved friendship? Would it end with snarky remarks and miscommunication? Had they indeed not grown over the last few months? And why does Molly have to be so trash? Ok, maybe that was just me.

Yes, I blame Molly for the upcoming demise of their friendship.


Molly has been ”attempting” to fix her toxicity since season one. She won’t accept help via therapy; her love life is a joke because she always finds something wrong, and she seems to only want growth from Issa in ways that won’t surpass her own.

All and all, Molly ain’t the type of friend you want on your side.

Molly wants her friend to stay the friend she’s always known if only to annoy her about the lack of growth she has yet to show. She wants to keep her in a box to be her one and only savior. She wants the ability to be honest with her friend without obliging her friend that same courtesy. She wants to remain in control of the one thing she’s known forever because she isn’t able to control anyone else around her. Issa is her coping mechanism. Thus she can never expand beyond her role because that would leave Molly ass out.

And then it hit me.

I am Molly. Molly is me. Therefore, I am trash. Right?

When I was growing up, I had a best friend; we will call her Alicia. Alicia and I grew up together and maintained a pretty toxic friendship until our 20s. Our problem? I never wanted our relationship to change from what it was, and she never felt I was reaching my fullest potential. In some ways, we were both Molly. Both butting heads about the way life should go, both pretending that we had it all together, both hiding secrets, and both shading the hell out of each other.

I remember our last argument. We were on the phone talking about my business plans for my online magazine. She felt like she had all the right answers and proceeded to share opinions where I didn’t ask. It ended in me telling her that she didn’t believe in me. That she always felt she was right, and I was lost without her. A couple of curse words later, and we were at each other’s throats. It was at that moment that nothing that we bonded on over the years mattered. The pieces that made us friends no longer mattered. Our insecurities could no longer keep us together, and so we let go.

I don’t think either one of us sat down and had the whole ”it’s not me; it’s you.” moment. We just let the anger, pain, and miscommunication kill our friendship. Our friendship was a causality in the war against killing ourselves to make each other happy. It was her or me, me, or her. In the end, we chose ourselves.


I think that’s why I dislike Molly; she reminds me of a friendship that had to die for each party to grow. She reminds me of the ugly side of friendships. The side where you don’t survive it. The side where both parties are equally toxic together. The side where you choose between suffocation and breathing. Each week, I see her and Issa creep closer and closer towards the place where friendships go to die. A part of me hopes they can survive; on the other hand, I recognize the beauty in ashes of its demise.

If you’re wondering, Alicia and I never spoke again. Oddly enough, we still follow each other on LinkedIn and our old Facebook pages. She reached out to me on an old account of mine years ago, and I missed the message. Sometimes, I’ll find myself on her page, just to see how life panned out. She seems happy, and honestly, that makes me happy too. I am grateful for the journey to the lesson, and I am glad I was able to leave the Molly within me behind. At the end of the day, we have all been Molly in some way. The idea is that we seek growth within ourselves to stop being Molly and also separating ourselves from the Molly’s in our lives. Ultimately, we deserve more.

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