For those of you who are fans of the show Black-ish, Rainbow Johnson (aka Bow) is a familiar character — an anesthesiologist, wife of Andre, and mother of five who is always hilariously inserting herself into her children's lives. But how did Bow come to be the way she is? The new spinoff Mixed-ish is here to tell her origin story, as she grows up in a mixed-race family in the '80s. When her parents move the family from a hippie commune to the 'burbs, Bow and her siblings suddenly have to contend with not only being biracial in a predominantly white new school but also with the culture shock of their new ultra-mainstream neighborhood.
Though her story is a tad specific, we're guessing the ups and downs that Bow goes through are probably familiar to many of you. Anyone who has felt like they don't belong or don't quite fit in (as a child and as an adult) will find something that they can relate to in Mixed-ish. Keep reading to find out three situations that come up in the show that anyone who has ever felt like an outsider can empathize with.
If you ever had to move as a kid
Moving as a kid is the absolute worst. You have to leave your friends behind, start at a new school where you don't know anyone, and try and insert yourself into a clique of kids who have probably known each other since kindergarten — not to mention getting used to a new house and learning the ins and outs of a new town. It's a seriously tough spot to be in for any kid.
Now imagine if you had lived the first 12 years of your life on a commune, complete with messages of peace and love, group prayer sessions, living off the land, and no running water, only to be uprooted and moved to the suburbs. Bow and her siblings not only have to start a whole new school, but they also encounter electricity and toilets that flush for the first time. Wild stuff.
If your parents aren't "normal" parents
There are tons of ways parents can be "weird" in the eyes of their kids. From growing up in a family of vegans to having a young mom who could be mistaken for your sister, kids can often be mortified by their parents even if their weirdness is pretty tame. But in the case of Bow's parents, the not-normalness scale is tipped toward the high end. Hippie would be putting it mildly — their commitment to free love and communal living took them completely off the grid. When they are forced to move to the suburbs after their commune is raided and dismantled by the ATF, Bow's parents have to figure out if they're going to assimilate and trade their flowy tunics for collared shirts, or stay true to themselves. All the while, their three kids are struggling with the same issues as best as they can.
If you didn't look like everyone else at school
As the grown-up voice of Bow (played by Black-ish's Tracee Ellis Ross) says in the show, "My parents had sent us out into the world with absolutely no warning that being mixed was even a thing. Imagine being the new kid when no one in the world is like you. You have to understand: today’s mixed kids can look up to rappers, ballerinas, athletes, a president, and a princess. The only heroes we had were DeBarge."
Even if you're not from a mixed background, everyone has some type of "ish" that makes them feel like an outsider. Mixed-ish is here to remind you to embrace that uniqueness — because not being "normal" is what makes you interesting!