I have been thinking a lot about Tina Belcher, oldest sibling on the animated Fox television show, Bob’s Burgers.
I’ve been in a heavy slump lately, stressed out with school, looking for work, and holding on to my dreams and ambitions, all while trying to regulate my anxiety. It hasn’t been easy, especially because, as much as I love change, I also don’t know how to function when it happens. Cue Tina Belcher and her gripping life by the groin (literally) mentality.
There’s no other way to describe my mood lately: I’ve been dealing with a heavy heart. I dedicated my last two posts to two influential forces in my life: Dr. Maya Angelou and Yuri Kochiyama. The past week-and-a-half of shootings at college campuses and high schools and everything shitty that happens everywhere throughout the world every day has made it difficult for me to be in light spirits. That’s what the news and being a social media addict does to you —you get the live updates on every catastrophic event that occurs, in real time, and it’s nearly impossible to escape it.
So, when I get into these bouts of hopelessness and mental exhaustion, I make self care a priority. I think what we all need right now is a good amount of self-care as a reminder of our love for ourselves and for each other and our communities. There’s no doubt that life is difficult and the daily obstacles that we encounter are another hint that it doesn’t get much easier, but we can do little things here and there to make life, just a little bit bearable for tomorrow.
As you’ve probably guessed already, my current self care practice has been immersing myself in the show Bob’s Burgers, primarily to catch the antics of my beloved Tina Belcher. If you’re not an avid viewer of the show, then I encourage you now (or preferably after you read this article) to watch one episode where the story revolves around Tina. She is a beacon of light among the plethora of horny teenaged straight boys (and adult men, for that matter) often seen on primetime television. She’s unlike any other female animated characters in the past. The goal for this 13-year-old is not to constantly win the affection of a boy at school, its to get into his pants. And every boy’s pants, really.
I like to call Tina my youthful spirit twin because 13-year-old me can relate to her sexual conquests and ambitions. What woman doesn’t remember how confusing it was back during your teenage years to be told by adults that it’s not OK to be perceived as sexually available while simultaneously absorbing messages by the media and peers that you need to dress, act, and say things that suggest otherwise. That’s fucking complicated for teenage girls to think about when really, you’re just concerned about the hormones raging in your awkward and still developing body. That’s why Tina Belcher is amazing because she doesn’t care how she’s perceived among her family and peers. She loves her body, wants to be touched by cute boys, and wants to touch cute boys. She is the epitome of a sexually comfortable and liberated female teenager. But aside from Tina’s blatant sexual tendencies, she’s also smart and funny. Not exactly popular at school, she’s still not seen as less desirable, or unfuckable, the way nerdy female characters on most television shows are typecasted.
So, if you’re feeling down and out, looking for a good laugh, and/or want to reminisce on your own sexual awkwardness from your teenage years, Tina Belcher is the perfect companion to lift your spirits.