The help you is important

The Help (2011) — What gives Aibileen the courage to shout | by Su Bin Baek

A black nanny whispers “You is Kind, You is Smart, You is Important” | © lifegiva

In the movie “The Help (2011)”, A black nanny whispers “You is Kind, You is Smart, You is Important” to a white kid sitting on her lap, holding her small hand, and looking at the stray pupil. Nanny Aibileen Clack wants the baby, Mae Mobley, to keep in mind that she is kind, she is smart, she is important. So that, she can cleaved her way through obstacles.

Change begins with a whisper “The Help (2011)” | © DreamWorks

Aibileen is an African-American maid living in Jackson Mississippi. She cares for Elizabeth’s daughter, Mae Mobley, whom Elizabeth herselr doesn`t treat well. “You is Kind, You is Smart, You is Important” that Aibileen tell Mae Mobley is not only for the white baby child herself, but also for us the audiences watching this movie and also for the black nanny herself. This movie “The Help (2011)” is about the change that begins by repeatedly saying the phrase “You is Kind, You is Smart, You is Important”.

Skeeter’s friends can’t understand why Skeeter never get married | © DreamWorks

The year 1963 was the last year of the young president, John F. Kennedy, and a period when Martin Luther King was present. In the southern US state Jackson Mississippi, white people kept black housekeepers and lived with them. One of the white women named Skeeter doesn’t care about meeting men but wants to work solely from her own ability. She is different from her white friends whose goal of life is marrying well.

Skeeter meet black maid Aibileen to get advice | © DreamWorks

After graduating from university, Skeeter starts working for a newspaper company. However, men make up the majority of those working for the newspaper. Her boss often overlooks her ability. She is talented but is just the one who ghostwrites famous housework columnist.

Skeeter meet black maid Aibileen to get advice | © DreamWorks

However, Skeeter is grown up with the black maid so she doesn’t know anything about the housework. So Skeeter meets Aibileen, her friend Elizabeth’s housekeeper, to get advice. Talking about the housekeepins work, Skeeter becomes interested in Aibileen’s life being discriminated against others because of her race. She feels uncomfortable with the racist attitudes of her friends towards their maids. She could share maids’ hard life, because she is also discriminated against because of her gender. At that time, Skeeter didn’t do anything for the housekeepers.

Constantine is a mother, a sister, and a best friend of Skeeter | © DreamWorks

However Skeeter later learns that her mother fired her childhood maid Constantine for unknown reasons, and she can’t hold back this situation. Constantine is more than a nanny for Skeeter. She is a mother, a sister, and a best friend of hers. When Skeeter felt frustrated because of talking behind her back about her boyish acts, Constantine told her, “Am I gonna believe all the bad tellings people say to fool me?” This sentence gives Skeeter the courage to overcome gender discrimination. She wants to give black housekeepers courage to overcome racial discrimination too.

Nannies in Mississippi are afraid of retribution from their employers if they write a book | © DreamWorks

Skeeter persuades Aibileen and other nannies to reveal this unfair society in the book, but the housekeeper’s fear of retribution from the maid’s employers hinders others from joining the book project.

Aibileen is a smart person, but she also knows that she has to hide her cleverness | © DreamWorks

In fact, Aibileen is a smart woman and good at writing. She writes a diary every day. However, she knows that she will be threatened when she reveals her cleverness, because she is a black person and her fate is to live as a housekeeper. Nevertheless she wants write a book about her mississippi life this time.

Minny is using the guest’s bathroom not maid’s bathroom | © DreamWorks

Nothing will be changed without doing anything. One day Minny Jackson, Aibileen’s best friend, refuses to go out to use the maid’s toilet and uses the guest’s bathroom. This results in getting fired by Hilly, Minny’s employer and the leader of the women’s socialite group in Mississippi. Skeeter was shocked when Hilly sends a letter to the home sanitation initiative to install separate bathrooms for the help.

Minny made a poo pie for Hilly | © DreamWorks

Minny joins in the book project of Skeeter and Aibileen. Minny then tells the “ terrible and awful thing” that she did to Hilly, Minny’s employer. Following on her termination, Minnybaked her renowned chocolate pie and gave it to Hilly. Minny revealed that she baked her excrement into the pie. The book is published anonymously, and it gained a huge success.

The book is published anonymously, and it gained a huge success | © DreamWorks

I wonder how this sweet revenge could be so successful. Need I say, housekeepers were keeping silence due to the fear of retribution from the maid’s employers. What gives them a courage to revenge then? I find the answer from “You is Kind, You is Smart, You is Important.

“Hey, Aibileen! You is Kind, You is Smart, You is Important!” | © DreamWorks

Even if they get hurt on their self-esteem with some bad words from their employer, Aibileen and Black housekeepers know that they are a precious being. They do not get hurt at all and they have a courage to plan a revenge at any time.

Problematic Portrayals of Black Characters

Viola Davis in a still from “The Help”

In the wake of #OscarsSoWhite—a controversy sparked in 2016 when, for the second year in a row, not a single black actor was nominated—this year’s Academy Awards will feature three nominations for best picture featuring black narratives.

In 2017, three of the five nominees for best supporting actress were African American. One was Viola Davis, for her role in August Wilson’s Fences, in which she played opposite Denzel Washington, FCLC ’77, who also produced and directed the film. Davis took home the Oscar that night.

Brandy Monk-Payton

Davis had been nominated twice before: once for a brief supporting role in Doubt (2008) and once as lead actress in The Help (2011), in which she plays a domestic worker for a white family in 1960s Mississippi. The film was much loved by moviegoers—it received a nomination for Best Picture—and Davis’ work was critically acclaimed. But her character’s depiction in the film has been problematic for many academics interested the portrayal of African Americans on screen. One such thinker, Brandy Monk-Payton, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Communications and Media Studies, recently published an essay titled, “‘You Is Kind, You Is Smart, You Is Important,’ or, Why I Can’t Watch The Help.”

Monk-Payton said she used the “You is kind…” phrase because it is part of the dialect used by the 2009 book of the same name by author Kathyrn Stockett, who is white.

“I wanted to take back some of that language and insert my own thoughts on how this author took certain licenses with her subjects’ language to appeal to a white liberal imagination of what working-class black people would sound like,” said Monk-Payton.

The essay appears in a book of short essays published last month by Rutgers University Press, titled Unwatchable, where scholars take on certain media that they find unwatchable, from bloody horror films to real world violence to scenes that are just in bad taste. Monk-Payton’s essay speaks to her discomfort in watching a fine actress playing a maid. She noted that the content of the film is “ostensibly” about black domestic help in the 1960s, but it is told with a blind spot enabled by melodrama, she said.

“My essay is about thinking through what black women feel while watching a white savior narrative—what I call black women’s simultaneous endurance and exhaustion,” she said. “Another reason I chose this title because it reflects the racialized labor of care work, whereby Davis’s character has to routinely recite this mantra to affirm her white employer’s young daughter.”

That the Oscars often take place during Black History Month isn’t lost on Monk-Payton. She rattled off historic precedents of films that use “a certain kind of cheesiness in the service of creating the illusion of integration.” She noted that Imitation of Life, both the 1939 and the 1959 versions, also use the domestic worker and employer’s relationship as a device to examine racism. But she added that in 1959 version, which she called a “messy film,” director Douglas Sirk was at least “thinking about the role of melodrama” as a device that helps advance the story in a film, but that was 60 years ago. Her essay allows that “many melodrama films are compulsively watchable,” but those trafficking “in racial politics and white liberal guilt are cringe-worthy.”

“The fact that these kinds of films keep getting made is problematic,” she said. “They’re nostalgic looks at overcoming adversity through a liberal framework, a maternal melodrama, that thinks through these problems in a domestic realm, so it’s really alluring and very sentimental.”

She said contemporary films like The Help may not overtly present their characters as the stereotypical mammy figures, but the black maid trope is similar and affects how viewers misunderstand the hard labor performed by the character.

Ultimately, Octavia Spencer took home a best supporting actress Oscar for her role as a maid in The Help, which Monk-Payton said she can’t help but view as something of a throwback to Hattie McDaniel winning best supporting actress for also playing a maid in 1939’s Gone with the Wind.

She said that if there is a relatable scene in The Help for viewers like herself, then it’s that of an elderly maid (played by iconic and beloved black actress Cicely Tyson) being fired and sent away from the house where she works. In the scene, the maid, who has been with the family for years, turns then rests her hand on the screen door gazing at her former boss, who shuts the door in her face.

“She looks forlorn. I read that shot as this endurance and exhaustion being expressed through her averted gaze,” she said.

She said that talented actors, like Davis and Spencer, give in to the impulse to humanize these characters by taking the roles. She noted that Davis once said that she could bring something new to the well-worn character, but has since told The New York Times that she regrets taking the part because “it wasn’t the voices of the maids that were heard.

Similar criticisms have been made about this year’s Oscar contenders, including Roma, which portrays an indigenous domestic worker living with a benevolent family in Mexico, and Green Book, which flips the script with a white chauffeur driving a wealthy black pianist.

More Voices in the Room

“The question is ‘Who is in the room when creating these movies?’” she said. “We need a more localized view, a multiplicity of voices in the room, more content that speaks to these experiences so that the films don’t have that translator aspect.”

Monk-Payton applauds another 2019 Oscar contender, Black Panther, for its importance in black cinema. While she doesn’t want to diminish “the enthusiasm and emotional attachment” for the blockbuster, she said it doesn’t quite match up to the subtlety of August Wilson’s Fences.

Fences is refreshingly set in contrast to the spectacular quality of Black Panther; we need more of that kind of film,” she said. “We tend to forget about these quiet films that explore the quotidian, the ordinary.”

It’s a view shared by Davis, as she made abundantly clear on accepting her Oscar for Fences.

“Here’s to August Wilson, who exhumed and exalted the ordinary people,” she said.


Denzel Washingtondepartment of communication and media studiesFencesThe Help

Why is it so important to have support?

Man is a social being by nature. Yes, sometimes we want to be alone so that they don’t touch us and don’t interfere with us. But after a while, we begin to howl like a wolf from the desire to communicate. It is difficult for a person to be alone, especially when there are so many people around. And when we are at a crossroads, it is especially difficult to do without a loved one. That is why the support of family and friends is so important to us. But let's see, maybe a person and one will live perfectly.

Every person is different and everyone has their own comfort zone. Perhaps only you enter your comfort zone, and you do not need anyone's support. This is also great, because you are self-sufficient and do not depend on anyone. You do what you want and you don't need anyone's advice. But most people still prefer to have a person with whom they can share their secrets and get advice. Or maybe not advice, maybe just talk it out. A heart-to-heart conversation also helps to keep our spiritual state in good shape. Let's focus on the fact that everyone needs support, regardless of age and social status. Whether you are an inexperienced youngster or a gray-bearded old man, it is always nice to receive disinterested help if it is really disinterested.

So it's nice to have support.

Let's look at the dictionary. What is support? Support is help, assistance. That is, it is when someone is ready to assist us. Imagine you are starting a new project that will turn your life upside down. You are naturally a little afraid of the unknown. And how nice it is to have the support of friends and relatives at such moments. It helps you to become stronger and with redoubled zeal to change your life.

So support makes us stronger.

Now let's imagine the reverse situation. You are a young, promising businessman. Your company has recently grown by leaps and bounds, but suddenly something went wrong. One fine day, everything began to collapse, partners turned away from you, workers run away from you, no one wants to do business with you anymore. But this does not negate the fact that you are young and ambitious. You know that you can fix the situation, you can fly even higher than you were. The main thing is not to give up. And, as the hero of one famous series said: “Only I know what I can!”. But everyone turned away from you. And your family has always supported you and believed in you.

And then you realize that it was their support that helped you not to give up and stay afloat.

And how many cases were there when you could do something unusual, but your relatives simply did not support you. For example, go to study not as an economist, but as an artist, because you draw so well and you like it so much. You perfectly understand that this could not bring you income, and you would be poor all your life. But you would like what you do, and the lack of money would not bother you in any way. That is, you could fulfill the dream of any person: to do only what you like. But you went to study economics and now you hate your job. And all because they simply did not support you at the right time and decided for you. On the other hand, no one is stopping you from radically changing your life now. And if your relatives also support you, then the chance to improve your life increases dramatically.

In other words, support helps us grow and develop, gives us a sense of confidence.

How to check a friend? It sounds cynical, because a real friend does not need to be checked, but still. After all, it is not for nothing that there is a saying: a friend in trouble is known. And this saying has repeatedly proved its truthfulness and accuracy. How many times in your life, when you got into a difficult situation, a million of your friends turned their backs on you, and help came from where it was not expected? That's it!

This means that support helps to create true friendship.

The main thing - do not forget that you are not alone in this world. You are not the only one with problems. Not only you are tired and not only you need help. Take a look around. Perhaps a loved one needs your support, and you, ossified in your problems, do not see anything around. Be attentive to others, and people will reach out to you.

“I myself!”: why we refuse help and how to learn to accept it

April 11, 2022 Life

Children's experience is to blame for everything, but it can be overcome on your own with the help of psychologist's tips.

You can listen to the short version of the article. If it's more convenient for you, turn on the podcast.

What beliefs prevent us from accepting help? This also affects his attitude to help. Here are some common beliefs why we refuse it.

To accept help is to be obligated

Perhaps the parents were of the opinion that any service must be repaid. And in order not to become a "debtor", you need to reject such proposals.

Kristina Kostikova


At the core of this belief lie difficulties in building interpersonal boundaries, lack of emotional separation from parents, as well as the fear of being bad if you refuse a person who has already helped you.

Another common reason is parental manipulation. Doing something for the child, they automatically thought that now he is obliged to do something for them. By refusing, he faced reproaches of ingratitude.

The child came to a logical conclusion: since it is impossible to refuse mutual favors, it is better not to ask mom and dad for anything. Having matured, he extends this belief throughout his life and tries to protect himself from such manipulations as best he can.

Accepting help means admitting one's weakness

Parents tried to convince the child that he shouldn't share his difficulties with others. To admit that you couldn't do something meant to make yourself vulnerable, and this could be taken advantage of by enemies. It is possible that family members tended to deny the existence of problems in principle.

All this gave rise in a person to an inner ban on accepting help, as well as great tension and doubts about how normal it is to experience difficulties.

Accepting help means not coping with the task

This happens if a child was praised only when he did something on his own. Only the results obtained through pain and difficulties were valued. And if he was helped, it is no longer his merit. Then the child could hear reproaches, sarcasm, ridicule.

Kristina Kostikova


Growing up, a person unconsciously begins to look at his life through the prism of "it counts - it does not count." Accepting help means losing the inner game with his parents and himself, so he will avoid it in every possible way.

To accept help means to redo everything later.

A person is sure that his possible assistants will do everything wrong. As a result, time will be wasted and will have to be redone. The parental pattern of behavior here is guessed “from three notes”. The child was asked to do something, and then, instead of gratitude, they were scolded for the inability to cope with the task.

Kristina Kostikova


As you can see, behind all the above reasons lies a deeper layer of perception. From all situations, the psyche of people has learned that it is not safe to accept help. Refusing it, people simply do not want to face unbearable experiences for them.

How to deal with limiting beliefs

There is no universal way, because everyone has their own reasons for refusing help. To learn to accept it, it is important to find exactly what belief is blocking you and work with it. Kristina Kostikova advises to think over several questions:

  • Why do I refuse to accept help?
  • What do I associate with accepting help?
  • Am I eligible for assistance?
  • What will I think of myself if I accept it?
  • How would I feel if someone helped me?
  • What do I think of people who easily accept help when they need it?
  • What was the attitude towards help in my family?
  • What am I afraid of? What is the worst thing that can happen to me if I accept help?

When the cause is found, it is important to realize that you have chosen a strategy of behavior as the only one available and safe for your psyche. This is fine. Living organisms tend to adjust and adapt to the environment in which they are located.

You should not blame or scold yourself for this. Judging parents is also not an option. They did the best they could and could not share with you what they did not possess themselves. But you have to wonder if this strategy is good for you now. If not, change it.

You need to see that unconsciously you transfer the situation of interaction with your parents to everyone around you. But other people are not your mother or father. Try to accept help and prove to yourself the reverse, positive side of this process. Even if you feel that you are falling into previous experiences, explain to yourself the true reason for what is happening, try to support yourself and act in a new way.

Kristina Kostikova


Accepting help is absolutely normal. We are living people who can have difficulties. You will be able to move on much faster and more joyfully if you understand that each of us sometimes needs support and support.

Help does not oblige you to anything, even if the person who gives it thinks otherwise. You don't force the person to help you.

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