Let Odley Jean Be Vulnerable With You For A Second

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Ten seconds: That’s how long it takes to know that Odley Jean is going to be a star. As high school junior Dominique “Dom” Pierre on the new Netflix series Grand Army, a range of emotions — relief, over a much-need injection of cash for her siblings; pride, from her work as a teenage hair expert; playful irritation, over her white classmates screaming “Bodak Yellow”; and casual horniness for her crush — wash over her face within the first 10 seconds that viewers see her in the series’ premiere. 

But the true power of Jean’s performance really shines through in Grand Army’s seventh episode, when Dom, exhausted from running on the hamster wheel that is her life, unburdens herself during an interview for an internship at a mental health organization. In five minutes of true vulnerability, Dom makes clear that access to mental healthcare isn’t some esoteric intellectual exercise for her — it’s a lifeboat, one that she, and thousands of Black women and girls like her, desperately need in a world specifically crafted to work against them. Dom isn’t sad that “self-care” feels out of her reach, she’s angry. But Dom also knows she isn’t allowed to…



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