For all of the nostalgia that millennials have supposedly wrought, rarely does anyone talk about the true test of the power of nostalgia: whether or not one jumps at the chance to discuss “That’s So Raven” when said show or any one of the show’s stars are brought up in a conversation. If you’re a person who still remembers the theme song word for word and utters “ya nasty” on a regular basis, then you understand the power of one Raven-Symone.
If there’s one word to describe Raven during her “Oprah: Where Are They Now?” interview, that word might have to be “enlightened.”
That’s not to say she has all of the answers or is even “right” in what she is saying, but she does speak as someone who has found inner peace and knows who she is and who she wants to be. When she says that she considers herself “American” instead of “African American,” Oprah is absolutely right to warn her that many people will take offense to such a statement, especially those online.
But Raven makes it perfectly clear throughout the interview that she is not one for labels, and that she doesn’t know enough about her heritage to even give a straight answer about where in Africa her lineage would begin. She brings up the very simple “melting pot” idea that makes it so she should only has to identify as “American” who connects with all different races and cultures over the double A word. Her side of the argument is controversial for sure, but it’s easy to see where she’s coming from.
The same can be said when she talks about how she made it through child stardom unscathed. She’s a total success story when it comes to having a healthy adulthood and proof that, with a good head on your shoulders, success doesn’t have to make a mess out of one’s childhood.
At the same time, there’s also a sense of judgment and maybe even a little superiority in her pride. (“That’s your fault, Boo-Boo.”) But given how often you see child stars come out scarred and messed up beyong repair, isn’t a little superiority warranted for the ones that succeed?
Even if you disagree with Raven’s points in this interview, there’s no denying that she speaks with the conviction of a person who has spent a good share of her life thinking about why she sees things the way that she does. It’s actually a shame that this isn’t a longer interview, because it’s one of those conversations you could quite possibly listen to forever. Both Oprah and Raven clearly have an enormous amount of respect for each other, and Oprah also appears to really care about making sure Raven comes off as great as possible, even in those more “controversial” comments. It’s a fine time for all.
Also, Raven’s hair looks absolutely amazing.
In case you missed it, take a look at Raven’s thoughts on labels and how to keep a good head on your shoulders as a child star: