Average Acceptance Now
Playboy Africa|May 2020
Notes of a webslaying comedian and Black Lady Sketch Show cast member who’s fed up with the insane demands of capitalism, showbiz and social media
Quinta Brunson

In 2016 I went to the Shorty Awards, a show that honors greatness in internet culture, at which you can be nominated for top comedy performance of the year along with a dog that went viral for having a tongue that hangs out all the time. It’s humbling.

Anyhoo, I took a picture on the green carpet of an awards show I didn’t necessarily want to be at. In all honesty, I was embarrassed. I dreamt of the Emmys, the Golden Globes — even the ESPYs, where I would present an award and offer comic relief next to LeBron James. An internet awards show felt beneath me.

I posted the green-carpet selfie on Instagram. For the most part the comments were kind and complimentary, filled with “yes girl!” and “slay gorgeous.” But there was one that has stuck with me for four years.

“Eh, she’s so average looking.”

Average. I don’t know if the person who wrote that comment meant to insult me but.… I take it back; I’m pretty sure that was 100 percent their intention. My first thought was no thought. The comment just kind of had me staring at it and trying to understand how I felt, whether to care, and if I should say something back. I didn’t, but I did care. At that point in my career, I wanted to be outstandingly good at my job and to be considered pretty at least. I thought what probably everyone has thought, including the person who left the comment: In order to be worth something in this world, you have to be above average.

One definition of average is “the usual or ordinary standard, level or quantity.” If anything, average sounds, dare I say, comfortable? Constantly fighting to be more than average or even less than average seems exhausting, like entering yourself in a race you can’t win while committing to being sweaty and out of breath for the rest of your life. When I had this epiphany, years later, I knew I needed to reevaluate my place in the endless race — and to ask myself why I wanted to run it in the first place.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM PLAYBOY AFRICAView All

Author Matt Gallagher and Lea Carpenter Talk Sex, War and Writing

From the field of combat to the field of kickball, Playboy fiction author Matt Gallagher discusses his deployment, literary influences and more

10 mins read
Playboy Africa
April 2022

Author Don Winslow Says Your Weed Habit Finances Killers

The blockbuster writer on bad guys (there are plenty in ‘The Cartel,’ his latest inspired-by true-life novel) and good sex scenes

10+ mins read
Playboy Africa
April 2022

Meet the Anonymous Artists Behind the Sexy Art You're Double-Tapping on Instagram

Anonymity helps erotic artists go deeper, but censorship often halts their success

7 mins read
Playboy Africa
April 2022

April Bay

Instagram @Aprilbayinsta Photography by Jon Medel | @Jonmedel HMUA Gercy Galang | @GgHairart Videographer John Freeman Creative Director Marty Fallor | @drmartyyy PR LA Media Group | @la.mediagroup

2 mins read
Playboy Africa
April 2022

Virtual Satisfaction

VR porn is the latest offspring of a lucrative, centuries-old marriage between tech and erotica. Playboy travels to a Beverly Hills mansion for a behind-the-scenes look at the most titillating content feeding the R 515.00 billion VR industry machine

10 mins read
Playboy Africa
April 2022

The Muses of Playboy Photographer Douglas Kirkland

Whether he was photographing Marilyn Monroe wrapped seductively in bed sheets or Robert De Niro jamming hard on a sax, Douglas Kirkland has always had an eye for capturing his muses in their element

1 min read
Playboy Africa
April 2022

Among the Atheists

A former minister immerses himself in the American Atheists convention, bearing witness to the nonbeliever movement as it rises from the ashes of 2016

10 mins read
Playboy Africa
April 2022

TURNING DREAMS INTO REALITY - Charlee Wilkinson

THIS MONTH WE'RE CHILLING WITH THE BEAUTIFUL AND MULTI-TALENTED HAIRDRESSER, STYLIST, AND CO-OWNER OF BUSH2BEACH | Instagram @charlee__wilkinson

5 mins read
Playboy Africa
April 2022

Making Moves Vivien Rubin

Production Irma Penunuri - Burgerrock Media | @burgerrock Photography by Maddie Young Media Hairstylist Danny Newsham | MUA Kenna Reef Lash Artist TruLash Extensions | Tan Artist BellaForCare Stylist Horacio Aguilar

6 mins read
Playboy Africa
April 2022

The Dark, Hilarious and Brutally Honest ‘Emotional Sci-Fi' of Writer A.M. Homes

The award-winning author talks dark humor and humanity and what it’s like to revisit beloved characters

7 mins read
Playboy Africa
April 2022