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Zora and Sophia are currently written as polar opposites, complete with the character judgments that come along with their stereotypical identities. Sophia is almost unfailingly virtuous, composed, and gracious--to little kids, her peers, and adults alike. She's a Sunday school teacher who has never had sex and adores her mom.

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The only things that shake her are someone else's court appearances and serious illnesses understandably. She's the good one! Zora, on the other hand, is the "wild child" who has already had sex with her bad-boy boyfriend Isaiah Roshon Fegan after a few months of dating.

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Zora lies to her parents and steals from the church. She is insolent, petulant, and disrespectful. She's the bad one!

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This tired Christian trope that only allows women and girls to exist in the virtuous Madonna or Jezebel whore dichotomy is as old as the Bible itself, and just will not die--even in 's progressive TV landscape. Perhaps the twist on the stereotype is that, based on their backstories, Sophia would seem more likely to fall into, er When Grace escaped from her toxic family, she left with a list of issues longer than the Book of Job. When she returns home to investigate why her beloved sister Faith died by suicide, she brings Sophia into the lion's den by having them both live at the family home.

Grace's tumultuous relationship with her mother Lady Mae should be studied by psych majors. They fight less, but he does Grace emotional damage as well. Not to mention Sophia's father--or lack thereof. It also appears that when Sophia did spend time with Sex dating in Greenleaf, she was emotionally abandoned, spending her free time roaming the mall with supposed friends she felt no connection with.

Zora, on the other hand, grew up with the sense of stability that living in the same house all of her life with both parents provides--even as her father Jacob is a cheater too. Zora has also always been surrounded by extended family: her grandparents and her Aunt Charity.

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For all of its faults, Calvary Church has also been a community support for all of Zora's life as well. In fact, Jacob seems to be the favorite of Lady Mae and they enjoy a close relationship. Lady Mae also seems to have been a good and present grandmother to Zora. She has always been there both physically and emotionally for Zora in a way that, just from a practical standpoint, Grace could not have done with a deadbeat for a co-parent. Though Sophia and Zora seem to subvert stereotypes based on their backgrounds, the colorist trope is alive and well when the characters are examined through the Madonna-Whore lens.

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Having the fair-skinned Sophia be "pure" and ideal while the darker skinned Zora is sexually active and judged as "out of control," is problematic, however unintentional it may be. In fact, Grace seems to be the one woman character who gets to exist outside of the Madonna-Whore complex without real judgment. Now a leader in her own church, she is in a sexual relationship with the agnostic man she's dating.

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Grace preaches the Gospel and is comfortable having sex with a man who isn't her husband and doesn't share her beliefs and suffers no real consequences in her church for straying outside of the norm for the rigid, socially conservative Christian culture.

Still, in a white supremacist society, colorism allows the lighter-skinned Grace the privilege of a proximity to whiteness, which comes with more of a presumption of inherent goodness and "purity,"--despite any evidence to the contrary--and less harsh judgment.

Grace inhabits her contradictory lifestyle with a confidence that bears no consequences to her relationship with her daughter, either. In fact, Sophia isn't dissuaded in her strong faith by her mother's inconsistencies at all. Sophia doubles down on conservative Christian culture in the most genuine way, not even as a rebellion against her mother's more progressive interpretation and lifestyle. Though church culture has clearly failed Grace on a of occasions--as well as Grace's sister, whose ChurchToo silencing of sexual assault surely contributed to Faith's suicide.

Still, Sophia unquestioningly embraces church culture and its teachings. Even when she asks about things that don't add up, it is with a bias toward affirming the infallibility of the Bible. Perhaps the writers decided early on that Sophia would represent the sort of childlike faith that everyone else in the family pretends to have but obviously does not.

But how did she get to be that way? Where is the nuance? Sophia never stumbles, much less falls, and teens around the country are gagging. I want to see the receipts! Similarly, one can speculate that Zora might be more sensitive to trauma than Sophia is. Her recklessness and delinquency could be an expression of deep-seated anger at her family's private behaviors in contrast to their pious masks. When asked about her relationship with Faith's sexual abuser, Zora flatly denies that her uncle ever harmed her. The ChurchToo culture, however, often silences victims of abuse, and Zora wouldn't be the first abused child to fall into sexual activity and delinquency in response, only to be judged by the same church culture as "fast" and "bad.

Is Zora the new Faith or is she just a teen doing teen things? Either answer would still require some Sex dating in Greenleaf to pull Zora out of the realm of flat, reductive characters.

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Which means we can only judge the characters by the one-dimensional fruit they bear and the harmful stereotypes they perpetuate. Nadine Matthews October 10, What the show hasn't answered is why. Read Full Article.

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