For those who don’t remember, Tia and Tamera were protagonists of the mid-90s sitcom Sister Sister. Identical twins separated at birth, they looked the same, but their personalities were so different! Tia got good grades, but Tamera liked to go to the mall!
It’s a false dichotomy of course, and I imagine most people like to think of themselves as being somewhere around the middle of the Tia-Tamera continuum, BUT IF YOU HAD TO CHOOSE: ARE YOU A TIA OR ARE YOU A TAMERA?
It’s difficult to define, but you know a Tia or a Tamera when you see one. It’s Nixon vs. Kennedy. Hillary Clinton vs. Sarah Palin. Friedrich Nietzsche (classic Tia) first introduced the concept in The Birth of Tragedy, in which he wrote: “Apollo is a Tia. Dionysus is a Tamera. In the pilot episode of Sister Sister, Apollo and Dionysus meet for the first time in a clothing store— thus, the birth of tragedy.”
Being a Tia or a Tamera isn’t a good or bad thing: Pink and Katy Perry are both Tameras, even though one is fantastic and one is terrible. Fiona Apple is my favorite kind of Tia, but Celine Dion is a Tia too. Even though Tia was the smart one and Tamera was the fun one, Tameras are not, as a rule, stupid, and Tias are not, as a rule, no fun. George Clooney and Amy Poehler are brilliant Tameras; Jon Stewart and Tina Fey are hilarious Tias.
I’m a Tia, through and through, although I admit I have many Tamera qualities (like my grades in high school). I’m also very good at deciding which other people are Tias and Tameras, which is a very Tia thing to do (Tias are so judgmental).
My best friend is a Tia, but most of my friends are Tameras. I have two sisters: one is a Tia with the joyful soul of a Tamera, the other’s a Tamera with the sad, wise heart of a Tia. I think of my parents as hopeless Tias, but among their friends, they’re considered Tameras. My Grandma is a Tamera; my Nana is a Tia.
My girlfriends, in chronological order: Tamera, Tia, Tia, Tia, Tamera, Tia.
New York is a Tia; LA is a Tamera. San Francisco is a Tamera that acts like a Tia; Silicon Valley is a Tia that dresses like a Tamera.
Obama’s a Tia who won the presidency by convincing the country he was a Tamera. Bush, Clinton, and Reagan were all Tameras, and you can’t win an election as a Tia (just look at McCain, Kerry, Gore, or Dole). Bush Sr. did, but that’s just because he was running against Dukakis, an even bigger Tia than he was.
Groucho and Zeppo were Tias; Chico and Harpo were Tameras. Dorothy and Sophia were Tias; Rose and Blanche were Tameras. Jerry Seinfeld is a Tia but he played a Tamera on TV. John Lennon was a Tamera with a Tia’s sense of humor. Daryl Hall is a Tamera and John Oates is a Tia. Together they make a Tamera.
People who always look better in pictures are Tameras; people who always look better in real life are Tias. Tameras need to be with other people; Tias are more comfortable by themselves. Tameras are optimists; Tias are pessimists. Tameras are the ones who change the world, because they believe that they can; Tias secretly know it’s already too late.
Jeopardy? Tia. Wheel? Tamera.
Malcolm X, Abraham Lincoln, and Adolf Hitler were all Tias, and they were killed because of it; Martin Luther King, Harvey Milk, and Saddam Hussein were Tameras, and look where it got them.
Cats (the animal): Tia. Cats (the musical): Tamera.
Tias are outsiders. Tameras are rule breakers. A Tia looks for patterns; a Tamera looks for chaos. Stephen Sondheim? Tia. Steven Soderbergh? Tamera.
I don’t understand how people confuse Jesse Eisenberg for Michael Cera— Eisenberg’s clearly a Tia to Cera’s Tamera. Janeane Garofalo is a Tia; Sarah Silverman is a Tamera. David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon? Do I need to draw you a diagram?
The Jewish God is a Tia; the Christian God is a Tamera. Fate is Tia; Chance is Tamera. Anorexia and bulimia are the Tia and Tamera of eating disorders. The Spanish Inquisition and what’s happening right now in Darfur are the Tia and Tamera of genocides. ADHD is a Tamera; The autism spectrum is a Tia, which is funny because the notion of a spectrum is very Tamera. Tia’s all about the binary.
Tameras know that everyone— everyone— is both a Tia and a Tamera, that each one of us is a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal. A Tia will claim to believe this as well, but try as she might, deep down she knows it’s a fiction— she’s a Tia, and there’s no cure for that.
to be released October 8th on “Vans OTW Presents: What’s Good LA?” curated by Friends of Friends (@FoFMusic), including songs from Dam Funk, Salva x Problem, Jerome LOL, Hodgy Beats x Mr. Carmack and Baths.
“Intimacy is not who you let touch your genitalia. Intimacy is who you text at 3am about your dreams and fears. Intimacy is giving someone your attention, when ten other people are asking for it. Intimacy is the person always in the back of your mind, no matter how distracted you are.”—(via queerkaitlin)