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The Treatment and Portrayal of Black Women in Media

Updated on March 20, 2018

Black Woman Are Seen as Simply Sexual Beings

Black woman through out history of film TV music etc parts of media have been portrayed as sexual being. They are seen as objects. This brings the idea that for a black woman to be in media successfully she has to dress or dance provocatively. Black woman are viewed through what is called the "male gaze". Most music videos in the hip hop industry are of black woman in revealing clothing dancing. A prime example rap artists like Nicki Minaj, and Lil Kim they are successful because of the way they use their sexuality. They rap about sex. Even black female singers must sing love songs and sing about sex to be successful.

Black Girls Grow up Questioning Their Identities Because of Their Race

The representation of black woman is so weak in media that they resort to colorism to help feel accepted. They try to mask their blackness. This idea is well represented by CoCo from "Dear White People". CoCo role in the show is a dark skinned girl who grew up being told that the way she looked was not considered good enough or even ugly. So she conforms to the image that is seen as beautiful .she has straight hair, all of her friends are white, and she trys not to concern herself with black issues. Her role gives an inside look on how much media has programed woman of color to be insecure and vurnable about their blackness that they have to hide it.

Their Importance Is Retaining the Stereotypical Body Image

In media there is an image that black woman must portray to be considered desirable and or valuable. The criteria is usually that they must have big lips big butts and a large bust as well. That is the ideal looking image of how black woman are received in media. The rate of plastic surgery has gone up. Most of these surgery are to increase bust size and adding butt implants or transferring fat. These same woman are getting plastic surgery are the ones who are advertising to people to buy these teas, waist trainers, promising people that if they use these products then they can look like the girls who can afford surgery. This is showing how black woman are sexually exploited in media. "over exaggerated coke bottle figure , video girl look"

Black Woman Have to Try Fight Against the Negative Stereotypes That Are Put Upon Us by Whites and Men in General

A common stereotype for black woman is the ghetto no class. Yes the one who is always loud and obnoxious, "depicted as crazy and irrational and unpredictable. She's consistently shown screaming, cursing in public and instigating fights." movies like Tyler Perry's Medea's Big Happy Family. The character played by Teyanna Taylor is shown as the hood rat baby mother who fit that description precisely because Tyler Perry wants to bring the negative image of how we treat black woman in media to light. which he does so in comedy. This is not a well put image of black woman because these roles just reassure the "truths' and stereotype of black woman.

Mass Majority of Black Female Roles in Media Revolve Around a Man

An often represented stereotype of black woman is the "The Desperate for a man". Which is often portrayed as unlovable and in need of a man, thus she settles for mediocre men to compensate for loneliness and lack of self-confidence. Sometimes the black woman are married and their spouse is abusing them physically, emotional or both. The men use guilt and fake apologies to make the woman stay. This is the image that a lot of black woman, celebrities for example that stay with their husbands boyfriend.

African American Woman = Angry Black Woman

The angry black woman is one of the most represented idea of woman in An upset, irate, aggressive, loud and rude woman, whose damaged self-concept makes her lash out at others (verbally, non verbally, physically and psychologically). Madea is a prime example of Angry black woman. Her character is in and out of jail. Character is very aggressive and acts impulsively. Why is it that for a woman of color to be seen as a worthy actress she has to play a role where she has a criminal past.

Black Females Must Depict Typical Ideas

What is considered appropriate for black woman in media is managed and has been controlled in every aspect from the clothes all the way up to our hair. In media it is not common at all to see a black new anchors actresses or singers on set wearing their natural hair. Shows like how to get away with murder main character Viola Davis is seen wearing wigs and weaves. Taraji P Henson in movies like Think like a Man and the T.V series Empire she is constantly changing her wigs and weaves not once with her natural hair. The reason for this being is that their natural hair is not widely accepted. The only time that the image of natural hair for black woman is accepted is when their is a role for a slave or a T.V series and or movie is based on explaining black culture or “The Roots” of Black Culture. Only recently Issa Rae creator of HBO’s hit show Insecure is when we really get to see the full image of black natural woman. This is the involvementsh of T.V where a black woman can wear her hair as she wants without it ruining the image of her character or making her look unprofessional.

White washing is a key problem

White washing is a key problem to the negative and underdeveloped representation of the black woman in media. This has been around since black woman were allowed to participate in media to become actresses, journalist, singer etc. White washing is when people of color are depicted in commercials, magazine covers,music videos, movies, advertisements, etc... and are retouched and reconstructed to make the individual appear lighter skinned. This tactic is used primarily on woman of color like Beyonce and Rihanna two of the most well known Female black celebrities. This sends the message that black woman need lighter skin to be considered beautiful.

Negative Media Images of Black Woman Affect Real Woman

The negative images of black woman in media is not only negative for media but it’s negative for women in general. It is beneficial for women precisely black woman in this case to be portrayed positively in media because media projects images of men and woman with an idealistic mindset. What is favored is what gets projected the most. If rich white woman with straight hair is what is seen as beautiful compared to a middle class or poor black woman with “coarse” hair then being the white woman would be favored. This leaves the black girls growing up seeing these images question themselves which is detrimental to their self worth and value. Which leads to black girls wanting to mask their blackness trying to resemble a white woman.

Media continues to dehumanize Black Woman

The portrayal of black woman should be realistic. Black woman do not get more or less angry than a white woman. There is a desperate need for balance in media when it comes to portraying black woman. It is like black woman are playing the bad guy is a superhero movie. Black woman just like white woman have mental illnesses. Black woman and white woman struggle with issues like equality in the work force. Black and white woman both have issues with relationships being independent etc. The only difference with a black woman and white woman are the color of their skin so why is it that black woman and white woman not considered equal. What is it about white woman that they are portrayed with more diversity than black woman. Black woman need to shown diversely. Black woman are real woman with real issues.

© 2018 Shaa Men

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