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awren
06-30-2006, 08:40 AM
If you were a foreigner watching American TV, black women would come in 1 of 3 varieties. The hypersexed, azz wiggling video ho(BET), the non-sexual, overinvolved in her white friend's life sidekick (every Whoopi movie), or the angry, masculinized, violent street fighter. It has become Hollywood's mission to malign us, mock us, and assign us to every unfeminine trait.

Do you see this as a true problem? If so, what purpose does maligning the black woman serve in our society? Has this affected you personally?

bluephiyah
06-30-2006, 08:49 AM
superwoman isnt in that list of personality options. and yes, its a problem. in going on campus to talk to a counselor "depression" or some word like it was the last thing they wanted to say. i was "stressed" or "hungry" or "premenstrual" even. none of the staff just wanted to let me be depressed, :lol: and one actually fixed her lips to say "you should be too strong and too busy to even worry about that. dont you have some campus protests to organize?". i dont know what purpose maligning black women serves other than having made me feel like hot buttered ****.

awren
06-30-2006, 08:57 AM
superwomanism. and it starts from the womb.
[/b]

I haven't seen a superwoman stereotype, at least not when it comes to black women. I think of superwoman as a phenomenal mutitasker, positive, and respected. That's a great stereotype, I don't see that being a descriptor for black women. In my personal life, I know of a lot of black women who fit that description, but that's not what's being force fed to us by the media or society at large.

xayide79
06-30-2006, 08:59 AM
I see the superwoman stereotype on American TV. Every strong black mother who speaks up and fights for her family (full of flawed, one dimensional black men of course). She's the co-worker, the neighbor, etc. who exists to be strong and sassy. She's a descendant of the Mammy stereotype.

Even as a "positive stereotype" it still hurts black women because it creates unreasonable expectations and affects how we are treated when we do seek help - as bluephiyah pointed out.

Seven
06-30-2006, 09:19 AM
I haven't seen a superwoman stereotype, at least not when it comes to black women. I think of superwoman as a phenomenal mutitasker, positive, and respected. That's a great stereotype, I don't see that being a descriptor for black women. In my personal life, I know of a lot of black women who fit that description, but that's not what's being force fed to us by the media or society at large.[/b]
Florida Evans is the only one that comes to mind. Oddly, even though the media doesn't push this image of black women it seems to be self sustaining in the AA community.

Momma will fix it. Momma will take care of it. Momma will get some sleep later. Momma will pay for it. Momma will raise the baby. Momma will get a second job. Oh Lawd, hold my mule.

Just exchange Atlas' Titan for a Black woman.

swingbolder
06-30-2006, 09:29 AM
How have these stereotypes affected me personally?

Well, bc most black women in movies are stereotypes, I know that I will NEVER see a black woman like me in a movie. When I walk into a movie theatre or rent a DVD, this is just a given. How many coming-of-age movies have you seen about white boys? Now how many have you seen about a black woman?

I've been to college, grad school but am not a buppie like the type you see (in black movies especially, with their glossy apartments and fancy cars), I wear my hair natural, I am most decidedly NOT asexual but I don't dress or act like a hoochie mama, I rarely cuss, I play piano and guitar, I speak a coupla other languages, I hardly ever wear makeup, I'm happily, longterm married, I'm a geek who likes to read history books, I ride my bike everywhere. No, I will never see my reflection in a movie. And now that I'm over 40 and the only roles open to black women over 40 are mammy, caretaker figures I know I NEVER WILL see myself in a movie.

And I'm sure that most of can make the same kind of statement about ourselves.

Seven
06-30-2006, 09:50 AM
I see it as a problem for the black women who are not exposed to the diversity that exists w/in our community.


How have these stereotypes affected me personally?

Well, bc most black women in movies are stereotypes, I know that I will NEVER see a black woman like me in a movie.

I've been to college, grad school but am not a buppie like the type you see (in black movies especially, with their glossy apartments and fancy cars), I wear my hair natural, I am most decidedly NOT asexual but I don't dress or act like a hoochie mama, I rarely cuss, I play piano and guitar, I speak a coupla other languages, I hardly ever wear makeup, I'm happily, longterm married, I'm a geek who likes to read history books, I ride my bike everywhere. No, I will never see my reflection in a movie. And now that I'm over 40 and the only roles open to black women over 40 are mammy, caretaker figures I know I NEVER WILL see myself in a movie.

And I'm sure that most of can make the same kind of statement about ourselves.
[/b]
I think we are fortunate because many of us realize this about our selves and that fact is reinforced at a result of us being a part of this community. For those who are not, many have the impression that they are the only ones – that are special or have had had their black cards revoked. They squirm in the face of what the media reflects back to them.

I like to think <strike>most</strike> many women on this board are not affected negatively by the media stereotypes because they understand them to be just that – stereotypes.

They are engaged in some type of introspection that fosters an understanding and acceptance of who they are. This journey could be a few yards or a few miles. It can be processed analytically or through diagnostic channels.

The diversity of women, their opinions and experiences is reinforced by other posters. Sometimes I enjoy the heated debates just because they remind you of it.

As for those outside of the ranks of AA’s, they will see us as they have been conditioned to see us. For now, that includes media stereotypes sprinkled with interactions from us. As we grow and progress so too will our image not because of the media but because interactions with us will evolve and will prove to be consistent at a certain level.

swingbolder
06-30-2006, 10:20 AM
I hear what you&#39;re saying, 7. And I get that we are all diverse and we don&#39;t believe the stereoytypes.

What I was expressing mostly was frustration at being left out of the stories.

Stories are an intrinsic part of the the human experience. Every culture has its myths/tales, and everybody loves a good story. Before there was TV and movies we people sat around the fire telling stories. This is as old as the millenia. In many West African cultures the griots were the spiritual leaders of the community and everyone listened to them tell the stories. So what I was expressing was the fact that we black women, our stories are not being told. There are only distorted, negative images of ourselves, or at best characters that are benign and inoffensive, but shallow.

Seven
06-30-2006, 10:37 AM
What I was expressing mostly was frustration at being left out of the stories.

Stories are an intrinsic part of the the human experience. Every culture has its myths/tales, and everybody loves a good story. Before there was TV and movies we people sat around the fire telling stories. This is as old as the millenia. In many West African cultures the griots were the spiritual leaders of the community and everyone listened to them tell the stories. So what I was expressing was the fact that we black women, our stories are not being told. There are only distorted, negative images of ourselves, or at best characters that are benign and inoffensive, but shallow.[/b]
Oh, yeah. I agree.

Funny, I was talking to my uncle who is 85+. He talks A LOT and for a LONG time. He remarked how sad it was that our family no longer sat around and just told stories, memories handed down. He’s one of 2 boys out of 13 children. Most of the stories told were by women and a woman’s perspective.

And you know at the time, all I thought about was “Man, how much longer is he going to talk.”

I would love to see us included in more stories and heaven knows we would all benefit (black, white and blue).

Personally, I have many of my own that I have yet to pay significant attention to – much to my embarrassment and chagrin. It makes me wonder how many others have similar stories that they’ve yet to pay attention to that could/does go a long way in offsetting the stereotypes and lack of inclusion. Stories that might foster a greater cultural dynamic than what’s presented in the movies.

Just thoughts.

Nina
06-30-2006, 10:40 AM
If you were a foreigner watching American TV, black women would come in 1 of 3 varieties. The hypersexed, azz wiggling video ho(BET), the non-sexual, overinvolved in her white friend&#39;s life sidekick (every Whoopi movie), or the angry, masculinized, violent street fighter. It has become Hollywood&#39;s mission to malign us, mock us, and assign us to every unfeminine trait.[/b]

I suppose it depends on what one is looking at or chooses to at.

I hate soaps and telenovelas with a passion but if turn on an American soap opera like One Life...doubt I&#39;d see Renee Elise Goldsberry playing a hypersexed azz-wiggling hoochie, mammie or angry, violent masculinized Shangrila&#39;Neesha.

If I look at an American movie like Something New, Out of Time, Die Another Day or even X-men...I wouldn&#39;t see Sanaa or Halle playing hypersexed azz-wiggling hoochies, mammies or angry, violent masculinized Shangrila&#39;Neeshas.

Didn&#39;t see Nia long playing any of those roles in Are We There Yet nor Vanessa Williams in Johnson Family Vacation.

If I look at reruns of Boston Public or City of Angels I see a diversity of teachers, doctors and nurses.

If i look at Grey&#39;s Anatomy, I don&#39;t see Chandra Wilson playing a hypersexed azz-wiggling hoochie, mammie or angry and violent chick.

People see what they wanna&#39; see and anyone stupid enough to look at one show or film and think it represents the whole had an agenda from the beginning, cannot be helped and deserve no energy.

awren
06-30-2006, 11:32 AM
Florida Evans is the only one that comes to mind. Oddly, even though the media doesn&#39;t push this image of black women it seems to be self sustaining in the AA community. [/b]


True.



I like to think most many women on this board are not affected negatively by the media stereotypes because they understand them to be just that – stereotypes[/b]

Agreed. But this thread is not about how we view ourselves, or the truth about our situations. It&#39;s about the lie that the media perpetuates and why it&#39;s allowed to exist. Does this lie serve a purpose, and if so, what?

Seven
06-30-2006, 11:42 AM
Because he who has the gold makes the rules and there are not enough black people with gold (money, power, positions to make decisions) who think like the people on this board. :D I don’t expect others to have our interests at heart – not to the same degree as us.

It exists for many reasons including 1. it makes money and 2. we’ve accepted it much like we accept mosquitoes.

This lie serves the same purpose as all other lies – to advance the cause or position to the gain of one person or a group.

What those gains are simply depends on who and what you are after. The lie is successful only to the degree that it&#39;s believed.

LotusBelle
06-30-2006, 11:55 AM
I will add this (okay regarding Star Jones, but it relates to the topic), I was watching Conan O&#39;Brian and he does a thingy with talking lips and a face cutout of someone-- it was Star vs. BarbWalters; I was a little baffled as to why Star&#39;s voice was at first portrayed by a male voice :huh: and also on one of those clips mocking the View, Star&#39;s portrayal is ... sort of, I don&#39;t know, masculine acting and rough-speaking.... and she doesn&#39;t present herself as either, but to the contrary, I&#39;ve always seen her as very feminine, articulate and diva-ish, but these mockups make her masculine and uncouth :2cents:

Satrina
06-30-2006, 12:04 PM
The lie is successful only to the degree that it&#39;s believed.
[/b]

Powerful statement and oh so true.

I can&#39;t stop thinking about what we can do to change things .

Seven
06-30-2006, 12:41 PM
I will add this (okay regarding Star Jones, but it relates to the topic), I was watching Conan O&#39;Brian and he does a thingy with talking lips and a face cutout of someone-- it was Star vs. BarbWalters; I was a little baffled as to why Star&#39;s voice was at first portrayed by a male voice :huh: and also on one of those clips mocking the View, Star&#39;s portrayal is ... sort of, I don&#39;t know, masculine acting and rough-speaking.... and she doesn&#39;t present herself as either, but to the contrary, I&#39;ve always seen her as very feminine, articulate and diva-ish, but these mockups make her masculine and uncouth :2cents:
[/b]
:smil3f9cf95099cff: Perhaps it’s due to the constant prankster in me buy I consider that to be an essential part of the joke. It is so contrary to the person. You play to a person’s strength or what they are most known for.

I have dear friend who is pretty well known stand up. He’s been doing it for a very long time. He does the same, not that he couldn’t be infected with the b.i.b. virus (black is bad) but this is a formula for jokes and skits that he has explained to me.

The view is/was known for the way they would talk over one another. You can present that in a bad light or a good light but you need the recognition. It has to be something known to everyone. That&#39;s why the part about them clucking was so well received.

If you go for a good light, it typically means someone else becomes the butt of the joke other than the protagonist. If you go for the bad, it’s usually making fun of something about the protagonist.

Try teasing someone in a positive light. It’s not very funny. “Oh my gosh, Star is such a diva and goes to such lengths to present herself like a lady” or “Star just knows she’s a man under all that make up and jewelry.”

Okay, that last bit wasn’t funny but you get the point.

Sorry Awren, last time off topic. I promise. :lipsrsealed:

Broomy
06-30-2006, 01:43 PM
True.
Agreed. But this thread is not about how we view ourselves, or the truth about our situations. It&#39;s about the lie that the media perpetuates and why it&#39;s allowed to exist. Does this lie serve a purpose, and if so, what?
[/b]


Good thread and post. Thankyou for the interesting discussion. OK, Ill take a crack at it. Everything in media is positioned to sell something, usually a product. Media exists solely for that purpose: to drive sales. This is all well and good. It is also about the selling of concepts and ideas in order to sell "causes" or justify past actions and deeds. The black women in America and her history in the country is not a one people choose to examine careful for several reasons, much of which we already know about: The history of slavery, rape, abuse, poverty, etc. It almost seems mandatory to ignore or denounce this history for several reasons:

1. White America: In order to justify the horrific treatment of black women historically it is most important to deny her femininity. They who choose to uphold their own women as objects of desire and deserving of protection, also chose to mistreat women of other cultures thereby making thier rehtoric meaningless. By making her masculine or just as bad, "loose" they can justify that thier treatment of her was appropriate being that she does not fit their idea of the feminine ideal.

2. Black America: In order to justify the lack of protection and devotion provided to the black female, black america will perpetrate and accept the aforementioned groups treatment and stereotyping of the black female. It serves a purpose to excuse the Back man&#39;s inability to protect his women and allows black women to excuse him for not doing so.

In a nutshell:By making the black woman an object of masculinity, rudeness, promiscuity and degradation it excuses ALL parties their crimes against her as a woman and their failure to protect her as women need to be protected. It serves as a balm, an excuse, as amnesia, as a drug, that allows us all to forget what we did to her. And what we didn&#39;t do for her. And one thing America loves to do...is forget. Welcome to the United States of Amnesia.

Just my 2cp.

linn
06-30-2006, 02:55 PM
That was really on point!

What do we do to counteract this? Is there a simple solution to make all parties regain their memory?




Good thread and post. Thankyou for the interesting discussion. OK, Ill take a crack at it. Everything in media is positioned to sell something, usually a product. Media exists solely for that purpose: to drive sales. This is all well and good. It is also about the selling of concepts and ideas in order to sell "causes" or justify past actions and deeds. The black women in America and her history in the country is not a one people choose to examine careful for several reasons, much of which we already know about: The history of slavery, rape, abuse, poverty, etc. It almost seems mandatory to ignore or denounce this history for several reasons:

1. White America: In order to justify the horrific treatment of black women historically it is most important to deny her femininity. They who choose to uphold their own women as objects of desire and deserving of protection, also chose to mistreat women of other cultures thereby making thier rehtoric meaningless. By making her masculine or just as bad, "loose" they can justify that thier treatment of her was appropriate being that she does not fit their idea of the feminine ideal.

2. Black America: In order to justify the lack of protection and devotion provided to the black female, black america will perpetrate and accept the aforementioned groups treatment and stereotyping of the black female. It serves a purpose to excuse the Back man&#39;s inability to protect his women and allows black women to excuse him for not doing so.

In a nutshell:By making the black woman an object of masculinity, rudeness, promiscuity and degradation it excuses ALL parties their crimes against her as a woman and their failure to protect her as women need to be protected. It serves as a balm, an excuse, as amnesia, as a drug, that allows us all to forget what we did to her. And what we didn&#39;t do for her. And one thing America loves to do...is forget. Welcome to the United States of Amnesia.

Just my 2cp.
[/b]

Bodhideepa
06-30-2006, 03:00 PM
I suppose it depends on what one is looking at or chooses to at.

I hate soaps and telenovelas with a passion but if turn on an American soap opera like One Life...doubt I&#39;d see Renee Elise Goldsberry playing a hypersexed azz-wiggling hoochie, mammie or angry, violent masculinized Shangrila&#39;Neesha.

If I look at an American movie like Something New, Out of Time, Die Another Day or even X-men...I wouldn&#39;t see Sanaa or Halle playing hypersexed azz-wiggling hoochies, mammies or angry, violent masculinized Shangrila&#39;Neeshas.

Didn&#39;t see Nia long playing any of those roles in Are We There Yet nor Vanessa Williams in Johnson Family Vacation.

If I look at reruns of Boston Public or City of Angels I see a diversity of teachers, doctors and nurses.

If i look at Grey&#39;s Anatomy, I don&#39;t see Chandra Wilson playing a hypersexed azz-wiggling hoochie, mammie or angry and violent chick.

People see what they wanna&#39; see and anyone stupid enough to look at one show or film and think it represents the whole had an agenda from the beginning, cannot be helped and deserve no energy.
[/b]


Yes, totally agree. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder--acknowledge self-beauty and you will see it protrayed in the media; self-deprecate and there are plenty of miserable characters protrayed in the media for you to seek out and project onto.

4liberation
06-30-2006, 03:55 PM
Good thread and post. Thankyou for the interesting discussion. OK, Ill take a crack at it. Everything in media is positioned to sell something, usually a product. Media exists solely for that purpose: to drive sales. This is all well and good. It is also about the selling of concepts and ideas in order to sell "causes" or justify past actions and deeds. The black women in America and her history in the country is not a one people choose to examine careful for several reasons, much of which we already know about: The history of slavery, rape, abuse, poverty, etc. It almost seems mandatory to ignore or denounce this history for several reasons:

1. White America: In order to justify the horrific treatment of black women historically it is most important to deny her femininity. They who choose to uphold their own women as objects of desire and deserving of protection, also chose to mistreat women of other cultures thereby making thier rehtoric meaningless. By making her masculine or just as bad, "loose" they can justify that thier treatment of her was appropriate being that she does not fit their idea of the feminine ideal.

2. Black America: In order to justify the lack of protection and devotion provided to the black female, black america will perpetrate and accept the aforementioned groups treatment and stereotyping of the black female. It serves a purpose to excuse the Back man&#39;s inability to protect his women and allows black women to excuse him for not doing so.

In a nutshell:By making the black woman an object of masculinity, rudeness, promiscuity and degradation it excuses ALL parties their crimes against her as a woman and their failure to protect her as women need to be protected. It serves as a balm, an excuse, as amnesia, as a drug, that allows us all to forget what we did to her. And what we didn&#39;t do for her. And one thing America loves to do...is forget. Welcome to the United States of Amnesia.

Just my 2cp.
[/b]

Co-sign on that. Well said. :smil3f72836ee752e:
It&#39;s no secret that everything the "media" does is to benefit them in some way. They always have an agenda. They would never waste their time trying to control or destroy non-threatening entities. My personal belief is that Black women as nation builders and sustainers are probably the single most threatening factor to extingiushing Black culture. Therefore, de*****ting and discrediting our being is essential to extinction. I&#39;m sorry if this sounds a bit farfetched but it&#39;s what I believe and quite frankly the evidence is all around us. Just my thoughts. :boohoo:

MissEmbrya
06-30-2006, 06:37 PM
I think this is one of the most insightful discussions I&#39;ve ever read on a forum. Please continue. :)

:pop: (I have nothing to add as of now.)

Misha1
06-30-2006, 08:20 PM
Co-sign on that. Well said. :smil3f72836ee752e:
It&#39;s no secret that everything the "media" does is to benefit them in some way. They always have an agenda. They would never waste their time trying to control or destroy non-threatening entities. My personal belief is that Black women as nation builders and sustainers are probably the single most threatening factor to extingiushing Black culture. Therefore, de*****ting and discrediting our being is essential to extinction. I&#39;m sorry if this sounds a bit farfetched but it&#39;s what I believe and quite frankly the evidence is all around us. Just my thoughts. :boohoo:
[/b]

Oh no you&#39;re not far fetched. I completely agree with you. Thank you for hitting the nail on the head. :smil3f72836ee752e: :smil3f72836ee752e:

RockStar
06-30-2006, 09:33 PM
That was really on point!

What do we do to counteract this? Is there a simple solution to make all parties regain their memory?
[/b]


I think the easiest way for us to demand society maintain black womens&#39; femininity in the front of their minds, is through changing our behavior first. (I am advocating changing one&#39;s behavior soley for the benefit of ourselves.) Holding ourselves with dignity, and not letting others abuse us is one way. Expressing our true selves without fear of what others have to say/think would be another. Basically, it boils down to leading by example and treating ourselves sooooo well that it forces society to see how highly we think of ourselves and thus adopt the same thinking.
Later, as more of our daughters/sisters/friends become more powerful and successful we will start controlling things like their own media outlets. Then we can put out more images that properly represent us, as the beautiful creatures we are. ;)
What Broomy said is very on point. Both parties (white and black america) have gotten away with using us as waste reseptacles whenever they feel neccessary. While this will still go on and is very pathetic, we can&#39;t change what the media puts out there. So first, start with yourself and anyone young lady you have influence on. I&#39;ll start now, "RS, its okay to be the queen, you deserve it." Anyone else have ideas that I didn&#39;t address?

fiesole
07-01-2006, 03:37 PM
Really interesting discussion. I certainly notice these portrayals and am disturbed. Recently I saw a home depot commercial where a black couple is looking for a paint color and the wife is being bossy, domineering and negative towards the husband&#39;s opinions. I just dont understand, why? I don&#39;t know black women like this, though Im sure they exist but this is the frequent portryal of us in the commercials. I liken this to the loud mouth black women who is always talking about her husband&#39;s diarreha in commercials.
sigh.

linn
07-01-2006, 05:11 PM
It seems so simple, but you&#39;re right. If we don&#39;t love us (black women) and treat each other with dignity and respect, then we can&#39;t expect anyone else to. I think we&#39;re looking for some complex solution when part of the answer is as simple as saying good morning to each other. And, I don&#39;t believe it&#39;s far fetched to believe that we are being targeted intentionally or as by-product of white supremecy. Fear and hatred are two sides of the same coin. Think about the things you hate and if you go to the core of those feelings you&#39;ll probably find fear as the source.




I think the easiest way for us to demand society maintain black womens&#39; femininity in the front of their minds, is through changing our behavior first. (I am advocating changing one&#39;s behavior soley for the benefit of ourselves.) Holding ourselves with dignity, and not letting others abuse us is one way. Expressing our true selves without fear of what others have to say/think would be another. Basically, it boils down to leading by example and treating ourselves sooooo well that it forces society to see how highly we think of ourselves and thus adopt the same thinking.
Later, as more of our daughters/sisters/friends become more powerful and successful we will start controlling things like their own media outlets. Then we can put out more images that properly represent us, as the beautiful creatures we are. ;)
What Broomy said is very on point. Both parties (white and black america) have gotten away with using us as waste reseptacles whenever they feel neccessary. While this will still go on and is very pathetic, we can&#39;t change what the media puts out there. So first, start with yourself and anyone young lady you have influence on. I&#39;ll start now, "RS, its okay to be the queen, you deserve it." Anyone else have ideas that I didn&#39;t address?
[/b]

pacunurse30
07-03-2006, 09:26 AM
If you were a foreigner watching American TV, black women would come in 1 of 3 varieties. The hypersexed, azz wiggling video ho(BET), the non-sexual, overinvolved in her white friend&#39;s life sidekick (every Whoopi movie), or the angry, masculinized, violent street fighter. It has become Hollywood&#39;s mission to malign us, mock us, and assign us to every unfeminine trait.

Do you see this as a true problem? If so, what purpose does maligning the black woman serve in our society? Has this affected you personally?
[/b]
:lol: :lol: I&#39;m sorry, I just got a visual with every description you have up there. It was funny. Anyway, this is a problem because some people believe art imitates life. If it&#39;s on the screen, then it must be true, otherwise how else did they come up with these ideas right? I read on one message board where a few White people were saying some horrible things about Black women. One of the things that kept coming up was the masculine thing. I was extremely offended by that.

tweetnaps
07-03-2006, 10:09 AM
interesting topic /....loving it....i believe the way the media and society portray us goes back to the Willie Lynch letters and how over time we cease to exist as a fundamental and much needed building block in our community.....the problem rest among us and we as a community need to resolve it and put in reversal the effects of slavery and ignorance on the way we are made. Being we are stong we will prevail

boomslang
07-03-2006, 10:31 AM
Pacunurse30,
I believe the masculine thing is a prevalent (but underground)belief among white society. What message board did you see this on? TV doesn&#39;t portray us as femimine. Kola Boof writes about this problem in her books.

maikettei
07-03-2006, 12:52 PM
I know that other people who don&#39;t have regular contact with black women often rely on the media to educate them... but my response isnt about them.

This may be a little OT, but I don&#39;t feel like we should be relying on the media to shape our view about ourselves. Period. The media pushes a lifestyle that is always completely unrealistic. This applies to everything from beauty standards to careers (law and medicine aren&#39;t exactly realistically portrayed either).

I&#39;ve always had self-esteem issues with regard to my appearance. A couple years ago I decided to just stop reading women&#39;s magazines. I stopped watching music videos too. I did a variety of other things to shield myself as well.

I kept this up until I began to look around me. I saw realistic beauty. Women who were beautiful in bad lighting. Beautiful women with flawed skin and imperfect features. Beautiful women who looked nothing like me. And beautiful women whose features I could completely relate to.

I spent a good amount of time living in reality. Realizing that I didn&#39;t have to look like those airbrushed women to be beautiful. Then, I began to reincorporate different forms of media into my life again. Except now I always look for black models with nappy hair. ;)

honeybunch2k5
07-03-2006, 01:22 PM
:lol: :lol: I&#39;m sorry, I just got a visual with every description you have up there. It was funny. Anyway, this is a problem because some people believe art imitates life. If it&#39;s on the screen, then it must be true, otherwise how else did they come up with these ideas right? I read on one message board where a few White people were saying some horrible things about Black women. One of the things that kept coming up was the masculine thing. I was extremely offended by that.
[/b]

Which message board? I&#39;m curious to see the comments...

MissEmbrya
07-03-2006, 06:02 PM
I know that other people who don&#39;t have regular contact with black women often rely on the media to educate them... but my response isnt about them.

This may be a little OT, but I don&#39;t feel like we should be relying on the media to shape our view about ourselves. Period. The media pushes a lifestyle that is always completely unrealistic. This applies to everything from beauty standards to careers (law and medicine aren&#39;t exactly realistically portrayed either).

I&#39;ve always had self-esteem issues with regard to my appearance. A couple years ago I decided to just stop reading women&#39;s magazines. I stopped watching music videos too. I did a variety of other things to shield myself as well.

I kept this up until I began to look around me. I saw realistic beauty. Women who were beautiful in bad lighting. Beautiful women with flawed skin and imperfect features. Beautiful women who looked nothing like me. And beautiful women whose features I could completely relate to.

I spent a good amount of time living in reality. Realizing that I didn&#39;t have to look like those airbrushed women to be beautiful. Then, I began to reincorporate different forms of media into my life again. Except now I always look for black models with nappy hair. ;)
[/b]

My friends and I all did that during our freshman year of college. Best thing we ever did. :)

adia425
07-03-2006, 06:21 PM
I think the problem with those stereotypes is when the portrayal of black women on tv creates an idea for others of what the black women is really about. I&#39;m currently reading "Shifting" by Charisse Jones and Kumea Shorter-Gooden, PhD and one of the topics is on how the stereotype of the hypersexual Black woman can create a hostile work environment and unwanted advances from men of all races. Just by looking at the "video-hoe" one may get the impression that all black women are insatiable.

The book further discusses how different stereotypes can affect our daily lives as Black women. Just adding my 2 cents.

GalaxyGirl2012
07-03-2006, 06:31 PM
maybe one thing society needs to do is update its definitions of feminine and masculine. more often times than not feminine is taken to mean passive, frivolous and weak while masculine is seen as active, useful and strong. so if people want to use those definitions and want to chalk my speakingup for myself as being masculine, then fine I guess i&#39;m a stereotype.

meagan22
07-03-2006, 11:25 PM
interesting topic /....loving it....i believe the way the media and society portray us goes back to the Willie Lynch letters and how over time we cease to exist as a fundamental and much needed building block in our community.....the problem rest among us and we as a community need to resolve it and put in reversal the effects of slavery and ignorance on the way we are made. Being we are stong we will prevail
[/b]
There&#39;s no soild evidence that those letter ever existed, but i agree that we have to start with self (collectively)

pacunurse30
07-04-2006, 09:39 AM
Pacunurse30,
I believe the masculine thing is a prevalent (but underground)belief among white society. What message board did you see this on? TV doesn&#39;t portray us as femimine. Kola Boof writes about this problem in her books.
[/b]
I don&#39;t remember the exact forum, but the topic was Black men and White women (again!!!) Anyway, one poster wrote this "letter to Black women." He basically said that if we stopped looking like men, maybe our Black men would leave their White women alone. He went on to give "suggestions" on how to make ourselves look more attractive. I don&#39;t remember all of the things he said, but one of them was "why do you have such short hair? Are most of you closet lesbians? Are you unable to grow your hair?" Needless to say, I was hot with this thread. It caused such an uproar because quite a few White people agreed with this man. :(

Peaches
07-04-2006, 09:53 AM
:smil3f9cf95099cff:

@ megan22, who in the world is that in your sig? It looks like Terry McMillan on crack.

paulicia
07-05-2006, 11:37 AM
It&#39;s funny because I had this conversation with a white friend of mine just last week. We were talking about how all females are stereotyped, and she said that because of the media, this was how she used to view Black women (I love this woman because she always speaks her mind and we have really candid talks about race, poverty, society, etc). She said that it isn&#39;t fair that women can&#39;t be ourselves or be assertive because of the fear of being portrayed negetively, like if she&#39;s assertive- she&#39;s labeled a b***h, and if I am, I&#39;m seen as aggressive and a threat.
I&#39;m also tired of foreign men who watch too much television coming up to me and making sexual advances, as if they just know that all Black women respond to this crap. Still, it gives me a chance to lecture them and find out why they feel they can approach me in such a way when they don&#39;t even know me, ask if they talk to their mother of sister that way, and let them know I am married with a husband who&#39;s 6ft 6in and crazy!

setarcos
07-06-2006, 08:18 AM
maybe one thing society needs to do is update its definitions of feminine and masculine. more often times than not feminine is taken to mean passive, frivolous and weak while masculine is seen as active, useful and strong. so if people want to use those definitions and want to chalk my speakingup for myself as being masculine, then fine I guess i&#39;m a stereotype.
[/b]

I agree with this. I can be (in the right circumstances and with the right people) soft, sweet and very accommodating. But I&#39;m never going to be a giggly, airheaded girlie-girl who needs the off-side rule explained to her in terms of buying shoes. Hell No.

brownatural
07-07-2006, 10:05 AM
Black rappers, media/movie/sitcom writers, & authors also push those negative images of black women as well. We have to demand better and the power is with the people, their pocketbooks, and their voice.

:angry:

China
07-07-2006, 12:22 PM
:smil3f9cf95099cff:

@ megan22, who in the world is that in your sig? It looks like Terry McMillan on crack.
[/b]

Looks like Yaya from ANTM.

Poetic_Butterfly
07-07-2006, 12:43 PM
I think that we as a people have a problem in media in general. The portrayel of Black women is a historical problem from being called Jezebel, Mammie, to loose or to fast, we have an attitude, angry, not good enough to do anything but be on welfare and have babies and baby daddies. I think that over the years the stereotypes have gotten worse and some people are actually feeding into the frenzy of Black women. One day I was watching tv and a reporter called Beyonce "Bouncy," or "Bouncy Beyonce," I was appalled by hearing that statement on national tv.

I didn&#39;t hear the announcer refer to any European woman as "bouncy." This was a signal in my mind that women of color still have a long way to go in society. I thought about the teatment of Jennifer Lopez and her butt. White people were so over zealous about her butt. For months I couldn&#39;t stand turining on the telelvsion to hear about what was going with her. I think that society especially media are into dehumanzing the Black/ Latino and other races for money. We live in a captialistc society where money rules everything and the cost was slavery and immigration. In order for us to have accurate descriptions and depictions of who we really are we have to take control of media. More Black people have to be behind the camera and write for major labels, channels, movies, books, etc. We have BET but we all know what is going with them and Viacom. We have to control our portrayal in mainstream Hollyhood!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Peace Sisteren,
Rasta

brownatural
07-07-2006, 02:56 PM
I didn&#39;t hear the announcer refer to any European woman as "bouncy." This was a signal in my mind that women of color still have a long way to go in society. I thought about the teatment of Jennifer Lopez and her butt. White people were so over zealous about her butt. For months I couldn&#39;t stand turining on the telelvsion to hear about what was going with her. I think that society especially media are into dehumanzing the Black/ Latino and other races for money. We live in a captialistc society where money rules everything and the cost was slavery and immigration. In order for us to have accurate descriptions and depictions of who we really are we have to take control of media. More Black people have to be behind the camera and write for major labels, channels, movies, books, etc. We have BET but we all know what is going with them and Viacom. We have to control our portrayal in mainstream Hollyhood!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
[/b]
:smil3f72836ee752e: :smil3f72836ee752e:

awren
07-07-2006, 03:20 PM
I think that we as a people have a problem in media in general. The portrayel of Black women is a historical problem from being called Jezebel, Mammie, to loose or to fast, we have an attitude, angry, not good enough to do anything but be on welfare and have babies and baby daddies. I think that over the years the stereotypes have gotten worse and some people are actually feeding into the frenzy of Black women. One day I was watching tv and a reporter called Beyonce "Bouncy," or "Bouncy Beyonce," I was appalled by hearing that statement on national tv.

I didn&#39;t hear the announcer refer to any European woman as "bouncy." This was a signal in my mind that women of color still have a long way to go in society. I thought about the teatment of Jennifer Lopez and her butt. White people were so over zealous about her butt. For months I couldn&#39;t stand turining on the telelvsion to hear about what was going with her. I think that society especially media are into dehumanzing the Black/ Latino and other races for money. We live in a captialistc society where money rules everything and the cost was slavery and immigration. In order for us to have accurate descriptions and depictions of who we really are we have to take control of media. More Black people have to be behind the camera and write for major labels, channels, movies, books, etc. We have BET but we all know what is going with them and Viacom. We have to control our portrayal in mainstream Hollyhood!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Peace Sisteren,
Rasta
[/b]


Very good points Rasta.

If we know that stereotypes exist, we seem to know that they are negative and damaging, then why do we support media that doesn&#39;t give an accurate, versitile portrayal of black women? I&#39;m not offended so much that the sassy hoochie mama role exists, I&#39;m more put off that there isn&#39;t a black female technogeek that attends Star Trek conventions, a black SAHM, and the sister business tycoon. The media&#39;s Black woman is a monolithic, one dimensional cliche.

Sweet Epiphany
07-08-2006, 01:34 PM
maybe one thing society needs to do is update its definitions of feminine and masculine. more often times than not feminine is taken to mean passive, frivolous and weak while masculine is seen as active, useful and strong.
[/b]


Come to no suprise, I agree with this. ;) :P

cristalena
07-08-2006, 03:35 PM
I didn&#39;t hear the announcer refer to any European woman as "bouncy." This was a signal in my mind that women of color still have a long way to go in society. I thought about the teatment of Jennifer Lopez and her butt. White people were so over zealous about her butt. For months I couldn&#39;t stand turining on the telelvsion to hear about what was going with her. I think that society especially media are into dehumanzing the Black/ Latino and other races for money. We live in a captialistc society where money rules everything and the cost was slavery and immigration. In order for us to have accurate descriptions and depictions of who we really are we have to take control of media. More Black people have to be behind the camera and write for major labels, channels, movies, books, etc. We have BET but we all know what is going with them and Viacom. We have to control our portrayal in mainstream Hollyhood!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
[/b]

Good points all around! However, I do think the Jennifer Lopez example is a bit misguided. It wasn&#39;t until J.Lo and her generous rear came into the picture that women were flocking to get their butts done. Same situation with Angelina Jolie and her full lips. It took two non-black women to affirm these features, normally seen in the black community, as positive.

natural-forever
07-08-2006, 11:38 PM
Very good points Rasta.

If we know that stereotypes exist, we seem to know that they are negative and damaging, then why do we support media that doesn&#39;t give an accurate, versitile portrayal of black women? I&#39;m not offended so much that the sassy hoochie mama role exists, I&#39;m more put off that there isn&#39;t a black female technogeek that attends Star Trek conventions, a black SAHM, and the sister business tycoon. The media&#39;s Black woman is a monolithic, one dimensional cliche.
[/b]


Exactly! I enjoy playing video games, watching anime, listening rock music, cooking and enjoying all different types of food, etc. I hardly ever see a Black woman like me in any sort of media whether on TV, the movies, or in print.

jada1111
07-10-2006, 07:59 PM
If you were a foreigner watching American TV, black women would come in 1 of 3 varieties. The hypersexed, azz wiggling video ho(BET), the non-sexual, overinvolved in her white friend&#39;s life sidekick (every Whoopi movie), or the angry, masculinized, violent street fighter. It has become Hollywood&#39;s mission to malign us, mock us, and assign us to every unfeminine trait.

Do you see this as a true problem? If so, what purpose does maligning the black woman serve in our society? Has this affected you personally?
[/b]

The only way these images will stop being created on screen is if BLACK ACTORS STOP PLAYING THEM. Period.

Many black actors of the 50s & 60s made a very conscious effort not to portray black characters that de*****ted the black race (like during the 20s, 30s, and 40s). Many went hungry, but UNDERSTOOD that the mammy, pappy, uncle tom and step-n-fetch roles could no longer be tolerated. This is what TODAY&#39;S blacks NEED to do.

citylocs
07-11-2006, 10:57 AM
Great thread ladies

I&#39;m writing from India where I have spent a few years on and off lately, and I had an Indian professor tell me this month that when he moved to the US, his parents sat him down and said they hoped he would come back to India to meet his wife- but if he didn&#39;t, he could marry a white women- but under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should he bring home an African-American woman. This is just one anecdote- but one that represents the way many Indian families feel- as they have teld me. I say this to make the point that in a globalizing world, there is nothing hypothetical about the OP suggestion- there are billions of people watching American media and receiving the same impressions about Black women without the opportunity to know any and break those stereotypes.

I also think this is hugely important because as young women we make so many decisions (about friends, boyfriends, education/career path) based on our self-esteem and what we think we are capable of. Media image, in addition to family, peers and school help frame our life choices. When a women feels like she is unwanted in the world because she doesn&#39;t fit into a mold, she might be more likely to stay with a bad boyfriend or stop pursuing an interest.

awren
07-11-2006, 11:37 AM
Great thread ladies

I&#39;m writing from India where I have spent a few years on and off lately, and I had an Indian professor tell me this month that when he moved to the US, his parents sat him down and said they hoped he would come back to India to meet his wife- but if he didn&#39;t, he could marry a white women- but under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should he bring home an African-American woman. This is just one anecdote- but one that represents the way many Indian families feel- as they have teld me. I say this to make the point that in a globalizing world, there is nothing hypothetical about the OP suggestion- there are billions of people watching American media and receiving the same impressions about Black women without the opportunity to know any and break those stereotypes.

I also think this is hugely important because as young women we make so many decisions (about friends, boyfriends, education/career path) based on our self-esteem and what we think we are capable of. Media image, in addition to family, peers and school help frame our life choices. When a women feels like she is unwanted in the world because she doesn&#39;t fit into a mold, she might be more likely to stay with a bad boyfriend or stop pursuing an interest.
[/b]

All great points.

I notice that Indian doctors have preconceived notions about black patients that prevent black patients from getting adequate pain control. I think Indian docs think black women are overly animated, which in turn makes these same docs ignore their complaints of pain.

tweetnaps
07-11-2006, 11:44 AM
this is a very good topic...i believe that the way we are perceive stills stems from slavery and the Wllie Lynch&#39;s letters. It is going to take us as a race to change these bad preconceptions of us

boomslang
07-11-2006, 12:25 PM
This worries me. My sister and other people say the media&#39;s portrayal of black women doesn&#39;t matter. But it does. This is how the planet will perceive me and all of us -as unattractive, unintelligent, unmotivated baby-making whores.

It would be better if we were just ignored, but we&#39;re not. They find the most unappealing images to represent us. But they ignore what doesn&#39;t conform to their standards of trash. Do you think a black women like any of us on nappturality will ever be promoted in the media? Fat chance.

In fact, the world does not believe that black women like us exist. I have done some thinking during this past year, and I have come to realize that I am invisable.
This might sound weird, but sometimes I feel like I don&#39;t exist at all.
And this is why the media is dangerous, it distorts reality

I would love to meet people like LBellatrix and ExPatJane in real life. You guys are cool, really.
ANd this is why I don&#39;t watch TV or read women&#39;s magazines without high scrutiny-ultimately it all has the same underlaying agenda of malcontent.

This is a very important topic. There are few places where I can disguss these things. I would like more people to post on this topic, as it is harmful to us all.

boomslang
07-11-2006, 12:37 PM
Now, I need to some Lauryn Hill...

watercolorz
07-12-2006, 07:16 AM
I&#39;m not offended so much that the sassy hoochie mama role exists, I&#39;m more put off that there isn&#39;t a black female technogeek that attends Star Trek conventions, a black SAHM, and the sister business tycoon. The media&#39;s Black woman is a monolithic, one dimensional cliche. [/b]It’s interesting that you bring this up…

When they were casting DESPERATE HOUSWIVES the Eva Longoria character was originally supposed to go to a sista but this was on the heels of a rash of black women protesting our collective image. She was the start of a new wave of “hispanic” or ethnically ambiguous actresses taking the roles of black actress.

Why… because the network feared that if they cast a black woman in the role of the one having the affair married to the rich guy that they would have gotten a lot of flack, and it wasn’t worth the hassel.

I think at times because we are so under represented we end up stereotyped because we can’t agree on a collective image… and in the process we reject even the possibility of the spectrum if we personally can’t relate.

Black female stay at home mom… using DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES as an example again there isn’t a single principal character on that show that a black woman could play that would be criticized not just as unrealistic but offensive.

Bre the anal stepford wife… were she black the question would be why is she such a bytch, what is it with the OCD and how that relates to black folks being the maid… I can almost hear the words of how the black Bre was just a maid character in upper middle class dress…

Susan… of course they pick the black woman to play the single mom.

Lynette… of course they pick the black woman as the one who is overwhelmed by bad azz kids.

Edie… of course they pick the black woman to play the oversexed neighbor, cause we all know how hyper-sexual black women are.

We couldn’t be part of one of the biggest hits of current pop culture, because we are sooo over protective and sensitive at times of our image.

There are a couple of black technogeeks repin’ in the CSI franchise… as far as a sister being the next ROSANNE fuhgetaboutit… cause black women don’t stay at home they all have to work and it would be an unfair to portray the &#39;minority&#39;…

A business woman? Only if she is Joan Clayton who has everything but a social/love life and is the consummate looser.

Until we can look at the spectrum of roles available for women, and support sisters as they carve out new paths… we’re going to be stuck. Because truthfully we have created a situation that has made us difficult and expendable… meaning that why use a sista when you can get other, especially hispanic and appeal to a wider demographic without the hassle…

We need to wake up ~W

Tenkei
07-12-2006, 07:40 AM
@ Watercolorz - Word!

bootzey
07-12-2006, 08:18 AM
IMHO the way black women are portrayed in the media is stifling if you are not living those lives. I have two degrees but am perfectly happy being a housewife, possibly working a part time job when the mood hits, and quitting when the mood passes. When people find out about how I do things, they get angry. You don’t know how many times I’ve been called lazy or trifling. What, I have to have 5 kids and 2 jobs to seem normal? My lifestyle suits me and my DH. If neither one of us is complaining, nor are we asking to borrow money, I don’t understand what’s with all the hating. One woman literally yelled so deep in my face, I could smell what she had for lunch 2 hours ago.

Folks just need to accept that we, as with any other group of females, are all individually different. And we are allowed to be as such. Trust me, not all Asians are smart, Jews cheap, and Muslims terrorists

asmabahiya
07-12-2006, 01:40 PM
I have been following this post and this is really the first time that I have read people seriously talking of this issue. This may be a little off topic and I apologize, but I have just now started wearing my hair natural and it has been a struggle because I do not think of myself as being cute or beautiful with my nappy hair. Now, knowing this is a lie from the pit of hell I have forced myself to wear my hair natural and hold my head up high in the process because until I can appreciate the beauty of myself and that of my nappy hair no one else will. Honestly, it does not matter what anyone else thinks. With that being said the reason why I was feeling this way is because I grew up watching television and as an adult believing that what I see is what is accepted. I have 2 young sons that I am trying to raise to respect and be proud of their blackness because I was never taught that and I grew up ashamed of it. The media has been very successful and making us believe so many things that should not and is not true about who we are. I appreciate posts such as these because it brings awareness to these important issues that usually are not discussed by our own people. Just my 2 cents and I apologize if this is way off topic.. Now, back to reading..



It’s interesting that you bring this up…

When they were casting DESPERATE HOUSWIVES the Eva Longoria character was originally supposed to go to a sista but this was on the heels of a rash of black women protesting our collective image. She was the start of a new wave of “hispanic” or ethnically ambiguous actresses taking the roles of black actress.

Why… because the network feared that if they cast a black woman in the role of the one having the affair married to the rich guy that they would have gotten a lot of flack, and it wasn’t worth the hassel.

I think at times because we are so under represented we end up stereotyped because we can’t agree on a collective image… and in the process we reject even the possibility of the spectrum if we personally can’t relate.

Black female stay at home mom… using DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES as an example again there isn’t a single principal character on that show that a black woman could play that would be criticized not just as unrealistic but offensive.

Bre the anal stepford wife… were she black the question would be why is she such a bytch, what is it with the OCD and how that relates to black folks being the maid… I can almost hear the words of how the black Bre was just a maid character in upper middle class dress…

Susan… of course they pick the black woman to play the single mom.

Lynette… of course they pick the black woman as the one who is overwhelmed by bad azz kids.

Edie… of course they pick the black woman to play the oversexed neighbor, cause we all know how hyper-sexual black women are.

We couldn’t be part of one of the biggest hits of current pop culture, because we are sooo over protective and sensitive at times of our image.

There are a couple of black technogeeks repin’ in the CSI franchise… as far as a sister being the next ROSANNE fuhgetaboutit… cause black women don’t stay at home they all have to work and it would be an unfair to portray the &#39;minority&#39;…

A business woman? Only if she is Joan Clayton who has everything but a social/love life and is the consummate looser.

Until we can look at the spectrum of roles available for women, and support sisters as they carve out new paths… we’re going to be stuck. Because truthfully we have created a situation that has made us difficult and expendable… meaning that why use a sista when you can get other, especially hispanic and appeal to a wider demographic without the hassle…

We need to wake up ~W
[/b]

I am standing up in the pew with my church fan!!!! Preach sista!!!! LOL