Friday, 30 May 2008

Images of Us and how we really see ourselves

There are various images portrayed in the media, from the asexual black mammy Aunt Jemima types, hip hop girls to the hip hop porn girls. So where does the real women fit in all this stereotype. The top image is of Dove soap, they ran a campaign of real women, no touching up and they got members of the public to be in their campaign, although people welcomed it, however many did not like it, is it because they are so use to airbrush females, with no flaws. Jennifer Hudson is a lovely woman of our times, she is curvaceous and she is like an everyday woman, she is comfortable with her size and she looks lovely, nice smile, glossy hair. The famous Video vixen, with her ample bottom, usually found hip hop videos, not all but the more sexual ones. Teena Taylor is a hip hop artist, she is pretty, a teenager and she models also, she writes her own material. Hattie McDaniel, the most famous maid, the ultimate black mammy and Aunt Jemima, she is fat, asexual and she is non-threatening, well she would be, because she is too busy looking after Miss Southern Belle, Scarlett O'Hara. Buffy the body, would be found in King magazine and other male magazines, as Sir Mix-a-lot said from his song 'Baby got back'. He was celebrating the black female bottom, while Cosmo magazine was trying to tell us that we were just fat, he was saying that is the shape of black women. From the Africa, South America, West Indies, women with their ample in their bottoms are living perfectly normal lives, they are married have children, some get divorced and get married again. Grannie is her eigthies, still looking hot with her ample bottom . I was born and brought up in England, United Kingdom. My parents came from Guyana, South America. As soon as I became a teenager and my breasts and bottom grew. I was told that my breasts were too big and so was my bottom, and my mother would tell me, I have the body of my ancestors and we are from good stock, also it is amazing how African features, full lips, our nose, our skin, our breasts, we were characterised as being whores, while the other girls, who were mostly white were virgins, which was not true of course, most of the girls at my school were no longer virgins by the time, they were fourteen. They knew about French kissing by the time, they were twelve. The two middle pictures are of two African women, an ordinary woman and the Ethiopian/Israeli model Esti Mamo, the last pictures is of Esther Baxter, who was a video vixen, changed to clothes modeling and now, she has given up modelling and she is gone back to college. She is was married, but her husband could not deal with the attention, she was getting, so they got divorced. There are two images that the media love, of black women is the mammy and the whore. Have you know noticed in all the main stream films, black women can only be play best friends to the lead character, although she may be slim, still she again is the black mammy, she is asexual. Although African American/African/Caribbean media are taking back their images of how they want to see us, their women, other companies like BET have been highly criticized from the showing black women as video vixens, again the whore, slappers, sluts. We know that all women in all races have prostitutes. Even black people themselves seem to get caught up in the illusion, that if a black woman is educated, listens to classical music, visits art galleries, reads speaks correct English, is is acting white, somehow being ignorant, loud, listening to Snoop Dog, 50 Cent, dancing in a dance hall style, speaking badly, she is acting black. I went to see a friend a few years ago and I remarked about the amount of books, she had and she told me that I was the first person, who showed any interest in her books, because a black young man told her that because she has a lot of books in her house, she would only date white guys, which is certainly not true. We forget that we have African american and black writers, poets, scientists, doctors, lawyer, preachers, businessman and women, architects, fashion designers, Rabbis, there is a African American female Rabbi in training in Israel right now. Where did we get this notion that marriage is for 'white people'. Marriage is for everybody. Why does 50 cent, Nelly, Snoop Dog, get more publicity, as compared to Jill Scott, who is a brilliant songwriter and singer, why are we so focused on R Kelly and everyone knows what he was like. We criticize Beyonce and Rhianna, saying that they are fake, or maybe Beyonce has more credibility because she is know married to Jay-Z. Black women seem to be under attack from the enemies within and the outside world. We don't get the protection that other women get. Our so-called leaders are a big let down, they do not protect us. So what do we do? We form alliances with people who care about us, and others who don't, we distance ourselves from them. We are here to make a change, but not to save people. We make changes in our own lives and others around either will change themselves or we have to move on without them. Everyone is responsible for his or own stewardship.

12 comments: said...

Hello there Felicity! {waves}

This is a good topic!

Thank you again for your support of Black Women Blow The Trumpet!

So many women do not understand that objectifying themselves reflects a slave mentality. Many feel that they have to show their body parts as "assets" to have validation from men that look at them in passing and make comments about their legs, their behinds, whatever.... they do not realize that when men DO THAT is disrespectful.

I had to tell a sista I knew that: "Girl, it is not flattery for a man to objectify you!"

Buffie is the modern day Saartjie Bartmann...and she doesn't even know it.

Thanks for letting me blow my trumpet!

Anonymous said...

I believe that this subject will always be the center of much controversy. I believe while some black women would love to have better images of themselves displayed, it is hard to compete with that in a sex-driven world where the black woman that has more curves and wears less gets more attention-and it's usually not good attention.

Morality or the lack thereof is another factor in how many young black see themselves, falling victim to objects of sexual desires and fantasies.

The level of debauchery towards our young black women is definitely out of hand and those that can make the change, are the very ones that make it hard for our young black women to be seen and respected in a different light. I am mainly talking about the hip-hop industry and its glorification of basically demeaning young black woman. That is one of the reasons why I simply can not support the hip-hop of today. It displays every negative stereotype against young black women and in the end it is her that suffers, not the artist who is "using" her as a piece of sexual meat on camera.

It is a travesty indeed and when it will end, no one knows.

:::Marcus LANGFORD:::

Felicity said...

Hi Girl, you are welcome! The problem is that black culture is only seen as hip hop industry and black culture is so much more. That is the problem I have with the music industry with the MOBO's in UK, MOBO (music of black origin). They seem to focus only on hip hop and I was furious that
50 cent got 4 Mobo, now that was bad enough and well Snoop Dog turned up with two girls on dog chain, I was so mad and mad is putting it midly. Buffy is the modern day Sarah Bartmann and what is going to happen to her when she gets older. You have raised a very good point there. What happens well these women get older.

@ Marcus, nice to see you. I totally agree with you Marcus, I too refuse to support the hip hop industry, because of the language and the betrayal of our black young women. Big hard back people who should know better are listening to 50 cent, Snoop Dog, when I asked one woman, 'are you listening to what they are saying', at the time, her grand- children were running around 3, 4, 6 and 13. She said that she doesn't listen to the words. Again what seeds are we sowing. What I find even more depression is why black men are showing these type of videos, like Tip Drill, the famous part when Nelly swiped a credit card through the crease of a girl's bottom to men of other races. When I challenged the black man and told him that this is nasty, the others were smiling. We don't seem to protect our own. It is also frightening that young black women want to dress like whores going to their school proms, there is no guidance. All these 'so called' keeping it real guys live in exclusive wealthy areas. I was very glad, when a lot of people complained to Essence when on the front cover was Kate Porter and P Diddy. BET are another big offender.

Tania said...

It's a damn shame! I agree with the other two posters.

Felicity said...

Hi Tania, thanks for your comments.

Don said...

black women are definitely under attack. as are black men. it seems like we, our race, is being made to destroy our true beauty and strength. as you stated, it doesn;t seem as if no one will save us either.

so, i take it that we need to save ourselves. i take it that we need to now look towards the bigger picture.

also, jennifer hudson looks amazing in the photo.

Don said...

personal change equals a positive future for those who will come after us. do you agree?

Felicity said...

Don, you are perfectly right here. We need to change our mindset and how we think about ourselves. Jennifer Hudson is one of my favourite women.

Divine Blackness said...

Very good topic! I am a huge fan of J.Hud too because she is so accepting of her body. Queen Latifah, as well.

Felicity said...

Divine Blackness, lovely to see you. Jennifer Hudson is great, so is Queen Latifah.

Suesue said...

((Even black people themselves seem to get caught up in the illusion, that if a black woman is educated, listens to classical music, visits art galleries, reads speaks correct English, is is acting white, somehow being ignorant, loud, listening to Snoop Dog, 50 Cent, dancing in a dance hall style, speaking badly, she is acting black.))----exactly-hit the nail on the head

As i always tell my friends i really believe the US have a huge influence on the rest of the world and how certain races are percieved. So most stereotypes are not unique to the country but are imposed upon us when we switch on the TV and the majority of shows shown are from the States. So the Hip Hop culture diffuses into the minds of young people everywhere, even Africa. (example: nigerian star 2face who i like btw). So they think black women should be seen like that. My mum told me my bum is my heritage and i should be proud of it. I got teased at school because of the size of my ass not because it is that big but because i am black and my ass is not flat!!! and people learn of the stereotypes and applied them to me.

Actually i think this is something that is being discussed more and more and there will be a change. Barack Obama is part of that change. ( as i said US has a huge influence). I was watching CNN and they were talking about the french culture in france and all the guests (who were all white) talked about the problem of racism in the country and the role models that black people lack of doctors; lawyers, scientists etc...

Ah i talk to much.

Very good post.

Felicity said...

Welcome and thank you for your comments and talk as much as you like!