Black Women Need Publicists

12 Jan

I started this post as an exposé of some sort on the negative image black women have in general.  Like all decent *chuckle* writers, I wanted to do some research so I turned to god google.  When I started to type in ‘why do black women have a negative image’ before I could finish my search term, these came up:

Why do black women have big bottoms

Why do black women have attitudes

Why do black women have short hair

Why do black women have big hips

Why do black women have children out of wedlock

Why do black women have so many kids

Why do black women have big lips

Why do black women have ugly feet

Why do black women have good skin

 

Note that the only positive attribute is the fact that we have good skin.  To be fair, I decided to try a different search term for white women and this is all I got:

Why do white women have big breasts

Why do white women have bad attitudes

Before I could start my research, I  found we really do have a negative image based on these terms.  Why is this the case despite the millions of attractive, educated, accomplished black women out there?  I I have found out that black women play diverse roles in the media but the one that seems to stick out is the fact that we have “attitudes.”  What is an attitude?  Let’s explore…

at⋅ti⋅tude

  /ˈæt ɪˌtud, -ˌtyud/ [at-i-tood, -tyood] Sh

–noun

1. manner, disposition, feeling, position, etc., with regard to a person or thing; tendency or orientation, esp. of the mind: a negative attitude; group attitudes.
2. position or posture of the body appropriate to or expressive of an action, emotion, etc.: a threatening attitude; a relaxed attitude.
3. Aeronautics. the inclination of the three principal axes of an aircraft relative to the wind, to the ground, etc.
4. Ballet. a pose in which the dancer stands on one leg, the other bent behind.

 

For the purpose of the discussion, we will stick to definition one and two.  Do black women have bad attitudes?  Some do, some don’t.  But it is true we tend to be aggressive in nature because we are a double minority…black and female.  Life does not get any more harder than that.  Black women usually have to work twice as hard as a black man and three times as hard as a white woman to get ahead.  So a little attitude sometimes is required.  It is as if we assume the persona of white men in life.  Look at the work place…the people who get top positions are white men and black women.  That is not an accident.

What about other negative attributes of black women like body type and hair? Why is Jennifer Lopez’s ass attractive but when on a black woman it is ‘ghetto booty?’  Why are Angelina Jolie’s lips raved about but when on a black woman it is not so attractive? Why do white women spend hundreds tanning and plumping their lips with botox yet when these natural features are seen on black women they are sub par?  Why do news media don’t report when black women/females are abducted or killed?  Are black women’s lives not as important as other races?

How about sexuality?  Do music videos stereotype black women as booty-shaking hoochie mamas?  Does television show us as welfare-taking unmarried mothers? 

Let the discussion begin.

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24 Responses to “Black Women Need Publicists”

  1. Azazel January 12, 2010 at 7:47 pm #

    Stereotypes about black women are not always true. The same goes for white women. All generalizations are bad.

    • lucidlilith January 13, 2010 at 11:38 am #

      Yes, stereotypes are not true but what are we as black women doing to reverse this? Why are we not doing enough?

  2. taynement January 12, 2010 at 9:12 pm #

    there are white video hoochies too. there are white bimbos in reality shows. It’s just one of those things where there are no answers to.

    • lucidlilith January 13, 2010 at 11:41 am #

      This is a fairly new occurence … black women have long been used in music videos.

  3. Original Mgbeke January 12, 2010 at 11:01 pm #

    Very interesting stuff. It’s not meant to be funny but I chuckled at those search suggestions…wow.
    Ummm…I can’t say that I see a lot of black women in top positions in the office sha o. It usually is just a bunch of white men, with white women as the minority.
    Aniwoos…
    Attitude: Maybe black women have attitude because we have more challenges like you said. Like for instance, you see how white women tend to get married quickly/at younger ages as opposed to black women, so you have your white woman who has a supportive hubby, joint income, less stress etc as opposed to a black woman who might have 2 kids and no hubby to support/kid’s father might be MIA…the woman generally might have more things in life to worry about which in turn reflects on her attitude/interactions. This is not all-inclusive of all black women, just throwing out an idea on one of the contributing factors to a black woman’s ‘attitude’. Did that make sense?

    Ok this comment don turn into blog entry so I will touch on the sexuality bit. To answer your Q—> YES to the music videos. How many white men’s vids showcase bootyshaking white women?

    • taynement January 13, 2010 at 12:11 am #

      they don’t have bootyshaking white women because booty is not what they are interested in. But I dare you to not find a video with a white video ho shaking her boobies in a bikini or climbing a car or licking a lollilop. dem plenty. difference is because they are white there is not as much scrutiny.

      • lucidlilith January 13, 2010 at 11:53 am #

        There are not too many white women dancing half naked around black rappers or hip hop artists. A few hispanic women and may be a few white women here and there but it is mostly black women.

        • taynement January 14, 2010 at 11:06 am #

          But it only makes sense that if it is a rapper or hip hop it would be black women because the singers are black. But I won’t exclude the white rock/pop singers too, those are the white video hoochies I am referring to. I don’t think it’s fair to just focus on the black ones and not take into account the white ones.

    • lucidlilith January 13, 2010 at 11:48 am #

      I agree with you 100 percent about the attitude part. White women have more marriage partners that black women,…since most of our men are either in jail or dead, there is a shift. We compete for the fewer men and usually end up not married because there are not enough to go around. Generally we have more to deal with in life.

      Music videos portray black women as hyper sexual and not to knock down those women who do it as a way to earn money but we have to start taking responsibility for these images. We don’t speak out enough.

  4. Vera Ezimora January 13, 2010 at 1:08 am #

    ***Vera scratches head out of confusion***

    Ehm….

    I thought big hip, big lips, and big bottoms were all part of our good qualities.

    Or am I just looking at it from the African man’s point of view?

    • lucidlilith January 13, 2010 at 11:55 am #

      lol…yes you are looking at it from the African point of view. You have to remember we are dealing with Eurocentric standards of beauty here. Anyone that does not look like Gisele Bunchen does not match their standards.

  5. BBB January 13, 2010 at 4:48 am #

    totally agree with vera
    am confused!!!

  6. F January 13, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    Hmmm… the perennial issue of the perception of black women… What can I say?

    Regarding appearance which Vera and BBB mentioned, there is a significant cultural gap in the way women’s bodies are seen in African and western culture. The African way tends to appreciate curves more while the western way aims for a more slim, svelte appearance. These two ideas seem to be blending as many black girls nowadays are interested in losing weight while Western culture is embracing curvy women like Beyonce and Scarlett Johansson as ideal models of beauty. However, in spite of the effects of socialisation and cultural blends, fundamentally this difference still exists.

    In terms of attitude, I agree that having to face hardships is partly responsible for the thick skin and seemingly harsh demeanor of a lot of black women. Yet, it should be observed that many times, when men show such traits, they are seen as focused and driven while the black woman tends to be labelled the domineering bitch… Interesting distinction…

    How could I forget the “hoochie” or “ghetto” phenomenon? Here, I have to concede that the stereotype has some basis in fact. If, like me, trashy daytime talk shows are your guilty pleasures, you would have been assaulted by one too many “Shaniquas” looking for their “baby daddies” (yes, plural) in not so PG13 language. Yet, this is more of a class and education issue than one of sex or race because the so-called “red-necks” and “chavs” are similarly maligned for lacking finnesse…

    So the truth is… Generalisations never work… Black women are people, not mere statistics. Everyone has their personal struggles and “attitudes”. You don’t see me calling every Alaskan stupid because of Sarah Palin, do you?

    • lucidlilith January 13, 2010 at 11:56 am #

      Well said.

  7. Adanne January 13, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    The solution is to act like a white woman, and all good things will come to you except getting married early lol

    On a more serious note, we straddle two cultures so we have the benefit of rejecting or accepting some of those labels.
    Physical attributes (curves) are a plus for us because it is highly valued in the African culture.
    We also typically do not have children out of wedlock.

    I’m also aware that even though we’re African, unless we open our mouths to speak, the first impression others have is that you are a black woman and so they proceed to apply those stereotypes to us. Which makes it a tad bit difficult to run away from them.

    • lucidlilith January 14, 2010 at 11:02 am #

      lol @ acting like a white woman. At the risk of virtually being stoned to death, I honestly believe this to be true. Black women are like to find more partners if they adopt the mannerisms of white women. I guess it makes us more non-threatening.

  8. Joicee January 14, 2010 at 8:50 am #

    this one don pass me o….Maybe because I do not live in America, The black woman dynamics here in mainland europe are different.

    My thing is, to just be yourself because no matter what, people will think what they want to think…If you have curves embrace them , I f you are feisty in nature , do you…at the end of the day you will be a much happier person …If you spend all your time trying to comabating streotypes and trying to be differentby all means, life is just going to pass you by.

    • lucidlilith January 14, 2010 at 11:03 am #

      Abeg gists us…explain how it is in Europe. I am really curious.

      • Joicee January 14, 2010 at 11:39 am #

        Here you don´t see ghetto mamas or welfare queens on the television, infact you hardly see any black women on t.v ,so it is a case of what you see is what you get. There are no preconceived notions because New york and Omarosa are nonexistent here. Black women here are mostly african so in that case I guess this idea soft spoken, obedient african woman springs to mind.

        Reading this post , makes me thnk it is quite refreshing here to be a black woman. You just be yourself, being original is key For example you are sure to turn heads as a black woman wearing an afro or magnificent braids much more than when you have got your hair straightened or when you are rocking some blonde wig. .

        Please this is not so say that wearing straightened hair is not original …I´m just trying to drive a point home. I read some blogs written by american black women where they talk about their experiences in the dating game and such and seriously it is quite difficult for me to fathom.

  9. solomonsydelle January 14, 2010 at 9:36 am #

    ooh wee! I no fit put mouth for this one arall, arall. The stereotypes about black women are atrocious and their impact is exponential, people have no idea.

    Anyway, happy new year, babe!!!! Great post as usual!

    • lucidlilith January 14, 2010 at 11:07 am #

      That is why I am worried that we are not as vocal as we should be about these stereotypes.

      • solomonsydelle January 19, 2010 at 10:46 am #

        why are you worried about it? Simply because i no one yarn de thing? Consider that I might not at that particular time have anything constructive to add. Is it better to allow others who have said it or said it better continue to do so, or add one more comment albeit an insufficient one? Also, consider, I might have already spent years studying, writing, discussing, analyzing the issue. My silence at any point in time shouldn’t be considered worrisome – awareness is what is necessary. And aware, I most definitely am. So, don’t worry, my sista. I’ve got your back =)

  10. Myne Whitman January 14, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

    Do we really need to be talking about eurocentric views and opinion of us? Why not just be who we are?

    • lucidlilith January 14, 2010 at 6:17 pm #

      We are who we are. Unfortunately, no one notices. All they see are stereotypes.

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