Monday, November 16, 2009

An Icon for Black Sexuality

The first thing that came to mind after reading Hooks' article, "Selling Hot Pussy," is that I couldn't help but think that this is exactly why African Americans are considered to be such a hyper-sexualized culture. One of the most significant quotes that stuck out to me was, "it is the black female body that is forced to serve as an icon for black sexuality in general" (Hook 62). Why is there so much pressure put on the female body? Why not the male's body? This is why black women are praised for having a "fat ass" and "juicy thighs" and all in all it just disgusts me. I feel like a women's body should be something beautiful and natural, not something that should be exploited so it can be gawked at by horny guys.

Hook specifically looked at the black girl's butt as being "a protruding symbol seen as an indication of heightened sexuality" (63). I thought this magazine cover was a great example of the heightened emphasis society evidently puts on the black girl's butt. This is a magazine called "KING" that is a very popular magazine about being in "shape," however as you can see it has a very pornographic pull toward it. Here the black butt is the biggest object on the cover, there is no writing or image scrolling across it like on other parts of her body. It is clearly the point of focus in the article because the model's breasts are almost completely covered, and she is having her butt do all of the suggestive advertising. Hook would argue that since she has such a volumptuous butt that this makes her more sexually desired and therefore gives her more power.
I do not agree with this because I don't like the idea of sexuality giving you power, and I really don't like the idea of female bodies being exploited in this matter-even though they commonly are in society. But, nevertheless, this is an example of our reading. I'd also like to note that I think if this were a white girl with this much butt showing on a non pornographic magazine cover it would be much less acceptable in our society because it is not the norm in dominant white culture for a female's body, specifically her butt, to serve as the icon for sexuality. We also use a lot more men to represent sex too, while it is much less commonly seen in black culture.


  1. I hate seeing magazine racks full of these images. SO degrading and not classy.

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