A group blog for Introduction to Media Criticism at NYU, Fall 2009.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Portrayal of Black Women
The advertisement shown above is a perfect example of the point made in the article on Alienated Conclusions "'If' Black Women Were White Women." To the general audience, this advertisement just appears to be another provocative ad sexing up two models for the use of publicity. But when taking the Alienated Conclusions article into account, it perfectly fits into the white supremacist mindset that is clearly described with the role reversal of white and black women. This ad also mirrors Iman's nude photo discussed in Hooks' article in that it "looks as though she is ready to stand on any street corner and turn a trick, or worse yet, as though she just walked off on of the pages of Players." The ad depicts the white women as a pure and "worthy of protection and instantly becomes the object of desire." It can be argued that both of the women are naked under the trench coat, but ultimately it is the black woman who's back is towards the camera and is flashing the man. This represents her as "animalistic and sexually deviant," and is even described as "naughty." Furthermore, her face seems like she is all about having fun and lacks the seriousness that is portrayed on the white woman's face. This can also be compared to the example given in "Selling Hot Pussy" that described the black female as "there to entertain guests with the naked image of otherness. They are not to look at her as a human being....They were reduced to a spectacle." In contrast, the white woman has a strong and powerful stance, facing the camera: a portrayal that she is dominant in the picture. Further analyzation of the ad supports the article's claims that black women are portrayed as oversexed, are "culturally approved of sexual objectification, and that an unconcealed acceptance of discrimination" is apparent. This ad and other ads depicting this racial hierarchy greatly influence the representation and intersectionalityof black women. Through the repetition of these images, society has created its ideology of black and white women.