Monday, November 16, 2009

White<-->Black ?

For centuries, images like this one, have been considered THE NORM. The white women, with their slender bodies, blond hair, and blue eyes were seen as perfection in the eyes of the white males in charge. The black women were seen as overweight, and often their role was subservient to the white females.

I really liked the idea that Alienation took in the blog post "What if Black women were White women?" I thought that the idea itself, to turn the roles that each type of women is considered to inhibit was genius. I think that the blog post did a great job presenting what it would be if
white women were taken by the society the way that black women are, and vice versa. I definitely believe that this blog post presented a new perspective to this racial debate, that we might nto necessarily consider otherwise.

However, one thing stroke me with this post. As I was reading it, I realized that instead of fighting the stereotypes that are still persistent in our society, it actually reinforced it. I thought that by saying what would white women be like if they were what black women are today, the blog post literally described, and furthered the stereotypes that today's world has about the black women. And vice versa. When the post described what the life of black women would be like if they were considered the way that whit
e women are treated and perceived today, it described the stereotypical image of the white women, and did not consider the reality as it is. Hmmm... I'm not sure if what I am saying is 100% clear... I guess maybe I'll try to explain it in class somehow???

Finally... I came across this picture, that appeared as a main point of discussion on this blog, and I found it extremely interesting. I automatically thought of the commodification of the female body, and of the prevailing ideologies of the female beauty that our society upholds. The white, blond female is considered perfection in the world we live in. And I just found it extremely ironic, that a person like Beyonce, who is always proud of her body, and is not afraid to show it off, would agree to make her appearance look "so white" in this L'Oreal add, instead of trying to show off her beauty. Any thoughts?


  1. I agree. But just a side note I love that you posted an image of the "Mammie" role that is still present in today's media. Remember aunt Jemima, offensive.
    But yes I agree. I also see it in magazines; that different ethnic groups/people will change to what is stereotypically satisfying for the's what sells....women are just a commodity in our society.

  2. It's funny that Hillary Clinton would be cited as a symbol of femininity (white or black) when she's widely seen as either de-sexualized or overtly masculine.

  3. yeah, I was wondering if the fact that the white woman being depicted was Hilary had any significance as well!

  4. I definitely find it interesting that Beyonce would go to these lengths to appear more 'white'. In Hooks article he mentions that when darker skinned girls are chosen to appear in ads they are usually lighter skinned and have blonde or light brown hair and this is definitely a great example of that. Maybe L'Oreal made her look that way for this advertisement as they thought it would be more appealing? Maybe it wasn't really her own personal decision? But whosever decision it was,they must have done it because they knew that it would be more appealing to society, and that is a big problem in itself.

  5. yeha, i definitely think that the reason they did that with Beyonce (although it doesnt really matter who she is) is to make it more appealing and to mark the fact that they deem the white blond as the perfections.

  6. The whole idea of being more "white," it makes me wonder who the whole idea of white/dark is constructed in other countries. I know that Asian countries are really obsessed about that. I think they have quite a large market for skin whiteners?

    Here is sort of an unrelated thing: Last week or so, there has been photos circulating online of Sammy Sosa and his drastically whiter skin. It was later found out that he bleaches his skin... here's the link to Perez and the photos

  7. yeah.. I saw these images on Perez as well...
    freaky, huh?
    And the fact that he actually admitted to the process of whitening his skin... weirdo:)