Urban haps of a grrrl on a mission to be a better writer, a new music master-blaster and a wonderfully brilliant razor-packing, MAC LipGlass wearing feminista...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Blow-Up Men and Overweight Ladies

As if us grrrls don't get slighted or marginalized enough, some idiots here and across the pond are trying to get their sexist rocks off.

In London some genius wanker created a blow-up 'buddy' to make us timid, fearful lady drivers feel safe and secure. Gimme a fricking break and stick to soccer and fish and chips.

Over here, the NY Times felt a need to devote an entire article to analyzing the social ramifications of featuring Black, "sassy" overweight women in mainstream ads that promote brands like PineSol and Dairy Queen. The article begins:
Her onscreen presence takes on many variations, but she is easily recognizable by a few defining traits. Other than her size, she is almost always black. She typically finds herself in an exchange that is either confrontational or embarrassing. And her best line is often little more than a sassy "Mmmm hmmm."
This paragraph is where the writer-- Jeremy Peters, starts to get into a snag with theHotness grrrl:
But despite the popularity of such characters among blacks, the use of the image of big black women as the target of so many jokes is troublesome to some marketers and media scholars. "It is perpetuating a stereotype that black females are strong, aggressive, controlling people," said Tommy E. Whittler, a marketing professor at DePaul University. "I don’t think you want to do that." To be sure, sassy overweight black women appear to represent only a small fraction of the African-American actresses who appear in commercials.
Troublesome to marketers and media scholars? C'mon Jeremy if you really wanted to know if this issue was really an ISSUE then you would have interviewed at least one of those so-called confrontational Black actresses cast in these commercials you are referencing (albeit they 'appear to represent only a small fraction', but they are here and they can speak-- my godmother is one of those actresses [she's the Sudafed, Quilted Northern and Campbell's soup lady] and believe me when she read this article she was aghast-- not sassy)

And to conclude his insightful article, Jeremy makes the following observation:
As is typically the case with racial stereotypes, who is laughing and why is complex and potentially inflammatory. Black actors and comedians have profited handsomely from creating bumptious female characters on TV and in movies, raising the issue of whether they, too, are perpetuating the stereotypes that many find offensive. Tyler Perry, the filmmaker and actor, created a series of plays and movies, including the huge hit "Diary of a Mad Black Woman," in which the main character Mable (Madea) Simmons is a no-nonsense overweight matriarch.
NewsFlash! Madea is a Black man dressed in drag and that my dear is part of the charm of Tyler Perry's comedies. He is drawing from the historical context of Flip Wilson not Hattie McDaniel. And damn if you are going to mention advertising power and Black overweight women how do you mention Mo'Nique and not Oprah. Read the story and please post your thoughts.


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