Friday, 15 May 2015

They are Still at it!

Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) Poster


Yes black ladies, they are still at it!

The only black woman among the team of actresses of all races from the movie Pitch Perfect 2 and she gets to play 'the butch'. Look how she is squatting in the picture. You can barely see her as a female, she is the 'male' of the group essentially. It's all very deliberate and in line with broader representations of black women. And if it was done without conscious thought then realize how strong and persistent the construction of black women as masculine continues to be. Indeed it appears not to have waned since the time of Sojourner Truth who asked in her historic speech in 1851 of the same title, 'Ain't I a woman' .  Actually this trailer image has half the number of women of the other fuller poster were I counted at least 12 different actresses, each of them allowed to look leggy, feminine and longhaired except the black one among them (they do all they can to keep Rebel Wilson sexy-feminine despite her size)

This is what you black woman are battling, it is what you are side stepping everyday and hoping not to be tripped into: the mascularization of your womanhood. Some folk are benefitting off it big time and so they are invested in keeping the idea going.

It seems the broader message being sold to and about black women is that we are on the male spectrum of womanhood and there is a desire to keep us in that place. Black women who challenge this positioning are often on the receving end of a push back in the form of disapproval and even indignation from those who question why she is trying to rearrange the order.

Now some may say, what have I got against the 'butch black girl'. Nothing. It just seems very strange and convenient that the only black girl gets to play that role while there are a dozen white girls from whom one masculine appearing white girl would not go amiss!


  1. I noticed this too about the movie ads.

  2. I won't be seeing this. I'm going to tweet the makers behind this.

  3. I noticed the same thing Halima. It's disgusting. Just goes tomshow you how much of a threat BW really are to larger society when we have it together - all 6% of us. Lol pathetic.

  4. It was obviously the same situation with the show on Netflix called Orange Is The New Black. WW already lost some very important ground to AW, particularly those of East Asian descent regarding WM and in some respects they lost a bit of ground to HW. So they really have to do some quality control and loss prevention in order to really ‘batten down the hatches’! LOL

    BW have to understand from now that if they don’t create their own media filled with the positivity and the many NUANCES of their own images and their own stories and naturally in turn continue to give the largest amount of support to promote that media then this is ALL they’ll ever be getting from white mainstream media these days and stupid reality TV shows really don’t help the BW’s case!

    In the 70s and 80s when TV and magazines were even whiter, BW had way better, more positive, womanly and ‘girly’ shiny and pretty images of themselves compared to today within the realm of print modeling but especially within the realm of runway/catwalk modeling as hard as that may be to believe. For one thing the Ebony Fashion Fair fashion shows were still carrying on and there were a handful of gay AA BM designers who were doing very well and they used black models and black models were still very much in vogue and used by YSL, Emanuel Ungaro, Givenchy, Thierry Mugler and even by Karl Lagerfeld when he was still working for Chloe. As soon as rap/hip hop started going from strength to strength after getting their bearings and BW started trying to fit in with that world of ‘the street’ in order to fit in and appear ‘more down’ and as ‘one of the gang’ it was all over. And it didn’t help that black people overall still to this day do scant amounts of the things to create their own media whether it’s on print, radio, TV or internet in order to promote the (positive) image of BW and/or they’re not promoting it enough with their financial support and by word of mouth, etc.

  5. As usual I just blame self hatred in black men ....if I explain il be writing an essay

  6. Wow halima -hey girl! Love the essay. and you hit the nail on the head. It reminds me of 'The help' where all the white girls were young and pretty and all the black women were much older, most homely, tired looking, overweight, and frumpy. even the one teenager was homely looking and biggish. They never stop trying to make us look bad! It ticks me off!