(ThyBlackMan.com) The Washington Post is back with its third installment of its groundbreaking research on Black women. This installment focuses on Black women being healthier and happier with their weight and looks more than other women. While I agree a little more with this assessment of Black women there remain glaring areas of study overlooked, glossed over, or just plain missing from this assessment. For example, when some young Black girls are given the doll test they still prefer the White doll over the Black doll. Yet they grow up to be self-actualized women unaffected by European standards of beauty? While the article touches on Black women’s tendency toward obesity it glosses over some of the other reasons why we are killing ourselves quickly and it’s not just a penchant for being thick in the waist.
Reading the third installment of the Washinton Post’s expose on Black women I was reminded of Sarah Baartman; the Hottentot Venus. While the Washington Post with the Kaiser Family Foundation seeks to uplift Black women and inform the rest of the American public on our habits, ideas, ways and mores I for one feel like we’ve been put on display to be gawked at, studied and dissected for twisted pleasure instead of for informing those ignorant of what it is to be Black and female in America.
This Washington Post study adds to the years long obsession with Black women; who we date, who we marry, who we have children with, when we have children, how our hair looks, where our hair comes from, whether or not we can find a brown bra. The list of recent fascinations about Black women is long, extensive and just over done. So much so some have proclaimed an end to the negative study of women who hail from the African Diaspora.
But just because an end to discussions of Black women is wanted doesn’t mean it will happen. In fact I’m sure media types bent on studying women of color will find new memes to dig up and discuss for ratings, page views, comment blasts and of course money.
I have a list of 4 Black Woman Meme’s that are coming to you soon straight from a blog, newspaper, or night time special.
1. Black Women: Why Their Children are Better Behaved than Everyone Else’s
This meme explores the art of the perfect pitched yell, the church pinch, the school glare, and of course the properly timed beating. Mothers, daughters and sons of all ages will be interviewed about child rearing and how they were reared as a child. Expect this meme to start with some long history of corporal punishment derived from the Jackson family TV drama American Dream where it is explored how to pick the perfect switch and wince and cry with just the right amount of pain it makes your parents feel sorry for you. This meme will also explain why Black children in public are quickly snatched up without any interruption from police or well-meaning, child abuse believing White folks because they’ve seen Tyler Perry movies and no young Black kids need to “saddown” or be “smacked down” for having the audacity to come up out of a child’s place and have an opinion of dissent. Interviewees will include Madea, Big Mama, Mama Shirley, Big John and family.
2. Black Women: The Art of Faking it ‘Til You Make It
This meme explores how Black women can rock Louboutins, afford Porsche’s and Aston Martin’s and be dressed to impress 24/7 while still living in a one bedroom apartment with only an air mattress and 13 inch TV for furniture. We call this “The Sheree Life.” Modeled after the seemingly misplaced priorities of the Real Housewives of Atlanta star, researchers will examine the young Black woman addicted to retail with college loans, the relevance of the welfare Queen, and how the government continues to enable such women until of course they have some come to Jesus moment and realize they are too old to play petty childish games and immediately set out on the task of finding a man or a career to support their habit. Whichever comes first. Interviewees will include Sheree Whitfield (pending litigation), Kanye West, and Keisha, Val and April of the hit VH1 series Single Ladies.
3. Black Women: How Scrapping in the Streets Makes You Classy and a Boss
This meme will explode out of the success of Basketball Wives and Love & Hip-Hop. Researchers will travel to South Beach, SoHo, Beverly Hills and Buckhead to find women who by day are the picture of professionalism but by night engage in mud slinging, drink throwing, hair weave pulling, and other such shenanigans that net them charges for aggravated assault. The women will intellectually explain why their public brawls are not representations of their character and only a very small part of who they are which is mostly compromised of work for charitable organizations no one has ever heard of. Interviewees include: Evelyn Lozada, Chrissy Lampkin and Marlo Hampton.
4. Black Women: The Art of Turning a Hoodrat into a Housewife
This meme looks at the rise of once scandalous video and reality TV stars who have turned over a conservative and demure leaf in life. Once the trademark of what not to do to get a man these women are now spitting images of chastity in the quest to find true love. Researchers will examine the constant victimization of Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton while also finding the truth behind the damaged girl known as Karrine Steffans. Interviewees include: Melissa Ford, Hype Williams and Pamela Anderson.
Satirical though this may be it is not far fetched to believe that for the next five years Black women will be subjected to stereotypical depictions of themselves in the media based on studies, surveys, and phone conversations with hundreds of women of similar backgrounds. The current research on Black women including the Washington Post study is generalizing at best and demeaning at its worst.
No other group in this country is subjected to the type of scrutiny Black women are forced to deal with. From what it means for Viola Davis to where her hair natural, the way it grows out of her scalp (with the addition of some color), to what weight loss commercials featuring Jennifer Hudson and Janet Jackson say about Black women succumbing to the mold of Cosmo models. Black women need not be the guinea pig for which researchers prod and poke for answers on the most mundane subjects of sex, love and life and trying to keep it tight while keeping it all the way right. That’s unnecessary. The same way everyone else wants to live their lives in this country, uninterrupted by the wrap of a researcher’s knuckles at your door, or a film crew in your home is the same way Black women would like to live their lives. Freely and uninterrupted with the space to go out in the world and fuck up in it.
Staff Writer; Nikesha Leeper
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