The Hyper-Sexualization of Black Women

Photo by JEFERSON GOMES on Unsplash

I was looking through some rap music videos the other day. For the love of me, I couldn’t understand why one of the main discourses present in the majority of these videos was scantily clad black women dancing in a sexually provocative way. While I understand that this same provocativeness makes these videos sell or top the charts, I can’t help but think at whose expense? I conclude that it is at that of the black woman.

In Western society, audiences are not exposed to several discourses about black women — i.e. a doctor, engineer, writer, scientist, so if the only portrayal people constantly see is that of a hyper-sexualized black woman shaking her derriere for all that it is worth — this single image then begins to define and dominate all black women wherever they are and whatever they do.

This is detrimental to you and to our young black girls because they/we are only seen as passive objects of sexual longing and desire, rather than as independent intelligent individuals. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should censor all these videos, I’m just saying that if you are going to show that, then you need to show other roles for black women too, you need to balance the content to be fair and objective. People need to know that black women like white women and Asian women can choose to be many different things but that those that chose to shake their “booty” in front of a camera do it out of personal choice and don’t represent us all.

So again, this is why we need more discourse, more perspectives in the public realm. We all need to tell our stories because we represent diversity and individuality in our choices, in our professions, in the way we style our hair, dress, and speak and we need to let the world hear and know that we are all different and unique.

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Rebecca Stevens A.

Rebecca Stevens A.

I write about racism, but there are so many other things I would like to write about instead. Help me dismantle racism so that I can get to that.