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Missing Black Woman Formation - Sex & Race Discussion

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June 22nd, 2006


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kittikattie
12:20 pm - Missing Black Woman Formation
So I was reading a book, So Yesterday by Scott Westerfield. It's about trends and coolness. Well, in the first few chapters the main character, Hunter, and a girl he just met, Jen, are at a commercial screeing for a shoe commercial. Afterwards, the exec wants to know how everyone thinks and Jen speaks up and says something that I liked.

*~*~*

Then Jen spoke up. "I was kind of bugged by the missing-black-woman formation." [...] "You know, the guy on the motorcycle was black. The guy on the bike was white. The woman was white. That's the usual bunch, you know? Like everyone's accounted for? Except really not. I call that the missing-black-woman formation."

*~*~*

I think this is the PERFECT phrasing of the phenom. Damn Innovators. Anyways, have you observed this elsewhere?

X-posted at ap_racism and sex_and_race.

--Kitti
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful

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Comments:


From:quinacridones
Date:June 22nd, 2006 09:30 pm (UTC)

damn intersectionality!

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I think this is the PERFECT phrasing of the phenom. Damn Innovators. Anyways, have you observed this elsewhere?

I've observed this almost EVERYWHERE. They're trying to get hip to it, and include more black women in advertising, but still. Black women are supposedly have this wonderful edge (our negress jungle charms perhaps?) where the white folks prefer them over black men because they're less threatening, but it doesn't seem to be playing out that way. The token black person is almost always male.

And then to take it to another level again, a lot of tokenized black folk play this game too. Black men are well represented, and then black women drop out the picture. Aaron McGruder, the token black cartoonist, has a range of black guys in the Boondocks, but the only possible black girl is mixed and doesn't identify as black. I also see this in design/illustration communities, where I'll come across a black artist/designer who'll make sure to include guys who look like himself, but the darkest* the women get are exoticised light-skinned Latina. And alternative hip-hop/urban mags and alternative urban clothing labels will have plenty of black male representation, but not a single damned negress in sight.

*I love how they've traded in their paper bags for manila folders.
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From:yeloson
Date:June 22nd, 2006 09:34 pm (UTC)

Re: damn intersectionality!

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I love how they've traded in their paper bags for manila folders.

Manilla folders come in high yellow, thereby allowing them to push the test further up the spectrum...
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From:yeloson
Date:June 22nd, 2006 09:33 pm (UTC)
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Let's not forget the missing-asian-male formation. As some of the "other light skinned people", we offer too much of a threat to white male dominance. Asian women, on the other hand, make excellent decorations to sell products, preferably displayed by unattached, or nearby and friendly to a white male, thereby indicating, "available for colonization".
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From:kittikattie
Date:June 22nd, 2006 10:01 pm (UTC)
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Latinos as a whole are always left out as well.
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From:yeloson
Date:June 22nd, 2006 10:04 pm (UTC)
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It's cause both of our groups breed too fast. Too much threat to white male sexuality in that...
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From:nobetternoworse
Date:June 23rd, 2006 01:37 pm (UTC)
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this made me think of the daytime court TV show (people's court, maybe? i can't remember the name) where the judge is latina, and in the intro they show a clip of her dancing and the call her the hottest, spiciest* judge on TV.

*not a direct quote, but close enough.
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From:kittikattie
Date:June 23rd, 2006 06:08 pm (UTC)
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That's the one.
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From:nobetternoworse
Date:June 23rd, 2006 03:55 pm (UTC)
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middle eastern people are completely left of everything outside of the news, unless there is no way for white america to tell that they aren't white and they never mention being middle eastern. or unless they are women and they are bellydancing or something.

on topic, i have been paying a lot of attention to the advertising trend that uses an ethnically diverse group of young, hip, upwardly mobile people to sell products (mcdonalds is a really good example). i don't have specific examples to cite, but i've noticed that in many cases, these commercials represent diversity by featuring a black man (dark skinned, preferrably with dreads), an asian women, and a person of indeterminate brown/mixed status. black women are often left out, unless the commercial is aimed specifically at women--birth control, beauty products, that stupid yogurt commercial (but of course there is still a huge disparity between the number of black women represented and the number of black women in the TV viewing population), or the focus is on sex/exotification (i'm thinking specifically of the lava life commercials--there was one "white" commercial and one "black" commercial, but some of the female actors were in both commercials, one was light-skinned, another looked mixed but could have been latina or arabic or something else).

I found this:about the casting of Eva Mendes opposite Will Smith in Hitch.
and here is an article on multicultural advertising.

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From:sparkle_shortz
Date:June 23rd, 2006 02:57 am (UTC)
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Interesting. I had a friend who I can't remember if she was in this community or not, who was documenting how often there were allowed to be black men alone/w/other black men in college marketing materials. It was not a lot. They all had to be made acceptable by the presence of white people, and were hardly ever with one white woman alone rather than a group.

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