Lets talk about it…
Being a black feminist who is aware of the misogynistic racist culture vultures of the music industry, I have to admit, the representation of black women in music videos are distasteful and displeasing. Artist from every genre fail to realize their obsession of black women in their videos, shows their hyper-sexualization prospective of how they view black women in real life.
Not only is this misrepresentation evident in the music industry today, but often times Black Women in these music videos check off every stereotype made against them. Stereotypes that include the “angry Black woman”, the “loud and or ghetto Black woman”, and finally the “hyper sexualized black woman”. But in this day and age, pop culture seems to glorify the, gold hoop wearing, neck rolling, finger snapping, booty twerking Black women in all of their music videos. While Black women may have some, or even all of these traits, this should not be the only image “accepted” in pop culture and the media today. Some may be thinking “What about the black female artist who embody these particular stereotypes in their own music videos, like Megan Thee Stallion and Nicki Minaj? And to answer that question, when it’s a Black woman depicting herself, instead of being used as a prop, I see it as empowering; black women claiming their bodies and embracing what has been exploited for years, at their own expense. Obviously, there are better ways to display sexuality like how Beyonce did in herself proclaimed album back in 2013 (a badass album if I do say so myself), she stood in her sexuality, embracing the sexiness of her body, owning every curve and craves, while telling the world that she is a flawless feminist, who is in control of her womanhood, and not be used as a prop.
In music videos artist tend to hyper sexualize black women and their bodies. While some may argue that these depictions are to celebrate black females, they come off as rather exploitative, and only considered popular when it benefits white female artist. The bodies of Black women have always been seen as “exotic” and “fascinating” which dates back to slavery when it was considered common for slave owners to sexually exploit female slaves for their personal enjoyment. This exploitation demonstrates how Black womanhood has always been dictated by white societies, which has led to black women often being reduced and defined by their sexuality.
The way in which the music industry openly fetishes Black women and women of colors bodies is an issue that stems from the sexual abuse of black women during slavery. The reason why it’s still an issue today is because the music industry continues to implement these stereotypes in pop culture, which leads to the negative perception of Black women. In order to stray away from these stereotypes, we have to hold the industry and these artists accountable, for using Black women as props to sexualize their music videos. We should remember, our Black women are queens too.