Black Women’s Role in Popular Culture: An Analysis of The Venus Hip Hop and the Pink Ghetto
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In modern day society, popular culture has gained equal status to world issues and politics. Music, movies, and literature have started cultural revolutions and challenged the straight-forward thinking many individuals have accepted in the past. But while popular culture can advance new ideas and create movements, it also has the ability to challenge advancements society has made. Imani Perry’s essay, The Venus Hip Hop and the Pink Ghetto, focuses on hip hop and its negative impact on women and body image.
In The Venus Hip Hop and the Pink Ghetto, Imani Perry argues that the over-sexualized, unattainable bodies of black women in popular culture will lead to the breakdown of feminism and the positive body image of the everyday black women. As hip hop music continues to become more popular, the sexist messages presented in lyrics and music videos are becoming more common to the everyday public, including young black girls developing a self-image. Instead of these girls being exposed to healthy, positive role models who encourage individuality and that there is more to a woman than her body they are given hip hop video models whose only purpose is to look sensual on screen. The strong women that do exist in the hip hop genre are pushed to sexualize themselves or their lyrics to sell records or stay relatively unknown. Although Perry’s arguments are logical, I believe that she is creating a slippery slope of logic. A genre of music cannot destroy the self-image of black women that has existed for generations.
Hip hop music videos present two-dimensional women that have unrealistic body proportions. Perry states that the women in these music videos are lighter-skinned with “long and straight or loosely curled hair” and have “a ...
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...not keep the attention of the reader and makes the main purpose of her essay, to stress how feminism and body image are on the decline because of this genre, forgettable.
In The Venus Hip Hop and the Pink Ghetto, Perry begins the essay with the shocking realization of the way women are presented in hip hop videos. Although she seems to set up a strong opening argument that positive body images for women in black society are in danger, Perry’s lack of evidence to support her main points and weak arguments about why young girls self-esteem could be on the decline take away from her credibility and causes the reader to challenge her opinions. Perry’s slippery slope mentality that the way women are presented in hip hop will lead to an overall decline in self-esteem in young girls has no supporting evidence that can prove a direct relationship between the two issues.