Essay about Stereotypes of Large Black Women

Essay about Stereotypes of Large Black Women

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Weighing over 250-pounds, she is very hard to miss. Although her presence takes on quite a few variations, she can be easily recognized by a handful of defining attributes. Other than her enormous size, she is more than often of a darker skin complexion, she is typically taking part in a conversation that is either confrontational or embarrassing and her best line is often little more than a sassy "Mmmm hmmm." This caricature, playing on stereotypes of large black women as rambunctious and sometimes aggressive, has been showing up for some time in black television sitcoms like "The Parkers" and movies like “Norbit” often have directors and writers who are black themselves. With black directors and producers giving more acceptability to the character, she is starting to appear more and more often. Despite the popularity of such characters among blacks themselves, some find these images of big black woman to be troublesome because they are exploiting a cultural divide that still exists between whites and blacks.
For decades, stereotypical portrayals of blacks have drawn criticism from civil rights groups. Some of the earliest and most iconic examples of blacks on television like Florida Evans, the mother on Good Times; Louise Beavers as Beulah showed blacks in passive, subservient roles that recall the days of slavery. Black women who had leading roles on television sitcoms were often dark-skinned, sassy, loud and over-weight. Those images have been toned down over the years and are no longer as overtly stereotypical as they once were. Today, the freer use of overweight black women in comic situations suggests a welcome change that reflects a broader acceptability of black people in the media. But others find the recurring u...


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...n people are being diagnosed with type II diabetes every day. It is important for people to try and educate our young people about the risks of having a poor diet and being seriously over-weight. I believe that the way that large black women are portrayed on television and in film does indeed have an effect on the way that they are seen in the black community. Images of large black women and the roles that they play on television sitcoms and movies feed into many stereotypes that evolved hundreds of years ago during slavery. It is very sad to say that we as black people, in a way, keep ourselves from getting ahead by continuing to accept these demeaning characters into our homes every day. Not all large black women are desperate, loud, easy and overly dramatic; but unless you have or have had a personal relationship with a large black woman you would not know that.

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