[THE CONTENT OF THIS POST CONTAINS NUDITY AND OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE, VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED]
I hope everyone is alright!
Yes I know I make disappearing acts quite often, with my pitiful inconsistency in blogging. I apologise, but you do know, that when I do come back to my blog, I always have something very important to share.
So recently, I started my masters degree in Media and Communications, and at an early stage I started brainstorming for my dissertation.
Initially, I wanted to do something on Afro beat music, Fela Kuti and his relationship with Nigerian Politics, but one of my professors pointed out that I may not have enough resources to complete the project. So we got talking on Celebrities; Celebrities in Politics, Celebrity Diplomacy, the Power of the Celebrity. We got talking to about Madonna and her ‘sex symbol’ status at a time, which led to our discussion about Nicki Minaj and her ‘Anaconda’ video.
He began to ask me thought provoking questions:
1) What goes through your mind when you watch this video as a black woman?
2) How does this make you feel? Are you comfortable with the title of a poorly behaved female dog?
And that was the last straw that hit my back (I am not a camel, neither am I a poorly behaved female dog).
I was inspired to write my dissertation discussing the following elements:
Business in Music/Entertainment
A few weeks after that encounter, the students of my department were allocated dissertation supervisors.
When I finally got the chance to meet with my supervisor, I wasn’t expecting much, I just wanted her suggestion on research methods. I spoke to her about the Anaconda video. We watched it for barely a full minute, when she opened up a tab on her browser, searched a word on Google (a word I couldn’t see without my glasses) and up came this image
She asked me, ‘What does this remind you of’, and I whispered “Nicki Minaj”.
She told me that this video, like most of the videos we see today, are a reflection of the Colonial construction of the black female and her sexuality. That this construction of a woman as a sexual object is used a marketing strategy in some industries.
All through the day, I did not stop thinking about what she said ‘Colonial Construction of the black female and her sexuality’.
I came home and decided to do a little research before bed time, and I came across a blog http://kwekudee-tripdownmemorylane.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/the-khoikhoi-hottentots-first-people-of.html (If you have some more spare time on your hands you might want to check that out) where I found some videos about a black woman called Saartije (Sara) Baartman. Like many other black men and women during the slave trade, Sara Baartman was promised a life of fame and fortune pending her arrival on the shores of Europe. When she arrived, she was degraded to an object of lust, fascination and entertainment, instead of being regarded as a woman (Might I add, she was a very intelligent woman, with a flare for languages. She could speak Dutch and French fluently).
Sara wasn’t like all other white women. She was different, she had a full curvy body. A body the white man described as ‘oversexed’. She was forced to dance naked for the entertainment of white men. Does this ring a bell? Some music videos you have watched maybe?
Or a club you graced with your presence?
Yeah, what Sara Baartman was forcefully reduced to, is what women of nowadays have willingly degraded themselves to (I understand that some women are still being forced into this demeaning activity by the forces of a crumbling economy).
I would like you to draw your attention to this 5 minute video, rather than making you read hundreds and hundreds of words. Its the Story of Sara Bartman. Please, reading this blog post wouldn’t be complete without you watching this video. This video includes all the information I left out and explains further the the points I mentioned.
Watched the video yet?
I hope you have.
All I am saying is Black Women, are women, blessed with bodies that should be respected and not exploited.
Sadly, the world, with the permission of the black woman, has reduced us to an object of lust, fascination and entertainment. It shouldn’t be so. Let us not mock the life of Sara Baartman. Let us respect her agony and respect ourselves. We can not point fingers at the white man for the present, we allowed it.
“Black Woman, Take back your dignity”