Friday, March 26, 2010

On Womanism, j.mayer, dating, and what it all means...

In a Racialicious thread on "reading Strait Stuntin' Magazine at Jezebel" we attempted to discuss the response to the aesthetic critique of an Ethnic/urban/black men's magazine. Essentially, readers were torn between appreciating the expression of an alternate beauty standard and expressing disdain for the objectification /hypersexualization of the media in the spread. Black women and WOC women benefit greatly from the development of alternate beauty standards, but their expression does not need to only be in the form of (racial stereotypes) and sexual imagery. The ABT should be applicable as multiple levels of modeling both non-sexual and sexual, allowing black fashion models to get work as well as the models in Strait Stuntin.

The effect of mono-racial beauty standards culminates in the action of men like jmayer who compared his racial preference in dating to david duke (kkk member) and a proponent of white supremacy. See also T.Woods, whose revealed dating pattern yeilded no WOC. They are backed up by legions of commenters who defend their own racial dating preferences, sometimes by referencing stereotypes about WOC (see, OK Cupid, Kia Matthews experience) -- as Mayer also did in his interview. The vocabulary of beauty surrounding WOC needs to develop beyond stereotypes that contribute to poor outcomes in the ability of WOC to be seen as attractive potential partners, and not in spite of their race.

Although, no one can dictate the dating pattern of any other person, we as a society can address the problem of vocabulary. We need to expand the terms with which we negotiate beauty and replace/remove/minimize the ignorance that produces prejudice. At least help reduce folks backing up beauty standards with racial prejudice.

On the other hand -- see the Macy's campaign.
Catalogue work is looking fairly diverse these days.


Post a Comment

<< Home