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.: August 2006 --> Large African American women in commercials: complicated.

Large African American women in commercials: complicated.

» Do images of large African-American women in television commercials signal a wider acceptance of blacks and black culture, or is it a return to stereotypes? Some of these examples don't sound race-driven to me at all, they sound gender-driven. My own filter, I guess.
 [ 08.03.06 ]


Race? Gender? I don't know if in the US things are different, but in Europe commercials "are" stereotypes. They last one minute at the most - what else could they show, the Odissey? People are ugly or beautiful, happy or sad, fat or slim. That's TV, that's advertisement. Of course fat black women is a stereotype, elegant blonde girls is one as well.

It's a combination, really. But then I believe that gender is racialized and race is genderized.

What those images have always said to me is that a large woman can have authority, can be commanding and sympathetic and funny and still taken seriously, can be trustworthy enough to sell a product - but only if she is black. Big white women don't exist as far as the advertising world is concerned. I guess that's my filter.

I think television is trying to portray an image that Black women associate with. If they used a skinny shapless woman that would be an even less accurate portrail of black women.



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