Indochine's Top Shelf

Panel Discussion: "Bling, Booty, Bullets - Materialism, Misogyny and Violence Portratyed in Hip Hop"

So I stumbled upon this interesting panel discussion of the negative of effects of the images of video models and hip hop on the black community held at my alma mater (UCLA) earlier this year. It's an interesting discussion, even if that annoying music in the background makes it nearly unbearable. There's a female UCLA student at the 1:50 mark who is exceptionally articulate. Also interesting: Director X nearly loses it when he comes under attack.

This video made me think about all this and where I stand on it. My position remains the same: the problem is not that there are sensual images of beautiful women of color out there. As I stated in response to another poster on this blog, "Men have been admiring the female form as long as we've been on the planet. It is evident in the poems of Shakespeare and the paintings of Picasso. The visual admiration and resulting objectification of women’s physical attributes will never disappear because it is a natural part of human sexuality. Criticizing it is like criticizing the squishy sound the heart makes when it beats. What’s the point unless you’re advocating we all drop dead?"

So, again, in my opinion, the problem is not that there are sexy images of ethnic women out there, and anyone criticizing the visual celebration of the feminine form is headed down a dangerous path that will inevitably lead to hypocrisy. The problem is that there is a lack of dimensionality and substance associated with women of color in this context. For example, Pam Anderson and Kim Kardashian have both taken a plethora of sexy images in Maxim, FHM, etc. but they are also respected as business women. Where is the African American analogue of these women? Melyssa Ford has made significant headway for urban eye candy and single-handedly created that genre, yet she is constantly berated as a "video ho." Last I checked, Ms. Ford didn't have a sex tape out there like Pam Anderson or Kim Kardashian, and yet neither of those woman have suffered this negative stigma.

I'd be interested to hear what other's opinions are on this topic.

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