Being Mary Jane: The Perception Of African American Women

1219 Words5 Pages
In media, especially in movies and television, has viewed African-American women as over-sexualized beings. The entertainment industry attaches negative connotation of African-American women, they usually label them as sexually promiscuous, jezebel, angry, aggressive or ugly. The perception of African American derived from slavery, when black women were seen as sexual objects rather than human beings. The pre-perception of black females transfer into the roles for black females in movies and television. There have been improvements of roles for African American women like hit TV series Being Mary Jane. The TV series is about a women named, Mary Jane, who is trying to balance her personal life and her family, while still maintaining her career…show more content…
Niecy constantly compared herself to Mary Jane. She believe that she was not as pretty as Mary Jane, and the only thing she is good at is having sex. As a black women, she believe that was not pretty enough. In the show, Mary Jane wanted report a story about the ugly black women syndrome during her segment. The story talks about, how society portrayed black women as ugly people. The constant reminder that black females was not good enough weighted on the characters psyche. Even though Mary Jane present herself in a well manner and thought highly of herself. Mary Jane main focus was her physical appearance down to the type of shoes she wear to freshness of her weave. There was no moments within the show, where she allowed her feelings exposed for people to see her true feelings about her appearance. For a long time African-American women have been separated by their skin and hair type. Light skin African American women was treated better than darker skin tone women for their European features. As a darker skin tone, Mary Jane realized there is still a lingering stigma for darker skin women. The show goes against the stereotypical views of darker skin females by creating a character like Mary Jane that has an education, financially stable with African features and acknowledge and embraces her sexuality (West, “Mammy, Jezebel, Sapphire and Their Home girls”). Although all forms of media objectives women of all kinds, the media seem to praise white females for embracing their sexuality. They called it “liberation” from their male counterparts. A black women would always be deemed hypersexual by their skin color. “Throughout history, Black female sexuality has been constantly suppressed in order to uplift white female sexuality as more demure and obedient” (Izah, “Sexual Liberation Is for White Women, According to
Open Document