Aibileen's Stereotypes

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Aibileen, as the brightest representation of Mammy stereotype, conforms with the stereotype’s generally recognized behavior. In accordance with the popular description of Mammy stereotype, Aibileen is very kind and accommodating. In the movie she is in love with the white girl, the mistresses’ daughter, as with her own child, which is considered as the best she can do. Despite the austerity of her mistress, she never gets angry and agrees with all the conditions she is put in, that is when she is asked to use separate bathroom just because of her skin color. Moreover, her dedication to the white family could be seen from her relationship with Mae, the little girl. She calls Aibileen ‘my real mom’ because in accordance with the stereotype, Aibileen,…show more content…
However, Mammy’s character is proved to innately incorporate into American history and even to be taken as granted (Kowalski). Modern films that continuously portray this stereotype, such as ‘The Help’, in turn ‘reveals a contemporary nostalgia for the days when a black woman could only hope to clean the White House rather than reside in it’, as Association of Black Women Historians believes (Association of Black Women Historians). Furthermore, black women could be innately underestimated, which in turn may affect younger generations. Continuous portrayal of the stereotype may influence growing girls’ attitude towards racial differentiation, develop belief that dark skin somehow defines their identity and what they should become. Also, frequent portrayal of black women as servants create an impression that such ladies are extremely enduring, which further develops a belief that they may not have weaknesses and should withstand in any situation, not allowing them to be under someone’s protection. Therefore, media representation of black women in accordance with old stereotypes may lead to negative consequences and create biased attitudes.
Another negative stereotype that we continuously encounter is the Sapphire or ‘angry black woman’. This caricature portrays black women as very loud, impudent and rude. According to the stereotype, women are believed to be unhappy,
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Undoubtedly, this is an outcome of continuous negative portrayal of black movies in media. Until 2016, there were eighty-eight annual Oscars ceremonies, out of all the nominees of all ceremonies, only ten black females were nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role Award, and only one became an actual winner. More interestingly, all of the nominees were recognized for their roles of poor, and in the majority of the movies, black women were raped or sexually abused (Law). This clearly illustrates that our society is not ready for the new representations of black women.
Current movie industry is very critical about every detail of the film; producers are especially thorough during the actors’ selection process. Thus, because of commonly known stereotypes, great actresses that are capable of a whole spectrum of roles are clearly put in frames and often rejected. I believe, long-established degrading stereotypes play the major role in this pause of the development of black women in media, as a result of their continuous degrading
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