How are women of color and their bodies portrayed in the media and online? Do you often (if ever) think of this question? Throughout the years, women have worked diligently to gain representation or even just be seen within the public sphere. The fight over gender equality and representation to be seen as something other than a object or stereotype is one that far from over. Within this battle, we notice the subset intersections of race and gender and must stop to think about how these intersections are presented within our society?
With millions of women logging online and tuning into media outlets everyday, our social world is expanding and connecting us at a rate in which we have never seen before. There isn’t just one idealized type of woman who can log on or tune in – so why are we seeing so many stereotypes and misguided representations of women of color and their bodies in the public media sphere?
Especially within the marketing world, women of color find themselves caught in a homogenous grouping of racialized, stereotypical, and often false representations of self and race. They have been whitewashed to conform to an idealized conception of what it means to be beautiful, or extremely stereotyped in order to appeal to their specific racial demographic. Either way, women of color are extremely homogenized in both cases. So where does the individual go?
In the video posted above, we chose to further examine some of the ways in which women of color and their bodies have been publicly portrayed online and in the media. What we found was that women of color, have constantly been seen for their color and that is the form of identification which supersedes all others. These women are not only seen as women, but Black women, Asian women, Latino women… And whereas racial individuality should be recognized and celebrated, we see it played out as a ridiculous stereotype within the public sphere.
Fortunately, we live in an age of social media and can revoke these forms of racial inequality amongst women of color and their bodies to demand a more equal form of representation via personhood.