While in school one of the most memorable projects I had was from Dr. Yancy in an anthropology class. The project: watch television for an hour and tally the different races in the commercials, and no sports channels. The project revealed Caucasians created an overwhelmingly majority (no surprise there.) However, Native Americans only appeared once in that hour and it was for a Western Sky commercial.
It seems that over compensation on a particular look in media just doesn’t pertain to commercials the video girls in Hip Hop and R&B music videos, to me, look the same. “Exotic,” light skin and weave down to the back of their knees. I’m not trying to knock the girls in the videos because they are pretty. It just seems that whenever someone tries to suggest a change in casting it becomes a white vs. black, light skin vs. dark skin controversy. Cue Kendrick Lamar.
In an interview with Miss Info, he divulges his reason for firing the initial female lead (a light skinned woman) and replaced her with a woman of darker skin. The basic gist is that he wants BALANCE in the videos. Finally, someone can use a word that doesn’t create a war. Now, that we’re making progress in the skin tone department, can we please have a girl with a big, natural fro?
Recently BET aired a marathon of the show, “The Game.” I know it’s supposed to be fiction, but I believe that stories derive from a little bit of truth somewhere. Anyway, in one of the episodes Malik’s wife, Robin Givens, explains to him that being a black actress in Hollywood is hard because unless you’re ok with playing stereotypical roles (the single mother in the ghetto, maid, stripper) you won’t find much work. While I’m no actress I do enjoy the movies, and after pondering Givens little spiel I can see the truth in the statement. Granted there are exceptions, but I wish exceptions would become the norm.
One of my favorite movies of all time is, “Robert and Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” because of all the different ethnicities in the movie and the interracial couples! It was beautiful. When I was little I didn’t even see the color. I just thought the prince was a cutie and I liked Brandy’s braids. Basically, I believe there needs to be more “balance” in media as a whole.