ex-girlfriend known as Sabrina. She demands child support but spends it on Baby Phat instead of formula. Not to mention Bow Wow’s current girlfriend in the film played by Lauren London – who encourages him to hit the streets again and to start sellin’ because his $10 an hour job ain’t cutting it for her gold-digging ventures.
Did I also mention the over-used “1.800.choke-that-ho” joke – which was not even funny. Thanks to this Perry script – kids all across America will be chanting, “dial 1.800.Choke-a-ho.”
If it takes all of these negative images and foul dialogue to tell the eventual moral of the story about the importance of faith and family, I am not willing to travel the road anymore to see whatever light might possibly be at the end of the Tyler Perry-Madea tunnel. For now, we are with Spike on this Tyler Perry movie – this was straight buffoonery on par with Eddie Murphy’s Norbit and Martin Lawrence’s Big Mama’s House.
It’s no wonder why so many black women are single and not getting any proposals from the same men that they have birthed and raised when we are characterized in such a negative light. It is these hateful and demeaning images that stain the minds of many men and young boys (black or not) to see black women as undesirable mates and less valuable than other women.
Black women better wake up and smell the proverbial coffee – because they are not profiting from these types of hurtful images broadcasted to the entire world. This is especially true for the 42 percent of black women that have never been married and never will get married. It is an even more pressing issue for our black daughters who are next in line to be single and lonely if we as black women continue to stand in silence and support our own demise.
And why is it that Black women are the only women who have a negative stereotype about themselves that translates into undesirability? The common Asian female stereotype is that they are submissive – but in the eyes of most men – this is seen as a good quality for a wife. White women have the stereotype of the dumb blonde – but this is viewed as comedic first and foremost, and then there is the assumption that if she’s blonde – then she is automatically considered beautiful. Lastly, Latina women have the stereotype that they are “sexually spicy” and cater to their man’s every need – and while I am sure that most Latinas find this extremely degrading – it doesn’t hurt them in the context of desirability among men. After all, being desired by a man who loves you is what most women ultimately want.
Black women are the only women who suffer from stereotypes that say they are unattractive across every dimension. This is why these negative stereotypes perpetuated in Tyler Perry’s latest film have to be identified and confronted. As long as we continue to allow negative images of what it supposedly means to be a black woman to go on the air unchallenged – we will continue to see such painful reminders of our silence. I am reminded of the recent State Farm commercial with the black smart-talking girl on the corner popping her neck to her boyfriend. Better yet, if we stand by and say nothing, we will surely get a sequel to the infamous 2011 Super Bowl Pepsi Max commercial of the black overweight, bug-eyed, unattractive wife whose husband fantasizes about the fit cute white blonde on the park bench.
Every single unpleasant and spiteful media image of black women contributes to what now is an ever-growing trend and intentional separation of black men with black women throughout mainstream advertisements and television programs. Perhaps if the majority of the images of black women were positive then this all would not be as much of an issue – but that is not the case. There are too many images on the big screen that still portray black women as despicable and difficult. Please Tyler, stop tellin-this-vision. Black women have suffered enough from media mockery.
Yasmeen Muqtasid is the founder of Black Women Matter, Inc., which is dedicated to uplifting and encouraging black women and girls with positive media and information that enriches their lives, reinforces their value and empowers them to be their absolute best. For more information or to join the Black Women Matter movement, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.