Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bringing B(l)ack Back!

While there has been some commentary on what an Obama victory means for mainstream America, some have taken it to another level...

Diary of an Anxious Black Woman has posted Mark Anthony Neal's
interesting commentary ("Is Michelle Obama'sAss Off Limits?") on Michelle Obama's backside. I encourage you to check it out because I think it raises interesting questions about what it means to be fit in America, while still, um, having a big phat/fat ass.

In my WRA 125 class today, we looked at sample advertisements composed by former students as examples for students design their own multigenre remix projects. With one ad there was a VERY slim African American woman eating a burger, saying, "These burgers be good for my booty." My students were highly critical of this ad because for one, it wasn't clear which burgers/which restaurant was being advertised. Second, the woman in the ad who claimed to be eating the burgers to make her backside larger, obviously had NO BACKSIDE! Not only was her booty slim, but also, her butt was shadowed by the brick background of the ad, and therefore, less visible.

The notion of body parts and fitness is worth discussing (and complicating) at greater length. While I'm less certain whether or not First Lady-Elect Obama's behind should be the target or focus of these conversations, representations of Black female bodies should nonetheless be addressed both critically and intellectually.

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