While addressing our ability to the experiences of girls and girlhood, the author Treva B. Lindsey points out in her article “One Time for My Girls: African-American Girlhood, Empowerment, and Popular Visual Culture” about the bad influence has made for girls and girlhood. Especially black girls and black girlhood have absent from their place in the culture, author asserts that “ the hip hop generation, while attempting to navigate the complicated but interwoven terrains of racism, classism, patriarchy, sexism, ableism misogyny, homophobia, and a politics of pleasure and sexual erotics”(Treva B. Lindsey 2012). The current pop culture survives in such circumstance, is easy to affect the girls and girlhood. Some stereotype is even worse for them, from the article when a black said that she loves her hair, is actually a relief, but is not the case for many, the culture trend sometimes might lead us to a misunderstanding about the destination of beauty. See from the tons of hair products for black girl’s hair is heartbreaking, is an action of reinforcing white. It also reveals “ The popularity of internet-based child pornography coupled with an inglorious history of sexual exploitation of girls presents a potentially dangerous media context for black girls”(Treva B. Lindsey 2012), all the influence might let people think about, how do girls and girlhood grow up somewhere like that, these current culture is poison and manipulate the minds of girls and girlhood. In the article it also implies that “ Similar to other disenfranchised communities, however, black girls can use popular/public culture to depict their lived experiences and to challenge stereotypes that negatively affect their lives”(Treva B. Lindsey 2012), it prompts us not to only imagine social change on a global level, also people can do something about it. Girls and girlhood in such phenomenon will deny themselves, get more depressed, affect the mental health for all young generation. Once these girls and girlhood life and culture even their environment get to explore, they got that chance to led the current culture to something meaningful, let more people see the different beauty from a different people, learn how to embrace themselves. From the article “Debunking these stereotypes and the development of a cogent and cohesive discourse of black girl empowerment requires an intervention led by and on behalf of black girls and black girlhood” (Treva B. Lindsey 2012), the girls and girlhood should be their won leader in case people want to change the experiences of girls and girlhood.
The experiences of girls and girlhood let people see the situation for them, the result is going to get in the future. It is impossible for girls if they don’t know have to participant in their own culture, have a bad influence bay the culture at the same time. they even can’t embrace themselves, see the beauty in themselves. The poisonous thoughts and objects change their mind, they have no way to control it. Also hard for society to put future hope on these young generations, make them safe.
In the reading “Sexual Knowledge and Practiced Feminism: on Moral Panic, Black Girlhood and Hip hop”, the girl hip hop performance group, P.T.A.F, published an extremely controversial music video “Boss Ass Bitch”. The group members are all high-school students. Their experience of turning girls’ everyday conversations in to hip hop songs prompted me to imagine that the popular culture in the future will give more freedom and respect for female artists to produce sexually explicit songs and to strengthen female independence.
Ruth Nicole Brown pointed out in the reading that the performance of those sexually explicit hip hop songs could be classified as “Reckless Theatrics”. By engaging in “Reckless Theatrics”, the black girls from P.T.A.F became the producer of the knowledge, which was rarely the case in the past. This reminds me to think about how black girls enter in to popular culture in recent years. In the 2000s, people always associate hip hop, such as hip hop dancing and rap with male. However, the experiences of P.T.A.F reflected the trend that more female hip hop artists become successful and well-known in the recent years, such as Beyonce and Cardi B.
This phenomenon indicates the gender equality have been improving in the global music industry.
In addition, it makes me think about my own experience as a female hip hop dancers. I started dancing hip hop when I was in high school. Most people including my parents would give me a strange look as I told them I was interested in hip hop dancing. Seven years ago, Hip Hop dance was still too masculine and not elegant enough for women to learn. People accepted girls to do contemporary or ballet but not hip hop. However, people gradually had accepted women as a hip hop dancers in the last five years as more celebrities invited hip hop dancers to perform in their music videos and as more females dancers became popular via Youtube and Instagram.
Although most female artists are being accepted to the popular culture, there are some female hip hop dancers or singers being criticized because their choreography or songs are too sexual. In the reading, the author talked about how memes on social media warned the parents that their daughters were under attacked by those sexually explicit songs. Those memes only addressed the lyrics of the songs, such as bitches, while ignoring the nature and motivation of hip hop songs, which was to express the “gender nonconforming declaration of erotic self-determination”.
Another example, Aliya Janell, is a very controversial dancer on Youtube. When I first saw her video, she was dancing in her underwear and high heels. Her moves involves touching genitals and touching male dancing partners in a sexual way. As a female dancer, I didn’t view Aliya’s choreography as inferior or horny. Instead, I think she is a brave dancer who dedicated to show the beauty of the female body. I can feel her confidence in her body, although she is neither skinny or tall. Her artistic production affirmed female freedom and ability to live their life independently and confidently.
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