The over-sexualization of Black women must stop

Black women should not be your new aesthetic.

Zeniya Buggs and LaDasia Poole

Oversexualization- (verb) to sexualize excessively.

“Go cover up, we have company”; “Why do you dress so grown?” “You’re too fast!” These criticisms are known much too well by girls in the black community. Starting as young as five, black girls in the United States are seen as ‘less innocent’ in comparison to their white counterparts. For generations this narrative has continued to haunt black women. Over the years, young black girls have been deemed “too fast” and “too grown” for simply being a black female.

Mainstream media is one of the primary contributors when it comes to the objectification of black girls and women. Time and time again, the media creates a false perception of how the black female body should look. How dark or light they should be. what clothes they should wear, and the way their bodies should be shaped. Specifically in regards to new hip hop music, the depiction of African American women are typically sexually explicit, exploiting their body for the male gaze. With this negative media presence, people tend to believe the stereotype of black women who are already vulnerable because statistically they are the least protected group of people in the world. They have never been given freedom to simply exist. Instead, they are ridiculed for carrying the body they were born with, all while being imitated by non-black groups at the same time. After speaking with Jamya Horsely , a sophomore at South, she explains that with the constant pressures from media to look a certain way she doesn’t quite know whether to feed into the pressures or to disregard the media’s criteria and choose to live out loud. “ I do sometimes feel pressured to feed into the standards created for me by society, but even with these pressures my body is already “developed”, so even If I were to dress how society believes I should I still have a body that seems to be an attraction for male attention.”

Along with mainstream media, preconceived notions and ideas play a significant role in the oversexualization of black girls. According to the results of a published Georgetown Law study, it was found that found Black girls experience “adultification”, where they are seen as older and less innocent than their white counterparts.

In current media depictions of African American women, and specifically rap music, they are most likely described as overly sexual, flaunting shapely bodies to men who are all too willing to be pleased by women eager to please them. The idea of pleasing a man with a body and skin tone such as one that a black woman possesses has caused a lot of Cultural Appropriation over time.