Interaction Between Race And Gender

1254 Words 6 Pages
Throughout history race and gender have been closely intertwined in the construction of both black and white women’s bodies alike. The female body being viewed as natural, the medicalizing of the female body, and advertising the ideal beauty are concepts that have been embedded in Western thinking for many years. These three theories show the interaction between gender and race in the construction of thoughts concerning, and the interpretation of, the woman’s body. The first concept that affects how we view the woman’s body deals with relating the woman to the body. This theory juxtaposes the body with the mind, and projects this juxtaposition upon the roles of men and women in society. It refers to women as the “body” of society, and men …show more content…
Women of color are seen as even more natural due to both their gender and their race. This is because darker skin color was often seen as “primitive” or “animalistic,” at least in Western societies (Mascia-Lees). Regardless of the attempts at justifying any differentiation among races, the interaction between race and gender places women of color in a much more challenging position, relative to white women. This, in addition to the view of women as being unsophisticated, creates a very hostile atmosphere for women of color in Western society. Remnants of imperialism and African slave trading hold roots in Western society that permeate a manner of thinking in which people of color are socially constructed as primitive, in need of being taught the “proper” way to live, and in need of being made “whiter”, which is demonstrated by attempts to sell skin bleaching “beauty” products to women of color. Women of color in particular are then seen as less capable of possessing the qualities of a “proper lady” and are treated as such. This view of women, black women especially, has shaped the way that the world perceives women’s bodies and adds to the stereotypes, negative perceptions and flat out inaccuracies that black women face, that white women may not be as exposed …show more content…
Advertisements and sales have become increasingly obsessive with the female population; and through this the woman’s body has been made an object to be consumed. Ads offer “feminine” products that will supposedly make them more “beautiful” and “attractive” to their male counterparts; and their desire for looking, feeling, and living better fuels consumption. This makes women the ideal consumer, so advertising agencies and their advertisements keep targeting women. Women buy these products on the promise that they will become more beautiful, and this in turn, makes the female body into an object of desire. Companies succeed at turning women into objects of desire by focusing on products and ads aimed at their bodies. Many companies use the “perfect” white, skinny supermodel to sell their products; conveying the illusion that this is what true beauty really is, and that with their product anyone can achieve this level of “beauty” too. The white, skinny super model is the central image in product advertising, and when one comes across a black woman in and advertising it is usually because they are going for an “exotic look” (Mascia-Lees). In post-colonial societies and even in Western society, women of color were specifically targeted by companies selling feminine beauty products meant to turn the skin into a lighter shade over repetitive use. Even if it

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