Black women, we need better representation. Whether it comes from Hollywood, YouTube or a black media platform, it’s time to start seeing ourselves in a better light and letting go of tired, played out stereotypes. There are ways that every black woman can get involved in improving the way we are presented in the media. If you’re an actress, writer or artist, make an effort to choose roles or create stories and art that positively portray confident, beautiful and happy black women. If you’re a filmgoer or a television buff, choose to support shows and stories that are brave enough to tell non-traditional stories about black women. Here are a list of tired tropes that we can stop supporting:
1. The Maid
While The Help was certainly an entertaining movie, it didn’t do much for black women when it comes to corrective promotion and highlighting our beauty and femininity. We don’t simply need more roles in Hollywood—we need better, nuanced roles that positively impact our desirability and boost the image of ourselves. Black women fulfill a lot of roles in society. We are doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, artists, actors and much more. We need more young, fresh and beautiful images of both exceptional and everyday black women. Remember, the purpose of media and art is not simply to reflect life, it’s to promote an improved version of ourselves—the version of ourselves that we want to be or should be. Black women desperately need images and role models that we can aspire to be.