Black Women’s Role in Popular Culture: An Analysis of The Venus Hip Hop and the Pink Ghetto

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In modern day society, popular culture has gained equal status to world issues and politics. Music, movies, and literature have started cultural revolutions and challenged the straight-forward thinking many individuals have accepted in the past. But while popular culture can advance new ideas and create movements, it also has the ability to challenge advancements society has made. Imani Perry’s essay, The Venus Hip Hop and the Pink Ghetto, focuses on hip hop and its negative impact on women and body image. In The Venus Hip Hop and the Pink Ghetto, Imani Perry argues that the over-sexualized, unattainable bodies of black women in popular culture will lead to the breakdown of feminism and the positive body image of the everyday black…show more content…
Her clothes accentuate her cleavage or have a sexual shock factor, such as wearing “sequined pasties…[that] coordinate with the rest of her attire”. The vulgar, sexual nature of her raps makes it impossible for her to not receive attention from the media. Another artist, Eve, dresses sexually to accentuate her body and appears in videos with music video models but raps about social issues like domestic violence. By comparing the nature of these artists and their music, Perry tries to show that young girls have very few role models in hip hop that promote positive feminists values and body images. But, she neglects to discuss other feminist artists she mentions in the essay such as Destiny’s Child and Mary J. Blige and how their lyrics and actions in the media allow young black girls to have positive role models that show a woman can be independent, strong, and beautiful in their own way. Perry’s focus on the more sexualized female artists in hip hop and how their shocking appearance and lyrics allow them to be as successful as their male counterparts took away from the development of her argument about conservative artists and their success. By leading the reader to believe that artists are either overly-sexual or conservative, Perry limits how the reader forms an opinion on why or why not young girls’ body image may be threatened by the media and the hip hop

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