Near the Old Man of Storr, Scotland I took this in 2004

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A critique of the film beauty shop

I watched some of a movie called beauty shop last was like a car wreck, you felt disgusted and curious and therefore couldn't pull away. I was totally appalled at all the stereotypes and full-on racism. Shit.

I get it, hollywood is racist and black women, especially, find it hard to get parts, but, come one, have some fucking self respect. Every woman who worked in the shop was the stereotype of lascivious, loud, obnoxious. All the white women in the movie were skinny and awkward and racist.

To put things in their proper colonial context, we read, " To the European male,the black African woman was regarded as feral and lascivious-- in all respects.It is through the labelling of black woman as promiscuous that her sexuality is ultimately denigrated" ( quoted from a paper I wrote, entitled, Slackness in the Dancehall: Caribbean Women Negotiating Sexual Spaces to Create Personal Emancipation-- a long title, I know! :) )

One scene that disturbed me more than any other; a black man who had been hired to work in the formerly all female-shop, to do braiding,(was now dating the lone white woman working in the shop) was asked by a white female client to carry a box out to her car for her; though she was clearly capable of doing it her dam self. He dutifully obliged, and as he had turned to go with the box, she got up, grabbed his ass, and proclaimed, "firm!"

He didn't even turn around and say anything, not even a sexual come on to the woman who had just felt him up--, in keeping with the stereotypes of the film. He just took it, silently, and kept walking. It was his girlfriend who asked the client if she would mind not doing that in future because they, meaning she and the guy were
" hanging out now."
Fuck, I guess the beauty shop had actually been transposed to a fucking plantation all over again, they were in the south, after all. The southern belle/slave dichotomy.

Author Maria Margarita Castro Flores , in her article, Religions of African Origin in Cuba: A Gender Perspective makes the assertion that racial barriers from colonialism in Cuba have been clearly carried over into today's Cuba. However, those barriers don't stop in Cuba only. We can see clear and apparent evidence of colonialism still alive and kicking in the above mentioned film.
We read, " some members of the population still evaluate skin colour, characterizing the black person as "scandalous, crude, delinquent and indolent" and the white person as " discrete, educated and one that strives to live better and knows how to behave."

However, any "member" who still holds firm to those racist notions more than likely believes that colonialism wasn't as evil and pervasive as it is and continues to be and also probably sees black people as "other"; that is, still sees the colour of the person and not the person.