by Michaela Webb

My short video, The Blacker the Berry: Images of Black Beauty Sexuality and Objectification in the Media explores the perception of popular black women in the media. While these women are known globally, my project contextualizes these women through an American lens. I focus on the implications and impact of black entertainers navigating their bodies in contemporary American society. The entertainers that I discuss are Beyoncé, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and Lupita Nyong’o. All of these women have not only had to hone their crafts, but along the way they’ve encountered racism and sexism that stem from their dual identities.

Being public entities, their humanity is not always considered, and they may be relegated to modern day “caricatures.” These women have a large role in the construction of their images, but these images are subjected to the media “circus.” It is not uncommon for these women’s personal lives to be made into headlines for ratings and magazine sales. When a black woman is in the media she is not only consumed, she is devoured.

Michaela Webb is a junior at the University at Albany where she majors in English and Journalism. She serves as a Resident Assistant and a Peer Mentor at the university. She is from St. Catherine, Jamaica and currently lives in Middletown, New York. Webb hopes to use her writing as a tool of change.