Dreamworlds III and Precious

In the videos we watched from Dreamworlds III, I was not surprised to see the sexualized depiction of women. In advertisements, movies, and music videos, women are portrayed as sexual objects that only serve the purpose of satisfying a man. With the obvious portrayal of women in this way, it makes me wonder why women allow themselves to take on these roles in media. The best examples would be women in music videos, because they know what they will look like and what the song’s lyrics are. However, even with this knowledge of the derogatory portrayal and lyrics, women seem to allow it to continue.

After watching the trailer and clip of Precious, I was very surprised. Since I have not seen the movie, I was stunned to see the way Precious was treated at school and especially at home. Remembering the discussion from class we had, I recall someone saying how the movie was being advertised. The ad could be summarized as Precious being an overweight, black woman trying to survive in Harlem. From our class discussion, other movies’ ads would never be as successful if it stated the movie was about a skinny, white woman living in the city.

This discussion we had in class about the advertisement relates to the article The Black Matriarch as Villain. Due to Precious’ living conditions, she was not treated well by her peers at school or her mother. The movie’s advertisement relied on viewers wanting to see a struggling young, black woman in Harlem with a difficult life. Stated in the article, that’s what viewers saw. Precious’ mother, Mary, was created to be an abusive mother who wanted her daughter to quit school and start collecting welfare. This depiction of Mary is almost a racist image of black women at the time, because they only depend on welfare to survive.

References:

The Black Matriarch as Villain

By Juell Stewart

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Dreamworlds III and Precious

  1. Jessica Gale

    Do you agree with what Stewart says about the movie and Precious’ mother?

  2. Yes, I agree about Stewart’s reaction to the movie. The movie showed the character Precious in possibly the worst situation she could be in. Although her situation is not something impossible, I would think the movie exaggerated many of Precious’ problems to make a better story. As for the mother, it seems that she was only shown as abusive to her daughter and relying on welfare as her means of living. Instead of showing a character who acts this way for a reason, the movie shows Mary as doing it for no reason and because she does not care about anyone but herself.

  3. I also talked about how it was interesting to see that women allow themselves to be depicted that way in music videos. As a woman, I agree with their decision in that they hve the right to show themselves how they want, whether it be as sexual objects or as attractive. However, I do think that more women should speak up, because with the many videos that are out their showing women in such a derogatory way, they still allow it to happen. It almost makes the women lose the power to have the right to chose how they want to be depicted, when women have been fighting for so long to actually have these rights and powers.

    I also agree with what you said about Precious mother, Mary in the film. Because they chose to make her the “welfare queen,” it was adding on to the stereotype of African Americans in the community which already existed. While they were trying to portray a story about this young girl, everything that we were seeing in the film was not going against stereotypes, but going with them.

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