Browsing Undergraduate Honors Thesis Collection by Subject "Pop culture"
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The representation of African American girls and women in popular culture throughout the 20th centuryPhotographs are a key component in deepening one’s comprehension of Black portrayals and their profound impact on the Black community. This picture essay focuses on the positive and negative representations of Black girls and women throughout the 20th century. Black girls and women had been sexually and physically objectified by a variety of stereotypes. The most familiar example of this would be the Aunt Jemima caricature, a face and product of the Mammy stereotype that desexualized and devalued Black women. Meanwhile, another stereotype, the Jezebel, oversexualized Black girls and women. This advertised Black women as undesirable while simultaneously justifying assault from white men. While negativity about Black girls and women was created by white people, positive portrayals were also being produced by the Black community. Media like sheet music, Ebony Magazine, and The Cosby Show, were just a few examples of positive representations created by Black people. Rather than allowing white people to define Blackness as animalistic and Black culture as one that lacked civility, the Black community sought to assert themselves as valuable, respectable, and intelligent middle-class humans in America. As Black girls grew up with the white definition of Blackness, the effects from these portrayals shifted how they judged their own beauty, intelligence, and value. This paper strives to explain how the stereotypes that Black girls and women have been categorized under are prevalent and perpetuated through the early 20th century to the latter end of the century, and beyond. Keywords: ● Bachelor of Science Early Childhood/Childhood Education, History (B-6) ● Mammy Caricature ● Jezebel Stereotype ● Sapphire Caricature ● Picaninny Stereotype ● Colorism
"A Whole New World": redefining gender in Disney films from the 20th to 21st centuryDisney Princess films in the 20th century, notably ones made in the Golden and Silver Age of the studio’s production, uphold the patriarchal gaze by portraying Disney princesses in the identity of the true woman, forcing them to participate in the domestic household and wait for their prince to initiate their agency and freedom. The Princesses inability to stray away from their portrayal as an item of consumption and sexual/social control and desire make them unable to claim a desire other than marriage to complete their process of Lacanian development. In comparison, the patriarchal gaze is manifested through these earlier Disney films by placing men as the strong, capable heroes who gain a romantic partner at the end of the film. The dichotomization of evil and good women in these 20th century Disney films only serve to emphasize the idea of the true woman. Women who are aware of their social place and attempt to manipulate or resist it are oftentimes villainized through their appearance (they are often old, fat or not traditionally “beautiful”) all weaknesses that are tied to their sexualized role in society. In this paper, I will examine the way that 21st Century Disney films in the Revival Era resist and participate in social structures relating to the male gaze, the myth of womanly masks and notions of true womanhood. I will examine Disney’s shift toward more progressive gender politics through three lenses: Lauren Mulvey’s analysis of the male gaze and Lacanian notions of the Other, and Gilbert and Gubar’s theorization of womanly masks and Barber Welter’s tenants of True Womanhood. I will also examine the ways that these advancements may be limited to a capitalistic, neo-liberal framework, considering that Disney’s changes are financially motivated.