To those of you not familiar with it, you must have seen the movie poster below? It's from a recent Eddie Murphy flick "Norbit".
Norbit is a typical Eddie Murphy comedy, with the actor playing several roles. He plays the docile orphan, Norbit. He is also Rasputia, Norbit's obese and domineering wife. He is the elderly, racist Chinese man who runs the orphanage as well.
As frequent movie goers, me and *A* have been consistently confronted with the poster for this movie at our local multi-flick place the past couple of weeks. Neither of us have been comfortable looking at it. Not because its an obese woman in a negligee, but because the character happens to be black.
We wondered about the stereotyping there. Yes, we need to be able to laugh at ourselves, but at what point do we go from doing that to indulging in a typical racial stereotype?
I did wonder about it though, what do African-American women think about this? I figure they ain't pleased. I did get my answer not once but twice. Here are a couple of links (1, 2) to pieces on NPR, that represent the view of black women, and they are not pleased.
From one of the links.
One side of the debate over the plus-size heroines casts them as sisters of the bold and brassy women played by Monique and Queen Latifah. The other sees them as being closer to the "mammy" stereotype that once prevailed in American popular culture.
Also being considered is how the images affect real-live black women who are overweight.
But I also think there are these two amazing women, who serve as strong positive role models. I am proud of what they have achieved through all the difficulties they have faced and overcome, and in my eyes they are simply adorable and beautiful.
I guess there is no bigger message here, other than to say that there are a lot of good positive role models out there, norbit not withstanding. And no I am not trying to be PC or anything.
Funny.. You folks wanna try and caption this?