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you a stone freak in yo own skin: Missy Elliott's and Lil' Kim's Constructions of Black Womanhood
Unformatted Document Text:  Black Womanhood 17 Ebony. Ebony’s cover shot of Elliott and Eve shows Eve reclined on makeshift stairs while Elliott stands behind her. Eve’s thin body is on display while Elliott’s is almost hidden. Neither woman appears to be heavily made up. Elliott wears a pink rhinestoned denim outfit with a green bandana while Eve wears a pants and sleeveless shirt outfit that matches her red hair. Both women wear lots of jewelry. Both women appear as equals and their pose suggests sisterhood. A second photo of the two together is a closeup of the two, this time with Missy in front and Eve in the back. Only their faces are shown. Elliott has a bigger smile than she had on the cover shot. Eve also has a smile, but it is more of a sexy sneer with her hand placed genteelly under her chin. The first shot of Elliott alone shows her in a purple suit walking down a red carpet at the Grammy awards. She appears happy and, from the bent posture of her knees, dancing. This is the only photo that displays Elliott’s entire body; significantly, she appears to be clowning. The only other photos of Elliott are pre-posed publicity shots for her albums. Both focus on her upper body and face, which gives the impression that she is in charge. (One could imagine that her hand is on her hip, but her body is cropped above the waist.) She is unsmiling but her lips are slightly parted. If, as Berger says, "a woman’s presence expresses her own attitude to herself, and defines what can and cannot be done to her," then Elliott takes herself very seriously and wishes to promote herself as a serious businesswoman. However, she is capable of shedding this identity when she is with others. In her photos with Eve, she seems to take herself less seriously and shows a different side of herself. (Other photos of her in various magazines give the same impression.) Once again, Elliott’s image invokes a counter gaze.

Authors: Brooks, TaKeshia.
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Black Womanhood 17
Ebony. Ebony’s cover shot of Elliott and Eve shows Eve reclined on makeshift stairs
while Elliott stands behind her. Eve’s thin body is on display while Elliott’s is almost
hidden. Neither woman appears to be heavily made up. Elliott wears a pink rhinestoned
denim outfit with a green bandana while Eve wears a pants and sleeveless shirt outfit that
matches her red hair. Both women wear lots of jewelry. Both women appear as equals
and their pose suggests sisterhood. A second photo of the two together is a closeup of the
two, this time with Missy in front and Eve in the back. Only their faces are shown.
Elliott has a bigger smile than she had on the cover shot. Eve also has a smile, but it is
more of a sexy sneer with her hand placed genteelly under her chin. The first shot of
Elliott alone shows her in a purple suit walking down a red carpet at the Grammy awards.
She appears happy and, from the bent posture of her knees, dancing. This is the only
photo that displays Elliott’s entire body; significantly, she appears to be clowning. The
only other photos of Elliott are pre-posed publicity shots for her albums. Both focus on
her upper body and face, which gives the impression that she is in charge. (One could
imagine that her hand is on her hip, but her body is cropped above the waist.) She is
unsmiling but her lips are slightly parted. If, as Berger says, "a woman’s presence
expresses her own attitude to herself, and defines what can and cannot be done to her,"
then Elliott takes herself very seriously and wishes to promote herself as a serious
businesswoman. However, she is capable of shedding this identity when she is with
others. In her photos with Eve, she seems to take herself less seriously and shows a
different side of herself. (Other photos of her in various magazines give the same
impression.) Once again, Elliott’s image invokes a counter gaze.


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