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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 25 relationships whose main purpose is to pander to male sexual fantasy and offers no real critique of black womanhood. Discussion The photos of Missy Elliott and Kimberly Jones tell very different stories about the women, not only from each other but also from the representations in their music videos. However, this examination brings up several questions. For example, what does it say that the contradictory nature of Elliott’s image of a dispossessed sex kitten can both contribute to their inclusion in the public sphere although with different consequences? A possible explanation could be that one image offsets the other. In other words, Elliott’s “positive” image counters Jones’ “negative” image. Furthermore, since Elliott's use of her body is so empowering, why is there so little focus on her whole body in her photographs? This may seem rather contradictory to a "positive" representation, but one must remember that a large body is usually shunned in this society. Fortunately, Elliott is represented intellectually in the public realm, but visual images continue to shun her large body while praising it in text. On the other hand, there is a constant focus on Jones’ entire body. Essence avoided exploiting her body in its exclusive photo shoot, yet it included other pictures in which Jones was definitely sexualized--and Jones did not even speak to the magazine. Although it may have been unintentional, Essence denied Jones the very empowerment it criticized her for not having in the first place while using her sexualized image for its own benefit. It is also worth asking why Jones feels the need to tone down her sexualized image and pursue other ventures in order to be a "household name" as she explained to

Authors: Brooks, TaKeshia.
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Black Womanhood 25
relationships whose main purpose is to pander to male sexual fantasy and offers no real
critique of black womanhood.
Discussion
The photos of Missy Elliott and Kimberly Jones tell very different stories about
the women, not only from each other but also from the representations in their music
videos. However, this examination brings up several questions. For example, what does
it say that the contradictory nature of Elliott’s image of a dispossessed sex kitten can both
contribute to their inclusion in the public sphere although with different consequences?
A possible explanation could be that one image offsets the other. In other words, Elliott’s
“positive” image counters Jones’ “negative” image. Furthermore, since Elliott's use of
her body is so empowering, why is there so little focus on her whole body in her
photographs? This may seem rather contradictory to a "positive" representation, but one
must remember that a large body is usually shunned in this society. Fortunately, Elliott is
represented intellectually in the public realm, but visual images continue to shun her large
body while praising it in text. On the other hand, there is a constant focus on Jones’
entire body. Essence avoided exploiting her body in its exclusive photo shoot, yet it
included other pictures in which Jones was definitely sexualized--and Jones did not even
speak to the magazine. Although it may have been unintentional, Essence denied Jones
the very empowerment it criticized her for not having in the first place while using her
sexualized image for its own benefit.
It is also worth asking why Jones feels the need to tone down her sexualized
image and pursue other ventures in order to be a "household name" as she explained to


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