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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 6 appearing on ’Larry King Live’, as is Oprah Winfrey, with her media empire--the relative ease with which African-American culture, and African-American feminism specifically, crosses over, into and through the celebrity zone is a model for a general materialist- feminist articulation and a subject for further investigation" (emphasis added, Wicke, 1998, pp. 390-391). Although Wicke may be correct that these women have crossed into the celebrity zone, she is incorrect to assume that this crossing over has been easy. Such a statement ignores the attacks on Goldberg for statements she has made concerning her dark skin and white men to whom she has been romantically linked. It ignores Winfrey’s very public battle with her weight, for which she has been both praised and ridiculed, and the criticism that she does not feature more “black” issues on her show. It ignores Guinier's dubbing as the "Quota Queen" during President Clinton's nomination, then withdrawal of the nomination, for the office of Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. Furthermore, with the exception of Guinier, Wicke discusses women who have not strongly aligned themselves with black feminist issues. The black female body specifically does not get privacy in the public realm; it is especially not exempt from humiliating dissection. Warner (1993) states, "In the figures of Elvis, Liz, Michael, Oprah, Geraldo, Brando, and the like, we witness and transact the bloating, slimming, wounding, and general humiliation of the public body. The bodies of these public figures are prostheses for our own mutant desirability" (p. 250). The markers "black" and "woman" creates a hypervisibility that marks black women as "Other," which can serve to deprive them of political and social power in the dominant public sphere. Even if they are acknowledged, black women may not necessarily be represented both bodily and

Authors: Brooks, TaKeshia.
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Black Womanhood 6
appearing on ’Larry King Live’, as is Oprah Winfrey, with her media empire--the relative
ease with which African-American culture, and African-American feminism specifically,
crosses over, into and through the celebrity zone is a model for a general materialist-
feminist articulation and a subject for further investigation" (emphasis added, Wicke,
1998, pp. 390-391). Although Wicke may be correct that these women have crossed into
the celebrity zone, she is incorrect to assume that this crossing over has been easy. Such
a statement ignores the attacks on Goldberg for statements she has made concerning her
dark skin and white men to whom she has been romantically linked. It ignores Winfrey’s
very public battle with her weight, for which she has been both praised and ridiculed, and
the criticism that she does not feature more “black” issues on her show. It ignores
Guinier's dubbing as the "Quota Queen" during President Clinton's nomination, then
withdrawal of the nomination, for the office of Assistant Attorney General for Civil
Rights. Furthermore, with the exception of Guinier, Wicke discusses women who have
not strongly aligned themselves with black feminist issues. The black female body
specifically does not get privacy in the public realm; it is especially not exempt from
humiliating dissection. Warner (1993) states, "In the figures of Elvis, Liz, Michael,
Oprah, Geraldo, Brando, and the like, we witness and transact the bloating, slimming,
wounding, and general humiliation of the public body. The bodies of these public figures
are prostheses for our own mutant desirability" (p. 250). The markers "black" and
"woman" creates a hypervisibility that marks black women as "Other," which can serve
to deprive them of political and social power in the dominant public sphere. Even if they
are acknowledged, black women may not necessarily be represented both bodily and


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