Note from BW of Brazil: Black Brazilian women, for the most part, do not see themselves represented by Brazil’s mass media. Regularly, Brazil’s major TV networks, popular magazines and cinema, black women are vastly under-represented when considering their numerical majority among Brazilian women. When they are represented, they are often portrayed in stereotypes that are have been ingrained in the nation’s subconscious: the maid, cook, cleaning woman, social victim/beneficiary or the sexy mulata. This has been a focal point of this blog since day one. As one expert on the topic opined: “We, black women are invisible to the media.”
Some say the reason for this invisibility has to do with the perception of the public. For example, the belief that if a black woman is featured on the cover of a certain magazine or product, white women won’t but the product. On the one hand, if this is not in fact utter non-sense, it actually proves that Brazilians, who so often deem themselves as non-racists, do in fact attribute certain negative attributes to the black population which in turn influences their consumption. This is a choice that black Brazilians don’t have as the vast majority of the products, commercials, TV shows and films overwhelmingly feature white Brazilians.
Research revealing the misrepresentation of Brazilian women in the media sparked the idea for a video contest in which women were asked to provide examples of the types of images that they would like to see in the media. The video presented below, entitled “Black women: for a more dignified representation,” took third place in the contest and presents an array of images of dynamic Afro-Brazilian women present at a conference for the annual July 25th International Afro-Latin American and Afro-Caribbean Women’s Day. Anyone who has attended any of these annual seminars will surely agree that black women are more than maids and Carnaval dancers. It’s time to start seeing the diversity of black women in the media as well.
Text of the video subtitles (in Portuguese) have been translated into English below.
Video contest: The Brazilian woman wants to see herself in TV commercials
“According to PNAD data, the black woman represents 25% of the total population of the country (PNAD/IBGE, 2011)
The black woman is stereotyped and make invisible on Brazilian TV. Her representation doesn’t contemplate the real black feminine presence in society.
We are so many…multiple, of infinite colors, textures and dreams. Battling women.
All for a more dignified representation of who we are.
Thanks to all that participated in the recordings in the last 6 editions of the Festival Latinidades.”
Mulheres Negras por uma apresentação digna
Concept: Juliana Cezar Nunes
Text : Juliana Gonçalves
Text revision: Chaia Dechen & Daniela Luciana
Images: Acervo Festival Latinidades (Chaia Dechen)
Editing: Chaia Dechen
Production: Griô Produções
Source: Instituto Patrícia Galvão