Week 1 – GLAMFA Artist – April Bey

 

 

 

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     Due to the pop culture of today, a high tolerance and acceptance for absurdity has developed within the majority of the American culture.It is not necessarily a terrible occurrence; however, it is time to realize that there is definitely a discrepancy within what society would deem as “trashy” and “ratchet”. The problem is that a lot of that seems to be glamorized rather than fixed or regulated in a fashion that would not suggest such material or behavior is appropriate. It is easy to be consumed by the media or pop culture, even to the extent that one quickly becomes influenced and acts upon that he or she has observed.

     This kind of pop culture involves the display and acceptance of obscene behavior of immature pregnant teenagers. For a while now, society has looked down upon teenage pregnancy. Rather, it has been shunned on a majority of its occasions. Even though this is the case, pop culture deems it acceptable to portray the situations through television and/or music, mostly on popular TV shows. Teenage pregnancy has been deemed as an epidemic; however, these shows not only show the transcendence of pregnant teenagers, but also contact through sexual intercourse. Although it may be attempting to deliver a specified message to society’s youth, there is a thin line between entertainment and demonstration that is overlooked. Due to the poverty the many African American members of this world have been experiencing, there is statistically a higher teenage pregnancy rate among the areas in poverty. While the situation is being glamorized on television as a nice little sitcom for entertainment and humor, people in poverty, mostly involving members of the ghetto and other regions outside of the United States, must endure this type of struggle. 

     It’s apparent that one of the biggest issues in the ghetto today is the over-glamorization of twerking, at least while it’s executed by many young African American women. The problem here is not necessarily twerking itself. The “ratchet” standard is maintained by many young members of society, but it is not the main issue at hand. Twerking has given young African American women a notorious name. However, is has become accepted even within the ghetto, thus, it has become one thing that makes the community what it is. In other words, because twerking has become a part of the common ghetto culture, it is almost as if it is an expectation or that the members of the community have nothing more to offer than that alone. They are known as “great twerkers”, not great dancers with their “black girl booties”, but there underlies the connotation of those combined words that twerking has a racial root and standard of perfection in that community of African American women in the ghetto. It is without a doubt that twerking has become a part of pop culture, especially among, but its action alone has continued to promote the infamous problems in ghetto culture. Such an action can become so powerful as to allow one to think being inferior is plain alright because they have “swag” and and rapidly shake their behinds.  

     Surely, anyone can own a phone and post a picture with a caption that labels the picture as “ratchet”. If so, why is there a deep connotation of the word that illustrates a young African American woman, pursing her lips, riding the bathroom sink, resting her pregnant belly in the sink and with one hand, holding the bun on her head. The individual is a person, not an object. However, such absurdity is praised in the world of pop culture as some would call her a “proud mama to be” and the picture “cute”. Unfortunately, this type of representation of young pregnant women is poor and inaccurate, but it is a part of ghetto culture and has spread throughout the varieties of pop culture. The problem is not the woman is pregnant; it is that she, maybe unintentionally, portrays herself as an immature young woman going into motherhood and others may view this as comical. Suppose these pictures were monitored by the parents of these young women. There is a need to beg the question: would these pictures be uploaded? The fact that they are, though, evokes a concern for those in the ghetto who have endured or who are enduring this type of circumstance. So, why is it glamorized in pop culture and in the culture from which the problem derives? 

     Ultimately, the problem is more so how all of the material is broadcasted. Although some of the content contains images and features that may suggest that the circumstances are embraced by the ghetto, it is surely something that people need to be aware of. Artist of CSU Northridge, April Bey has rendered a video that expedites examples of the glamorized ghetto culture of society, that also evade the issues of that culture such as sexuality, erotica, and pregnancy. Personally, at first, the video made me laugh as it contains images that provoke a certain sentiment of humor and joy. However, I realized that this is precisely what the purpose of the video is. Solely watching the video served its purpose. The video is undoubtedly humorous, but that does not necessarily mean that the material itself should be. Pop culture has cleverly found a way to post and “[circumvent] the real issues of the actual ghetto”. More on her work can be found here: 

http://greaterlamfa.com/Glamfa2014/Bey_2014.html

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