Happy February Black Girl Day from Southern Legal Diva

February 9, 2011

Happy Black Girl Day, readers!! It's that time of the month that I celebrate being....well a happy black girl. Just in case you have missed some of my earlier celebrations, get caught up on the meaning here. I will continue to do this until Sister Toldja's holiday catches on.

Today I am a happy black girl because......[drum roll please] TODAY IS MY ANNIVERSARY!!!! The boyfriend and I have been together 4 years today. It was on this day that we stopped 6 months of pretending that we had no emotional attachment and sexual attraction to other because we were both holding on to bad relationships. Call it cheesy, but he is my best friend, my lover, my road dog, my confidante.....just a whole lot wrapped into to one guy. It scares me sometimes how much we are like two brains in one body. Love has me happy today! We had anniversary plans tonight. Then 6 inches of snow and COUNTING has fallen out of the sky since noon today.....needless to say we are snowed in (It's Mississippi....yes we are snowed in). And I'm sick, lol. So we will have a makeup celebration on Valentine's Day since it's fast approaching! I love love!

PepsiMax: When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong

Did anybody catch the Super Bowl on Sunday night? Of course you did. It was the most watched TV program in history! I watch for the love of the game, but lots of people just watch it for the commercials. There was one commercial for PepsiMax that caught my attention. If you missed it, here it is for your enjoyment.

I laughed my ass off at this commercial. To me, it remains one of the best ones of the night (....well second to the guy sucking the Doritos cheese off the other man's fingers....but I digress). After I stopped laughed, I peeped in on Twitter and the reactions to that commercial were through the roof! The main thing that I kept seeing was that the commercial was racist and stereotypical. I thought my followers were on crack. Then I read all my favorite blogs yesterday and see the same thoughts.

Here is my impression of the commercial: Wife wants to keep Husband healthy. She does everything in her power to make sure he makes the correct food choices.....which in this case came down to down beating him up a little bit. Wife sees him looking too hard at another woman and tries to smash him with the can but ends up knocking other woman out. Husband sees that the police are probably coming and will Rodney King the shit out of them takes Wife by the hand and gets them the hell out of there before trouble comes. And they say Black love is dead. I thought it was hilarious. But there are SO many different nit picky things that others saw that I didn't....so I will address them here.
  1. This commercial was full of stereotypes!! Ummm....yea. So is life. The way that most humans deal with people different from ourselves is based on stereotypes. Is it right? I don't know. What I do know is that stereotypes don't come out of thin air. They are based in part on the way a group of people act. If you don't want the stereotype, then you must work harder to fight it. Art tends to imitate life, so they had to get the inspiration for this commercial from somewhere.
  2. Why does Pepsi have to act like all black women are angry?! Didn't you read the above statement? Art tends to imitate life. Case in point: This commercial was meant to be funny, but what was the overwhelming response from two-thirds of black women? To get very angry. Yep...I said it. There is a major problem when the only images that we see of black women in mainstream media are the angry kind. BUT we can't be mad when something goes mainstream that we celebrate in like company. One of my favorite bloggers, RiPPa, said it best: "don't we celebrate these images ourselves when we patronize NAACP Image Award nominated shows like, oh... The Real Housewives of Atlanta?" We love to watch Tasha Mack on The Game, the mom from Everybody Hates Chris, NeNe Leakes, and most of the women in Tyler Perry's plays and movies. We can't love it when it is made by us THEN turn around and hate it when white people see it and make it into a commercial. We all know that angry black sistah. She's your mom, best friend, lady at the church, boss.....and if you don't personally know any, it is probably you. To beat a stereotype, you have to stop being that stereotype.
  3. Why did he have to make googly-eyes at the white woman? Why do they think that the epitome of beauty is a blue-eyed, blond haired white woman? Again....I wasn't paying that much attention to the race of the woman that jogged up. Since we are talking about stereotypes, the woman in that ad would have tried to hit her man upside the head with that can if the jogging chic was white, black, Asian, Latino, or a polka-dotted alien. Would it have been that big of a deal if all the people in the commercial were black? Probably not. The real issue to me is not that mainstream society sees the white woman as the epitome of beauty. The issue is that Black women have a hard time accepting interracial dating. The fact that a Black man could be attracted to a white woman still makes a lot of black women angry (there's that word again!). It still blows my mind to hear otherwise levelheaded black women go totally off (stereotype alert) when they see a black man out and enjoying the company of a white woman. It's 2011. We are supposed to be in a post-racial society (that phrase still makes me gag). Interracial dating should not still be something that sets us off (there I go again). I can admit that it used to bother me to see it, but once I got older and wiser I realized that it is hard to find love out there. I hope people find it with what ever color makes their hearts glad. 
The moral of the story is.....lighten up. The ad was supposed to be funny. I'm sure that PepsiCo didn't set out to make this commercial a conversation piece. They just wanted to make 111 million people laugh. Well Pepsi....ha ha. I liked it.
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