We’ve all seen those hilarious movies where a hot airhead falls into a ridiculous situation but manages to overcome her struggle and finds her happily ever after. Or maybe you’ve seen the one where a career driven woman numbs her feelings in order to have it all in the world of business and in doing so, information pills check sacrifices her love life and youth. We see these stereotypes all the time in Hollywood and quite frankly it’s pretty boring so let’s talk about these laughable narratives and why they’re dangerous.
We’ve watched this narrative on our screens for so long now, mind we probably don’t even recognise it; the women in these films are often in danger and in need of help from a big, dosage strong man. While it’s a nice thought, this just reinforces the idea that women are helpless and we can’t do anything for ourselves without a man by our sides which is DEFINITELY not the truth.
We need to start seeing some more films where women are helping each other or better yet, saving men, because let’s be honest, a lot of the time, the roles will reversed.
This one is everywhere and there’s no avoiding it: Hollywood loves to cast ‘exotic’ looking women to accompany their lead males and most of the time they’re Latina eg. Sofia Vergara in Modern Family. While these movies and shows might be hilarious, they perpetuate the idea that ethnic women are only useful as accessories and to show off which obviously isn’t the kind of message we want to send to young ethnic girls who might feel like they only have a place being someone’s trophy.
We all know these women: the ones who work late hours at the office and leave to go home to an empty house. This is the price they pay for focusing so much on work and neglecting their personal lives, right? Hollywood never seems to let us forget this, but in reality, life doesn’t have to be like this; women don’t have to be emotionally cut off to be successful and presenting us like this creates a conflict of wanting to do well in your career but fearing a lifetime of loneliness.
I hope I don’t even have to explain this tired stereotype because it’s so demeaning and I for one, am bored of seeing it. There’s already a lack of black women in mainstream roles and when they’re cast, it’s same role all the time: the sassy, opinionated woman who has an attitude or makes a joke out of everything. This portrays black women as a group of one-dimensional humans and disregards our complexity, feelings and struggles.
The gold digger is essentially one of the most insulting tropes I’ve watched and it keeps popping up in films and TV shows over and over. For example, The Wolf Of Wall Street – one of the best movies of it’s season- had a limited amount of women in it, but one of the main females, Naomi Lapaglia, is portrayed as a sex crazy gold digger who dumps Belfort once he loses his lavish lifestyle. In a day and age where women are their own bosses and don’t need to rely on men to provide for them, you would expect that these stereotypes would be flushed right down the drain, but I guess not.
It seems like Hollywood has a long way to go and a lot to learn but I guess it’s up to female screenwriters, producers and moviemakers to teach them that lesson and break down these tired stereotypes.
Written by Sayo Olu