Black Madonnas: The Hypersexualization and Fetishization of Black Women

Written by Lorraine


The Virgin Mary...or

an idealized, virtuous and beautiful woman

Hypersexualize : to make extremely sexual; to accentuate the sexuality of.

Fetishization : the sexual fascination with things that are not inherently sexual

In a previous post of mine, “All Types Baby That’s My Type”, I quickly mentioned a serious topic I am taking the time to break down to you all today. The ‘hypersexualizationandfetishizationofblackpeopleinthisdamncountry’ part. Now it goes without saying that ALL WOMEN PERIODT,  have been and is still being subjected to being sexualized, especially in the media. That is just a slither of the messed up reality we live in, yes true. That being said, I am taking the time to put the emphasis on the hypersexualization of Black women in America simply because it is the experience I live in, I can relate to,  and I can truly write about without reservations. I hope one takes this post as an opportunity to educate themselves about the hypersexualization that Black women have endured for decades through the media. Take a moment to shift your whitewashed reality and see the beautyfashionmusicdanceEVERYDAMNTHINGWETOUCH standards that Black women have created but remain overlooked unless we are being sexualized. That type of attention may have a traumatic effect on young women’s self-esteem and individual sexual exploration. It sure did with myself. 

"Black women have always been these vixens, these animalistic erotic women. Why can 't we just be the sexy American girl next door?" - Tyra Banks on being a sex symbol

Now I cannot begin to emphasize how greatly impacted our society is by the media we consume whether it be television, movies, music, books, and in today's age Instagram and other social media platforms . What we constantly see becomes socially acceptable and ultimately the media is one of the many external forces that develops our perception of beauty and sexuality. In my research study, my 10 interviewd Black Maddonas revealed to me numerous experiences about their dating and sex lives. Many of their experiences included being fetishized by men, significant others, and strangers while living in New York City. Despite the "cultural shock" of dating in such a diverse city, as one of my respondents described, all 10 Black Women reflected experiences of hypersexualization. Grown men excessively and unwarrently admiring them with sexual comments on the street, or catcalling them from young ages in cute dresses to WHATEVER THE HELL WE WEAR BECAUSE WE CAN’T HIDE OUR BODIES. Young men they were causally dating and/or having sex with confessing they had only swiped right or made initial contact with them because of the color of their skin or Black features that are fetishized: our big lips, our big butts, our thick thighs, our gorgeous melanin skin, and our natural curly kinky GRAVITY DEFYING hair.  Marigold, one of my respondents, described men who would "slide in my DMs going through a 'cute black girl' phase". Think a modern day jungle fever...

 The harsh realities behind a person’s race and gender in this country is something a Black woman cannot escape. Being seen as sexual beings, our bodies and our innocence being stripped away from a single glance from a man. Raising awareness around this subject will always be something worth discussing because I believe just using this platform to create a new image of the Black woman. An image that isn't hypersexualized, but worshiped, cherished,  appreciated, respected, and so much more. 

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