Saturday, November 5, 2011

ARE AFRICANS DEPICTED AS ANIMALS BY NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC?

I was watching the movie Kick Ass with my cousin, and at the beginning of the movie there's this scene where K.A. is in class (because he's a teenager) daydreaming about his teacher.  She flings her hair, says something sexy to him, takes her shirt off then begins to take her bra off.  The scene changes before it showed her boobs.  A minute later, it showed K.A. at home looking at African women's breasts on the National Geographic website followed by a trash can full of tissue.  My cousin immediately asked why they would show those boobs, and not the sexy teacher's boobs.

I thought about it for a minute, and the only answer I could come up with was "because the African boobs are more like animal boobs".

After saying that, I realized that I've always associated National Geographic with being the authority on animals and wildlife. The only humans Nat Geo ever highlighted were people in a tribal setting.  More times than not, they showed the tribal Africans that danced around fires and ate raw meat and/or people.  I could never understand why they never blurred or censored the ladies' breasts.  It seems like it's always been acceptable to show the tribal ladies with no clothes on.  Nothing sexy about them I guess, so no harm done.


The first time I ever saw boobs (besides the fuzzy Playboy channel) was courtesy of National Geographic.   Naturally I grew up thinking that all of Africa was tribal, and to see Africans in their natural habitat in a magazine was like going to the zoo.  It was always fascinating to watch them at the same time thinking, "man, I'm glad I ain't in Africa".  I think there's been a long-running campaign to desensitize us (Americans) from Africa.  I think it's working too.  Ask any kid what they think about the people from Africa and you'll be surprised to know what school is teaching them.  I know when I see a commercial with those kids that need 15 cents a day, I change the channel.  Whenever a President says he sending millions of dollars in aid to Africa to combat hunger, I get pissed.  Not to mention the African green monkey that caught a flight to the States to spread HIV.  Damn African green monkeys...

In a forum about this very topic, a young woman asked:
Why evrytime im watching a show on discovery national geographic etc. And there showing african tribes. They don't blurr out any of the men and womens private parts?  I think its racist I was watching national geographic channel and they had a show about naked ppl. They showed nudists places in australia and the us. The ppl were white and they blurred the womens breast. On the SAME show in that episode they showed african tribes. They did not blurr out the african womens breast or anything else for that matter. Im a black women and find it completely offensive. Its as if they found the ppl of africa to be non human. Like animals. Its dissrespectful and racists. My mom was trying to send emails complaining about the channel I hope more ppl do the same and protests. If your going to blurr out nudists areas in austraila where all the ppl are white why don't you do the same and give some respect for the african tribes or black women in general by blurring out their breast. -source
Thank God no one replied, "because African women can't spell", because she would've earned that one. While I wish she proofread before posting her comment, I understand her question.

So Why would they blur the nudist beach people and not the tribal Africans?  Is it because nudists are people?  Surely nudists practice nudity in private because it's socially unacceptable.  It should be safe to say the same thing about the tribal Africans because everyone in Africa don't run around like savages it's also socially unacceptable there in most places.  Personally, I think if they're going to blur the body parts of one group, they should blur everyone.

Do you think they don't censor the bodies of Africans because to them it's equivalent to showing a cows teats, or a dog with no clothes on?  Is this a topic that's widely blown out of proportion? *this post also appears at the Insane Asylum Blog*