Continued From Part 1.
This idea permeates almost anything that black women do in the media. There is an innumerable source of this idea, that black women need to be the poster child for diversity almost any commercial or television show I can think of. But Something else I’ve noticed is not only are these people fat and happy. They are also alone. Very. Very. Alone. Mercedes character had no one for two seasons. While people may respect her for being herself (and humor her diva fits) she is still very alone.Because, naturally that is the price to pay for “being yourself.”
Meanwhile the other characters have all played musical dates with each other. Even Kurt, who is gay, has had a solid relationship written into the show for him. But not so for Mercedes. Her reparations for her loving herself campaign is that she has nobody. This just goes further into my thoughts that this is deliberate. Not only can the writers say that they are doing a good thing by adding in an African American woman as a character, they can also say that she has a healthy self esteem. (of course the only way you can get a healthy self esteem is to be overweight).
But here is the question. If it is so great to be diverse,and love yourself, why do all of the other characters have stock traits? None of the other characters (aside from the character Lauren) are written this way. None of them come bashing through the box that they have all been placed in. You know why? Because in some ways the writers know that people don’t want to see that. The idiotic public wants to believe that the writers hold that value, while still being able to see beautiful people on their screen. And it just so happens that Amber Riley plays into this idea well. They can use her character to promote awareness of the beauty pressures on women but they can also show the audience, “See we still have pretty people” because in the end nobody wants to see ugly people. TV is a fantasy, an escape. And most people want that with just a twinge of realism. (And it’s so realistic that black women are fat so it’s acceptable.)
It adds a comfort element t see black women act true to form. Because seeing them be beautiful would be too much. It would make the audiences uncomfortable. Now the audiences can stare at the car accident with disgusted awe. Further, I think people are okay with this because without her being the stock “diverse” character, it would prove what I’ve always known that even the average person doesn’t want as much diversity as they claim, because in the end they want to be beautiful themselves.