Popular culture has hyper sexualized the bodies of Men of Color and no one seems to ever talk about it. Popular culture has taken men of color athletes, actors, hip hop artist and turned them into marketable hyper sexualized sex symbols. These hyper sexual images can be found in music videos, television, and song lyrics.
Hyper sexual is being extremely or excessively sexual. The sexuality of Black men are historically seen as a beast or barbaric like sexuality that should be caged, as well as someone who has to have sex at all times. Throughout history we have watched the bodies of Black men be gazed upon with a sexual glare by both women and men.
In the “Too Close” video by R&B group Next, two group members are shown with their shirts unbuttoned showing their abs. As the video continues, there are two times when the women dancers drop in the oral sex position while the men dancers gyrate in front of their faces. Following that the three Next members pull up the legs of the females dancers and dry hump them, and continuously through the video the three group members slip off to have sex with video models.
In the “One Minute Man” video by Missy Elliott featuring Trina and Ludacris, they challenge men to be longer than a minute in bed. Missy Elliott skillfully uses a Male Hip Hop Artist Hip Hop (Ludacris) to brag about how great he is in bed. The Trina scene shows Men of Color on the wall hanging as warriors to be picked to sex Trina. This sends a message to Men of Color that they should be sexual warriors in the bedroom in order to properly please their woman.
Both the Next and Missy Elliott videos send a message that Men of Color are sex craving and giving machines, so young boys play on this narrative by mocking these sexual gestures in real life.
In the Baby Boy, Tyrese Gibson plays a hyper sexualized Man of Color who lives off his mother and baby mothers, doesn’t work, and who can’t seem to stop cheating on his current girlfriend. Constantly you see his character solve issues that he has with women by sex, even after he hits a woman in a scene. He immediately takes her off to the bedroom to give her oral sex. This tells young Men of Color that as long as they give women great sex, issues such as domestic violence are solved.
On the television show, The Game,the character Malik who plays a professional football player. Malik is the star of the team and proudly brags about all of the women he has sex with. On one episode Malik shows viewers an archive of sex videos he has made over the years. Malik proudly pays for strippers, spurges money, and makes women feel as if it’s an honor to sleep with him. The character of Malik represents a hyper sexual Man of Color athlete, and how society sees them as arrogant money throwing, substance abusing, sexual beast.
Music LYRICS do a great job of hyper sexualizing Men of Color. Let us start with our beloved Destiny’s Child song Soldier, where Beyoncé informs us that, “If your status ain’t hood, I ain’t checkin’ for him. Betta be street if you lookin’ at me. I need a soldier, that ain’t scared to stand up to me. Known to carry big things, if you know what I mean.”
In our society lower class Men of Color see themselves as street soldiers who fight and die by the streets. This soldier mentality keeps Men of Color oppressed, since they see themselves as just another “soldier” fighting for their street respect. These lyrics tell Men of Color that in order to “handle” a black woman you need to be from the hood. This reference to “carrying big things” is a reference to the size of male genitals. When Men of Color do not “carry big things” they are usually frowned upon and seen as men who can’t sex women property since they’re aren’t “carrying big things”.
Who does not love the Jodeci song “Freek’n You”? Seriously, it is one of the unofficial black anthems of sex. The bad boys of R&B as they are called help hyper sexualize Men of Color in the following verses, “Every time I close my eyes, I wake up feeling so horny. I can’t get you outta my mind, I would give anything just to make you understand me. I don’t give a damn about nothing else, freek’n you is all I need.”
Again we see this notion that Men of Color are just horn balls who wake up feeling the need to sex someone when they get up. “I don’t give a damn about nothing else… “this statement right here explains why the African-Americans as a whole lead in HIV/AIDS. This notion of not giving a damn about that anything when it comes sex, not even checking the status of the person you’re having sex with.
Men of Color are unknowingly promoting the hyper sexualization of themselves and young Men of Color are also unknowingly consuming hyper sexualization. Men of Color are being taught that their bodies are for the pleasure of others and that sex solves all issues.
The hyper sexualization of Men of Color also paints this picture that homosexuality is a threat to the “manhood” of a “real” man. This hyper sexualization also leads to young men of color losing their virginity at younger ages, making them use a body for sex that it’s not fully developed to have yet. Hypersexuality in Men of Color create this notion of having sex by all means which leads to several issues such as unprotected sex, rape when they are denied, and a higher risk of developing HIV/AIDS and/or STD’s.
Does this mean stop that videos, movies, and lyrics need to be banned? Absolutely not, but as a culture Men of Color should be taught to not fall for these hyper sexualized themes that are presented to them.