Aquestion would defiantly arises in your mind that what is the meaning of stereotypes? A Stereotype is”a fixed, universal acceptance or belief about a specific group or class ofpeople because of their race, nationality, gender etc.
” (Cardwell, 1996).It may cause discernment of groups if the stereotypes alliedto them are largely negative. People who propagates stereotypes pay no heed to social aspectsand creates links between groups of people and certain skills, actions, or attitudewhere nothing inherently exist. That’s whyit’s frequently said that “stereotypesare based on truth” is a false statementFor example, we can understandthe concept of stereotypes from this example, someone who come across a fewindividuals from a particular society or country and discovers them to be silent,reticent, quite may spread the term that all citizens from that specificsociety or country in question are silent and restrained.Television functions many more resolutionsthan purely entertaining its spectators. The messages set forth by the media isessentially important when it comes to ‘television representation’ of race andgender stereotypes.
Media perpetuates stereotypes and this can affect people’ssense of self, relationships, and career aspirations These stereotypedrepresentations of ‘female characters’ and ‘colors of character’ could be thereason that television viewing affects its viewers. It is the media whichpropagates different kinds of stereotypical concepts such as “black man diedfirst, “black angry woman”, “black independent woman”, “materialistic woman”,White American male Hero etc.One of theStereotype “Angry Black Woman” isdiscussed as under:In theaftermath of slavery and the resulting social, economic, and political effects,Black women have become the victims of negativestereotyping in mainstream American culture. Such stereotypes include themyth of the Angry Black Woman thatcharacterizes these women as aggressive, ill tempered, illogical, overbearing,hostile, and ignorant without provocation. Some scholars, e.g.
Dionne Bennettand Marcyliena Morgan, suggest that this stereotype is less studied becauseresearchers accept it as true. Inrecent years, the “angry black woman”stereotype hasn’t been reserved only for articles, debates but it is beingportrayed on reality TV shows.Somecritics’ say these stereotypical images are better perpetuated throughTelevision shows and movies, ”TheMoon,’ Deliver us from Eva’ and ‘Empire’ these Television drama and moviesperpetuate, particularly the “angry black woman” characters.
When aregoing to talk about one of the character form the ‘Empire’. Empire isan American television drama series created by Lee Daniels and Danny Strong releasedon January 7, 2015. The firstshowing received nearly ten million viewers and the season finale with seventeenmillion viewers. It has four seasons and fifty seven episodes. It has won theaward of ‘outstanding Drama Series.’ This musical television drama comprises offourteen major characters. We are going to talk about the protagonist of thedrama name ‘Cookie”.
Cookie is the corecharacter in the series, the ex-wife of former drug dealer, Lucious, shegets released from jail and strikes out to lay claim to half of theirmultimillion-dollar company, which was primarily furnished by Cookie’s drugmoney. Cookie is depicting thetypical stereotype of “Angry blackWomen” as associated with African American Women.Cookie is depicting the imagery that is linked withall black women as ‘short tempered’ and ‘confrontational.’ The portrayal of Cookie Lyon was highly praised and shewon an award for carrying this role properly. The character hascontinued to perpetuate the stereotype of what society believes black women tobe that is loud, nasty, unimportant and always ready for some mess.
In to find truth behind thisstereotype we analyze the character ‘CookieLyon’ in terms of discourse, dialogues or language that is used by her.In season one episode six, at thedinner in some classy restaurant, when Cookie reached there and she saw Luciousand Annika together at dinner. When Lucious announced his engagement withAnika, it only infuriate Cookie. Lucious uttered these words:”Ihave asked Anika to be my lovely wife,” Anika on the other hand shows offher new diamond ring to everybody and Cookieis heard saying: “So, You give me a rose after you propose to that bitch?””Cookie then, throwing theflower at luscious face.
This reveals that not only Cookie’slanguage or dialogues but her bodily language, actions and physical appearancealso justifies the stereotype that is linked to “Black Woman” or of which shewas accused of.After hearing the engagementannouncement made by Luscious, Cookieget very furious and put off her coat uttering these words:”Oh, and Anika this is an ass”.Again these words shows heraggressive and furious personality, confirming all the stereotypes associatedwith ‘Black Women’ that they are extra aggressive and messy.Similarly in season one episodetwelve, we can explicitly notice that Cookie language affirms to the stereotype”angry Black Woman” by using suchkind of words:”Tell me why I shouldn’t throwthis drink in your bitch ass face.”In one of the other season, Cookiefights with a rapper, there she used language in such a manner that adds to herAngry Black Woman character. Itreinforces the idea that they are always ready to fight at slightest issues,never caring for others feeling so, Cookie is a character that is constructedon this stereotype.”You gonna Ray Rice me?! I’vefaced bigger in prison — with more talent, bitch!”Cookie screams at the label’sbiggest rapper, Kid Fofo, when he threatens to slap her for calling him uglyand talentless.
So throughout season, one we canobserve Cookie’s character “doesn’tcompromise at all, never with herself, and never with the truth.” Peopleadmits that Cookie uses language andfacial expressions in such a way that other people might not have the courageto use it in this way. She is a “tell-it-like-it-is woman. MoreoverCookie’s dressing, which is gaudy withfloor-length furs, always colored nails, big eye lashes and using all colorlipstick, all this shows her physical appearance which supports thisstereotypical concept. Hats the reason why Cookieis called full embodiment of the stereotype Black angry women character.
Beating her youngest adult sonwith a broom when he disrespects her, ‘destroying Lucious office’ and ‘fightingwith Anika’ all of these incidents shows that not only the verbal language buther bodily language or actions approves her aggressive, nasty ,provocativenature that is termed as “Angry BlackWoman.”On the other hand 12 percent of African-American women whobelieve that there are positive images of African-American women in the media.So this mean that there are some characters that challenged angry black stereotypes character like Eva and Cookie etc.We will now analyze a character which challenges Cookie’s character and also thestereotypes that is associated with her.