Objectification of Disabled and Black bodies // CTS2

During this session, we spoke about the objectification and representation of disabled bodies. We referred to Baudelaire’s thoughts on prostitution and deviancy. He saw these women as being outside of a social class and being rebellious within the system. They conflict with Foucault’s idea of society being filled with docile bodies who are passive, non-aggressive individuals. We then watched a music video which demonstrated the segregation and social acceptance of disability. Upon our first thoughts, the video was extremely empowering and illustrated how the idea of stepping outside of the system is unacceptable. In the video, I feel that she is trying to represent herself as normal by almost objectifying herself through sexualisation, a key theme throughout pop music videos. She also did this by glamourising her disability rather than trying to hide it. On the other hand, it can also be argued that bigger organisations have influenced the representation of disabled bodies through this video in particular. channel four, who funded this video have a way in which they portray disability through the media. This raises the issue of whether ‘Modesta’ had full control about how she displays her disability. Going back to Foucault’s theory of a ‘docile society’, although she is going against the system in terms of her disability, she is a docile being in terms of conforming to social norms of the pop culture industry. She is still similar to other well known female pop stars through her appearance, attitude and musical visuals; the only difference is her disability. See music video here.

We then spoke about the ‘Black Panthers’. Around the time of the Black Panthers, there was strong segregations between the white and black communities. They had a well known uniform; being all in black, a beret hat, afro hair and a gun. They did this to be militant and aggressive in order to break social rules such as having a certain appearance to progress in life. Going back to Foucault’s theory, the Black panthers were still trying to be transgressive but they also continued with the patriarchal powers of the social norms, therefore, women had little role in the black panthers.

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