Published in 2014, this BuzzFeed video is part of a group of videos that expose and satirize stereotypes and racial microaggressions, or the everyday, often unintentional, marginalizing interactions racial and ethnic minorities experience in the U.S. This video shows common experiences of Black people in the workplace, featuring Tracy Clayton, Heben Nigatu, Quinta Brunson, and Briana Byrd showing how these interactions play out in everyday interactions. Themes addressed are being frequently confused for the one or two other Black people in the office, people asking to or reaching to touch your hair, people assuming you are the person working on “diversity” or civil rights events, having awkward conversations about meritocracy, affirmative action, or “Black” popular culture, feeling anxiety in case someone is about to say the N word when singing along to a song, or fear of confirming stereotypes and how that affects behavior.
Published in 2014, this BuzzFeed video is part of a group of videos that expose and satirize stereotypes and racial microaggressions, or the everyday, often unintentional, marginalizing interactions racial and ethnic minorities experience in the U.S. This video is also focused on articulating aspects of Indian-American identity and experiences in the U.S., featuring Anhad Singh and Michelle Khare showing how microaggression, stereotypes, and differences in cultural norms play out in everyday interactions with diverse families, friends, colleagues, and strangers. Themes addressed are difficulties identifying with and “fitting in” to limited U.S. racial identity categories, being mistaken for Latino, being confused with Native Americans, having differing levels of tolerance for food spiciness and movie length, and balancing different family and friend relationship expectations.
This 2015 video created by American online news source Huffington Post’s Jessica Samakow and Oliver Noble features a diverse range of girls, teens, young adults, and women delivering the kinds of subtle, often-conflicting, everyday messages women and girls hear about their bodies, emotions, minds, families, careers, and decisions throughout their lifetime. For example, some of the messages start with young girls saying, “don’t be so bossy!” and “your dad will have the chase the boys away when you’re older.” These messages are followed by the teens, young adults, and older adults saying comments such as, “you need to wax your eyebrows,” “don’t wear that to school, you’re gonna distract the boys,” “don’t be a slut,” “no guy wants to have sex with a virgin,” “how much did you have to drink that night?” “what were you wearing that night?” “why are you getting so emotional?,” “don’t be so dramatic,” “it must be that time of the month,” “stop being such an attention whore!,” “you’d be really pretty if you just made an effort,” “you’d be much prettier if you smiled,” “your biological clock is ticking,” “you’re not taking your husband’s last name?,” “you’re going to let someone else raise your kids when you go back to work?,” “your husband cooks dinner? You really have him well trained,” and ends with an older woman saying, “you must have been beautiful when you were younger.”
In this four minute clip published in 2014, 23 year old filmmaker Rebecca Brown compiled selfies she took everyday throughout a period of six years of her life, from ages 14 through 21, documenting her journey with Trichotillomania, which she describes in the video’s biography section as a hair disorder where she is “compelled to tear it out strand by strand.” Starting chronologically in 2007, Brown’s self-portraits, sequenced on screen to music from SoundCloud user Amarante, showcase a head-on view of her face and hair. The photos are shown in sequence, illustrating the progression of her condition over multiple years of her life. The first pictures depict Brown with a head full of hair, but as the video progresses, the amount of hair on her head begins to fluctuate with occasional baldness and growing in periods. Notes of life events ranging from the meeting of friends or boyfriends, to deaths in the family or breakups, or even diagnoses with depression or suicidal thoughts, pop up in the sidebar in conjunction with the timing of the changing pictures. By the end of the photo compilation, Brown has shaved her hair (to “stop her from ripping out more hair”) and reveals that she has begun wearing wigs. She states that while Trichotillomania doesn’t necessary affect the appearance of hair in the front, she ends up with bald patches and thinning hair near the crown of her head and on the sides. At the end of the video, the photo images stop and Brown steps into frame to briefly promote other videos she has made both about her filmmaking and about her condition. “It’s pretty scary stuff,” she says.
This 2015 video from MTV News weekly series Decoded features Franchesca Ramsey breaking down 7 myths about cultural appropriation, or where dominant groups “borrow” or capitalize upon cultural practices or expressions from marginalized groups who are not similarly celebrated, but rather face oppression or are stigmatized for their cultural practices and expressions. An example she uses is how cornrows and other natural Black hairstyles become “edgy” and “cool” when White celebrities don them, whereas Black women and men have a long history of styling their hair in cornrows, locks, and braids, and are often penalized in schools and workplaces for wearing their hair in these natural styles. Franchesca also goes on to discuss the lines between cultural appreciation, exchange, and appropriation and addresses common points of contention around critiques of cultural appropriation, including, 1) You’re just looking for something to be offended by. It’s just clothing, hairstyles, decorations, whatever…Don’t you have something better to worry about?, 2) I’m just showing appreciation for the culture, 3) I don’t find it offensive, and I asked someone from that culture and they said it was ok, 4) Fashion, art, film, music always borrows from other sources. It doesn’t hurt anybody, 5) You’re just trying to tell everyone what to think, 6) So because I’m white, I’m automatically racist?, and 7) If Chinese people wear blue jeans, aren’t they appropriating my culture? Or what about Black girls wearing blond weaves? Or how about speaking English? After discussing the differences between assimilation and appropriation, she ends the video discussing potential avenues for cultural appreciation and exchange.