That time when Scandal and Liana set up a date for Bane, a criminal and a
murderer, the first date he’s ever been on in his entire life, with a
sex-worker no less, and he showed he respected women and understood what
it means to be a gentleman better than most living men (and those who
are comic book fans in particular).
Secret Six Vol. 3, issues #30, #34, and #36 (2008-2011)
Writer: Gail Simone Illustrators: Nicola Scott, Doug Hazelwood, Jim Calafiore, Duc Nguyen Colourists: Jason Wright, John Kalisz Letterers: Travis Lanham Editors: Sean Ryan, Rachel Gluckstern
When a Fat Black Woman is made into an aggressive and hypersexualized predator for comic relief, and has their sexual/romantic agency be mocked, erased and or dehumanized. Fat Black Women aren’t allowed to be seen with sexual agency unless it
means them being mocked for it, they’re especially are denied being
romanticized and usually have their affections be unrequited.
Often times in media, whether it be television or movies anytime a Fat Black Woman is made a character she is most likely to be placed in the role of mammy. But sometimes she is placed in the field of a Nikki Parker trope. Which I consider a subset of a Mammy trope.
Where because she is fat and black, what would be normally seen as a seductive, sexy, or flirtatious personality that is romanticized in fiction becomes perceived as desperate, and over aggressive. Like the Mammy trope Fat Black Women’s sexualities, and the privilege of being romanticized is erased, because of their Fatness and being a Black Woman. Any affections that a Fat Black Woman character will feel, or experience is used for comedic effect and is mocked.
I call this the Nikki Parker trope because as a Fat Black Woman her character is the best representation and most popular example of this. Nikki was portrayed as hyperaggressive, she would violate personal boundaries, of Professor Oglevee, she was subjected to verbal abusive behavior from Professor Olgevee. Her aggressive behavior would be used as a way to invalidate her gender, to portray her as a mentally unstable person. Professor Olgevee often refereed to her as “Crazy” “Nutcase” “Psycho” and “Lunatic”. She was fat shamed, and her sex appeal was viewed as disgusting.
This trope perpetuates that not only are Fat Black Women should be mocked for wanting love, but also that the idea of a Fat Black Woman being centered as the romantic lead is nothing sort but absurd. It also promotes the ideal that Fat Black Woman who are confident in themselves are not only delusional, but as being overaggressive for pursuing a romantic, or sexual relationship.
Unlike Fat White Women, they are allowed to be romanced, in fact them being allowed to be sexual, or to be flirtatious is seen as progressive, and feminist. Unlike Fat White Woman their experiences in being fat, and a woman is met with empathy, and compassion. They are allowed to be sexual, and romanced, because it’s feminist.
Some examples are:
Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly)
Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect),
Christina Hendricks (Mad Men)
Lena Dunham (Girls)
Sharon Rooney (My Mad Fat Diary)
Nikki Blonksy and Ricki Lake (Hairspray)
Marissa Jaret Winokur (Beautiful Girl)
Toni Collette (Muriel’s Wedding)
Roseanne Bar (Roseanne)
Other examples of the Nikki Parker Trope in Media:
Kim Parker (Moesha and her crush for Hakeem.)
Dijonay Jones (the Proud Family and her crush for Sticky.)
Baby Dee (Next Friday, her crush for Craig.)
Gail (Jill Scott) (Baggage Claim hypersexualized for comedy.)
Coretta Cox (Steve Harvey Show her crush on Romeo.)
Ormandy (Deliver Us From Eva hypersexualized for comedy.)
Andell Wilkerson (the Parkers hypersexualized and seen as desperate.)
Rita (Friday, her romantic attraction to Smokey.)
Amber Riley (Glee, her crush on Kurt.)
Gabourey Sidibe (AHS:Coven, the Minotaur.)
Positive examples of Fat Black Women in Media being romanced, or sexual affections being acknowledged.
Khadjah James (Living Single)
Donna Meagle (Parks and Recreation)
Jazmin Biltmore (Phat Girlz)
Raven Baxter (That’s So Raven.)
Leslie Wright (Just Wright.)
Francine (Brown Sugar)
Gloria Matthews (Waiting to Exhale.)
Georgia Byrd (the Last Holiday)
Gina Norris (Beauty Shop)
Cleo (Set If Off)
*Sheila (Why Did I Get Married.)
I put an asterisk by Sheila because it’s Tyler Perry and his portrayl of Black Women especially Fat Black Women is immensely problematic, but also he did actually have a Fat Black Woman be romanticized.
P.S Take note of how many times Queen Latifah’s characters are repeated on this list. Also if you’re asking why the list is so short is because it also speaks to the lack of representation Fat Black Women are given, and furthermore even if they are given representation, often times they are just desexualized, and for the most part their love life, or romance isn’t explored or seen as existing.
Preacher by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon - A tale of love and friendship … and religion and murder and betrayal and even a guy with a face that looks like an arse. Also it has some of the best dialogue I’ve ever read.
Animal Man, Doom Patrol, Flex Mentallo, The Invisibles and We3 by Grant Morrison,
Chaz Truog, Richard Case, Frank Quitely and many others - Doom Patrol, Flex Mentallo, and The Invisibles will blow your mind. We3 will break your heart. And Animal Man will make Buddy Baker one of your favorite characters. Read them all.
Astro City by Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson and Alex Ross - In my opinion, the best series about superheroes EVER. Kurt Busiek tells superhero stories here in ways you’ll never read anywhere else. Also, he consistently makes me care about his characters in every story, which is not an easy feat. I recommend this book to new comics readers all the time.
I’d love to write more about these series, but instead I’ll just recommend some more with a few words: