Talkback Series: The Sex Kitten vs. The Super Brain
Black women’s images in media are most often categorized by two generalizations, the sex kitten or the super brain. On Saturday September 24, Friday Girl TV hosted a Talk Back Series Event: The Sex Kitten vs. The Super Brain at Spelman College in the Cosby Center. Students and general public gathered as panelists answered questions and offered their perspective about succeeding in media as a Black woman.
Saptosa Foster – Managing partner of the 135 St. Agency, Spelman graduate, and former freelance writer known for her commitment to excellence and rising success in public relations.
Nina Brown– On-air personality at 11Alive, formally producer on the Frank Ski & Wanda Morning Show, known for commitment to community service and all-around positive energy.
Nicci Gilbert– Lead singer of R&B group Brownstone, actress, writer, director and producer, over 15 years in the entertainment industry and currently developing new television projects.
Angela Gomes– Director and writer with several years of award-winning television and film credits including “Eve,” Tyler Perry’s “House Of Payne” and the short film “Happy Hour.”
Renee Knorr– Fashion Director for 19th Hole Magazine, and Executive Producer of 19th Hole’s Fashion Fairway Event. A former International fashion model, she’s also a public speaker and dedicated to empowering young ladies from all walks of life.
Jazzy McBee – On-air personality at HOT 107.9, and vice president of A Place Of Motherly Love, a non-profit organization. A former entertainment reporter on XM radio, her drive and work ethic made her a staple on Atlanta radio.
Moderator October Rose (performing artist/CCO of Friday Girl TV) posed the panelists with a series of questions ranging from thoughts on claiming one’s sexuality in a male-dominated (entertainment) industry, to the influence of reality TV show Basketball Wives on younger girls. All panelists agreed that positions of power in media (company/major production heads) are often occupied by males, so it may take a bit of “playing the game” to make it to the top. Women should not sell-out or obtain success at the cost of their morals or reputation however. Saptosa offered an explanation as to why stereotypical images of Black women are so popular, “When they act up, it’s the exception. When we act up it’s considered the norm.” More programming that show real examples of our diversity as Black women was the voted the best way to see change. October Rose stressed that young women live in a technology age that allows creation of what we’d like to see — go for it! Angela answered questions about sexism in the workplace and how a women’s appearance directly correlates with their advancement in a particular industry. Nicci was outspoken and honest about struggles in the industry but remaining focused on your passion. Nina and Jazzy shared stories of professionalism and the importance in giving back and serving in your local community. Renee imparted wisdom that confidence is key, no matter the scenario, and belief in self is essential.
After the organized questioning the floor opened up to attendees, many excited to question about how to make it in the television and film industries. Post-discussion, the crowd remained for an additional hour (we were kicked out) speaking intimately with panelists. Everyone was given swag bags filled with beauty and health goodies from brands like Carol’s Daughter and IGotMyPeriod.com. It was wonderful to see women engaged in topics concerning them and thinking critically about images that affect them. Another Talk Back Series is in the works, but based on how well the first was received, there is truly a need to further this particular discussion. Thanks so much to the T. Morrison Agency for the invitation and hospitality, and thanks to Girls INC. for co-hosting. Looking forward to the next discussion!
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