Friday, March 17, 2006

You! Shake Your Junk...


On that same [video] set, I had to wear a short, tight dress. I had some downtime, so I sat in one of the rooms where the food was set up. Soon one guy came in and then another. Within a few minutes, fifteen guys were surrounding me, and I was trapped. I felt like a specimen in a museum. I didn't want to get up because I knew if I did, they would start making a fuss over my ass. I kept thinking, 'I'm sitting here with these guys ogling, trying to touch my leg and arm, trying to see what kind of girl I am, see if they can run a train on me.' I was so terrified of getting up. The dress was so short and my shoes were so high, I was afraid to even uncross my legs. Eventually a crewmember came in and regulated the situation; he could see how terrified I was about even moving an inch. It all lasted about ten minutes." �X Melyssa Ford, "Calendar Girl" (fromNaked***)




". . . Master Hendrick would invite the spectators to examine me to assure themselves nothing was fake. Some of them accepted the invitation by touching my backside or searching for evidence of padding. One pinched me, another walked round me, a gentleman poked me with his cane, a lady used her parasol to ascertain that all was 'natural.' Master Hendrick sometimes used a long piece of bamboo to prod me around or move me forward or backwards. But worst of all, the laughter �X raucous, lewd, predatory, and hate-filled �X never stopped. It erupted at the slightest excuse, a stumbling foot, a tear, an epithet from a spectator, the shrill whistles and catcalls of the gallery." �X Barbara Chase-Riboud, Hottentot Venus


Coincidence? I think not. Yet another gem from Pop Matters.com, this time courtesy of Mark Reynolds. It's called Modern Day Hottietots. He draws the inevitable comparisons of today's video "vixens" and the infamously exploited "Hottentot Venus," Sarah Baartman (1789-1816). Born in Khoikhoi (now South Africa) her short stature (4'7") and large rear end gave her enslavers the idea to pimp her out in a traveling "freak show". Reynold's full article is here. Print it out, read it on the train, read it on the treadmill -- do what you have to do. And please pass it along.

*** Naked was co-edited by a buddy of mine, Ayana Byrd. She is also the co-author of Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Miss Ahmad said...

the only thing close to coincidental is that women now sign themselves up for the freak show...no master involved!

March 18, 2006 at 7:52 PM  
Blogger Nichelle said...

I know. Crazy, right?

March 18, 2006 at 9:23 PM  
Blogger Cocoa Girl said...

Super co-sign on Miss Ahmad's comment!

Nice post, Nichelle.

March 20, 2006 at 10:12 AM  
Blogger Nichelle said...

Thanks Cocoa :)

March 20, 2006 at 10:18 AM  

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