Date of Award

5-8-2020

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

African-American Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Sarita K. Davis

Second Advisor

Dr. Lia T. Bascomb

Third Advisor

Dr. Tiffany King

Abstract

In the West, Black Women’s bodies have historically been regarded as excessive, hyper-sexualized, and deviant for their curvaceous and often fuller appearance. While these black figures have been deemed socially unacceptable, popular culture depicts a conflicting narrative that welcomes these physical attributes when placed on the white body. A variety of studies exist that consider Black Women’s feelings and use of virtual coping strategies in response to these contradictions; however, few empirical studies exist that discuss how Black Women are employing strategies outside of the virtual to resist these inconsistencies. In response to this shortage of research, this study informed by a phenomenological and qualitative lens gives voice to 8 Black Women between the ages of 18 and 35, to answer the following question. (1) What strategies are Black Women utilizing other than social media to resist popular culture’s contradictions of the curvaceous aesthetic?

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