The very notion that some people believe we live in a post-racial society still baffles me. Considering the Esposito article was written almost a decade ago, aligning with the election of President Obama, forces me to think back in time a bit. So even if I think it’s ridiculous, it’s much easier to fool ourselves and believe that a post-racial society exists. I was a little late in watching Ugly Betty but when I did a binge watch occurred as I was immediately hooked. The episode that Esposito chose to unpack is highly memorable and I agree with the reading. But I think the color-blindness is even obvious just in the title sequence:
The face is fragmented and different colored skins are mixed together. All the while, our Latina protagonist (white-passing) Better, is the character who will convince us and her white cast counterparts that fashion or, “beauty”, is a thing that can be learned and earned. We’re meant to believe that her ugliness is her braces, her hair, her “lack” of fashion, but as Esposito highlights it is her otherness that keeps her from advancing in the industry.
That said, witch Christine Acham’s article in mind, The Cosby Show which intentionally ignores race provides a better understanding for the immediate desire to forget without forgiving. In contrast the episode of the Black-ish that we saw in class, it’s clear how television can be utilized as a means of communicating to audiences directly. I’ve never seen any other episodes of Black-ish but the way that points of the show utilized a documentary style edit with slow motion and historical footage made me much more aware of my space, place, and time. I wasn’t a passive viewer watching television, I felt like I was being told something and I needed to pay attention. The article by Gray then added to this historical and cultural context. That “highly visible media personalities (…) helped to focus, organize, and translate blackness into commodifiable representations and desires that could be packaged and marketed across the landscape of American popular culture” (68) was the peak point of the article, for me and brings the Esposito article back to mind. How do you commodify something/people, who are “ugly” to society?