When I read the New York Times headline about black women and weight, I just could not engage. I was instantly drained. My thoughts moved from “wtf” to “not another one” to “I am so effing over this.” Maybe there was something in the article worth discussing. Maybe there was some information that would be awesome for facilitating a conversation about black women and health. But, I could not get over the title.
Just like there is a formula for a radio hit or a club anthem, there seems to be a formula for getting hits on an article. Attack black women. I keep waiting for the trend to end. I keep hoping that someone to write the equivalent of “D.O.A.,” so outlets back off of the attack a bit. But, the thing about formulas is people stick with them as long as they work, or until they find one that works better.
Sensationalism in media is not new. Painting black women as everything but upstanding citizens isn’t either. But, it seems to happen more frequently these days. I’m not sure if I recognize it more now because I’m older, because the ‘net makes the articles so easy to access, because I work in media, or if there really has been an increase of negativity to counter the awesomeness we see every day by having Michelle Obama as a first lady.
What I do know is that I’d like to log on or pick up a newspaper and not feel like the world is coming for me. I’d like to feel like the not-so-secret recipe has been scrapped and folks are done baiting and dissing black women for clicks or reads.
Is it possible to spark discussions about issues and solutions without baiting?
Do you click and comment when the headlines aren’t so sensational?