This meme is a picture of two black women in lingerie but one has darker skin than the other. On top, it says “Dark skin vs. Light skin, who cares whos winning” and on the bottom, it says the “winner” is the man who gets to take one of them home, or “both.” This meme started out well enough because racism within the African American community (and everywhere else) is a real issue. But instead of trying to address the topic, this meme makes it very clear who it’s really for which is males. These women are skinny, with “curves all in the right places” and have big breast. They are barely dressed in anything except for a thong, a sheer tank top that shows off their nipples, and jewelry. While there is nothing wrong with how these women look, it’s still a very oversexualized look which is a problem since this is clearly designed for the male gaze. This meme is telling men not to discriminate because they might get lucky, not because it’s bad. It also puts females against each other, in order to fight for male attention. This meme takes an important issue and waters down the issue and uses if for men’s pleasure.

This is a post praising black women for “look[ing] like a black women” without having to have “surgery.” This is problematic because that’s claiming that all black women are supposed to look the same. This puts pressure on black women to look “like a black women,” when that’s impossible because everyone is different. It also makes one wonder, who makes up these rules and judges who is “black enough.” This post also pits women against each other because they might feel the need to compete with each other, criticise other women. It’s not enough that black women are actually black women, but they look a certain way as well. Also makes a strong statement that black women’s bodies are the most important thing to for black women.

This meme is the cover of a video game called Ratchet and Clank but has been photoshopped to say Ratchet Girls. Also photoshopped on the cover are black women. The women on the cover are supposed to be representations of what ratchet is. The more I looked at these memes, the more I how bad they are. I don’t know these women and I doubt the person who made this knew any of these women either and yet they are so ready to judge. On the cover there are three women standing together, they are wearing revealing clothes. But I think the reason why they were placed on the cover is that they are fat. If these were three women who were skinny, then they might be called other names, but ratchet wouldn’t be one of them. These women are ratchet only because they had the audacity to wear what they wanted to. Another woman is on here but she is displaying a chess tattoo that says “five star chick.” It’s not my favorite tattoo but really who cares?

The last picture I used was one of a woman walking out of a restaurant, wearing some revealing clothes and is bigger. On the bottom, there is a picture of Steve Irwin saying “What do we have here? A ratchet in its natural habitat.” The thing that strikes me most about this meme is that it was very obviously taken in public, without her consent because she’s looking down at her phone. Again I think they are only calling her ratchet because she is bigger and wearing skimpier clothes. This meme sends a message to people that say if you are fat, don’t wear revealing clothes. This is unfair, everybody should be able to wear what they want. I think it’s interesting that fat women in less clothing are automatically considered ratchet.

Paige Elizabeth is a senior at ODU and will be graduating in the spring with a B.A. in Women’s Studies and a Minor in Public Service. She is slowly learning how to be an adult.