Token Black Girl
Books, movies, magazines and social media actively cultivate cravings for acceptance, and have particularly negative effects on Black girls and women as they are routinely excluded and underrepresented. The recent months of 2020 have revealed a renewed interest in the ways that covert racism functions as a byproduct of white supremacy. This book dissects the insidious impact of popular culture by examining Danielle’s interpersonal journey in coming to terms with her racial identity when she fails to find herself represented in a way that is seen as aspirational to her white peers. She goes from media junkie to media puppet after laboriously pursuing physical perfection to become a fashion and beauty editor at some of the industry’s top magazines.
Consumption of messaging that establishes beauty hierarchies can be incredibly damaging in both the immediate and the long term. Danielle is so influenced by media’s suggestive nature that she becomes obsessed with optimizing her own appearance until she is trained to police herself and other women, doomed to redistribute the very same ideologies that proved so harmful to her. After 15 years of working in her chosen industry, Danielle overcomes her decades-long eating disorder and turns her critical eye off of herself and onto the factors that motivated her self-destructive behaviors. While providing an insider perspective to a notoriously secretive community, Token Black Girl includes suggestions on how individuals can improve media literacy and action steps to ensure that future generations are not subjected to similar conditions.