Carrie Mae Weems, Mirror, Mirror (from the series Ain’t Joking), 1987
This piece represents bell hooks’ notion of the oppositional gaze. Within that notion, hooks describes that women of color not only are marginalized as women, but are marginalized as people of color. This oppositional gaze means that women of color are able to cast a critical eye on white womanhood as an object of male gaze. This piece in particular is pointing out the fact that women of color are not represented in Western art. The white female is the “epitome of beauty” as the fetishized body. Depictions of the “Mammy” figure in film and art are there to heighten the sex appeal of the white protagonist.