I hadn't heard of Chester French before I found this video, so I don't know if this is within the expected range of where her music and imagery usually falls, but it feels a little uncomfortable to me.
Chester French's Black Girls video is beautifully shot (and NSFW so watch out!) but the premise makes me bit uneasy. The song is about loving (and sleeping with) black women, because they're so uniquely beautiful. Awesome right? Maybe not.
My problem with the video is that it seems to exoticize and fetishize black women, even though the lyrics say that's exactly what it's trying not to do. In the video, French is seen flirting with and kissing (among other NSFW things) a gorgeous black woman. There's nothing wrong with this in and of itself. People have sex.
long, sad and negative history, and it can be painful to be reminded of the objectification that many black women face even today.
Necessitating that this gorgeous woman be naked in the video, places the emphasis squarely on her sexuality. That says to me, "Chester French likes black women because she thinks they're hot." Not "Chester French like this black woman because she's likes her personality and she's an awesome person to be around." Suddenly, the narrative is all about how sexy this woman is instead of about why French would be interested in her in the first place.
Then come the actual lyrics. The second verse reads:
Well I have tried to taste the rainbow in my life
I've sampled many different flavors I enjoy
It's not to say I wouldn't settle down with Sally
Dilly dally with her heart like it's my toy
I've been to England a few times
And it's common over there
Plus the whole world's turning brown and who cares
And there's my problem. A black woman is a person, not a novelty. She is not one of many to be "sampled" so that you can choose your favourite. I dislike the idea that interracial relationships should happen because they're hip. They should happen because race ceases to become a considering factor in the viability of a relationship.
I highly doubt that French meant to offend, and I can honestly say that the video is gorgeous. The problem is that I think the video ignores some very important social problems and prejudices, and I'm not sure if I'm okay with that.
What do you think of the video? Am I reading too much into this? Or am I right to feel uneasy? Let me know in the comments below.