TASK #2: Looking back at the materials you focused on for homework, please explore the black ideal of beauty and the struggles it brings along for African-American women. Connect your findings to the way weight and beauty issues are dealt with in the film Precious. More information on obesity among the black community can be found below.


Many coloured women use skin-lightening creams. They want to brighten the tone of their face and to be more excepted in society.But the creams include prescription-strength steroids which damage the skin.


Another beauty ideal is to be obese. 4 out of 5 African-American women are overweight or obese. Although studies show a strong tendency to deem larger body sizes as acceptable, particularly for women. It is even more alarming that some of these women are making a choice to live at an unhealthy weight, to be accepted.

To accomplish the black ideal of beauty they take many risks. The skin-ligthening creams have some adverse effects:

  • skin becomes very thin
  • capillaries become visible
  • acne

Also the obesity has some risks.

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • high blood pressure

Lee Daniels’s “Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire” is a vibrant, honest and resoundingly hopeful film about the human capacity( Leistungsfähigkeit) to grow and overcome.

The plot is painfully raw, and the acting is so real that it’s almost like watching a documentary instead of a Hollywood creation.

Untrained actress Gabourey Sidibe shines in the title role of Claireece Precious Jones, a morbidly obese (übergewicht) black teen from a Welfare home. Precious has been abused her entire (vollständig) life, by both her father and her mother. He father’s abuse was sexual. Because of his rapes, Precious has two children by him.

Precious’ mother constantly abuses her, also – verbally, emotionally, and physically. She uses the girl ly as a servant and as a meal ticket for her Welfare checks. The only stability in Precious’ life at this point is the grandmother, whose fear of her daughter prevents her from aiding her granddaughter.

Because of all the abuse, poor Precious has absolutely no self esteem. She describes herself as “ugly black grease to be washed from the street.”

Precious’ mother, Mary, is played by Mo’Nique. Who knew she was such an amazing actress? The scene with Mary and the social worker is truly unforgettable. In fact, it’s some of the best acting I’ve ever witnessed. As I was watching the scene, spellbound, I was wondering where Mo’Nique found all the razor-sharp emotion. There really are no words to describe it. You’ll just have to see it for yourself.

School is a place of chaos, and Precious has reached the ninth grade with good marks and an awful secret: she can neither read nor write. Precious is practically illiterate (ungebildet) , yet in her inner city Harlem school, she’s considered a good student because she’s quiet and rarely causes any trouble. Her life changes, however, when school officials discover that she’s pregnant and is subsequently kicked out of school. Her only option is to attend an alternative school.

The alternative class is taught by Ms. Rain, played by Paula Patton. Rain is a truly dedicated teacher who cares deeply about her students. Once Precious learns to trust and believe in Ms. Rain, she begins to believe in herself and starts to turn her life around.

Beneath her impassive (teilnahmslos) expression is a watchful, curious young woman with an inchoate (unvollständig) but unshakeable sense that other possibilities exist for her.

This movie touched me on several levels, probably because of my years teaching at the high school level. Precious reminded me of several students I’ve known – lost souls searching for a way to assuage the pain in their lives. Unfortunately, far too many of these youth simply fall through the cracks. They don’t all have a Ms. Rain to catch them. The only parts of the movie that didn’t completely work for me were Precious’ fantasies. She often daydreams about being a movie star or some other celebrity, where crowds of fans adore her. I suppose they fit in a way, however, since Precious’ ultimate goal was finding love and acceptance.