There was something wrong with what I was accepting as entertainment, something that spoke to the physical being of myself and all of the other women in my family. They rely on tropes about Black women being ghetto, uncivilized, and unattractive; stereotypes that Black women still have to fight against everyday. As a male comedian, Perry was offering an offensive and problematic representation of plus-sized Black women to the masses. The truth is that caricatures of Black womanhood from men are usually more harmful to women. Advertisement The show Martin is one of the greatest Black sitcoms on television. Eddie Murphy played a similar character, Rasputia, in Norbit. And my naive younger self, with very little of the Black feminist sensibilities I have today, laughed right along with the rest of his audience. One of the strong suits of its titular star Martin Lawrence was that he could easily hilariously play other characters, both male and female, on the show. She towered over Cole by at least two feet in height and was only ever shown from the neck down during her rare appearances. But then I thought about the Perry fans who would be beside me — the people who had yet to question the messages Madea sends about Black women and their bodies — and decided against it. Advertisement In the entertainment industry, Black women are villainized or caricatured unless they fall into an extremely narrow window of desirability. The film topped the box office. I was called Rasputia and Big Shirley and Big Sesali by mean-spirited peers in middle and high school. Clearly there is still work to be done. Though the identity of the actor has yet to be identified, the voice implied that she was played by a man. These characters were supposed to be gross exaggerations of players commonly found in Black urban communities. Fifteen years later with a lot more confidence and sense, I was curious to see if Madea could still get a chuckle out of me.