Lesbian and gay stereotypes permeate every aspect of our society, especially the media. These cliched views of gay characters have existed since the 1900s and are still prevalent, whether you notice them or not.
All exposure isn’t good exposure; these stereotypes are actually extremely damaging to the LGBT community, especially for queer women.
When it comes to portraying lesbianism on screen, there is an historical tendency to sensationalise the subject matter.
If you believe the work of exploitation directors such as Jean Rollin and Jess Franco, every woman alive is just waiting for any chance to shed their clothes and get down to lesbian business in a very explicit way.
Lesbian Media stereotypes
The Promiscuous Casanova
These ladies have a different woman every night, and make damn sure not to remember their names the next morning. They’re suave, cocky and always managing to get the girl. As viewers, we tend to fancy them, or want to be (look at how popular the Shane haircut got). They are usually presented with frown and general self-hatred is a must.
The Lesbian Psycho
These ladies range from bunny boilers to full blown psychopaths – if they’re not trying to destroy someone’s life, they’re chasing us with kitchen knives.
The Vampire Dyke
These ladies are a mix of pale skin, pouting lips, sharp teeth and no remorse. They are so overtly sexual that labelling them, as a lesbian doesn’t really work, as they want everyone. They’ll kiss you, strip you, lick you and then eat you.
The Hot Lesbian
These ladies are stunningly gorgeous. You’ll watch them wade out of pools in slow motion, climbing off motorcycles in leather one-suits, flicking their gorgeous locks in the wind and licking their plumped up lips in anticipation. These women are there strictly for the male gaze, but men beware, as these women will still your woman. It would appear no one can resist especially the naïve girlfriend of some pumped up jock.
All exposure isn’t good exposure; these stereotypes are extremely damaging to the LGBT community.