In 2020, Crews-Dezurn went viral when video footage of her weave being forcibly removed from her head in the middle of a fight was circulated on social media. A month later, Wilder became an internet meme on account of the excuse he gave (the weight of his ring walk costume) for his first professional loss. In response to the incidents, Crews-Dezurn reclaimed ownership of the viral moment, patenting the hashtag associated with the clip and building a merchandising and branding campaign focused on challenging gendered narratives about Black female bodies and hair. A month after his incident, Wilder collaborated with AFROPOLiTiAN magazine in a photoshoot depicting him as an African king. We apply a reading of social avatars and futurism to these case studies. We argue perceptions of social avatars, as they pertain to both boxers, queer the hegemonic readings of their gendered and racial bodies.
|Accepted/In press - 2023
- social avatars