The rampant white-washing of models, actresses, and musicians of color is not a new concept. Freida Pinto, Rihanna, and Aishwarya Rai have all previously fallen victim to white-washing on magazine covers and in promotional images. Beyoncé’s skin was lightened dramatically in a 2008 cosmetics ad by L’Oreal, where she is the spokesperson. These incidents can be contributed to digital retouchers and the outlets that choose to release the images … but what about your own album cover and promo ads? The photos accompanying Beyoncé’s most recent release, 4, have stirred up controversy and it’s not a struggle to see why. Beyoncé is a fairly light-skinned black woman and she generally keeps her hair lightened to a shade that’s more caramel than chocolate. But these shots have her looking straight up like Lindsay Lohan with a subtle tan. If you showed me this image on its own and asked me who it was, Beyoncé would be my last guess.
Again, these light-skinned images are promotional ads for Béyonce’s own album, which leads me to believe that she absolutely approved the photos. [NYMag.com]
When pop culture depicts transgender people, they usually do it in such a facepalm way that I wonder why anyone bothers anymore. The latest what-were-you-thinking? comes courtesy of Libra tampons in New Zealand, which aired a commercial that implies trans folks who dress as women are not “real women.” The commercial shows an ostensibly “real” woman standing next to a trans person in the bathroom, who I guess is a drag queen. They both put on their lip gloss and mascara and adjust their boobs in their tight party dress. Then the “real” woman pulls a tampon out of her purse. The drag queen makes a “hmmph!” face and walks away. Keep reading »
Jennifer Hudson duets on “I Believe In You & Me” with her larger self — the self that competed on “American Idol,” the self that starred in “Dreamgirls” — in a Weight Watchers commercial that I have to admit is kinda touching. (And that’s not usually something I would say about a Weight Watchers commercial.) The “new” Jennifer is much more polished; yes, she is slimmer but her movements less theatrical, her outfit is more chic and her hair is straightened. In short, she’s conforming to a more mainstream version of beauty — some might even say a white standard of beauty. I’m happy if she’s happy (and, perhaps, healthier, although we know people are created in all shapes and sizes and can be healthier at a larger body weight). I just thought the “old” Jennifer — who made it in Hollywood on her considerable talent despite being larger than the average starlet — was cute, too. [Essence] Keep reading »
Let’s do the Time Warp, yeaaaah!
Amelia has gone back in time and unearthed a video of Baby Jessica Wakeman (real name: Riley), who is just as opinionated as she is in adult form. Riley is seen shopping in a toy store, with a man I presume is her father, when she goes off on a rant about how pink is not just for girls. You tell ‘em, Riley! And in another 15 years, there is an internship waiting for you at The Frisky. [YouTube] Keep reading »
Look, I get it. This Durex condom ad, which is running in India, is supposed to be funny. The condoms are so thin, she can’t feel ‘em! But the obvious problem is that these ads teach the most important lesson about safe sex — discuss the use of protection before you f**k! Don’t let a dude stick it in unless you’re sure he has a condom on! Protect yourself. The fact that this ad got approved boggles the mind. Truly. [The Gloss]