Anyone out there in the Frisky-verse speak Dutch? Because I would really love to understand what is going on in the trailer for “Only Decent People” (“Alleen Maar Nette Mensen”), a new film in The Netherlands that many people are decrying as racist. The film is about a white Jewish guy who dumps his white girlfriend when he realizes that he really loves a woman with a big booty, so he starts dating black women. Clutch Magazine reports that the black community in The Netherlands is cricizing the film and the novel it is based on, for portraying black women as “hyper-sexual” and most valued by society for the size of (some of) their asses. And watching the trailer, even in Dutch, it’s not hard to see how they came to that conclusion. Keep reading »
When the big news was announced last week that Zoe Saldana would be playing singer Nina Simone in a biopic, black cyberspace (yes, there is a “black Twitter” and a “black Facebook”) let out a collective “Oh, hell to the naw”!
For some it was because they did not believe that Zoe had enough acting talent to pull it off. Nina Simone was an extremely complex woman in real life, and the actress assigned to do this would be embarking upon the role of a lifetime. For others, the statements ranged from “Can Zoe even sing?” to “Wait, I thought she said she was a Latina?” to “Zoe is too skinny to play Nina Simone anyway!”
As the debate continued, it became clear to me that the issues surrounding the casting of Zoe ran much deeper than her acting ability. It was “skin deep.” Once again we were seeing an example of how Hollywood just doesn’t understand black women. To mainstream America, Black is “one color fits all.” But to African-American women, the color of our skin is much more than a random hue. In many ways, it uniquely shapes who we are and how we are treated in the world. For us, body image and self-esteem does not only involve loving your womanly body for the shape of it, but also embracing your complexion, hair texture and other features in a culture that constantly reminds you that thin white women are the standard of beauty. Keep reading »
Chadvelyn, LosOcho and OchoSado: those were the three hybrid names that I came up with for my favorite reality TV couple, Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson and Evelyn Lozada. But after only six weeks of marriage, the beautiful sounds of wedded bliss and the hoopla surrounding their much anticipated reality show have been silenced by the head-butt that was heard around the world.
By now, everyone knows about the drama surrounding Chadvelyn. The Internet has been all aflutter with updates. She-said this, he-said that and we-said “WTF?” He loses his job, she files for divorce, and we all sit back to make judgments and assumptions about everything. Keep reading »
This piece was originally published on xoJane.com.
When I was a senior in high school [above left], I attended this college prep program held in the sanctuary of a Baptist church across the street from my grandmother’s $1 Soul Food restaurant in south central Los Angeles. High-achieving nerds from all over the city would meet up every Thursday to talk personal essays, financial aid and application fees well past 11 o’clock.
One night the guy I was crushing on gave me a ride home in his mom’s new-but-used white BMW. I think we were debating the merits of the Common app versus the UC app and listening to Tupac at a medium volume when those angry telltale lights began to flash behind us. Jay looked at me and laughed. Those couldn’t be for us.
Of course they were. Keep reading »
I have never watched HBO’s new show “Girls.” Not because I don’t want to — I’m actually excited to see a new female-centered TV show that allows actresses to play rich and diverse characters. But unfortunately, the current role I play in real life, that of a struggling comic/actress, does not afford me the opportunity to indulge in the many simple pleasures of life such as HBO. Although I have not seen the show, I have seen and heard much of the praise and criticism the show has garnered — especially around the all-white cast. Keep reading »
A few months ago, I picked up a book called Is Marriage For White People? In it, author Ralph Richard Banks addressed the decline of successful black marriages in America. He attributed this to two factors: 1) African-American women attaining a higher level of education than their male counterparts, and 2) successful black men marrying outside of their race twice as much as within. So for simplicity’s sake, let’s just say that as soon as black men find success, they often marry outside their race, leaving behind a very small and mediocre dating pool to choose from. This lack of suitable, stable men in the black community forces women to either “marry down” or stay single, which limits opportunities for successful marriages.
With that being said, why has comedian Kevin Hart taken it upon himself to misrepresent the current and dyer situation by negatively and wrongfully stereotyping black women in this cartoon? Keep reading »
Move your nasty self over, Kelly Osbourne: there’s a new girl-on-girl hater in town. Talk show host Wendy Williams had some crap to say about Viola Davis’s decision to go natural at the Oscars and it was not nice. According to the blog Madame Noire, Wendy Williams said no one wanted to see a “‘Room 222′ look on the red carpet.” I didn’t know what that obscure reference meant, but Madame Noire explained that “Room 222″ was a TV show from the ’60s and ’70s about a black man with a short Afro who taught a history class. In other words, Wendy Williams was implying no one wanted to see Viola Davis with her short, natural hair because it made her look mannish. Keep reading »