Karen Braithwaite is a mom any Barbie lover would be lucky to have: she is asking Mattel to make birthday party merchandise featuring black Barbie dolls.
Mattel already sells black Barbie dolls (Barbie’s black friend Christie appeared in 1968; these days Barbie herself is black) and certain black Barbie items, such as stickers. But their sets of party goodies — cups, plates, etc. — do not include a complete set with black Barbies. All the full sets portray Barbie as white. Keep reading »
Fresh off a week of the Internet wondering whether singer Indie.Arie lightened her skin on the artwork for her new single, there’s a new Black woman looking awfully light-skinned. “Scandal” stars Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn posed in flagrante on the cover of this week’s Entertainment Weekly and if you aren’t distracted by Goldwyn’s chest hair peeking out from underneath his shirt, you’ll notice Washington’s looking a lot lighter-skinned than her usual gorgeous chocolate brown skin. The reason, I suppose, is probably the same reason as it was for Indie.Arie: the set lighting and camera flashes wash her out. Given all the attention paid to magazine covers by an art department staff (and trust us, there is a ton of attention paid — covers are what move magazines), we know the choice to leave it that way is deliberate. I think Kerry Washington looks gorgeous no matter what. But I also think women of color are beautiful no matter the darkness or lightness of their skin. I wish our culture, including our pop culture, didn’t privilege the light-skinned and lighten darker women. [Entertainment Weekly]
Has India.Arie been bleaching her dark skin to a lighter color?!?! That didn’t sound right to me when tongues started wagging last week that the famously self-accepting singer behind the song “I Am Not My Hair” might have either used skin bleaching creams — which is notoriously terrible for skin — or purposefully been lightened through the magic of Photoshop a la Beyoncé or Freida Pinto.
The alleged evidence was the artwork for her new single “Cocoa Butter” off the album Songversation, in which Indie.Arie is leaning against a beige wall and her normally-Serena-Williams-colored skin is more of a Kim Kardashian hue.
But Indie.Arie responded on Twitter on Friday and told us all to chill: Keep reading »
The always-inquisitive Jada Pinkett-Smith recently posed a question that has many people scratching their heads and some folks outright upset. In short, she’s wondering if black women ask to be represented in mainstream media, on the covers of magazines like Vanity Fair, shouldn’t white women be represented on the covers of traditionally black magazines like Essence, Ebony and JET?
The answer? Yes and no. Keep reading »
Pediatric dentist Dr. Misee Harris of Kentucky is petitioning to become the first ever Black “Bachelorette.” This prospect means a lot is surfacing for me regarding the harmful stereotypes reinforced by women of color on reality television. How would she be received? If she did get an opportunity to be on the show and chose a non-black man, what would the social implications of that be? But more than that, I feel disheartened because I know that this reality reflects how America feels about who deserves to be happy and who doesn’t. Keep reading »
We’re more than a decade into the 21st century. I’d hoped — in vain — that some basic understandings of how non-Black people should interact with Black people could be something I could take for granted. But no. Somehow there are “those people” who remain entirely clueless, so much so that they will call a 9-year old the c-word, or paint a white model bronze-Black, or not even, as so-called, journalists, bother to learn the pronunciation of an Oscar nominee’s name. This is unacceptable.
Recently, I read the comments section of a post on Clutch where a male reader was baffled as how to initiate a conversation with Black women and asked for some rules. Several helpful women obliged. In the same spirit of combating ignorance, I offer rules for non-Black people to engage Black women without causing offense. If you can manage NOT to do the following, you can probably come across as a decent human being.
Humbly, I submit a basic list, my rules of engagement, and ask you NOT to do the following (and encourage Black women to add to the list in the comments)… Keep reading »
This spread in Numero magazine is a headscratcher. Why did they hire a white model and cover her in brown makeup instead of just hiring a brown-skinned model? Or is she supposed to be a white woman in Africa who is, for some reason, Tanning Mom-level tan? Numero likely knew that photographing a 16-year-old white girl in heavy brown makeup, wearing colorfully printed clothing, next to the words “African Queen” would get people upset about blackface. And it worked. [Clutch Magazine]
I’ve been doing my utmost to debate less, but it’s hard when you’re as naturally opinionated as I am. This is compounded by the fact I come from a highly opinionated gene pool. Our family dinners sometimes spiral into debates. And when I say “sometimes,” I really mean 90 percent of the time.
Usually my mother plays referee, and when I say “referee,” I mean she’ll eventually shout, “Will you all be quiet!” My father plays the contrarian, opposing whatever view I hold. And my sisters may or may not be on my side.
I thought everyone did this — debate over dinner, as an expression of love and then pretend like nothing happened. Apparently not! Dinner is for small talk. So I’ve been trying to reprogram myself whenever I go out, because my opinions can be a bit disruptive. Keep reading »
Med students from Howard University College Of Medicine started a Change.org petition to urge Bravo to cancel a new reality show, “Married To Medicine.” The reality TV program set to debut on March 24 portrays the ups-and-downs for black women doctors and doctors’ wives/socialites in Atlanta. Keep reading »
When we sat down to record our “I Always Wanted To Ask” video series with Madame Noire, we discovered that there were a couple of questions we had for each other that kind of overlapped, including on the topic of hair. Veronica, Brande and Victoria wanted to know whether we, as white women, care about our hair as much as they, as Black women, care about theirs. We wanted to know more about the politics behind Black hair, like wearing weaves or using relaxers versus wearing their hair natural. Check out our chat above and share your questions and comments below!