“You guys know about vampires? … You know, vampires have no reflections in a mirror? There’s this idea that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. And what I’ve always thought isn’t that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. It’s that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves. And growing up, I felt like a monster in some ways. I didn’t see myself reflected at all.” — Junot Díaz
As a kid, I never tried to sneak out of the house. It’s not that I was a stickler for the rules (sorry, Mom) — it’s just that all the wonders I could ever want to explore didn’t exist outside the confines of my home. They were waiting for me when I woke up each morning, tucked neatly into the hallway bookshelves whose ever-expanding ranks housed J.K. Rowling, Leo Tolstoy, Judy Blume, and Sarah Dessen. Keep reading »
I understand that an employee at the Louis Vuitton Townhouse in London’s Selfridges department store, after being subjected to many of your humiliating, infuriating, racist rants, recorded one of your many outbursts. In your recently outed diatribe, you allegedly state: “Black people are slaves who eat dirt off the floor.” I’m hopeful you’ve come to realize the gravity of your predicament, considering your actions on behalf of Louis Vuitton will be tried in court on the grounds of racial discrimination and harassment; restitution for which could cost your employer millions of dollars. It’s hard to imagine you’ll work in the industry again, but my concern for your future work-placement is less pressing at this particular moment. Your hate and ignorance is also of lesser importance.What is more deeply troubling is the prevalent racism found in the high fashion industry of which you are a representative — well, were, anyways. Keep reading »
Silicon Valley is known for many things — it’s thriving startup culture, the birthplace of Apple and leading the world in innovative technology and engineering — but diversity is not one of them.
Angela Benton knows this first hand. She’s a 32-year-old CEO who moved to the tech promise land in 2011. She’s also an African-American women. The founder of Black Web 2.0 and NewMe Accelerator is constantly reminded that she’s one of few Black women in her industry, most recently by HBO’s new series, also titled “Silicon Valley.” Read more on Hello Beautiful…
The Internet has been abuzz lately with Tumblr blogs like I, Too, Am Harvard and I, Too, Am Oxford, which focused on the experiences of students of color amongst the mostly white populations at elite universities. Mostly the signs highlight ignorant remarks based on stereotypes students have been subjected to.
Here’s another Tumblr in the same vein, but with a slightly different take: We Are All UVA. Students of all backgrounds and sexual orientations pose holding signs hashtagged #WeAreAllUVA explaining what they contribute to the big melting pot that is the UVA campus. My absolute favorite is this one: five young men from the UVA swim team holding a sign that reads, “2 of us are gay, the other 3 don’t care.” Keep reading »
“I look at shows on TV, and this is going to just seem defensive, but I’m just gonna say it: I’m a fucking Indian woman who has her own fucking network television show, OK? … I have four series regulars that are women on my show, and no one asks any of the shows I adore — and I won’t name them because they’re my friends — why no leads on their shows are women or of color, and I’m the one that gets lobbied about these things. And I’ll answer them, I will. But I know what’s going on here. … It is a little insulting because, I’m like, God, what can I — oh, I’m sitting in it. I have 75 percent of the lines on the show. … And I’m like, oh wait, it’s not like I’m running a country, I’m not a political figure. I’m someone who’s writing a show and I want to use funny people. And it feels like it diminishes the incredibly funny women who do come on my show… I don’t know, it’s a little frustrating.”
This is Mindy Kaling‘s response (as quoted by Flavorwire) when she got asked at a SXSW panel why Mindy is the only female doctor and the only doctor of color on her show, “The Mindy Project,” which she writes, executive produces, and stars in. I don’t blame her for being defensive or feeling frustrated: it is a show written/produced/starring a woman of color with a bunch of female co-stars and yet these types of questions from journalists still insinuate that Kaling not doing enough. Keep reading »
After weeks, nay, months … nay, yeaaaaars of complaints from critics, viewers and cast member about the lack of any Black female cast members on “Saturday Night Live,” the comedy show final addressed its diversity problem on last night’s episode, hosted by “Scandal”‘s Kerry Washington (the first Black woman to host the show since early 2012). In the cold open, Washington played both Michelle Obama and Oprah, requiring her to change off screen in a direct nod to cast member Kenan Thompson’s recent refusal to continue playing any Black female characters in drag. The opener cheekily made use of the show’s bounty of white male cast members, sending out six of them as a bunch of Matthew McConaugheys. It was a funny start to what was otherwise a lackluster and at times cringeworthy episode. While Washington did her best with the material, the episode underscored “SNL”‘s need not only for a more diverse cast, but a more diverse writing team as well. Never was it more painfully obvious that the writer’s room at “SNL” is stocked with thirtysomething white dudes. That pageant sketch? Lord, help me. Keep reading »
We were far from the only ones to be seriously stunned by Rick Owens’ above-and-beyond runway step show — it’s being called “one of the most innovative and exciting fashion shows” of recent recall. New York-based singer-songwriter Arin Lawrence, who performed as part of The Soul Steppers (just one of four groups featured in Owens’ show), regaled her story of the show, from its very germination last spring until last week’s ground-breaking performance, in an exclusive interview with BuzzFeed. Keep reading »
My sincerest apologies to those designers who were scheduled to show on the last four days of Paris Fashion Week. You’re all going to need to go home now; Rick Owens just killed the damn thing. The avant-garde designer, beloved for his “luxury gothic” sensibility and his most glorious leather jackets, eschewed all traditional runway stalwarts in favor of a cast of plus-size “steppers.” The ladies first marched out looking hella mean, then burst into what I believe to be a fascinating if somewhat alarming — and very, very unexpected in the context of Paris Fashion Week — dance routine. Check out live clips of the performance after the jump… [via The Fader] Keep reading »
Another Fashion Week, another heap of headlines reaming out the industry for the lack of diversity on the runway — it’s not to suggest that the conversation is overplayed, but rather that the long-standing issue remains an issue, season after season. Most designers, as a general rule, in a notoriously judgmental climate, cast black and Asian models in “token” slots — as novelties, as gimmicks, as a statement. Prada, for example, went a decade without placing a single black model on a catwalk, and 19 years without a black woman in an editorial campaign.
German designer Philipp Plein, who showed in Milan this week, is no stranger to headline-grabbing statements: he sent male models down the runway with assault rifles earlier this year, and has collaborated with such erstwhile figures as Terry Richardson and Lindsay Lohan. For his Spring 2014 collection, Plein cast exclusively black models, including popular faces like Alek Wek and Liya Kebede. Of the influence behind his decision, Plein reasoned, Keep reading »
It’s weird: A recent Wall Street Journal op ed by embittered high school senior Suzy Lee Weiss — an open letter to all the colleges that rejected her — reads like an April Fools’ Day joke. Except it’s not, and Ms. Weiss seems to believe that it’s everyone else, not her, that’s responsible for her failure to get accepted to her preferred schools.
Writes Weiss in the lengthy screed, “Had I known two years ago what I know now, I would have gladly worn a headdress to school. Show me to any closet, and I would’ve happily come out of it. ‘Diversity!’ I offer about as much diversity as a saltine cracker. If it were up to me, I would’ve been any of the diversities: Navajo, Pacific Islander, anything. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, I salute you and your 1/32 Cherokee heritage.” Keep reading »