For the last several years, natural hair “trends” have been on the rise for African-American and other women in the U.S. Just last week, Oprah graced the cover of O Magazine donning an enormous Afro, much bigger than the one she wore in the late ’70s when she first started on primetime. Oprah’s gesture pays tribute to the millions of women who have tossed relaxers and weaves to the side and embraced their own hair — their natural hair.
As I wrote last spring, women of African decent, and some others too, sometimes use a product called a perm to make their hair “more manageable.” These began as a trend in the 1920s so blacks (both men and women) could more readily assimilate into white culture and evade the detriments of racism. If you’ve ever read or watched The Autobiography of Malcolm X, you’ll remember the scene in which he dunked his head in a toilet bowl to find reprieve from the smoldering “conk” (what a perm used to be called) he was using to straighten his hair.
Oprah’s hair was a wig designed by lock guru Andre Walker but the idea of it still persists – Afros, and other natural hairstyles are here to stay … or are they? Keep reading »
“You cannot be my friend and use that word around me. It shows my age, but I feel strongly about it. … I always think of the millions of people who heard that as their last word as they were hanging from a tree.”
– Oprah Winfrey stars in the upcoming Lee Daniels film “The Butler,” about a Black man who works in the White House, and explained in an interview with Parade how she got Daniels to stop saying the N-word, as he put it, “quite a bit.” I don’t think Oprah’s opinion about that slur are showing her age; instead they show her commitment to social justice. Elsewhere in the interview, she is asked about what young people know about the civil rights movement today: “They don’t know diddly-squat. Diddly-squat!” [Parade] [Image via Fame/Flynet]
I don’t really watch OWN, Oprah’s network-facing grasp at world domination, so I really miss my daily 4 p.m. check in with OWins. It seems I’m not the only one, as the folks over at Beloved have fashioned a sweatshirt from Ms. Winfrey’s face. Writ large across the body of the sweatshirt, this garment says, “I have no problems wearing someone else’s face all over my body.” If my life had gone in a different direction, one in which novelty sweatshirts were my main source of amusement, I would buy up everything on this site. [$59, Beloved]
Oprah made an appearance in Vancouver yesterday, with tickets going for upwards of $350. But not everyone was overjoyed about the Big O’s Canadian visit. Glen Callender, founder of the Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project, was there, along with his supporters, to protest Oprah’s endorsement of SkinMedica, a line of beauty products made with “foreskin fibroblast.” Winfrey has called the product her “magic fountain of youth and miracle wrinkle cream.” Callender compared Oprah’s endorsement of SkinMedica to the condoning female genital mutilation. Keep reading »
Terry fucking Richardson, get your dirty, high-contrast hands off of Oprah Winfrey! [Photo: Terry Richardson/Harper's Bazaar]
We fell in love with Zach Anner when we saw his early submission to Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network’s “Next Reality Star” competition. Wheelchair-bound Zach, who was born with cerebral palsy, wanted to make a travel show, showing that his disability wasn’t going to stop him from exploring the world around him. Zach won us — and about a zillion other fans — over with his quirky humor, and lucky for him and all of us, Zach got his own show. These days he’s traversing the globe filming “Rollin’ With Zach.” Check out a short teaser above — featuring a theme song by John Mayer. [Oprah]
While some see Oprah’s fire walk as a publicity stunt to save OWN’s plummeting ratings, I see it as a sign that she hasn’t changed at all. She’s still the badass that took over daytime television and she intends to stay that way. She wouldn’t be Oprah if she didn’t come onstage with a wagon of fat, or live as a colonial woman for a week, or go on a road trip with Gayle, her not-lesbian lover. That is what Oprah does. She goes big. She makes noise. She goes to Anthony Robbins’ “Unleash Your Power Within” seminars and walks on hot coals to prove that those who achieve greatness take action. I refuse to hate on that. Mind over matter, girl! Show those coals who’s boss! [Limelife]