Tomorrow the United States will execute Teresa Lewis, 41, the first woman to be put to death in the last five years, by lethal injection. In 2002, Lewis left the door of her Danville, Virginia, home unlocked so her lover, Matthew Shallenberger, and his companion, Rodney Fuller, could murder her husband and 25-year-old stepson with shotguns she had purchased. Her husband didn’t die immediately after being shot, but Lewis waited 45 minutes before she called the police. Lewis allegedly wanted to kill her family so she could collect life insurance and inheritance; she allegedly offered sex with her 16-year-old daughter if the murderers went through with the killings.
Lewis’ lawyers have claimed that she is borderline mentally retarded, was allegedly addicted to painkillers, and therefore was not an appropriate candidate for the death penalty. Keep reading »
White women talk about Nicholas Sparks, Eat Pray Love, Carrie Underwood and mascara. Black women love lip gloss, self-help and “Pretty Woman.” Latinas are gung-ho for the “Twilight” saga and “Sixteen Candles.” For Asian women, it’s “A Walk To Remember,” lip balm, and Tuesdays With Morrie that make the cut. Middle Easterners get excited by Vogue and Elizabeth Gilbert, while for Indians it’s “When Harry Met Sally” and Jane Austen. Pacific Islanders just love Mitch Albom, chivalry, and a bargain.
You might be wondering what I am talking about. Keep reading »
I don’t know how much stock I take in Vanity Fair‘s lists of the most powerful and influential people. There’s no denying someone like Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg, or Rupert Murdoch has an enormous ability to influence people. But there’s always people in lists like that who I sense are just getting a blow job from the magazine. Besides, who each of us is influenced by is such a personal thing! I personally find Tina Fey and Ani DiFranco enormously “influential,” but they are never listed on anything. Alas, Vanity Fair‘s 2010 list of the 100 people in “New Establishment” has another reason for you to scoff at its credibility: If my counting skills are to be trusted, of the 114 people on the list, there are only 13 women. That’s nine percent. Nine! Keep reading »
Levi’s is selling new Curve ID jeans in three different versions: a “slight curve,” a “demi curve,” and a “bold curve.” The sizes in the various versions basically range from 2 to 14 (although I’m aware sizes are completely and non-sensically different from company to company.) The tag line for the ad campaign is “All asses are not created equal.” The models are three light-skinned women who appear to be Caucasian. Although “curviness” is relative, none of them are curvy in the way, say, J.Lo, Beyoncé, or Crystal Renn is curvy.
To some it’s just an ad campaign for “curvy” jeans. To others, it’s racist and sexist advertising. Keep reading »
I was in fourth grade when my grandmother first took me to a hair salon. She drove me to her hairdresser, Betsy, a 50-year-old woman who dyed her hair pitch black, and had a head full of curls the perfect shape of large hot rollers. I squirmed as Betsy ripped out the rubber bands holding in my afro puffs and inspected the black cloud of kink on my head.
“Naomi, have you been trimming this yourself?” Betsy asked, horrified.
“Well, yes, but I don’t know how to do her hair.” Gram said sheepishly. Gram raised five straight-haired Irish-American kids, my mother being one of them. No curls were in sight until my father’s African-American hair genes messed it up. She was lost. Keep reading »
On Monday, a media industry blog revealed that Essence, a lifestyle magazine geared towards black women, had hired a new fashion director named Ellianna Placas, to begin in September. But it was not the lines on her resume touting O: The Oprah Magazine and Us Weekly that attracted attention. It was the color of Placas’ skin: white.
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“I don’t know who Snooki is.”
Wait, I voted for this man?
When President Barack Obama visited “The View” this morning, people living in red states and blue states alike crowded around the TV for the big event. In between cute anecdotes about Sasha and Malia and softball questions about Lindsay Lohan’s jail sentence, he fielded questions about Afghanistan, unemployment, racism, and the economy. And yes, the show’s token conservative, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, behaved herself. Keep reading »
Wow, SkinWhite. Symbolism much? Latino pop culture blog Guanabee noticed this ad for SkinWhite skin lightening cream which conveys a message about race via black and white chess pieces: “See, the white queen is reigning over all the black pieces. That’s because the black king took her as his queen. Because she’s white. Get it?”
It’s unknown if this ad is “spec work” or if it actually ran anywhere. But the fact that an ad for a product that helps darker-skinned people bleach their skin — itself disconcerting, as we recently discussed regarding Vaseline’s skin lightening app on Facebook — thought to depict “white wins over black” as a concept is troubling enough. [Guanabee] Keep reading »