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]
Tag Archives: race
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 »
As most people already know, the ubiquitous Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are expecting a baby. I’m happy for them. Unlike most people, I don’t mind Kim Kardashian. She makes an obscene amount of money for being herself (or the version of herself she wants us to see). I’m someone who’d be happy to make an obscene amount of money the same way.
Despite being here for the media blitz surrounding the Kimye bebe, a recent statement the mom-to-be made gave me to pause. And, no, I’m not talking about that weird fake tweet.
In an interview with BET, Kim Kardashian said, “I have a lot of friends that are all different nationalities, and their children are bi-racial. So they have kind of talked to me a little bit about it, what to expect and what not to expect. I think that the most important thing is how I would want to raise my children, is just to not see color. That’s important to me.” 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 »
- Just in case you thought racism was over and solved forever, here’s model Chanel Iman talking about how the fashion industry is not immune to the “one is enough” idea when it comes to diversity. “A few times I got excused by designers who told me ‘we already found one black girl. We don’t need you anymore.’ I felt very discouraged. When someone tells you, ‘we don’t want you because we already have one of your kind, it’s really sad,” Iman told the UK’s Sunday Times Magazine. This is especially troubling given how magazines will book light-skinned models and put them in blackface instead of just hiring black models! [Clutch Magazine]
- North Dakota’s state Senate advanced a “fetal personhood” bill which would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can be as early as six weeks. [Washington Post] 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]
Insult comedian Lisa Lampanelli has made headlines again – for all the wrong reasons. Last week during the Writers Guild Awards, she shamelessly tweeted a picture of she and HBO “Girls” producer and star, Lena Dunham captioned “Me with my Ni**a @LenaDunham of @HBOGirls – I love this beyotch!!”
The interwebs erupted with rage as yet another privileged white comedian made a “joke” at the expense of the Black experience. The ubiquitous nature of racism means while we see and hear it everywhere, we’re rarely given the opportunity to understand the motivation behind it. Lampanelli’s entire shtick is to exploit the sensitive nature of race and homosexuality and to make money from abusing the art of comedy, not taking responsibility for the social implications of her “work.” Keep reading »
- Well, that’s one way to get fired: Phivos Lampros Istavrioglou (what a name), the head of international relations at French fashion brand Moncler, has been accused of one major art heist. He was arrested at JFK airport for the theft of ‘Cartel Des Don Juan Tenorio 1949,’ a $150,000 Salvador Dali painting (shown), from an Upper East Side art gallery last year. [Business Insider]
- Race relations are always a popular topic in fashion, thanks in part to the industry’s reputation for being maybe just the slightest bit obtuse. At New York Fashion Week this season, critics noticed that there was less racial diversity than ever. Jezebel crunched the numbers, and here’s what they found… [Jezebel]
- Rihanna has another collaboration to add to her roster, and it isn’t musical this time. Just a few days after her design collab with British brand River Island went down the runway, the controversial singer has announced plans to partner with MAC Cosmetics. Like, really partner — RiRi has signed on to have a hand in four distinct color lines set to launch throughout this year. I guess that’s what you get for wearing Ruby Woo almost every time you’re photographed! [Refinery29]
- You’ll recall that John Galliano made waves in his Hasidic get-up during New York Fashion Week. Writers at Conan got in touch with the disgraced designer’s brother Joe, who actually does wear Jewish hats. Like, real Jewish hats, trimmed with bagels, dreidels, aaaaaand a circumcised banana. Yeah. Watch it! [The Cut]