Category Archives: beauty

“Is Oprah Winfrey Medium Complexioned?” and Sammy Sosa

Someone googled “is oprah winfrey medium complexioned” six times and some how ended up on this blog.  Um…I don’t get it.  Somebody fill me in, is there some kind of controversy over Oprah’s skin color that I haven’t heard about?  Did she describe herself as medium complexed?  God forbid she say that she’s dark skinned, huh?  SMH, skin color is still a very polarizing concept…well, maybe it’s better said that it’s a polarizing reality in the Black community (Indian community, Latino community, West Indian community, etc).

I’m sure this is just a random occurance, but as an African American woman, I would not be surprised about a color controversy.  Look at the Sammy Sosa situation.  Clearly the man has used some sort of skin lightening treatment.  When you look at an older picture of his previously chocolate brown skin…why would you even have to wonder? I believe the claim that Sosa’s lightened skin in this photo is the result of a skin rejuvenation process and the bright TV lights at the awards show he was attending with his wife.

According to Sosa, who addressed the skin controversy with ESPNDeportes.com’s Enrique Rojas, he is using a cream that “whitens” his skin. Mostly, Sosa said, it’s a skin softener.

Sosa is from the Dominican Republic.  I’ve seen it noted several times that many Dominican women (and many people around the Caribbean, South America, Africa, and yes, here in the US) Dominican women straighten their hair, which some experts say is a direct result of a historical learned rejection of all things black.  This rejection, seen in many diasporan cultures, has also manifested in the use of skin lightening creams.

Fair-Skin Fashion Boosts Sales of Whitening Creams in India

Sosa is symptomatic of global self-hatred

Indian men hope skin cream will change their status, fortune

Skin-lightening creams face FDA ban: Dermatologists defend treatment…

Cream labelled ‘racism in a bottle’

The Skin Bleaching Phenomenon – Commentary

This is not an isolated incident of self hate.  Sosa is just dark skinned person dealing with issues of self hate that are rooted in the concept that the closer your skin tone is to white, the more beautiful/handsome you are.  He’s just assimilating to the value system he’s been taught to respect.  That racist system of thought devalues dark skin, period.  It is not celebrated.  It is not desirable.  Therefore, I say the correct response is education and understanding, not ridicule.

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What do you think about Chris Rock’s “Good Hair”?

Hi all,

I was so proud to strut out of the theatre rocking my long, natural locs after seeing Chris Rock’s “Good Hair”.  No perm over here, homey!

I’ve seen some reviews from sistas on blogs and all over the net… all largely positive.  I was enlightened by the information on how the chemicals in relaxer really work (that chicken example cured me from ever wanting the “creamy crack on my head AGAIN!!!) and the info on where weave really comes from.  It made me wonder if some of the women I know (who are very picky and won’t even eat the potato salad at a picnic if they don’t know who made it) will be weary of wearing hair that might have had “bugs” in it.

Things I loved about it:

  • Derek J – A tiny man in tall heels
  • The scene where the white guy gets botox.  Hilarious!
  • The reactions to Chris selling black hair – I wonder if someone is going to have some angry customers at their weave shop after that??
  • The fact that they didn’t show the hair being washed and chemical treated in India – Um…did they wash and treat it?  I mean he showed Dudley Product’s whole set up…just wondering.
  • Black men talking about how they can’t touch their woman’s hair.
  • Exposing how bad relaxer really is for the skin and hair.
  • Raven Simone – That is a REAL chick, right there!  Someone who you could just hang out with.  I love her!
  • Nia Long needs her own TV show.  She is so funny and real.  Loved her comments.
  • It’s a shame how early some little girls are taught that their hair is “bad”.
  • Where are women getting thousands of dollars to spend on weave?!?!  I never knew it cost so much for good quality “fake” natural hair.

Like many of the reviewers who’ve commented on the movie, I thought there was a lot of information missing regarding the source of self hatred when it comes to beauty in the black community and assimilation to euro standards (Sharpton did break it down, though.  Nicely!).   However, the movie is a winner without that information.  Rock is a commedian, not an activist.  I loved the movie and encourage others to see it.

Did you see the movie?  What are your thoughts on “Good Hair”?

Update: One of my black young female co-workers and a white older female co-worker were talking about the movie a few mins ago.  The younger one said “My boyfriend told me yesterday, “You’re wearing those people’s oppression on your head!”, referring to her weave.  Toooo Funny!  Although, he does kinda have a point.

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Awesome Love Song for The Obamas

 

This just about made me cry. Enjoy and tell us what you think!

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RIP Eartha Kitt: One of the most sultry women who ever lived

Christmas is a little less merrier this year with the loss of Eartha Kitt, diva and legend.  She was the ultimate Catwoman.  I loved her in Boomerang playing Lady Eloise.  “Marcussss, Darlingggg!”  Too Funny.  Rest in Peace

Yahoo – Dec 25, 2008 – A family friend says Eartha Kitt, a sultry singer, dancer and actress who rose from South Carolina cotton fields to become an international symbol of elegance and sensuality, has died. She was 81.

Andrew Freedman says Kitt died Thursday of colon cancer and was recently treated at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York.

Kitt, a self-proclaimed “sex kitten” famous for her catlike purr, was one of America’s most versatile performers, winning two Emmys and getting a third nomination. She also was nominated for two Tony Awards and a Grammy.

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“Black” is in fashion at Vogue in July

Black is really “the new BLACK”…but we already knew that. I guess Vogue magazine knows too.

Allegations of racism and discrimination in the fickle fashion world have surfaced after Franca Sozzani, editor of the global style bible Vogue Italia, confirmed rumours that July’s issue would be back-to-back black.

Using only black models, next month’s issue will run articles tailored for black women interested in the arts and entertainment.

American Vogue is following a similar path, using its July issue to ask why it is that there is a dearth of black models on catwalks and in magazines.

It’s nothing new. Like the fashion styles spruiked in magazines and on catwalks, the race debate is cyclical.

The first time a black model sashayed down the catwalk was in 1964, put there by designer Paco Rabanne. It was scandalous. Rabanne reported afterwards that American fashion journalists went backstage and almost spat in his face. “They said haute couture is reserved for white women and not those girls over there,” he said.

More than four decades later, the flamboyant designer Vivienne Westwood cried whitewash after a magazine editor refused to use a black model on the cover because “sales would halve”. Westwood, fuming, demanded a quota system to force magazines to feature more black and Asian models. If America can consider a black president, could the fashion world be about to finally get black beauty? Unlikely, according to The New York Times’ Cathy Horyn, who argues racism in fashion exists because tokenism persists.

The famed Los Angeles-based photographer Steven Meisel, who shot the images for Vogue Italia’s 170-page July issue, agrees black models are conspicuous by their presence. Best known as the man behind the camera for Madonna’s 1992 book, Sex, Meisel is a long-time critic of the fashion industry’s narrow view of the world, going as far as to label it discriminatory. [full article – theage.com]

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Is Maxwell back???

In case you didn’t catch it, Maxwell was a surprise guest to honor Al Green on the BET music awards. He’s still beautiful and sounds good. I really hope an album is coming soon…

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Black Womanhood at Dartmouth

I’m an art lover so I thought I’d share.  I’m excited about this exhibit.  Should in the vicinity of Dartmouth before August 10, you should go see this exhibit at the Hood Museum of Art.

portrait
Maud Sulter, Scottish (1960-2008)Terpsichore, 1989

Cate McQuaid/Globe Correspondent writes:

“”Black Womanhood” aches with old wounds, probed tenderly by artists who still contend with these scars and restrictions. It has a mighty scope, embracing topics such as the spice trade, Josephine Baker, African initiation rituals, and homophobia in South Africa.

The paradigm it sets up Continue reading

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