To his credit, Jacobs didn't discriminate: there were girls of all races representing on the runway, just not too many that could actually grow a 'fro.
I love fashion week with all its boundary-pushing conceptualism, but I was a bit startled by last week's Louis Vuitton runway show during Paris Fashion Week, featuring wafer-thin models with super-sized afros. While I'm sure there are some folks amongst us who would take one look and think, "Louis Vuitton has money - why didn't he make those girls get their hair done?!" the hair wasn't the issue for me.
For a show that featured one unapologetically kinky wig after next, I found it kind of insulting that only a handful of black models out of at total of 55 were chosen. In an era when African American models are still starving for runway work, I'd love to know why Louis Vuitton's designer Marc Jacobs used so few models of African descent. To his credit, Jacobs didn't discriminate: there were girls of all races representing on the runway, just not too many that could actually grow a 'fro.
It was encouraging, however, to hear the aptly-named Chanel Iman, who graced the catwalk for Louis Vuitton this year seem so optimistic in regards to diversity in the fashion industry. "It's definitely getting better," she gleefully shared afterward the show, "we had five or six black girls in Louis Vuitton today, so woo hoo!" I guess that's more company than Naomi Campbell had fifteen years ago.
Still, I can't help but wonder if the handful that were just there because of the seemingly post-racial, neo-bohemian, post-apocalyptic theme L.V. chose to go with this year. A world where America's "so cool and edgy and post-racial, we've all got the hair to prove it!" Or if they were selected because an entire runway show featuring white models sporting afro wigs might be a little too…I don't know. A lot of things.
Let's just hope that next season, when all the afro wigs are neatly packed away, the fashion industry remembers that black girls need work, too.
- MEERA BOWMAN-JOHNSON
We all know art tends to imitate life, but does that mean we should all know every intimate detail about the demise of Usher Raymond’s marriage?
We all know art tends to imitate life, but does that mean we should all know every intimate detail about the demise of Usher Raymond’s marriage? At this point, it’s no secret that the R&B singer and his estranged wife Tameka have filed for divorce. This past weekend, the Internet was smoldering with speculation about feuds the ex-couple was having over custody of their two young sons. And just last week, Mr. Raymond released the single “Papers” – off of his forthcoming album, “Raymond vs. Raymond.”
With lyrics like, "I done damn near lost my mama/ I done been through so much drama/ I done turned into the man that I never thought I'd be/ I'm ready to sign them papers,” Usher lets us all in on why he’s looking at the front door. He even offers a little moral support for listeners who may be experiencing their own marital trouble with lyrics like, “Fellas, if you had enough and you’re ready to sign/Say ready, ready, ready, ready" and, “All my ladies, if you're sick and tired and you're ready to sign/Say ready, ready, ready, ready..." Misery loves itself some company.
In an age where some folks break up on Facebook, it doesn't surprise me that a talented R&B singer would decide to make a record about his divorce instead of just writing about it in his journal. I almost even felt sorry for Usher by the end of the song when he whines, “Don’t wanna leave, but you leave me no choice, girl.” Still, I wonder if putting marriage drama on blast like this fair to the better, I mean “other,” half who might not have the vocal chops to record a response.
I wasn't one of the people doing the electric slide at their rescheduled wedding, but I suggest Tameka Raymond end her marriage with the same enthusiasm it finally began with two years ago, by hiring the best voice coach she can find and recording a response. Even if she can't sing (there's technology to help with that), something tells me sharing her own $.02 about what went down in her marriage would be so much more therapeutic for her than writing another essay for the Huffington Post, going off on Twitter or keying up his car. Maybe that way, she'll get over Usher -- and maybe he'll finally get over himself, too.
A friend posted a link from Sister 2 Sister magazine saying that The Game had officially been picked up for a fourth season. Was there a quote or statement from BET? Was there some sort of substantiated source from CBS, who owns the rights to The Game? No. And no.
I get a lot of my celeb news from Twitter. DJ AM died? Nia Long kirked out on Beyoncé? Read about that through many retweets. Maya Angelou in the hospital in L.A.? Yeah, I found that out from Twitter, too. However, TMZ blasted that out on Twitter, and they were dead wrong. Angelou wasn’t even in L.A. at that time. She’s fine and well.
So with the little bit of journalism bona fides that I do have, I look at every link, post, rant and trending topic with a bit more skepticism now. Today was a prime example. A friend posted a link from Sister 2 Sister magazine saying that The Game had officially been picked up for a fourth season. Now it had been said that CBS had released the rights to BET for a fourth season; however, there was still the issue of writers’ salaries, production costs and cast contracts. Excited as I was, I clicked on the link only to be directed to an article with ONE source on the matter. Drew Sidora. Yes, the same Drew Sidora who had Derwin texting recipes and cheating on Melanie. The same Drew Sidora who wasn’t even on the show any more. Was there a quote or statement from BET? Was there some sort of substantiated source from CBS, who owns the rights to The Game? No. And no.
Like one of the directors of the show, Matthew Cherry (@director_cherry) later tweeted, “I'll believe it when I see it in an official press release from BET.” Thank you, some sense on the matter.
All else aside, Sister 2 Sister and Drew Sidora could be totally right about The Game, which was canceled in the spring after the CW decided to scrap its black programming and 30-minute sitcoms. But before we jump the gun and slap five for all the petitioning and campaigning we did to save one of our favorite shows, can we PUH-LEASE get a final, and officiated, playback on The Game? And even then, I'll only believe it when I see it.
Although I have heard that 'Good Hair' is as funny as I would expect any Chris Rock movie to be, I am going to have to sit this one out. This is the case partly because I am cheap but mostly because I feel like I already know this movie without watching it. Trying to figure out what exactly was wrong with my hair used to be a part of my life and it has not been a laughing matter.
Although I have heard that 'Good Hair' is as funny as I would expect any Chris Rock movie to be, I am going to have to sit this one out. This is the case partly because I am cheap, but mostly because I feel like I already know this movie without watching it. Trying to figure out what exactly was wrong with my hair used to be a part of my life. It has not been a laughing matter either.
India Aire's song 'I am Not My Hair is the story of my hair life. I have gone from natural, to relaxed, and back to natural. I have even attempted to get dreadlocks. There have been days when my hair with or without a relaxer has just looked a hot mess. Sometimes I even find myself questioning how outsiders, meaning people who may think my natural hair is 'Bad Hair' view me. Still one thing I will never do is go back hiding my natural roots. By going natural I think that I have been both smart and financially witty. While I don't know everything I don't need to be schooled on this.I have come to the understanding that I too have 'Good Hair'.
At press time I am practically bald, I do not miss the burning sensation of the chemicals I was putting in my hair,paying a ridiculous amount of money at the hair salon, and I love the freedom that I have with my hair. It really is liberating and if you ever get the chance you should try it too, wink wink. In the past I used to spend time trying to sway other black women to go natural. I have even written a column or two in The Hilltop about black women and our hair. Looking back on the perspectives that I wrote, I was really angry. I wrote 'If I had to use a simile to describe how I felt while wearing a relaxer, I’d say it was like wearing a faux fur." I still stick by that. I know the history of the hair that I was born with, I don't need a comedy to tell me about it.
The reality is weaves and relaxers will never be eradicated, they have become engrained into our culture. Although deep down inside I am still keeping hope alive, all I can do is conquer one relaxer and weave at a time. I have already had a miniscule amount of success. One of my closest friends from back home is natural and I take credit for it.
From what I have heard the conclusion of 'Good Hair' is that hair is just hair, which is very true. If only it were that simple. If this were the case there would have been no purpose for this movie to be made. His little girl would not have asked him why she doesn't have good hair. See, I already know the ending. I am not saying don't go see 'Good Hair', if anyone needs a good laugh it's us black women who have been dealing with our hair for too long. I'm just saying, I'm not going to go see it.
Finally, little girls of African descent will have a Disney princess who looks more like them, with her very own hair products and happily ever after.
I was never too crazy about the Disney princesses with all of their whining and pining for Mr. Right. I’m not raising my girls to sit by the window, waiting for some guy on a white horse to gallop in and whisk them off to become a real-life housewife of Atlanta. I want them to aspire to become much more than daydreaming debutantes in ball gowns, and the last thing I need is some blonde-haired, blue-eyed cartoon character contradicting me.
That said, I’m thrilled about Disney’s upcoming feature film, The Princess and the Frog, featuring Tony Award-winning actress Anika Noni Rose as Princess Tiana. The first five minutes of the film scheduled to premiere this December went up online this past Monday, and so far, the animation looks beautiful.
Of course, there’s been all kinds of controversy about the film already, beginning with the fact that many folks were annoyed that Princess Tiana (originally named Princess Maddy, which sounded “too undignified” for some) would be a chamber maid in the film. Others are perturbed by the fact that her suitor, Prince Naveen, isn’t exactly a brother. And of course, there are those who demand to know why the sister has to be a frog for most of the movie.
But as a woman who would have loved to have had a black Disney princess to admire while growing up, and two daughters in the target demographic for the film, I’m proud of Disney for thinking outside of the box. We all know it hasn’t been easy for them to do that in the past. For far too long, Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty ran things. American Indians had Pocahontas and Asian Americans had Mulan (both sort of underrated, but at least they were there). And there’s been Jasmine, but to me, she always seemed like she was created to keep the rest of us from getting mad. Clearly, somebody at the mega corporation has realized that African-American families have timeshares in Orlando, too. I’m not mad at ‘em.
Finally, little girls of African descent will have a Disney princess who looks more like them, with her very own hair products and happily ever after. Imagine that.