Are You an “Other?”

different-3I have recently, in the past month or so, had several people tell me that I don’t “seem to like most things.” Me, a mother of two (with one on the way), wife, sorority sister, television and movie addict, hairstyle connoisseur, food truck follower, Candy Crush zealot, politics geek, numbers guru, etc. (you get the point), I was told that I don’t like most things.  This is not the first, second, third, or even hundredth time I have been told this.  And each time, I have to consider the source when taking such a critique.

In most cases, I have been offered this unwelcome criticism by someone outside of my inner circle. My hometown roots don’t always align with my SoCal lifestyle. And, my brown skin, kinky hairstyles, and proclivity for Soul and R&B music just don’t mesh with the bubblegum nature of my current Orange County, California social environment. Why? Well, not because I actually don’t like things, because I don’t necessarily like the things I am supposed to like. Deep, right? [Read more…]

Beyoncé Challenges ‘Light Skin, Long Hair’ Trope with New Pixie Cut

beyonce-short-haircutOn Wednesday night, Beyoncé fans all over the world went into shock when the songstress posted a few pics of her new look on Instagram. Her normally flowing tresses of brown and blonde were snipped and shaped into a cute little pixie cut. She looks just as Queen Bey as before, but her new look says a lot more than folks are realizing. [Read more…]

Ebony Magazine Faces Hatred for Covers Honoring Trayvon Martin

Often, in American culture, racial minorities face a certain “twoness” when interacting with the world around them. W.E.B. Du Bois best summed this up when he simply asked “How does it feel to be a problem?.” The murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in early 2012 is the quintessential example of how one’s twoness can converge upon a single moment in time thus dictating one’s life outcomes. Now, after the trial has ended, the assailant has been found not guilty, and the family, friends, relatives, and surrounding community continue to mourn the loss of Martin, many have taken to the idea of fictive kinship, the notion that because we are all in this community together, we are each susceptible to the same type of animus responsible for Martin’s murder. Ebony magazine, a publication serving the black community, has focused its upcoming September issue on Trayvon Martin’s namesake and legacy. But, the magazine isn’t without its detractors. [Read more…]

“Dark Girls” Documentary Explores Colorism, Self-Worth, and Prejudice

dark girlsThe captivating and well-received documentaryDark Girls” will be premiering on OWN this Sunday. And while the film touches on the topic of colorism, the intra-racial animus brought on by perceived worth associated with lighter variations in skin pigmentation in the black community, it also deals with social messaging, stigmas about natural hair textures, and relationships with darker women. Perhaps the most powerful aspect of the film is its authenticity as it is mainly told through firsthand accounts of “dark girls.” And, I have to say, even the preview brought up emotions for me that I had long ago believed to be gone. [Read more…]

“You Can Touch My Hair” Exhibit: A Setback for Black Women?

Afro GoddessHave you ever had someone ask you, “Can I touch your hair?‘ Or better yet, have you had someone reach up to your freshly permed, pressed, braided, coiffed, twisted, weaved, or blown-out afro-puff to rub their grubby little finger tips through your carefully styled tresses? Well, I have. Anyone who knows me knows I have rocked the ‘fro to braids to weaves to twists to perms and every derivation of everything in between. And, I have had people of all races ask or un-invitedly reach into my hair. Well, needless to say, that has gotten old for me. But, for Antonia Opiah, founder of Un-ruly.com, the curiosity drove her to create the public art exhibit “You Can Touch My Hair” in New York City. The public display of real-life curly and kinky haired women, which debuted last week, has been met with mixed reviews. So, I guess it’s time to offer my own. [Read more…]

Serena Williams Shines on the ‘Body Issue’ Cover of Essence Magazine

serena williams essence coverSerena Williams is a gorgeous lady. Not only that, she is a world renown athlete. And, the July 2013 edition of Essence magazine, the “Body Issue”, will highlight the radiant young woman of color on a grand scale. The athletic beauty also guest edited the edition of the magazine geared toward black women. And, within its covers, she addressed the topic of her curvy figure and the criticism she previously received.

A great example for curvy women of color, her gorgeous cover shows a proud woman who accepts herself as is.

[Read more…]