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Women of Color

Egyptian women are protesters too

Date: February 11, 2011 | Posted By:
By now, everyone on the Internet has heard of the protests in Egypt. Powerful and moving images saturate the media, bringing us face to face with these brave women and men. The New York Times offers this image on the left. The caption begins, “A protester consoled a woman during a demonstration.” Okay, let’s break Continue reading


“Elle” makes a mockery of Gabourey Sidibe’s cover girl moment

Date: September 21, 2010 | Posted By: Stacey
What do you call a top fashion magazine that features a plus-sized African American actress on its cover? Progressive? Revolutionary? If you’ve read recent Internet reports of Gabourey Sidibe’s October Elle cover, you might call it “racist,” “offensive,” or, as Salon puts it, “a weird fetishization that borders on patronizing.” Allow me to explain. In Continue reading


Skin-lightening for Indian men? Vaseline has a Facebook app for that.

Date: August 5, 2010 | Posted By:
Judging by Hollywood (and “Jersey Shore”), many Americans covet nothing more than the perfect tan. Imagine a Facebook application that allowed these tanning enthusiasts to tint their pasty profile pictures with a faux bronze glow. No big deal? Now imagine a similar app inviting Indian men to lighten their skin. If you just uncomfortably shifted Continue reading


MAC and Rodarte give makeup an ugly name with their Juarez line

Date: July 27, 2010 | Posted By: Stacey
Whether it’s a case of thinking way too far outside the box, or a cheap attempt to shock and awe makeup junkies, MAC Cosmetics has managed to seriously cross the line. Collaborating with high-fashion label Rodarte, MAC recently unveiled plans to release a makeup collection in September based on life in the border town of Continue reading


American Apparel’s Classy-Vintage-Chic-Late ’80s-Early ’90s-Racist-Sexist-High end brand

Date: June 29, 2010 | Posted By:
We’ve talked about American Apparel before. You all know how we feel about the company’s creeptacular history and about how AA ads constantly and consistently make women’s bodies into objects for public consumption. Just when I thought they couldn’t get worse, something new and insidious surfaced. Gawker wrote recently about AA’s looks-based hiring policies, leaking Continue reading


Playing Housewife: Beyoncé in “Why Don’t You Love Me?”

Date: May 27, 2010 | Posted By:
Beyoncé’s new video for her track, “Why Don’t You Love Me?” has been a hot topic of debate recently on a bunch of blogs we read. The clip features Beyoncé as “BB Homemaker,” a character that pokes fun at stereotypical depictions of both the pin-up model and the seemingly-happy-but-secretly-unhappy 1950s/1960s housewife. “Why Don’t You Love Continue reading


Get down, stay down with Thao

Date: May 13, 2010 | Posted By:
The other night I was on an endless bus ride to San Francisco’s Richmond District (all journeys to the Richmond seem sort of endless, don’t they?) and the song “Bag of Hammers” by Thao with her band Get Down Stay Down (video below!) came on my shuffle. “Man,” I thought to myself, “Thao is so Continue reading


“When your hair is relaxed, white people are relaxed.”: “Good Hair” and the black community

Date: February 9, 2010 | Posted By:
A few months ago, comedian Chris Rock released a documentary that investigates the fanatical preoccupation with “good hair” in the black community. It’s a film that takes the viewers from neighborhood salons in Atlanta to rural villages of India, investigating the multibillion-dollar haircare industry. I’m a big fan of any documentary that examines the media Continue reading


“Slip of the Tongue”: Questioning ethnic make-up

Date: December 14, 2009 | Posted By:
I stumbled across the Media That Matters Film Festival web site while randomly searching for documentaries online. After browsing through the taglines of numerous films on the site, one description immediately intrigued me: “What’s your ethnic make-up?” A young man makes a pass at a beautiful stranger and gets an eye-opening schooling on race and Continue reading


What is Real Beauty? Photographer Jodi Bieber shares her vision.

Date: November 23, 2009 | Posted By:
What words have we been programmed to use when defining beauty? How about flawless, skinny, model, glamorous, celebrity, or perfection? How about painful? Well, I’m rebelling. I have a word I would like to include my in my definition of beauty; that word is “real”. “Real” as in something we all possess. “Real” as in Continue reading