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Women of Color

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

Tween Dora inspires girls to explore…the mall

Date: September 28, 2009 | Posted By:
Dora the Explorer’s new “tween” look has caused quite a stir. The new Dora seems to be telling little girls that looks are, in fact, very important. She is also suggesting that girls should be more interested in styling their hair than in having adventures. Luckily, the original, adventurous young Dora will live on in Continue reading

Do Blondes Have More Angst? Girls on TV

Date: September 3, 2009 | Posted By:
A few months ago I was reminiscing about all the TV shows I watched growing up, and I noticed a common theme: a majority of the female lead characters were blonde. I related to these characters in different ways, depending on my age and their stories, but as both of those factors changed, one factor Continue reading

Black Barbie Dolls Leave Much to Be Desired

Date: July 17, 2009 | Posted By:
As we found out from The Root, Mattel is releasing a new line of Barbie dolls that are getting a lot of attention. The new line, called “So In Style,” or “S.I.S.” are supposed to be African-American and to have more “authentic” facial features. The S.I.S. dolls are sold in pairs, with one adult doll Continue reading

Michelle Obama: A Political Body

Date: June 1, 2009 | Posted By:
From the moment the Obama family moved into the White House, our newest President and his wife became instant American icons. A beautiful and intelligent African-American couple, the Obamas exist under a social microscope with the media reporting on virtually every aspect of their lives. In the midst of all the Obamamania, one of the Continue reading