Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity. Buddha ♥
"Meeting you was fate, becoming your friend was a choice, but falling in love with you was beyond my control." ♥
Trying to forget someone you love is like trying to remember someone you never met ♥ unknown
We call ourselves creators and we just copy. ♥ L.H.
Our Lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter"Dr. Martin Luther King
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds ♥ L.H & Z.M
What You think determines what you want, what you do determines what you get! :)
Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship. ~Buddha
Monday, September 13, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Women's Rights:Women's Rights HomepageView Topics View PetitionsStart a Petition
Vogue Italia's Black Barbie: A Step Forward or a Step Back?
by Loryn Wilson August 04, 2009 07:32 AM (PT) Topics: Body Image, Media
This month, Vogue Italia is doing another take on last year's successful Black Issue: a fashion spread featuring all Black Barbies.
Last year, Italian Vogue shook the fashion world with its "All Black issue, which sold out on many newsstands. This year, the July issue features Kristen McMenamy on the cover, but comes with a delightful supplement devoted to black Barbies.
It is Barbie's 50th birthday, after all, and Mattel does have those new black Barbies to promote. And while this supplement is not full-sized like a regular magazine (it's about 6 inches wide; 7.5 inches long) somehow the doll scale makes sense.
As a girl growing up with in Los Angeles, my mother always made sure to buy us Black dolls, especially Barbies. I even had a Black Ken doll! And while it was great to have a doll that looked like me, the reality was that it still sold me and other little girls dangerous ideas about what a woman's body should look like, and what was considered beautiful. In preparing to write this post, I spoke with a friend of mine who happens to be a Black dad with a young daughter. He told me that while he reluctantly buys his daughter Barbies because she loves them, he is concerned about what it teaches his little girl about having a positive self-image. As a result, he makes it his responsibility to teach his daughter about how special and beautiful she is as a black girl.
I loved Vogue Italia's Black Issue last year. I loved that it featured Tocarra, a voluptuous, curvy woman who was far from a size 2. And I like the concept of using all Black Barbies in a Vogue spread. But I have to wonder if it is actually a step backwards. Barbies themselves use the white female body as a the prototype for beauty. Even the new Black Barbies do not have the hips, ass and curves that myself and other Black women possess. It's great that Mattel has barbies of all shade, but what about all sizes? What taking into consideration that other races and ethnic groups have different ideas of what women's bodies actually look like? The fashion industry often creates fashions, ad campaigns, and yes, even Barbie photo spreads that leave Black female bodies out of the equation and therefore, out of the question when defining what a "perfect body" looks like and who is able to possess it.
So what does everyone else think? Is the Black Barbie issue of Vogue Italia actually progress? Or does it still perpetuate anxiety and even denial of the Black female body as one that is indeed normal and beautiful?
Friday, September 3, 2010
Love My Booty
by Loryn Wilson March 02, 2009 01:46 PM (PT) Topics: Body Image
I began my love-hate relationship with my body when I was in the 5th grade.
I was the only Black girl in a all-White private school. I grew up in a Black neighborhood. At home, I was surrounded by beautiful Black women. But when I went to school, I felt completely alone.
Every day, I would compare my body to the White girls in my class. My breasts had developed sooner than some of the girls, but more importantly, my rear end was much bigger, even at ten years old. I remember feeling ashamed to the point where I wanted to be a White girl. White girls were skinny. White girls had blue eyes. White girls had small behinds. White girls were pretty.
One day, as I sat in the breakfast nook in my family's kitchen, I asked my mother, "Mommy, why am I fat?" She looked up from the stove in amazement. "Why do you say that?" She asked me. As tears began to stream down my face, I told her I was ashamed of my body. I told her all the white girls were skinny and I was not, and why couldn't I be skinny too?
She took a seat beside me and held my hand. My beautiful mother, with her almond shaped eyes and brown skin, told me that just because Black women were shaped differently didn't mean that we were any less beautiful. It didn't mean God loved us any less. "It just means that you are beautiful in your own special way," she said.
I can't say that learning to embrace my Black female body is easy. As a single Black woman living in DC, it is a daily struggle. The story of Saartjie Baartman, who was nicknamed the "Hottentot Venus," comes
to mind. In the 18th century, Saartjie was kidnapped by British imperialists and locked in a cage, paraded as a circus freak show because of the size of her read end. Her story is reincarnated every time I deal with street harassment, with men's unwanted touching on my ass and breasts in a nightclub, with inappropriate comments from White men about my body while in college.
My story is not that much different from many other Black women. We are often taught at a early age to be ashamed of our bodies. By the mainstream media, we are taught that the Black female body is overtly sexual and therefore something that should be shunned and covered up. By some rap artists, we are told to "back that ass up."
Embracing the Black female body starts at home. Black girls need to be taught how to love their own bodies, and the ways in which a man or woman who is interested in dating them should treat them. They need to learn the difference between admiration and harassment.
And it takes the courage to grow and to explore the depths of our beauty. I had to grow to a point where I loved my shape so much that I wanted to take care of it for myself. I had to finally say that yes, I
am beautiful, sexy, and fabulous. I began to take yoga, to dance, to wear that hot sweater dress with the hot stillettos one friday night. I looked in the mirror and admired my big butt, my thick hips and
thighs. But it first started by remembering my mother's words: we are beautiful in our own way.
In 2000, she dropped out of the public eye. She described this period of her life to Essence: "People need to understand that the Lauryn Hill they were exposed to in the beginning was all that was allowed in that arena at that time… I had to step away when I realized that for the sake of the machine, I was being way too compromised. I felt uncomfortable about having to smile in someone's face when I really didn't like them or even know them well enough to like them."
She also spoke about her emotional crisis, saying, "For two or three years I was away from all social interaction. It was a very introspective time because I had to confront my fears and master every demonic thought about inferiority, about insecurity or the fear of being black, young and gifted in this western culture." She went on to say that she had to fight to retain her identity, and was forced "to deal with folks who weren't happy about that."