Category Archives: Beauty Industrial Complex

Dark-Skinned Blackgirl Visibility: On Gabby and Lupita

As a black feminist I am always here for the celebration of blackgirls, black women, and black wommanness in general (shout out to Dr. Ruth Nicole Brown, arbiter of Solhot, a promise to young blackgirls and women—and others who are doing the work past visibility and towards self-esteem and community accountability).  And as a dark-skinned blackgirl who has struggled through self-esteem issues ranging from the “you ain’t the right kind of black” in the 80’s , to the “you gotta be light-skinnededet to be right” tan-black of the 90’s, to the “you ain’t the in style” brown-black of the 00’s, …Read more »

Dear Gabby

  Dear Gabby, Hey, girl! It’s me, Crunkadelic. I’ve been a fan for a long time, but I just wanted to drop you a line and send you a bit of love. Things seem to be going really well for you, but I see that you’ve experienced a fair bit of shade this past weekend for your outfit at the Golden Globes. Well, it’s a truth universally acknowledged that haters gonna hate. Folks were up in arms about your cream colored ensemble. Some said it wasn’t flattering and, of course, there were the comments on your weight that varied from …Read more »

Fuck Sears, or When Mall Cops Attack

Any one that knows me, knows that I do not like the Internet. I just don’t trust it. Too much of our personal information is out there and it is completely out of our control. It took me years to get a smart phone because I thought that having a smart phone would jeopardize my already limited privacy. My little sister, the tech-geek of the family, finally convinced me to ditch my flip phone and get a smart phone. Apparently, I was embarrassing her with my “very archaic form of communication.” So I did. I linked it to my email …Read more »

Somebody, Anybody? It’s Hard Out Here for a Sista

  Trigger warning: Violent language   “Somebody, anybody sing a Black girl song”  Ntozake Shange, For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide When the Rainbow was Enuf                             Being a Black woman or girl in the United States has never been easy. That much seems clear.     We are Black, so we’re not Latina enough.  And we are certainly not beauty queens.   We are not perfect victims.  We get what we deserve.     We are trans* so we’re not “woman enough.” Violence and imprisonment are par …Read more »

Like Riding a Bike? Dry Spell Dilemmas

  I have spent this Valentine’s Day season wrapped in the loving embrace of feminist friends and family who have expressed their care and affection through thoughtful cards, shared meals, and copious amounts of cocktails. I have been reminded numerous times how bootleg a holiday is that celebrates heterosexual coupledom at the expense of all other kinds of love, and I have felt blessed to be reminded of all the other kinds of love and care I experience routinely. But can I talk about how sometimes a sister just wants to get laid? I mention this not because it goes …Read more »

Lady Gaga, Beauty, Ugliness and the Call for a Real Body Revolution

Earlier this week, Lady Gaga launched a campaign, via her website, called Body Revolution 2013. An attempt to reclaim the conversation from the folks in the media who were writing about Gaga’s body as seen in a few recent photos, wherein she looks a little larger than she usually does. (I’m not linking to those photos and articles, Google if you must.) Essentially, these (assuredly svelte) members of the media were calling Lady Gaga fat. Gaga, in a missive in which she’s both vulnerable and angry, spoke out about the fact that she’s been dealing with anorexia and bulimia since …Read more »

Claressa Explains It All

I’ve always been ambivalent and maybe even a little skittish about sports. They seem violent and remind me of The Hunger Games, particularly with the amount of POC presence and the injuries athletes incur. I wasn’t invested in the Olympics until my tumblr friends started pointing out the racism, sexism and nationalism in NBC’s coverage and Cruntastic’s two pieces about the ill treatment of Gabby Douglas. Now the games are over and Gabby’s on a cereal box, a mural in VA beach and has appearances on fancy shows. I’m super excited for her but as I got caught up in …Read more »

take a load off family: black women, hair and the olympic stage

I am no athlete. I have not won an individual sports competition since maybe the second grade. I recall Usaining all comers in the 40-yard dash but, as Kasi Lemmons learned us, “memory is a selection of images, some elusive, others indelibly imprinted on the brain” and I might have photoshopped that one. My middle school basketball team dominated the Seattle Catholic Youth Organization league but that was due to the AAU players on my team: Megan, petite with Chris Paul’s smarts and speed; and June, a Russell Westbrook-esque scorer. With high school came the freshman basketball team, aka junior …Read more »

The Wait of the Nation II: Parent Companies, the “Bain” of our Existence!

On May 24th I posted the blog “The Wait of the Nation” in response to the four-part HBO documentary “The Weight of the Nation,” and I specifically focused on part three “Children in Crisis.”  My major concern is both the blaming of individual parents as the primary problem and the marketing of obesity clinics as a primary solution.  For the record, I do not believe parents have no role in children’s health and that health care clinics are not important,  however, I am extremely bothered by the trend of conflating weight-loss, previously considered part of the beauty and cosmetics industry, …Read more »

Thinking of Happiness and Black Female Bodies

So over the past few weeks there has been much controversy over “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” Flaming Lips video that was edited and released without the knowledge/approval of the featured artist, Erykah Badu.  Honestly, I have mixed emotions about the video, liking some parts and disturbed by others.  Full disclosure: I found the “Window Seat” video to be a very powerful statement.  I felt it viscerally, I was both anxious and fearful of the backlash and envious of what I perceived to be free-spiritedness and freedom of Badu’s actions. But for this recent one I’m still …Read more »

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