Who Run the World, Beyonce? Girls? Amber Thinks Not.

Who Run the World, Beyonce? Girls? Amber Thinks Not.

Remember that great song by Beyoncé that hit the charts last year and quickly became our favorite girl power anthem?

“Who run the world? Girls? Who run this mutha? Girls…”

Well, Amber recorded a YouTube video calling Mrs. Carter out on this blatant untruth, and I think everyone should definitely watch it before they vote in November. (If you agree after seeing the video, please share this post.)

Not that Amber’s YouTube video is, like, at the intellectual level of a presidential debate or anything (<-best read with sarcasm, thank you)  but here is a snippet of the kinds of thought-provoking arguments young Amber makes to counter Bey’s questionable claim.

Beyoncé: “Make your check, come at they neck.”

Amber: “Indeed, make your check, but be aware that your check is going to be significantly smaller than your male counterpart’s.”

Beyoncé: “Some of them men think they freak this like we do, but no, they don’t.

Amber: “I actually agree with you on this one, Beyoncé. Men certainly do not freak this the way our culture demands that women do. Men aren’t objectified in the same way or to the same magnitude as women are–if at all.

Beyoncé: “Disrespect us? No, they won’t.”

Amber: “Yes, they will. And they do. Often. I’d like to defer to a very famous doctor on this subject–Dr. Dre…” (She proceeds to quote Dre, which you really must see for yourself to fully appreciate.)

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I don’t know about you, but I would pay big bucks to see Amber debate Mitt Binders-Full-of-Women Romney.

Can we say pay-per-view!?

Note: For those of us who have danced around the kitchen with the kids and cracked our smartphone screens from excessive jubilance while under the influence of said song, Amber has included this disclaimer to accompany her video:

“It’s a song. I get it. It’s just a song…This video is not about Beyoncé. It’s not even really about this song. My point is NOT that she shouldn’t have made this song because of X, Y, and Z. My point IS: Oh, Look! X, Y, and Z exist and this song is a great tie-in to a discussion of feminism. If you’ve watched some of my other videos, you would be able to sense the sarcastic tone. Relax.”‘

 

 

Who Run the World, Beyonce? Girls? Amber Thinks Not.

Dove Body Wash Will Turn Brown Women White!

So, several bloggers around the web have been commenting on this Dove VisibleCare body wash advertisement, saying it appears to them to be (unintentionally) racist.

*Blink*

Um.

I don’t think I’m gonna hop on that band wagon.

It seems pretty clear to me that the before and after panels are intended to represent two pics of the same person’s skin before and after they used the product. If I had to guess at the ethnicity of that person, I’d say they were white (or very light skinned). There’s no way that pinky-beigey “before” panel is meant to represent the beautiful brown sista pictured on the left.

I get the point that they positioned the white woman on the far right, and English-trained reading brains ingest visual cues from left to right, leading some to translate that as black to white. But, I can’t help but wonder if they would have positioned the white woman on the left, would we be talking about what hidden message there is in putting her first, (thereby ranking the two brown women second and third by default?) Or, in avoiding either of those issues, they could have just put the white woman in the middle…

Not. (Please. Remember how much flack Beyoncé got for always being the “center” of attention in Destiny’s Child?)

So, Dove, I’m thinking maybe you were just between a rock and a hard place on this one.

:/

Here are a few comments I found on the web regarding this nontroversy:

While I suspect there was no ill-intent, the subtle message that perfect (white) skin is the ultimate goal of using Dove offends me. This message is inconsistent with your stated goals regarding self esteem. I will not be using Dove until I know you have recalled this ad and will ask my friends to take the same action. –From CourtneyLuv.com

“Visibly more beautiful skin.” Bye-bye black skin, hello white skin! (Scrub hard!) Can this ad possibly be real? Some people think it is! We’ve emailed Dove’s representatives for confirmation, and we’ll update with their reply. If real, this could be the most (unintentionally) racist skin care product ad in… about ten months. –From Gawker.com

Dove body wash turns Black Women into Latino Women into White Women.  At least, that’s what one could possibly infer by the left-to-right before and after progression in this ad for Dove VisibleCare. This is so stupid, I’m thinking it’s got to be a fake Photoshop ad. –From copyranter

Gawker.com did get a response from Dove:

“We believe that real beauty comes in many shapes, sizes, colors and ages and are committed to featuring realistic and attainable images of beauty in all our advertising. We are also dedicated to educating and encouraging all women and girls to build a positive relationship with beauty, to help raise self-esteem and to enable them to realize their full potential.

The ad is intended to illustrate the benefits of using Dove VisibleCare Body Wash, by making skin visibly more beautiful in just one week. All three women are intended to demonstrate the “after” product benefit. We do not condone any activity or imagery that intentionally insults any audience.”

If someone perceives this ad as racist and or hurtful, I definitely don’t intend to dismiss their gut response, but I can’t help but wonder if crying foul on something like this distracts from efforts to address real instances of racism and colorism in the media.


Who Run the World, Beyonce? Girls? Amber Thinks Not.

Disrespect Us? No They Won’t. (Yes. They Will.)

Okay. So. It is pretty much universally recognized that Beyoncé is THE ISH when it comes to demonstrating how it is done (“it” being how to use your talent, looks, brains and work ethic to dominate your industry).

As far as the song “Run The World (Girls)” is concerned, I’m wondering if maybe we should think of it less as a “girl power anthem,” and more as “The Secret” -type positive thinking. (That is–if you think and speak about something enough, through your intention, you can help it eventually materialize).

That is my disclaimer. Proceed:

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Amber says:

“It’s a song. I get it. It’s just a song…This video is not about Beyonce. It’s not even really about this song. My point is NOT that she shouldn’t have made this song because of X, Y, and Z. My point IS: Oh, Look! X, Y, and Z exist and this song is a great tie-in to a discussion of feminism. If you’ve watched some of my other videos, you would be able to sense the sarcastic tone. Relax.”‘

Update: I don’t know about you, but I would pay big bucks to see Amber debate Mitt Binders-full-of-women” Romney.

Can we say pay-per-view!?

 

 

Who Run the World, Beyonce? Girls? Amber Thinks Not.

The Darker the Berry…The More Invisible?

Los Angeles Times Magazine celebrated the “50 Most Beautiful Women in Film” in their February, 2011 edition. Someone at the magazine was given the task of deciding what beautiful looks like and they came up with the following fifty:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJ7iecpSiFY&w=500&h=360&rel=0]

Note: the little gold and silver circles with numbers in them next to the photos represent Oscar wins and nominations, respectively.

It’s hard for me to take seriously a list of beautiful women in film that boasts Halle Berry, Dorothy Dandridge and Beyonce as the best (and only) representatives of beautiful Black actresses. I definitely don’t mean to take anything from those gorgeous and talented sistas, but they all fit into a light-skinned, Euro-featured standard that excludes gorgeous black women like Angela Bassett (Oscar nominee), Diana Ross (Oscar nominee), Viola Davis (Oscar nominee), Jennifer Hudson (Oscar winner) and Regina King (30+ feature films). I don’t know who composed the list, but the person or persons really should expand their idea of what beauty is to include those who have been gifted with plenty of pigment and may have fuller lips and/or wider noses. (Asian and Native American women weren’t thought of too highly by the judges either.)

The magazine’s masthead proudly proclaims:

“Los Angeles Times Magazine celebrates the region we call home with stories and photos of the people, places and pursuits that reflect our passions, our confidence, our style, our innovations and our possibilities.”

Our confidence. Our possibilities.

Well, I live in Los Angeles, and I see plentifully pigmented Black women on the regular, so I’d like to know why the people whose job it is to uphold the magazine’s mission do not feel inclined to celebrate them too.


An intimate Christmas gift from L. Boogie

An intimate Christmas gift from L. Boogie

When rap legend Rakim was asked by MTV News who he most wanted to see on stage at Rock The Bells in San Bernardino this summer, he had a quick answer.

“Lauryn Hill, man….I’m amped. Lauryn, welcome back. We need you.”

It was the first time in over a decade most of those in attendance had seen the hip-hop legend perform on stage, and they weren’t disappointed. Along with some new rhymes, she gifted the crowd with classics from The Score and Miseducation. During a reggae breakdown of “Fugee La” she was joined on stage by Mary J. Blige, Beyoncé and Alicia Keys, and her set ended with her telling her fans repeatedly, “I miss you. I miss you.”

Fans on the East Coast who miss her too will get an opportunity to experience Lauryn Hill up close and personal at  these intimate venues over the next few weeks.  Can you imagine being at the Blue Note for a Lauryn Hill concert? (Definitely on my Christmas wish list).

December 27 New York, NY HighLine Ballroom
December 28 Brooklyn, NY Music Hall of Williamsburg
January 1 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
January 3 – 5 New York, NY Blue Note
January 8 Charlotte, NC Amos’ SouthEnd
January 9 Asheville, NC The Orange Peel
January 12 Charleston, SC Music Farm
January 14 Atlanta, GA Center Stage
January 16 St. Louis, MO The Pageant
January 18 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
January 20 Chicago, IL House of Blues
January 22 Toronto, ON Sound Academy
January 23 Montreal, QC Metropolis
January 29 Atlantic City, NJ House of Blues
February 4 Montclair, NJ Wellmont Theatre
March 19 Miami Gardens, FL Jazz in the Gardens