Do you remember Barbie’s catchy slogan–be who you wanna be B-A-R-B-I-E? For most girls Barbie’s slogan was just a fun jingle. Seeing a Barbie doll that looked like you wasn’t possible for children who didn’t have Barbie’s iconic blonde hair and blue eyes. But all of that has changed now.
Forty years later, the creative retelling of the 1975 Broadway musical The Wiz was revitalized when the The Wiz Live! aired on NBC on December 3rd. While watching, it wasn’t hard to connect with the familiar songs like “Ease on Down the Road” and “Home.” The live musical kept the same soul and excitement that made The Wiz a classic. However, The Wiz Live! added some flare the past adaptations did not have. There were ipads, dabs, superfly munchkins, vogueing in the Emerald City, but most importantly Dorothy, our all American girl, had natural hair. In essence, this new production gave us the prime time representation we have been waiting for.
A highly criticized New York Times article published last week really offended a few black women. In her op-ed, Alessandra Stanley described actress Viola Davis — star of Shonda Rhimes’ new ABC show “How To Get Away With Murder”— as “less than classically beautiful.”
Viola Davis had a few choice words for Stanley, saying “You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise!!!”
She wasn’t the only one who criticized Stanley. Black women from across the nation took to social media in defense of Davis by launching a beautiful online campaign in celebration of black beauty.
During a special guest appearance on “Sesame Street” Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o made us all proud.
During a skit with Elmo, Nyong’o talked about all of the great things about her skin.
Lupita Nyong’o delivered a tear-filled speech as she accepted an award at Essence magazine’s seventh annual Women in Hollywood luncheon.
The 30-year-old star has been receiving a wave of attention for her astonishing role in the critically-acclaimed film 12 Years a Slave. During her speech, Nyong’o made a confession that many dark skinned women can attest to.
Since her Oscar-nominated performance in “The Help,” Viola Davis has pretty much become a household name. Despite fame and success, the star opened up about her battles with self-esteem.
“I have never felt pretty,” she said during a lunch interview with Essence.
Davis described a childhood of poverty and abuse, combined with being in the only black family in her community. People in her neighborhood used profanity to describe her to her face. She internalized these messages. “In fact, I embraced being ugly,” the actress said. But, rather than let such perceptions destroy her sense of hope (“Without hope, I would be dead,” she said), the thespian chose to work on her inner strengths.
For decades black girls have played with dolls that did not look like them, and the practice has lasting affects on the self-esteem of young girls and women of color.
But Karen Byrd is seeking to change that.
She recently launched Natural Girls United!, an ethnic doll line for girls of color.
In a recent interview with BET, rapper J. Cole sounded off on a variety of heavy issues, including racial profiling and homophobia in Hip Hop.
One topic of conversation that is seldom discussed in Hip Hop is the issue of colorism.
Cole says his privilege as a lighter-skinned person has probably helped him to get where he is today.