Magazines


I mean I know that ever since XXL came to be, The Source has become as relevant as Jet, so it would make sense that they would want to sell issues by any means necessary, but isn’t this just a bit harsh?

Do we really need another violent media image of black men? Aren’t O.J and Clarence Thomas offensive enough?

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It in un-feminist of me to be get the giggles every time this man is on television? Before, I never looked at him in that way, I just respected him for his beliefs, his vision for this country and his “audacity to hope.” But after that whole “brush your shoulders off” incident, I see his swagger. We all know how I love a man with swagger.

Sigh.

FYI: Don’t worry Michelle, I won’t cross the line. I know you don’t play. You would tear me up if I attempted to step to your man.

For the Mother’s Day edition of Jet, the weekly African American pamphlet magazine, Kim Porter graces its cover. She talks about her life beyond Diddy (you two were just pictured being boo’d up last week), her business ventures and motherhood. The cover line is hilarious: “Makes her own life” (yeah with Diddy’s money.) Like I said in the past she is an embarassment to black women. KIM, GET SOME COUNSELING AND A NEW MAN, IN THAT PARTICULAR ORDER.

I would like to know who at the Jet headquarters thought it would be a great idea to use this woman as an example of anything positive? Of all of the black mamas in the world to choose from–Jada, Halle, Mary J, Iman, Nia Long, Vanessa Williams, Nicole Ritchie, Kimora–this is what you come up with. Hell I would rather them have put Keishya Cole’s mother Frankie on the cover! At least that would be an encouraging story about getting past your demons in order to be a better mom. Kim is still being possessed by her demons: greed and stupidity. What is she going to teach her daughters about relationships and self-esteem?

And now I hear she is getting a reality show on Lifetime! This nonsense only gives hope to other groupies, gold diggers, NFL baby mommas, jump-offs and lazy women who just don’t want to work, that this triffling, settling for less behavior can get you something other than a new car, a Dior clutch and paid parking tickets. Using your uterus as a vessel to procreate in order to make money should not get you on the cover of a magazine, EVEN IF IT IS JET!

Some of you think that I am taking this too far, but watch in a month The Learning Annex is going to offer a class on “How to make being a jump-off a sustainable career.” You’ll see.

(Disclaimer: I know that everyone is talking about Miley Cyrus. So when in Rome…)

Hannah Montana megastar Miley Cyrus is doing damage control by apologizing for her recent photo spread in Hollywood culture bible Vanity Fair for a semi-nude picture of her taken by famed photographer Annie Lebowtiz. Cyrus claims she was manipulated by Lebowitz while Lebowitz is giving the “bitch please” defense claiming that everyone was happy and approved of the art including Cyrus and her parents.

Lebowitz also stated that people are misinterpreintg her work. So tell me this: When is it ever appropriate for an artist to suggest that a 15-year old girl pose shirtless while being wrapped in sheet rocking just-got-f***ed hair? Never. Shame on Lebowitz for not knowing better, for not falling back for a second and thinking to herself “Now I got critisized for the Jennifer Hudson Vogue spread last year for making her look like a lifeless whale, I got really shit on for the LeBron James-Gisele Bundchen Vogue cover for reinforcing stereotypes of black men being primitive apes…so maybe I should be easy with this little girl and do something that will keep my name out of the news.” Or maybe this was her plan all along.

But regardless of the intent, we as a society cannot forget that although Cyrus may have Julia Roberts’ money, she is still a child.

Now I respect Vanity Fair, but it doesn’t get a pass because it’s Vanity Fair, just like Lebowitz doesn’t get a pass because she is one of the best photographers of the 21st century. A foul up is a foul up and they need to stop hiding behind art’s sake and man up. This picture whether splashed on a MySpace page or on the cover of Time is equally problematic.

And I know that people are saying, “Where were the parents? They should have been there.” Who knows where they were, but if they weren’t there, shame on them for trusting a capitalist magazine to have their daughter’s best interest in mind. Now if they were there and they didn’t say anything, this could be a product of one of two things. Either they don’t give a damn like Lindsay Lohan’s mom aka White Oprah OR they got caught up in the moment listening to elitist folks telling these hillbillies, they don’t know fine art and that this is what is people really want to see. It’s this same mentality that got Andre Leon Talley to talk Jennifer Hudson into wearing that hideous gold lamet shrug-thing at the Oscars in 2007. You keep telling someone, “You’re great, you’re fabulous, give it to the camera. this is what’s up” and POOF! You have a child in tears, embarrassed parents, Disney with their panties in a twist and a major corporation i.e. Conde Nast making millions off of the fallout.

Yet this one incident speaks to a larger problem in this country: the sexualization of young women at way too early of an age. There are 10 year-olds wearing thongs and getting Brazilian waxes along with high schoolers who give better head than Karrine Steffans. We have music videos with naked women having money thrown on them, reality shows with spoiled brats who will do anything for attention, ads like House of Dereon For Girls pimping 3 year olds in f**k-me pumps, commercials like CW ‘s Gossip Girl showing kids riding each other, movies like Superbad that display a teen character begging some dork to put his “cock” in her, the list could go on and on.

Do we have any idea what we are doing to the psyches of young girls in this country? We are telling them that being overtly sexual is more important than being articulate, or being goofy or being smart or being REAL. We are encouraging girls to engage in sexual activities that they are not mentally or emotionally ready for and all we can offer them is abstinence-only education, so they have no idea how to protect themselves. Then we wonder why one in four teen girls has an STD. And parents are just as messed up as the media–stop being your kid’s homegirl and be her mamma.

We have fallen pop stars, knocked up teen idols and hairless vaginas plastered in every magazine. And when young girls finally have someone they can look up to, we ruin it by letting greed take over common sense and decency. Oh well, VF will get what it wanted: to sell more copies than Suri “Alien” Cruise’s debut and Jennifer Aniston “Boo-hoo Brad left me” issues combined. I hope it was all worth it.

I am not one to agree with Spike Lee–we all know he has issues with black women. What black woman’s role in any of this movies hasn’t been problematic? I’ll give you moment to think about it. (The little girl in Crooklyn doesn’t count, she’s a child AND Betty Shabaz from Malcolm X doesn’t count because she is not a fictional character) Couldn’t think of one, that’s what I thought.

Well in an interview with New York Magazine about his 1989 Oscar-nominated masterpiece Do The Right Thing, Lee spit some serious knowledge on slave mentality black folks and their undying love for the Bubba and Co. I am happy to say that I can finally co-sign on something that he has said:

The Clintons, man, they would lie on a stack of Bibles. Snipers? That’s not misspeaking; that’s some pure bullshit. I voted for Clinton twice, but that’s over with. These old black politicians say, ‘Ooh, Massuh Clinton was good to us, massuh hired a lot of us, massuh was good!’ Hoo! Charlie Rangel, David Dinkins—they have to understand this is a new day. People ain’t feelin’ that stuff. It’s like a tide, and the people who get in the way are just gonna get swept out into the ocean.

He does have a point. Don’t love Hillary because you think we owe her husband something, love her because you’re into ball busting bitches into her policies and her vision for this country. Her husband has done nothing but allow for men to continue to believe that getting head is not really cheating.

FYI Black people over the age of 60: It’s okay to publically disagree with white people or support Barack Obama. You will not get fired or lose your house to a mysterious fire. We are free now–sort of.

I know that I am late on this one, but these damn House of Dereon ads really irk the hell out of me.

I don’t know about you, but the words “fuck me pumps” and “pre-schoolers” do not need to go together in the same sentence.

Tina, we understand that you had to pimp out your daughter at a young age in order to make her a star and bring money into the home. Without that sacrifice, “bootylicious” might never have made it into the American vernacular. So for that we are truly grateful, but this boo, is a disgrace. These little girls look like whores. Why all the lipstick?

What is the next ad going to look like? Babies wearing gold metallic bikinis while five-year old boys throw Monopoly money on them.

Let our children be damn children atleast ’till the age of 8. Then they can worry about bikini waxes and putting out.

I am not blaming Bey and her Creole mama for the raising rates in pedophilia in this country, but this mess definitely doesn’t help.

Now I want to be clear that I am a feminist. I am fully aware of how lyrics like “Whoop that trick” along with images of half-naked women gyrating on cars while having money thrown on them, has on our culture–low self-esteem, riskier sex among youth, the growing difficulty to get a man to take you on a date that does not require some form of sex at the end of the night, etc.

I also do not condone or understand why women, especially women of color have to be demeaned in order for white record execs and the owners of BET, MTV and VH1 to make billions.

  1. With all of that being said, I AM IN LOVE WITH LIL’ WAYNE! I cannot help it and here are five reason why:
  2. It takes a real man to admit that he is addicted to cough syrup.

People think he’s gay–We all know I love a black gay man, especialy since I often think I am one.

He ain’t afraid of working hard. There is a reason why GQ named him the “Man of The Year” for being a workaholic. This negro was on every remix that came out last year.

He is ugly sexy and that is the best kind.

That “Lollipop” song is hot! He can make it juicy for me anytime.

(All of these reasons trump the fact that he slept with Trina and Superhead along with the tats on his face, We all have our lapses in judgement)

Speaking of Lollipop, here is the video. Notice that the women have on more clothes than usual:

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