Kelis has a cooking show and she is serving jerk ribs with a side of hot looks. Why it’s called “Saucy And Sweet”, I don’t know. I would have been equally as apt to watch a show called “Kelis Drinks Wine And Cooks With Her Girlfriends”. Anyway, this has been chilling on my DVR for a minute now and I might be in love with it. I mean, yes it’s probably just promo for her new album “Food”, but I can’t be mad about a good recipe for goat cheese ice cream, or tips on magenta matte lipstick. Seeing more women of color in the television food world doesn’t hurt either, hopefully this special performs well, and opens some doors for an even more diverse group of TV chefs and food personalities.
"Today, on this International Women’s Day, I celebrate and bow to the women writers who dared to be seen, who dared to be heard, who dared to define their lives for themselves. Without you, I would not and could not exist as a young woman of color writer, adding my voice to the collective chorus singing the experience of marginalized womanhood. I am deeply humbled to be a part of this legacy.” —from my new essay celebrating Womens History Month through the words and works of women of color writers
A decade after Halle Berry won Best Actress at the Oscars, the odds are still stacked against black actresses.
Friend of the podcast, Britt Julious, wrote a really great piece about how the lack of broad and dynamic roles offered to black actresses can affect even those who see success during awards season. It was written right before Lupita Nyong’o won her Oscar Sunday night and presents a rather bleak picture of what her career path could look like post-Oscar. I’m not entirely sure why, but I’ve been surprisingly optimistic about Lupita’s career. It could be because she’s proven to already be welcomed by a broader audience than just a black one - which undoubtedly has something to do with the fact that she’s gorgeous and she “speaks so well,” another conversation entirely but one I’m sure we’ll have at some point - or because I think that her performance in 12 Years was so incredible that it would make absolutely no sense for her to plateau now. Or it could be that I’m delusional because there is no history to suggest that Lupita’s career will flourish in the same way that Jennifer Lawrence’s has.
But things change! And here’s to hoping we see another Lupita v. White Lady It-Girl round at the Oscars sooner rather than later.
She’s the perfect ingenue for an era when growing up takes longer than ever.
Are you Lupita’d out yet? (HAHA JUST KIDDING. NEVER THAT.) Hang on, there’s more. In addition to the excellent points raised by Alesia in our latest episode about just why it is that we all love her so much, the fact that Lupita is a 31-year-old woman receiving the buzz normally reserved for white women ten years her junior is worth noting. While 12 Years a Slave has been her breakout role, she spent 10 years working up to this point, a factor that also sets her apart from the traditional trajectory of young white “it girls.” We all know the pressures placed on women to Benjamin Button their way through life, because god forbid they should age naturally, and black may not crack (IT DOESN’T), but black women are certainly not exempt from these ridiculous pressures. So to see 31-year-old Lupita on the come up at this stage is refreshing and a damn good step forward.
On her instagram (if you’re not following it, are you even alive?) she posted this pic of herself, Nicole Beharie, Samira Wiley and Danielle Brooks at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon. With the exception of Danielle, all them are 30+ or almost 30 years old and all of them (including Danielle) are working on successful projects. I’m excited for grown women of color to get the shine that young (and all) white women get. So if this is a movement, sign me up.
But fatphobia aside, a certain brand of fatness is having kind of a moment in pop and retail culture, I think. We’re everywhere. Except that we’re not. The slim-faced, small-waist, big-boobed of our kind are everywhere. Women who don’t readily fit our culture’s idea of “healthy” and “beautiful,” like fat women of color, women with guts, women with flat butts or flat chests, women with double chins, women who don’t doll themselves up to the max, women who don’t have long flowing hair—these women are rarely represented by anyone, still.
Fat women with Barbie-like waist-to-hip ratios are, perhaps, to mainstream body positivity what super fair-skinned women like Beyoncé or Rihanna may be to mainstream ideas about black women being beautiful — they’re fat, but in the most socially acceptable way possible. They’re women who uphold our existing notions of what’s feminine and sexy while making us feel like super-affirming, progressive people because their hourglass is a size 12 and not a 6.
I was happy to come across this piece written by Whitney Teal because this is something I often think about. As someone who has shopped in the plus size section for most of my life I was automatically interested in the body positivity movement (or fat acceptance - whatever you want to call it!) only to be disappointed when I realized socially acceptable bodies still reign supreme. Over time I’ve discovered fashion and lifestyle blogs ran by people living outside the margins, but in a movement that stresses the importance of inclusivity it’s disheartening not to see these bodies in mainstream publications. As we often note in our podcast (most recently by Ramou in episode 24) it’s not unreasonable to want to see yourself reflected in the world.
Part Two of our interview: “I wanted to create my version of an English rose. I really wanted to communicate to the audience: there are many types of English roses, and let me offer you another one for your consideration.”
This is a pretty straightforward interview with Asante, but part of me is getting excited about the prospect of Belle. While I’m sure the film won’t be sunshine and roses in terms of dealing with race issues, I am fully onboard with Asante’s desire to open up doors for more period pieces to be done with Black protagonists. While Belle is a very real person, Asante was drawn to making a film about her because of the Austen-esque quality of her story and the period it was set in, and hopefully the film is received well enough so that one day that kind of representation will spread to similar work from other artists. We already know that Black people existed and thrived in several different classes and periods all through out history, why not have more stories about it. And theaters all over the world perform “colorblind” portrayals of Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde, and Tom Stoppard pieces, why not see that reflected more in film?