Tag Archives: black women

Florida A&M looking for black women interested in computer science

Florida A&M University is looking for black female students interested in the field of computer technology for the fall of 2009.  Seeing a shortage of black women in the computer science field, Florida A&M wants to address this situation by offering scholarships, support and interest in graduate school as well.  The school recently received a grant titled African American Women in Computer Science. According to the Westside Gazette:

The grant provides scholarships from $4000 to $10,000 per year for female African American students.

We need your help to get the word out about this great opportunity to build back up the enrollment of women in the CIS Department.

This information should be passed along to high school or community college students, their parents, and to guidance counselors you may know.

For additional information about this grant check out the African American Women in Computer Science (AAWCS) website. As the website states:

While African-American women are the focus group for the program, the program will not be limited to African-Americans, but will seek to service all groups of women enrolled in CS or IT.

Online dating and the race factor

A study about the internet dating scene by University of California at Irvine sociologists has shown that people follow racial stereotypes when it comes to finding a love connection. Cynthia Felicano and Belinda Robnett collected their data from Yahoo personals in 2004 and 2005. They chose random profiles of people from ages 18 to 50 in Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago and Atlanta. The study showed that while white men are more open to interracial dating compared to white women, white men had a stronger preference for asian and latina women. Black women are considered the least desirable.  For white women who are open to interracial dating, asian men are considered the least desirable.

Demographic changes brought about by the recent influx of immigrants from Asia and Latin America have the potential to alter race relations in the United States. But if a study by UC Irvine sociologists is any indication, the cross-cultural revolution is not going to be launched on the internet dating scene, where people often follow racial stereotypes when looking for love.

Cynthia Feliciano and Belinda Robnett collected data from Yahoo personals between September 2004 and May 2005, randomly selecting profiles of people ages 18-50 in the Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Atlanta metropolitan regions. While white men were more open to dating outside their race than white women, both had specific racial preferences. White men preferred Asian and Latino dating partners to African Americans; white women were more likely to exclude Asian men.

Stereotypes shown by the media don’t help matters. Mainstream media and yes even some black folks and black media outlets have helped in portraying black women in a negative light.

According to Feliciano, negative portrayals of African American women and Asian men in popular culture could contribute to these preferences.

“Stereotypical images of masculinity and femininity shape dating choices and continue to be perpetuated in the mass media,” says Feliciano, sociology and Chicano/Latino studies assistant professor. “The hyper-feminine image of Asian American women contrasts greatly with that of Asian men, who are often portrayed as asexual.”

In comparison, the image of the strong African American woman is at odds with idealized notions of submissive and frail women. This may explain why African American women faced high levels of rejection among men, researchers say.

“Cultural portrayals of African American women in the media continue to stress traits seen as negative, such as bossiness,” Feliciano says.

I’ve heard and seen comments from black women that when they look at personal ads not only do they see non black men asking for every type of woman but black women, they’ve seen a few black men with those same type of ads.  Of course the internet isn’t the only way to meet your mate whether you date interracially or if you prefer your own race.  And despite the fact that the media throws stereotypes in our faces when it comes to black women and asian men you do see a growing number of black women dating non black men and asian men dating non asian women.  I’ve had two asian male supervisors in my working life and they were both married to white women.

The chart below shows a racial breakdown when it comes to marriages in the United States in 2006.  This chart dispels the myth that black men/white women are the largest interracial married couples in the United States.  I never understood where people got that info from.  White men/asian women are the number one interracial marriage combination.

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Check out the entire UC Irvine dating article here and check out the article about coping with four common obstacles in interracial dating here.

An update on Brittney Exline

Back in 2007 I blogged about then fifteen year old Brittney Exline from Colorado.  Brittney became the youngest African American female to be accepted into an Ivy League college.  In the fall of 2007 she started her freshman year at the University of Pennsylvania. Well today I received a link to a news article from one of her relatives which gives an update on Brittney who’s now a grown seventeen years old and just completed her second year at UPenn.

Young Ivy Leaguer

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17-year-old college junior in fast lane

SUE McMILLIN
THE GAZETTE

Brittney Exline doesn’t stand out so much in the crowd anymore.

At 17, she easily passes for a college student.

That wasn’t the case when she was an 11-year-old high school student or a 16-year-old on Wall Street.

But Brittney, now a college junior, shrugs off the contrast. She accepts her life as it comes to her, even if it has been fast-paced.

“I don’t think of myself as extraordinary,” she said. “Then I think about the average junior in high school, which is what I would be, and that doesn’t fit. But I don’t think about it much. I’m just living my life.”

Most of her friends have been three or four years older since she was 6 and started her accelerated path through school.

She was in middle school at age 8 and doing high school math. She was 11 when she entered Palmer High School, and she graduated at age 15 with an International Baccalaureate diploma. She just finished her second year at the University of Pennsylvania and leaves Colorado Springs for Cameroon to help deliver laptop computers and train youngsters and their teachers to use them.

The article also mentions her internship at a small hedge fund last summer and how the opportunity came about for her to go to Cameroon this summer.

The opportunity to go to Cameroon to work with One Laptop Per Child came in mid-April. Three Penn students had applied for a grant to deliver laptops to some villages near Buea, but then the tech guy couldn’t go. The others asked Brittney to step in.

Her background is mostly in software engineering, so she’s learning about hardware. She’ll help set up routers and networks and in some cases generators so the laptop batteries can be charged.

Along with ensuring everything works, she’ll help the team teach children ages 6 to 12 and their teachers how to get the most out of their computers.

“I’m really excited about the experience of being in another country,” she said. “I’ve never been abroad.”

You can check out the entire article here.  Brittney, good luck on your trip to Cameroon.

I also want to thank her relative for sending me the news link. I know you’re very proud of Brittney.

Rock on, Sistahs!

Blogging has become so popular since I first started blogging a few years ago and it’s amazing to find so many different types of blogs out there. I found one that peaked my interest earlier today called Rock On, Sistahs! As the description states:

A blog that celebrates Women of Color who make Rock music, Women of Color who dig Rock music, and the people who dig them

So if you’re into black female rockers and rockers in general give this blog a look see.

A commentary on black moms

I read an interesting commentary from Fannie Flono, Associate Editor for the Charlotte Observer titled Black moms, my mom and Michelle Obama. She talks about the image of black moms and specifically Michelle Obama. Considering that mainstream media and some black media have pretty much shown images of black women as lazy welfare queens, video vixens and teenage single moms, Michelle Obama is a much needed refreshing change.  Yes I know some folks are sick of seeing and hearing about Michelle Obama but after decades of negativity about black women or treating normal, non stereotypical black women like we’re invisible, I enjoy reading about Michelle Obama.  I’m sure the media circus surrounding the FLOTUS will slow down eventually.

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Black moms, my mom and Michelle Obama

By FANNIE FLONO
McClatchy Newspapers

What I’m liking most about Michelle Obama being first lady is this: She puts on public display an image of black women and black mothers that many African-Americans can identify with, but that others have viewed as an anomaly. I’m not talking about her being a Harvard-educated lawyer or dressing in designer clothes or personally knowing Oprah. That sets her apart from most of us.

But her loving relationship with her husband and her devotion to her children are familiar to many of us who have grown up in black households. It’s the stereotype of the wild-haired, bedraggled-looking “welfare queens” or booty-shaking, single teen moms that gives us pause.

Sure, those people exist. But they’re not who most black women are. The last census showed 62 percent of black women worked for a living (as opposed to 60 percent of white women). The census also showed that 79 percent of blacks and 89 percent of whites earned at least a high school diploma. Nearly 30 percent of each group had some college education. For blacks, the majority of both were women.

It is true that 65 percent of black births were to unwed mothers. But that’s not the same as saying 65 percent of black single women had children. The census shows 39 percent of black women are childless, and 43 percent of black families are married couples.

So the idea of a Michelle Obama-like black mom is not a fairy tale, not the exception. It is the heart-warming reality a lot of us know.

Check out the entire article here.

Are separate beauty pageants for women of color still relevant?

That’s a question some folks are asking. I came across an article today about the Miss Black Sacramento pageant. The article mentions that there are  pageants for black, latina and asian women in the United States. And the question was asked if these separate pageants still have a role in our country.

Miss Black Sacramento pageants spark delight — and some doubts

By Ed Fletcher

Thirty-eight years ago, Velma Stokley-Flournoy decided if mainstream America wasn’t going to recognize black beauty, then African Americans needed contests where brown skin, full lips and round hips were appreciated.

So in 1970, she created the Miss Black Sacramento pageant. “I saw a pageant on television and there weren’t any blacks involved,” she said.

Tonight, a new Miss Black Sacramento and new Miss Black Teen Sacramento will be crowned. Later this month, a young woman will be crowned Miss Asia Sacramento.

Since 1984, six women of African descent have been named Miss America, and African Americans have assumed prominent roles in the television, film, sports and political worlds.

One may ask whether pageants like Miss Black Sacramento still have a role in society. The answer doesn’t break evenly along the color line.

Some like Ward Connerly feel that people of color should not hold separate events and that we should all strive to be a part of the melting pot.

Ward Connerly, an African American crusader against government set-asides that are based on race, said he’s long been against separate programs or events that aren’t necessitated by a language barrier.

“We are not divided by language. We have the same culture, for the most part,” Connerly said of black Americans.

Races and ethnic groups should strive to be part of the American melting pot, not celebrate a sideline existence, he said.

“Those events really need to go by the wayside,” Connerly said. “I guarantee you there will be people who will say, ‘What if we had a white pageant.’ “

On the other side are those who feel that just because we’ve elected a black/biracial president doesn’t mean that racism has completely disappeared.

Janet Shan, a Jamaican-born conservative blogger, recently questioned the existence of the Miss Black New Jersey pageant.

“I really don’t think in 2009 we need a black miss anything or a white miss anything,” she told The Bee.

She stopped short of saying America is now “post-racial,” but said the obstacles that still exist can be overcome.

“There are pockets of racism in this country, but that is not enough to hold us back. We are not in the Jim Crow days,” Shan said.

People shouldn’t over-interpret the elections of President Barack Obama or Mayor Kevin Johnson, cautioned James Shelby, president of the Greater Sacramento Urban League.

“The world hasn’t changed because we have a black president. Does Kevin’s election mean all the problems in the African American community have gone away?” Shelby asked.

He pointed out there are only two sitting governors and one U.S. senator of African descent, only one of which was elected to his post.

Of course you get the usual comments from some white folks asking why isn’t there a Miss White America pagaent. The Miss America and Miss USA pageants have always had majority white or all white contestants.   They didn’t need to call those pagaents Miss White America or Miss White USA since it was a given that mostly white women participated in those pageants.

What some folks might not know is that back in the early days black women weren’t allowed to participate in the Miss America pageant. According to this PBS article:

The pageant’s long history of excluding women of color dates from its beginnings. At some point in the 1930s, it was formalized in the notorious rule number seven of the Miss America rule book. Instituted under the directorship of Lenora Slaughter, rule number seven stated that “contestants must be of good health and of the white race.” As late as 1940, all contestants were required to list, on their formal biological data sheet, how far back they could trace their ancestry. In the pageant’s continual crusade for respectability, ancestral connections to the Revolutionary War or perhaps the Mayflower would have been seen as a plus.

While the rule stated that contestants must be of the white race, the rule never said anything about religion:

Bess Myerson, Miss America 1945 and daughter of Russian-Jewish parents, while technically eligible to compete under rule seven, sensed the far-reaching bigotry behind it. She had, after all, been pressured (unsuccessfully) to change her name to a less Jewish-sounding name. Myerson was the first Jewish Miss America — and the only one ever to be crowned, as of 2001. Myerson later recalled her discussion with Slaughter:

“I said… the problem is that I’m Jewish, yes? And with that kind of name it’ll be quite obvious to everyone else that I’m Jewish. And you don’t want to have to deal with a Jewish Miss America. And that really was the bottom line. I said I can’t change my name. You have to understand. I cannot change my name. I live in a building with two hundred and fifty Jewish families. The Sholom Aleichem apartment houses. If I should win, I want everybody to know that I’m the daughter of Louie and Bella Myerson.”

While the first black contestant didn’t participate until 1970, native american, latina and asian american contestants broke the color barriers in the 1940’s:

In addition to Myerson, others had pushed the boundaries of the pageant’s unwritten and written rules for inclusion. In 1941 a Native American, Mifauny Shunatona, represented Oklahoma at the pageant, though there would not be another Native American contestant for 30 years. Irma Nydia Vasquez from Puerto Rico, and Yun Tau Zane from Hawaii, the first Asian contestant, both broke the color bar in 1948.

Since there still hadn’t been a black contestant blacks decided to start their own pagaent:

By the 1960s there still had not been a black contestant. Following the advances of the civil rights movement, black Americans set up their own contest in 1968. Black communities had sponsored segregated black beauty contests for years, dating farther back than the Miss America contest. However, the 1968 Miss Black America Contest, held in Atlantic City on the same day as the Miss America Pageant, was organized as a direct protest of the pageant. On that same day, feminists staged a boardwalk demonstration protesting the pageant. The 1968 Miss America Pageant was confronted with its shortcomings on several fronts.

Finally in 1970 Cheryl Brown, Miss Iowa competed in the Miss America Pageant.

It was not until 1970 that a black woman, Iowa’s Cheryl Brown, won a state title and made it to Atlantic City as a contestant.

Then in 1984 things really changed. I was younger and somewhat wishy washy over these pagaents.  But while reading USA Today I saw an article about Miss New York (Vanessa Williams) and Miss New Jersey (Suzette Charles) along with Miss Maryland Amy Keys and Miss North Carolina Deneen Graham who were all black.  Now this was back in 1984 but I believe the article was about that year having the most women of color participating in the Miss America pageant.  So I decided to watch the Miss America pageant. And wouldn’t you know it, Miss New York Vanessa Williams won the Miss America 1984 pageant. I was shocked and excited. Of course when I went back to work one of the black secretaries in the office I worked in gave me some lip about Vanessa not being black enough. Years later there would be quite a number of black Miss Americas of various complexions including Debbye Turner (1990), Marjorie Judith Vincent (1991), Kimberly Aiken (1994), Erika Harold (2003) and Erica Dunlap (2004)Angela Perez Baraquio was the first asian american to be crowned Miss America in 2001.  Anyway I was surprised to find this YouTube video of the 1984 Miss America pageant where Vanessa was crowned Miss America:

Months later Vanessa had to relinquish her crown to the first runner up Miss Jersey Suzette Charles due to a nude photo scandal.

It was not until 1984 that Vanessa Williams of New York was crowned as the first black Miss America. Many likened her accomplishment to that of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line in baseball. Controversy followed Williams as, for the first time, Miss America recieved death threats and hate mail. By all accounts, Williams was doing an excellent job of representing the pageant at her public appearances. But halfway into her year, the discovery of pornographic photos of her forced Williams to resign. She had been pressured into posing for the photographs that she had been told would never appear in print. In 1984 they came out in the most successful issue of Penthouse magazine ever printed, netting publisher Bob Guccione a windfall profit of $14 million.

Despite this setback, Vanessa Williams went on to have a successful singing and acting career. She currently stars in Ugly Betty. And the Miss America pageant website still features Vanessa as the 1984 winner and Suzette Charles is considered 1984b, whatever that means.

The first black woman crowned Miss USA was Carol Gist back in 1990Kenya Moore became the second black woman to win the Miss USA title in 1993, followed by Chelsi Smith in 1995, Shauntay Hinton in 2002, Rachel Smith in 2007 and Crystle Stewart in 2008.  Now if some folks want to get technical some of the Miss Americas and Miss USAs would be considered biracial.  So take your pick.  You can call them black or biracial.

When Ms. Hinton won in 2002 four of the five finalists were black.

miss_usa_2002

Is this progress or reverse racism as some saw it when I read about her win back in 2002.  Check out this article from Pageant News Bureau:

Shortly after Shauntay Hinton of the District of Columbia was crowned Miss USA 2002, angry e-mails began pouring in to PNB’s offices. Some people thought they were addressing the pageant’s organizers, while others simply wanted to sound off to an independent forum. Almost exclusively, they were upset that so many African-Americans had reached the Top 5.

No one who made this complaint used racial slurs or expressed hostility toward any group. But all of them said that since blacks constitute roughly 12 percent of the American population — and about the same percentage of Miss USA delegates — the finalists should not have been 80 percent African-American. Why not more whites, Asians and Hispanics?

Some readers made reference to the pageant’s current venue, Gary, Ind., which has a mostly African-American population and in the 1960s became the first major U.S. city to elect a black mayor.

We can’t document the ethnicity of anyone in the pageant. But based on appearance, we will accept the assertion that the final five consisted of four black women and one white woman.

In the minds of many, this sort of statistical anomaly is evidence of bias. We can’t disprove that, or dissuade anyone from believing it. And we were simply inclined to let the issue drop. But after reading so many declarations by embittered fans who say they will never watch Miss USA again, we had to speak up.

Please, everyone, put this in perspective! If there were four redheads and one brunette in the Top 5, would you be feeling the same anguish and suspicion? One pageant does not make a pattern of prejudice.

If some feel that’s too many black women making the final round then why do these same folks turn around and complain that separate pageants for women of color need to close shop?  Should there be a quota over how many women of color can make the final round in mainstream pageants?  You can’t please everybody.

Anyway the question still lingers.  Should separate pageants for black, latina and asian women shut their doors and women of color just compete in mainstream pageants?  Or should these separate pageants stick around and continue to provide scholarships and workshops for women of color?

Check out the entire Sacramento Bee article here.

Hat culture in the black church

There’s an interesting article about the hat culture in black churches. The article, A congregation of splendid hats, is written by Karen Grigsby Bates. According to Ms. Bates, the ladies were looking splendid in their hats on Palm Sunday at the West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles.

hats

hats2

A congregation of splendid hats

Hats are a tradition in black churches. On Palm Sunday at West Angeles Church of God in Christ in South L.A., the pews blossomed with fabulous creations.

By Karen Grigsby Bates

This is going to date me, but it’s true: When I was young, most black ladies wore hats to church. Easter was the true beginning of spring, the day when hats in spring colors blossomed throughout the congregation: yellow, peach, mint, lilac, pink. Even if the weather wasn’t cooperating, the hats came out. At my home church, Dixwell Avenue Congregational in frosty New Haven, Conn., it wasn’t unusual to see a lady wearing her spring finery beneath her mink coat. It might have been barely 50 degrees, but it was Easter, and the hats were coming out.

Although the world has gotten much more casual in the intervening decades, and sadly, hats are far less ubiquitous, hat culture remains alive and well in many of the nation’s black churches. On Palm Sunday in South L.A., the pews of West Angeles Church of God in Christ were splashed with plenty of color: broad brims in coral, pink and cream trimmed in ribbons and flowers; lampshade profiles in aqua and pistachio; and high-hat toppers in dusty rose, trimmed in lace and festooned with silk flowers. The black hats were anything but basic: The equestrienne top hat sparkled with tiny crystals on its crown and net veil, and the brim of one magnificent upturned glazed straw had a sunburst pattern of gold threading and crystal baguettes that perfectly echoed the gold and silver threading on the cuffs of the wearer’s St. John knit suit.

It was a rich sample of the fashionable display in many of the city’s black churches, though perhaps on a slightly larger scale — West Angeles is one of the biggest Protestant churches in the region. Its 24,000 members attend one of three services each Sunday, and its bishop, Charles Blake, is about to be installed as the presiding bishop for the Church of God in Christ, the fourth-largest Pentecostal denomination in the United States. The bishop says, “all are welcome. We don’t care how you dress, we just care that you come.” But most people come dressed up because they want to. And many of the women — old, young and in between — wear hats. Serious hats.

You can read the entire article here and check out the hat photo gallery here.

Are you loud, black and in need of a makeover?

Then check this out.  I was going through some of my google alerts and saw an ad for a reality show.

Casting Are you an OUTSPOKEN OPINIONATED AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMAN?

Casting Call Information
City: Washington DC
State: DC
Posted On: 04/05/2009
Closing On: 04/15/2009
Company: 44 Blue Productions

Seeking LOUD, FEARLESS, OPINIONATED African American women to get a FREE MAKEOVER by a celebrity hairstylist.

You will be participating in a docu-reality pilot set in Washington DC for a major cable network.

The pilot will be taping between April 7- 11th in Washington DC.

Oh great.  Just what we need.  Another loud opinionated black woman on television 😦

Why does she have to be loud? I’m sure they’ll get a slew of responses but this is what many black folks talk about when TPTB in the television world continue to trot out the same old stereotypical black woman on reality shows.

Miss Showtime- Black female motorcyclist

I read a really interesting article today about black female motorcyclist Marian Peterson. Ms. Peterson, who’s now 64 years old and is more commonly known as Miss Showtime, is now the road captain of the all-male motorcycle club the Magnificent Seven. Miss Showtime is also featured in the California African American Museum’s exhibit Black Chrome, which showcases the contributions African Americans have made to motorcycle culture. This exhibit started last September 2008 and will run through April 12.

marian_peterson

‘Showtime’ and ‘Sugar’: Insiders! Glimpse At Black Female Bikers

BY NADRA KAREEM

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Marian Peterson has defied gender roles her whole life.

As a little girl, she had a train set that outmatched any owned by the boys she knew.

As a young woman, she was the only female to compete on her local horse racing team, the L.A. Jayhawks.

And by the time she reached her mid-20s, Peterson — more commonly known as “Miss Showtime” — was one of the few black women motorcyclists in Los Angeles.

“When I first started riding I was not on the bike set,” said Showtime, now 64. Instead, she rode motorcycles independently of a club, later becoming affiliated with male riding groups. “Some of the guys felt intimidated because I’m a woman, and by my skills riding.”

Mostly self-taught, Showtime is now the road captain of the all-male motorcycle club the Magnificent Seven, a feat indicative of how much respect she has in the riding world. Showtime is also one of the elite black motorcyclists featured in the California African AmericanMuseum’s exhibit Black Chrome, which showcases the contributions African Americans have made to motorcycle culture. The exhibit will run through April 12.

As a black woman in the motorcycle world, Showtime arguably faced twice the challenges that her male counterparts did. When Showtime won a street race against two male competitors, she had to be very humble and coy, so as not to upset them.

She told her competitors that she had no idea she was racing them. “I was just trying to keep up,” she recalls telling them.

Showtime said that she has managed to earn the respect of male motorcyclists by behaving like a lady rather than mimicking the behavior of men.

“Some women will go out and put on their gear and put on their bike, and they’re not the same lady,” Showtime said. “Guys respect ladies.”

The article also mentions the 2003 movie Biker Boyz starring Laurence Fishburne, Derek Luke, Lisa Bonet and Orlando Jones and credits the film for giving the mainstream a peak inside black motorcyle culture.

She credits the 2003 film “Biker Boyz” for exposing black motorcycle culture to the mainstream. It’s Showtime’s belief that the media doesn’t show black motorcyclists engaging in bike runs and other activities, as it does for white motorcyclists.

According to her, many of the crew members on the “Biker Boyz” set didn’t realize that black motorcyclists even existed. And black women motorcyclists have yet to garner the attention their male peers have.

You can check out the entire article here.

First Michelle and now Beyonce

Someone must have spiked Anna Wintour’s water or Andre Talley has locked her in somebody’s basement cause for the second month in a row a black woman graces the cover of Vogue Magazine 😉  First Lady Michelle Obama graced the March cover.

michelle_obama_vogue

Singer/actress Beyonce Knowles graces the April cover.

beyonce_vogue

This has got to be a first.

Now some folks are saying Beyonce makes this the fifth black woman to grace the cover of Vogue. I think folks need to be specific cause I blogged about this back in 2007 when Jennifer Hudson graced the Vogue cover.

jennifervogue

When it comes to non models and non athletes it’s Halle Berry, Jennifer Hudson, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama and Beyonce.  Like I stated back in 2007 numerous black models from all over the world have graced the cover of American Vogue along with track and field’s fallen star Marion Jones.  Model Beverly Johnson was the first black woman to grace the cover of American Vogue.   So if Beverly is the first and many black models have been on the cover after Beverly, then how is Beyonce only the fifth black woman on the American Vogue cover?  But if you separate the models and athletes from celebrities and first ladies then yes she’s the fifth black woman.   There’s been a dearth of black women period on the Vogue cover since Anne Wintour took over Vogue. There were black models galore on the Vogue covers during the 80’s.

There’s also been talk that the Beyonce Vogue cover is racist cause she’s on the cover of the “Shape Issue.”  According to the site Sociological Images:

Unfortunately, in line with cultural stereotypes, the issue is the “Shape Issue,” contributing to the stereotype of Black women, and Latina women too, as especially “curvy.” The magazine sets up, essentially, an impossibility: ”Have curves, but by curves we mean something very specific: boobs and an ass. You know, like Black women’ve got. See Beyonce? She’s Black. So she’s got curves. No matter that she’s extremely thin. You should be extremely thin, too (’WORK IT!’); eh em, we mean, ‘conquer your demons,’ we love you ‘from size zero to size 20.’ Just kidding! We totally don’t. Design ‘your perfect body’ with cosmetic surgery! Then you’ll really love yourself… and we will find you acceptable… it’s win win!!!!”

Racism and sexism. Nice work, Vogue.

When I first read about Beyonce’s Vogue cover at The Frisky.com,  I looked at the  picture and wondered what is racist about this Vogue cover?   I didn’t see a damn thing.  But apparently the blogger at Sociological Images looked deeply into this and saw racism as well as sexism.

And speaking of Vogue, yes I do subscribe to the magazine. While reading the letter to the editors a couple of months ago, one woman wrote that she was getting bored with the same ole tired women gracing the cover of Vogue every year. I did a Google and found the letter quoted at the International Herald Tribune. The letter writer from San Diego mentioned that she could create a calendar and guess who would be the usual cover girls every year.

NO one at Vogue, least of all its editor in chief, Anna Wintour, could have been seriously stung by a recent letter from a reader complaining that the magazine was in a rut. After all, Wintour chose to publish the letter, which chided the magazine for featuring the same women — “Gwyneth Paltrow, Caroline Trentini, Gisele Bündchen, Nicole Kidman, Sienna Miller, blah, blah, blah,” as the reader, Kathryn Williams of San Diego, said. “I could make a calendar of your cover girls, and it would probably repeat year after year.” She added: “Let’s face it: Vogue is getting a bit stale. It is a pity, too — because the magazine is still much better than the others.”

The usual suspects on my list include Gwyneth Paltrow, Nicole Kidman (one year she had 2 covers), Kiera Knightly (the letter writer was complaining about Kiera appearing on the cover for the umpteenth time), Drew Barrymore, Sienna Miller (what has she done besides being blonde, to grace a magazine cover) and Jennifer Anniston just to name a few. The letter writer gave an example of Helen Mirren as being a new face on the Vogue cover. Having Helen or even Meryl Streep would be a nice change of pace.   Knowing Vogue they probably have an age cutoff.  I was glad this woman spoke up though. It looks like Vogue got the message since they’ve had two black women in a row on their cover.

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