Category Archives: Celebrity

Sound Off: Ideas of Blackness Beyoncé, JLo, & L’Oreal

Ideas of Blackness Beyonce

It’s a touchy subject, the meaning behind the color of our skin, but as women of color it’s a never-squelched bone of contention. Some members of the Black community are upset by the latest L’Oreal campaign for True Match that features Beyoncé labeled as “African American, Native American,  French.” Interestingly enough, the last of those doesn’t define her race – but that doesn’t stop people from jumping to conclusions or being upset.

(FYI: French isn’t a race, and while people want to talk about African American as a “race” – it really isn’t one, and neither is Native American)

The anger in this situation stems from Beyoncé being labeled as all of these things while Jennifer Lopez is labeled as 100% Puerto Rican. And while people seem to think that mentioning that Beyoncé is French is somehow invalidating her Blackness, it’s my belief that it strengthens it. Being Black isn’t just one thing and acknowledging all of our roots is important. Perhaps the question isn’t why L’Oreal labeled Beyoncé with multiple no-miners and Jennifer Lopez with only one, would someone please ask these women what they self-identify as? Beyoncé has never shied away from her French heritage, her first name is a homage to that part of her lineage, as is her clothing line. That accent on the end of her name isn’t there just for kicks, it’s French. Jennifer Lopez on the other hand, has stated time and time again that she’s 100% Puerto Rican. Yes she could have been labeled as Latina, but Puerto Rico has its own heritage, not willing to be stuffed into the box labeled Latina. Perhaps some will think I’m naive for not blaming L’Oreal for this, but I don’t think they sat there and genetically tested these women and decided to label them accordingly, it’s far more likely that they asked them the question I hate to be asked “what are you?”

Personally, I first and foremost always define myself as Jamaican. Whether I’m black, white, brown or blue isn’t of any consequence to me, and I hate to be asked to self-identify as a race. Perhaps it’s because I can’t call myself black without getting a few awkward glances. I’m exceedingly light-skinned and calling myself black is almost always followed by someone asking me what I’m mixed with.

If you can trace back your heritage there’s no shame in acknowledging it, all of it. I don’t like when my cousins call themselves African American (their parents are Jamaican, their parents parents are Jamaican). Being labeled as African American fits them into this tiny box that defines what it means to be Black, negating an entire other history and disassociating them from their roots. No matter how dark they may be – they are so much more than just one label. Saying you’re African American somehow creates this idea that your lineage begins with slavery – this is not something I’ll ever accept. The history of Black America isn’t the be all end of Beyoncé’s roots, neither is it that for anyone else. Knowing your heritage no matter how far it dates back is a powerful thing. I am Jamaican and thanks to the sense that is clear in my country’s national motto I can say that I am truly “out of many one people.” As someone who’s clearly of French heritage thanks to my last name – Sicard – I see nothing wrong with acknowledging that part of my story.

I see no fault in L’Oreal labeling Beyoncé as all of these things, so long as she is comfortable with it.
I say to hell with it all. I am not African American, but I am Black. I am Jamaican and my history started way before slavery – something Black people should acknowledge in Black History month.

Sound Off: Women Problems, Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera

I feel compelled to come to Christina Aguilera’s defense. In some sick twist of fate Christina was forced to live out every woman’s worst nightmare, and what’s worse – everyone was watching at Etta James’ funeral. At least once to my recollection I’ve had that nightmare, that I somehow managed to not notice I was on my period only to have it reveal itself to the world. Whether it was spray tan as her publicists say or the more distressing alternative is irrelevant, because the media circus has turned this into the shame shame game.

As women we’ve been taught to feel shame over our periods, over our bodies in general, and right now Christina’s being forced to confront that in a gruesome way. While one particular person on my Twitter feed decided to take Christina’s embarrassment and run with it, I couldn’t help but be more and more bothered by every one-hundred and forty character jab. UsWeekly captioned “Why Christina Aguilera Looked “Leaky” at Etta James Tribute,” while the ever unforgiving Media Takeout captioned their article a more upstetting “OH . . . EMMM . .. GEEEEE!!!! Christina Aguilera Appears to Have A MENSTRAL ACCIDENT . . . While Singing At Etta James’ Funeral!!! (She’s LEAKING Like A FAUCET).” Never mind the fact that Media Takeout can’t even spell menstrual properly, commenters both men and women alike have thrown rocks at her, proceeding to call her all sorts of derogatory names. Why comments about her needing to lose weight came into the picture, I’m still not sure. While Christina isn’t the size she was when she was a Genie in a Bottle, it’s disheartening to watch so many women tear down another woman, knowing the hell they’d feel if this happened to them. Furthermore, I resent the fact that any man thinks they have the right to negatively comment on something like this – because as I say in the title – these are women problems. Problems men will never really understand…

On a separate note, RIP Etta James – Christina’s rendition of At Last would have made her proud.

I Want to Feel Like… Joan Holloway

i want to feel like joan holloway

I’ve been harboring a girl crush for Christina Hendricks and her Mad Men alter ego Joan Holloway (now Harris) for an eternity. Maybe it’s the fact that the woman runs shit over at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce or that her real life persona will enjoy chocolate covered bacon if she wants to, regardless of what anyone else has to say.

On more than one occasion I’ve contemplated dressing up as the buxom red-headed vixen for Halloween, truth is – I’ve got more than a few pieces in my wardrobe that would suffice.  The costume designers really hit the nail on the head with the raspberry red body-con dress that clung in all the right places, cementing Joan Holloway’s character as a small screen style icon. I figure my voluptuous frame will look almost as good in the Roland Mouret, Brownlow stretch crepe dress. With that pout – her lips could seduce just about anyone, something Roger Sterling knows all too well. I’ll practice perfecting pursing my lips a la Mrs. Harris with Lancome’s sensational effects lipcolor in All Done Up. I always have a million pens on hand, and my obsession with unconventional pendants makes this vintage pen pendant a must-have Joan Holloway costume and everyday piece.  The life of an office manager or secretary in the sixties meant a typewriter was a necessity, and I love the idea of owning my own Underwood ‘portable’ typewriter. In reality, I’m not sure I could trade in my laptop for a typewriter, it may print while I type, but there’s the problem of the non-existent backspace button that will get me in trouble.

Mad Men needs to hurry up and film the next season, in the meanwhile I’ll keep watching the past seasons on Netflix.

Makeup-Monday: Mod-Eyes

Let’s be clear, Edie Sedgwick may be the one famous for them, but Audrey Hepburn had them down pat – Mod Eyes.

To be frank, the smoky eye is getting boring and taking it back to a sixties classic always makes for a good change in pace. This makeup Monday inspiration comes from a set on Polyvore.com, so I dare you – just try and pull off-putting black eyeliner in the crease of your eye:

Betsey Johnson Spring Summer 2012 Goes for Tits & Ass

Betsey Johnson SS 12

Betsey Johnson’s a woman after my own heart, she’s not afraid of color, doesn’t need to care about trends, and for her Spring Summer 2012, line she’s all about tits and ass. Betsey’s collections radiate a no apologies, I’m going to wear whatever the hell I want attitude that creates the persona every woman needs a little bit of. I’ll admit I chuckled a little when I heard her theme for the show was tits and ass, and I greeted the female figure with ample respect. Sequins, flowy and short skirts, with a heavy dose of cleavage made for tons of fun. It’s her non-stop love of color that really gets me going every season and this collection is no different. But what I really want a little bit of is that hair, and Peter Gray of Cutler Salon has bestowed all the details on how to get it:

Betsey Johnson Meets Jerry Hall

• Apply Redken Rootful 06 Root Lifting Spray (or whatever root-lifting spray you’ve got) all over at the root.
• Divide the hair in a diagonal part from front left to back right.
• Take hair under left part and sweep it around for a tight ponytail on the lower right nape of the neck.
• Gather hair on the right side of the part. Pin curl section by section and let set. Spray vigorously with Redken Fashion Work 12 Versatile Working Spray on the top and inside each of the curls to lock into place.
• Once hair has dried, take the clips out and brush through to create dramatic waves.
• Spray Cutler Shine Tattoo to add glossy finish.
• Apply Redken Rootful 06 Root Lifting Spray all over at the root.
• Divide the hair in a diagonal part from front left to back right.
• Take hair under left part and sweep it around for a tight ponytail on the lower right nape of the neck.
• Gather hair on the right side of the part. Pin curl section by section and let set. Sprayvigorously with Redken Fashion Work 12 Versatile Working Spray on the top and insideeach of the curls to lock into place.
• Once hair has dried, take the clips out and brush through to create dramatic waves.
• Spray Cutler Shine Tattoo to add glossy finish.