Tag Archives: Jennifer Lopez

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.

Spencer Pratt Wants to Intern for Ryan Seacrest… & Other News

Shingai Shoniwa of Noisettes for Bazaar

  • Spencer Pratt’s crawling out of the woodwork with a request to be Ryan Seacrest’s intern. No, but seriously. — WetPaint
  • Shingai Shoniwa of Noisettes blows Bazaar UK out of the water in a Grace Jones inspired spread. — Shadders
  • Galliano’s out of rehab, he ignored a photographer that called him a ‘F*cking Racist,’ but I still maintain: rehab doesn’t cure racism. — TMZ
  • And the most beautiful woman of the year is… Jennifer Lopez (according to People anyway), never mind that it’s only 4 months into the year. Good for her. — People
  • Sad but true. I only wear my watch as another accessory and eight other gadgets that smartphones have made obsolete. — HuffPo

The Fantastic Four: Wide Brim Hats

The Fantastic Four: Wide Brim Hats

Nothing says beach weather quite like a wide brim hat, they go perfectly with oversized sunglasses and are just plain fun. Worn correctly they can give off the certain air of mystique that can be a girl’s best friend. They’re alluring and a timeless accessory you’ll go back to season after season. Style icons favor them and it’s no wonder why, they’re gorgeous and something about the right hat makes any outfit seem ten times more stylish. Whether laying out by the pool, or strolling around on sun-drenched vacations, I’m looking forward to sporting one of these hats when the weather decides to be sensible and conform to seasonal norms.

[1] This Lanvin straw hat has this super wide brim that’s totally over the top, and the Swarovski crystal pin-embellishment makes it just that more decadent. [2] The sandy pink hue of this Eugenia Kim wide brimmed hat beckons to the beach, not to mention the little added nautical knot detail makes me crave a day out on the yacht. [3] This floppy felt hat from ASOS puts a dose of non-traditional color into the mix, the silhouette and materials are regal, but the color gives it this cool modern approach. [4] A simple black hat never looked so good, the Maison Michel Blanche Capeline is the perfect wide brim hat, I can picture it on the likes of Jennifer Lopez or Kim Kardashian in the tabloids, or on a girl who’s got the world on a string and knows how to work really girly pieces with a bit of androgynous edge.

Listening Party: JLo’s On the Floor vs. Kaoma’s Lambada

JLo Pitbull On the Floor, Kaoma World Beat Lambada

The first time I heard Jennifer Lopez’s latest track, On the Floor, bells went off and I knew where I’d heard the instrumental before. I immediately started belting out the song I thought I knew, until Pitbull interrupted, making it clear that this was not the song from my childhood. Kaoma released their World Beat album the same year I was born, and the song Lambada was on rotation in my household for days at a time. I’m finding it hard to imagine myself bumping to Jennifer Lopez’s particular rendition of the track, because I’m always reciting the words to Lambada. I guess it’s true what they say, everything old is new. Plus, I’m kind of partial to the track that’s got all those elements of childhood nostalgia tied to it. I hunted down a copy of Kaoma’s Lambada, for my own personal listening (and comparing) party, you’ll find both tracks below.

Kaoma – Lambada

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Jennifer Lopez ft. Pitbull – On the Floor

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