I’m Skipping the Oscars, But…

If you are reading this, you’re not likely going to be attending the 2016 Oscars. In fact, only half of the 6,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be there because Kodak Theatre has a seating capacity of 3,400.

I know that Will and Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike Lee have begun a movement to get folks to not pay attention to the Oscars because of the lack of diversity but the reality for me is this… I didn’t see most of the films. I don’t go to the movies. I don’t even have a television! I am usually enveloped in the fashions that you can’t really escape if you have any kind of social media account.

But… I want to draw attention to a few things I’ve been thinking about…

Is it realistic for actors like Tyrese Gibson and 50 Cent to ask Chris Rock not to host the Oscars? Isn’t Chris Rock a part of the diversity that the show needs? Would they like for Chris Rock to be replaced by a white man?

b2e918cb544423c4041d0ae3fd010d81d6467c1438e0e2adabbfc6e0636cfae0I didn’t see many of the films but I did see a wonderful documentary about Nina Simone that has been nominated for Best Feature Documentary by Liz Garbus.

Here are a few other nominees that tell stories you may care about…

Best Documentary Short – Body Team 12

Best Documentary Short – Last Day of Freedom

Writing/Origin Screenplay – Straight out of Compton

 

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Today’s Celebrity Sightings – Boris Kodjoe Goes Burgundy + Jada & Willow + Angela Bassett & More!

Mommy and Me

Jada Pinkett Smitha nd Willow!

Spotted Beauty

Solange Knowles… Flawless for no reason!

Eye Candy

Boris Kodjoe takes a risk.

Happy Couple

Janet Jackson and her…. husband!

Pretty Casual

The lovely Angela Bassett

[Celebrity Sightings] Robin Roberts/Beyonce/Tyson Beckford/More!

True Beauty

Robin Roberts is back to work on Good Morning America and looks Good!

Gold Standard

Gabby Douglas out and about in Houston, TX.

Hand In Hand

Halle Berry out with her man, Olivier Martinez. He looks fatherly.

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Oh, Tyson Beckford. What are you wearing? This is unacceptable to me.

Sitting Pretty

Jada Pinkett Smith, perched.

White Hot

Beyonce attends the Two Kings dinner. She looks great, huh?

 

[Mag Covers] No Black Cover Women in 2012 for Cosmo Magazine

Tyra-Cosmo-South-Africa-December-2012-coverCongrats are in order for Super Model, Tyra Banks. Even after a long career in fashion, she is still landing magazine covers and wowing the world with her beautiful face and message.

That said, I’m perplexed. In 2012, no Black woman covered the magazines US cover. According to our friends over at ThingsIlearnedfromCosmo, the numbers are terrible! You can check out ALL of the covers here but HERE are some facts!

“When my Cosmo issue came in the mail with Nicki Minaj on the cover a few months back, I was surprised. Not because I don’t adore Nicki Minaj (I do), but because a black woman was on the cover of the magazine. Compared to my stack of other magazines, and thinking back on previous Cosmo issues, this felt odd.

The unfortunate truth is that most magazines (especially their covers) are overwhelmingly white. It’s not an opinion, it’s a fact, something that has become so pervasive in the magazine industry that some magazines resort to having an “all-black” issue of their magazine – the implication being that the norm is, of course, white.

Just how many black women and women of color have even been on the cover of Cosmo recently?

In 2011, only 3 of the 12 covers featured women of color — Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, and Kim Kardashian. The rest? White.

Where are the Latina women? East Asian women? South Asian women?

I decided to take a look at Cosmo’s covers for the past 10 years (2001-2011) to see whether anything had changed.

Here’s what I found.

Total covers analyzed: 132

Note: I didn’t bother analyzing whether the women would be considered plus-size. It goes without saying that none — except Adele in on the Dec. 2011 issue — were.

HAIR COLOR: This was easy to examine. I just looked at the hair color of each person and tallied it up.

  • Blonde: 85 (64.39%)
  • Brunette: 39 (29.55%)
  • Red: 4 (3.03%)
  • Black: 4 (3.03%)

In Hollywood, blonde has overwhelmingly been defined as “better” — sexier and prettier than any other hair color. There’s no real surprise that a lot of the women on the covers had blonde hair, but I don’t think Cosmo specifically chooses women who are blonde for their covers, just that they are more attracted to women who are blonde because blonde women tend to be women who are white.

HAIR TEXTURE: I  went into this thinking most hair would be straight because it’s often known as “white hair” — that silky, “smooth” texture exemplified by women like Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone and Reese Witherspoon.

  • Straight: 53 (40.15%)
  • Curly: 11 (8.33%)
  • Wavy/professionally curled: 68 (51.52%)

I was surprised to see how many women had wavy/curly hair — or rather, hair that was professionally curled and given waves. It was very, very rare that naturally curly hair was used on a model. Off the top of my head, I can really only recall Debra Messing and that was in 2001. I sincerely thought most women would have been shown with straight hair, since there is this underlying message in American society that “natural” or “curly” hair is gross or ugly. This articleeven talks about how curly hair is seen as “less professional” than straight hair.

But I think the point still stands. Despite the majority of the women on the covers having wavy hair, most of them had their hair styled that way — that is, their was straightened FIRST and THEN given big, luscious curls, the kind that can only be achieved with hair product and curling irons and, quite frankly, “white” hair. (My mom has said she’s so glad I got her white hair instead of my Dad’s Puerto Rican hair.)

The message? Unless your hair is straight, don’t bother with your “natural” texture. Your hair should not be frizzy, at all. It should glisten and bounce like an Herbal Essences commercial.

“RACE”: I put this in parenthesis because race is a social construct and I didn’t have a very scientific way of going about categorizing these women. This is based solely off of the embarrassing amount of pop culture knowledge I’ve amassed combined with something simple — what a person’s skin color looks like. My method is about as scientific as how race is determined in real life because, let’s be real, people are judged entirely on the color of their skin, not whether they look Latino but are actually Italian. Are you light-skinned? Then you’re white. Are you dark-skinned? Black. Somewhere in between? You’re brown.

Note: there were ZERO East Asian women on Cosmo’s covers and I included South Asian women (like Armenian Kim Kardashian) in “brown.” 

  • White: 114 (86.36%)
  • Brown/Latina: 12 (9.09%)
  • Black: 6 (4.55%)

So there’s that. This is the category I cared most about and having hard numbers in front of me just made me feel even more disappointed. Nearly 87% of the women who’ve been on the cover of Cosmopolitan Magazine FOR THE PAST 10 YEARS were white. And in the past year alone (2011), 75% were white. Less than the average, but not by much.

To be fair, Cosmo IS getting better about this. In 2001, 100% of their covers were white women. And I do recognize that some of the issue is simply that women of color in Hollywood do not exist on the same vast scale as white women. But how much can we blame on that? Cosmo only has 12 covers per year to fill, usually with celebrities — surely there are SOME women of color suitable for their magazine? Mindy Kaling, Zoe Saldana, Lucy Liu, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Taraji P. Henson, Sara Ramirez, Maggie Q, Katie Leung, Kim Yoon Jin, America Ferrera, Rosario Dawson.

Some years, Cosmo even chose to reuse women who’d already been on their cover instead of choosing a woman of color. Julia Stiles and Molly Sims, for example, graced Cosmo’s cover four times over 10 years.

Here’s a breakdown of the women who have been on the cover multiple times.

TWO COVERS
Hollyanne Leonard (white, model)
Laetitia Casta (white, model)
Britney Spears (white, singer)
Jennifer Lopez (brown, singer/actress)
Sarah Michelle Gellar (white, actress)
Katie Holmes (white, actress)
Mandy Moore (white, singer/actress)
Jessica Biel (white, actress)
Angelina Jolie (white, actress)
Eva Longoria (brown, actress)
Tori Praver (white, model)
Fergie (white, as she identifies, singer)
Hilary Duff (white, singer/actress)
Scarlett Johansson (white, actress)
Beyonce Knowles (black, singer)
Katherine Heigl (white, actress)
Amanda Bynes (white, actress)
Carmen Electra (white, actress)
Ali Larter (white, actress)
Rihanna (black, singer)
Katy Perry (white, actress)
Kim Kardashian (brown, reality show star)
Kristen Bell (white, actress)

THREE COVERS
Vanessa Lorenzo (white, model)
Cameron Diaz (white, actress)
Kate Hudson (white, actress)
Jessica Simpson (white, singer)
Brittany Murphy (white, actress)
Sharon Van Der Knapp (white, model)
Ashlee Simpson (white, singer)
Lauren Conrad (white, reality show star)
Jessica Alba (brown, actress)
Carrie Underwood (white, singer)

Of course, it wasn’t just white women who were on the cover multiple times. Beyonce, Jessica Alba, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Eva Longoria were (and I’m very glad!) — but these are all women of color openly accepted in the white community. I feel like you’d never see a woman like Tracee Ellis Ross, who starred on BET’s “Girlfriends” for EIGHT years, on the cover of Cosmo. Sad.

HEADLINES: How much of a woman-hater is Cosmo? How over-the-top and ridiculous can the magazine be? Well. You don’t have to look any further than the headlines to see where Cosmo’s loyalties lie: with him.

  • February 2001: Make him crave you!
  • July 2002: Blow his mind!
  • November 2003: Read his dirty mind
  • January 2004: Turn him on tonight
  • September 2005: 50 ways to be a better girlfriend
  • May 2006: Touch him there
  • June 2007: The thing every man needs a woman to say
  • February 2008: Arouse him like crazy!
  • April 2009: What guys crave after sex
  • March 2010: How to touch a naked man
  • June 2011: 78 ways to turn him on

CONCLUSION: I knew what I was getting into when I started looking at these magazine covers; I knew that the majority of the women would be light-skinned, heterosexual, smooth-haired, perfect-bodied women. I could spend days, weeks, months examining these covers at large — and with 132 of them, I know I’d get really interesting results. This is just the surface and I wanted some solid numbers to back up what I already (sadly) knew was true. If Cosmo really wants to diversify, it’ll have to do more than slap one token woman of color on its covers each year.

Oh, and also, Cosmo hates women. No big deal.

THE COVERS: For those interested, here are gifs I made of each year’s cover. They’re not the prettiest, but they get the point across pretty well.”

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

[Celebrity Sightings] Laurynn, Amar’E, Cookie, Gabrielle & More!

Steve-and-marjorie-harvey

Lauryn Hill looks great! This must be her summer look! Light on the clothes. Light on the make-up… natural beauty!

147478003-gabrielleunion-dwaynewade

Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union out and about in Miami!

147478003-gabrielleunion-dwaynewade

Magic Johnson and Cookie… still going strong… in Italy!

147478003-gabrielleunion-dwaynewade

Speaking of “still going strong, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith… still at it!

Mary-j

My love, Michelle Williams!

Steve-and-marjorie-harvey

June Ambrose at Essence Music Festival! Isn’t hot?

Steve-and-marjorie-harvey

Amar’e used to be so fashion conscious.

Steve-and-marjorie-harvey

Queen Latifah!

Did Will Smith Slap a Reporter?

The slap was a bit late for my taste but terribly warranted. Why would you try to kiss a man in his mouth in front of 200 cameras? I think that is silly! What happened to journalistic integrity? Huh? Where was Jada Pinkett-Smith? I guess people can stop calling him homosexual swingers? NOTE TO ALL REPORTERS: DON’T’ TRY TO KISS WILL SMITH OR ANY PERSON IN THE MOUTH!

[Style Watch] Will & Jada Pinkett Smith in Spring Plaids; Nene & Greg Hit the Beach

Sanaa-latham-lucille-lortel-awards

And some other stuff about them… they aren’t split and Will Smith says he is indestructible… That’s it in a nut shell! Black love is still ride or die! As long as Jada and Will keep it going and Denzel doesn’t mess anything up with Pauletta!

Speaking of undying love.. Nene and Greg Leaks were out and about this weekend. A little time on the beach for the two!

Will & Jada Partner with Simon Cowell and Sony Pictures Television for Reality Show

Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith are on a roll! While the wheels were turning about the potential of a divorce, these two were off buying up NBA teams and taking over television! That’s what you call a POWER COUPLE! Making moves TOGETHER! The couple’s Overbrook Entertainment company will partner with Simon Cowell and Sony Pictures Television to find America’s best DJ.

“This show will comb the world to find a new breed of talent,” Pinkett-Smith said in a statement. “I am happy to be creating it alongside Simon Cowell, the Sony Team and my partner Miguel Melendez, on behalf of the Overbrook family.”

Read more: http://www.essence.com/2012/01/25/will-and-jada-to-create-dj-themed-reality-competition-show/#ixzz1kW4CQarj