columbusing alert: gelled edges & big butts

just as christopher columbus “discovered” the new world, high fashion magazines and celebrities continue to appropriate black culture, naming things like big butts and gelled edges the newest trends.

despite vogue’s article titled ‘we’re officially in the era of the big booty‘ and gelled edges being spotted on this season’s runway shows, neither round backsides nor prominent baby hair is “new.” in fact, black folks kinda invented both.  while we appreciate the rare occasions when mainstream society recognizes our contribution to this country’s very existence, especially pop culture, the kind of appropriation pictured above is offensive. why? because it involves failing to recognize the history of an act, as if its originators are invisible.  this fact is especially problematic for black people who are often denigrated for the very things that white americans can espouse as displays of “coolness”.  using black vernacular, rocking gold grills, twerking — and now gelled edges and big butts — breed street cred for whites and limited socioeconomic opportunities for blacks.  this skewed dichotomy is emblematic of larger society and goes far beyond the fashion and entertainment industries.

despite columbusing’s macro origins, one chip in cultural appropriation’s armor could be having more black models, writers and bloggers to fact check these egregious claims and ensure a more responsible cultural exchange. however, until that happens, i’ll continue to feel mocked and exploited by katy perry’s braids and vogue’s recent “discovery” of the beauty of big butts.

weekend wear 9.15.14

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happy monday good folks! i stopped by oyin handmade’s flagship store in baltimore this weekend and got some of the best hair and body products known to man! i highly recommend their no ash at all body lotion, greg juice hair humectant and natural deodorant called funk butter.

i hope you had a great weekend!

dress, crossroads trading company | necklaces, topshop | spike stud earrings, forever 21(similar here) | booties, nordstrom | lipstick, mac’s up the amp

chanel iman & a$ap rocky for vogue

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these pictures are pure perfection, and i love that a$ap defies the hard core rapper stereotype.  his gold grill makes the shoot more authentic and chanel is giving LIFE in each pose.

p.s. it seems anna wintour is allowing a bit more diversity in vogue these days as not only are the couple included in this month’s prized september issue, but three models of color grace the cover.  there’s also a dope article about shayne oliver of hood by air. but then again the recently published a piece about big butts being all the rage (as if this was just invented as a trend), and well…

we salute you serena

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congrats to serena williams who won her 18th grand slam title and third us open trophy yesterday. at 33, i’m inspired by her dedication and strength — achieving goals that others would consider impossible, especially as a woman of color. after her win, beats released this touching commercial featuring poet, emcee and songstress sunni patterson.

“sister we salute you for not giving up on a dream and showing us what it means to be a champion.”