viola davis defines herself

according to a new york times article critiquing television writer/producer shonda rhimes, viola davis is less “classically beautiful than kerry washington.”  the star of rhimes’ new show, how to get away with murder, stopped by the view to respond to the negative comment:

“I’m glad that Shonda Rhimes “SAW” me and said “Why Not.” That’s what makes her a visionary.  That’s what makes her iconic.  I think that beauty is subjective. I’ve heard that statement  (less classically beautiful) my entire life.  Being a dark skinned Black woman, you heard it from the womb.  And “classically not beautiful” is a fancy term for saying ugly.  And denouncing you. And erasing you.  Now…it worked when I was younger.  It no longer works for me now.  It’s about teaching a culture how to treat you. Because at the end of the day, you define you.”

19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Arrivalsclearly, one of the most beautiful things about viola davis is not just her physical appearance, but her eloquence.  watch how to get away with murder after scandal on thursday nights at 10 pm.

 

5:31 jerome s/s15

1 4 8 10 11 15 1614 6 16 2 9praise his holy name for everything about 5:31 jerome’s spring/summer 2015 collection.  the new york based designer, jerome lamaar, is making waves at only 24, being called the “next big thing.” after serving a stint at ralph rucci and baby phat his newest collection is beyond.

 

 

weekend wear: lost files via vscocam

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i found these stragglers on my phone from afro punk and thought i’d share. if you can’t tell, i’m obsessed with my ripped bermuda shorts; they’re so beat up, i don’t think they’ll get through another summer.

hope you enjoyed your weekend!

p.s. sorry for the lack of outfit details — everything interesting is vintage or from afrodesiac worldwide.

p.p.s. just so there no misunderstandings, i’m smoking a clove in the last picture.

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.