Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hello Black Girl.

I want to write this post, but I really don't think I can.

See, it's about fashion. And it's about black women. I guess it's about black women in fashion.

And, while I know a little bit about black women, the fashion world is another story.

Anyway, this blog was inspired by this article in the NY Times. I suggest all of you read it because it's about a pretty groundbreaking event.

Italian Vogue is going black.

For one issue, slated to be released shortly in America, the Italian fashion magazine will only feature black models in its photos and will discuss issues related to minorities in the fashion industry. The issue will feature older models who blazed the trail and younger lesser known models who haven't been getting the attention they deserve.

It's pretty freaking impressive.

I can't pretend to understand exactly what the dearth of positive images in beauty magazines does to the psyche of black women. I'm not a woman.

But, I have seen how much it hurts sisters to contantly be told that they are the opposite of beautiful by mainstream America, and I've seen the self-hate that many black women develop because of this unyielding bombardment.

I see it in the things they do to their eyes and hair, and I've seen it in the way they talk about their beautiful African features.

It's highly unlikely that this one issue will rid the fashion world of its deeply ingrained biases, but the issue will provide some measure of comfort for many sisters. I'm sure many of y'all will purchase the magazine to just to have it as a keepsake to remind yourselves of what is possible when people are willing to take a chance.

I hope you enjoy it.

7 comments:

WNG said...

AND to show people that featuring black women is PROFITABLE (since that is the language of bu$ine$$).

Thanks for posting about this, Big Man, I didn't know about it - but I'll be sure to spread the word to the fam.

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

Big Man,

Look at you showing your softer side. I will be checking the bookstore for that copy of Italian Vogue for sure!!

I didn't know about this either already shared it with my crew.

I think it’s awesome. On aside don’t think every black woman you se who changes her hair or eyes is practicing in self hate (not talking about lil’ Kim here). As a true fashionista fashion is about the unlimited possibilities and fun. I think that there are two types of black women when it comes to hair and makeup and eyes.

There are some who use that stuff to try to change their blackness or meet the beauty European beauty standards and others who revel in the fact as black women we have more options than any other ethnicity.

After all who can rock a fro one day, cornrows the next, then Bantu braids, after that twist, freestyle braids, locks, ringlets, stick straight, super short low fade, super long Pocahontas style and so on and so on? Hell even blonde hair black women have been doing that for ages and I honestly think that is more a fashion choice than trying o look white when you have blonde hair blacker than midnight I think its almost a I have the .

Who comes in every shade under the sun from milky white to midnight blue and look fierce being that?

Who else can rock those regal turbans?

If its one thing I know is we black women LOVE our fashion which is often confused with having beauty issues its one of those things that’s hard to understand. I’m sure this issue will point to are truly stunning diversity with in our blackness which, to me, is one of the MOST beautiful things about being black!

Thanks agian for sharing!!

-OG

Oaktown Girl said...

What wng said.

But, I have seen how much it hurts sisters to constantly be told that they are the opposite of beautiful by mainstream America

This is true. It does hurt most of us. Speaking only for myself, just because one can see through the racist bullshit doesn't mean the constants jabs stop hurting. They're just "managed" in one way or another.

Also I noticed from looking at that slideshow on the Times link, it seems as if Black high fashion models still either have to have their hair straightened or wrapped for the most part.

Oaktown Girl said...

Oh, forgot to mention - you know another stereotype about Black women? They all love fashion. And the ones who don't must be gay.

Not true.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

I am going to buy a few issues the minute it hits the stands in Rome.

It's sad the the european houses Versace, Yves St. Laurent work with black models more than the Americans. Aren't we always pointing at other countries about their problems and bragging about our diversity? please.

slag said...

I have to say that the beauty industry has been pretty destructive for all women. Men too. That industry pretty much sucks.

Amanda said...

I'm really feelin' this blog...It touches an issue that not many people think is important to discuss. Kuddos to you! One girl who I have to admit may not be doing her thing on the runway, but in other areas of the fashion world is my girl Bianca.

I’m currently working with Toyota and I’m really hyped to spread the word about our new interactive webisodes, If Looks Could Kill. They follow an aspiring fashion assistant, Bianca, who is a prime example of a woman who’s got it going on. I’m talking the dream job, a man who’s got all the ladies drooling, and the spice to keep it all together when hell hits the fan. Think James Bond meets Sanaa Lathan in “Something New”, Bianca is the girl who isn’t afraid to run in her Louboutin heels!
Link: http://www.iflookscouldkill.com
You’ll have to see what I’m talking about. Don’t forget to check out the second episode-BFF in a Box-which is available today (6/23). This girl is definitely courageous! She’s kind of like today’s Foxy Brown, don’t you think? You’ve probably already been reeled in so don’t stop now.
I hope I didn’t overstep my bounds by directly contacting you. After viewing your blog and seeing how hip to the game you are when it comes to what’s hot and current, I figured this would be something that would catch your interest.
Looking forward to the girl talk!
Best,
Amanda Clouden
ILCK Ambassador
Amanda.Clouden@yahoo.com

Raving Black Lunatic