Category Archives: Celebrity Rants

Ayesha Curry Cooks Up Drama

Ayesha Curry is Steph “cooking with the pot” Curry of the Golden State Warriors wife and mother to his two adorable kids. About a week ago she said something that caused enough controversy to actually overshadow the birth of America’s first royal son, Saint Kardashian-West. Yes, her tweet actually trended on twitter over the birth of Kim Kardashian’s son. What could she have possibly said that caused this much controversy?

Screenshot of two tweets by Ayesha Curry. The first one reads, "Everyone's into barely wearing clothes these days huh? Not my style. I like to keep the good stuff covered up for the one who matters." The second tweet reads, "Just looking at the latest fashion trends. I'll take classy over trendy any day of the week. #saturdaynightinsight"

Via Ayesha Curry’s Twitter

*rolls eyes*

Choosing to wear clothes that are more on the modest side and covering up more of your body is perfectly fine. Ayesha walked a very thin line with this one. She uplifts herself while slyly shaming women who choose to do the opposite. That is not fine.

Feminism is about choice. Sometimes other women will choose to live in a way that you don’t agree with, but it is important to respect their choices. Ayesha’s comments were not respectful of other women’s choice to expose their body. Saying someone who chooses to dress “trendy” is not “classy” is essentially slut shaming them. Self respect has nothing to do with outward appearance and everything to do with inward acceptance of oneself. And, self respect has to do with SELF, not everyone around you deeming whether or not you have self respect. If a woman chooses to wear a bra and thong underwear and post a picture she can have as much self respect as a nun.

Ayesha’s comments perpetuate rape culture, the idea that a woman is “asking for it” if she is dressed or acts a certain way. Her comments actually unleashed a floodgate where other twitter users tweeted awful abuse at people who disagreed with Ayesha’s comments. Some users went as far as calling women who do not agree with Ayesha “hoes” with no morals. Women should not feel attacked for wearing what they feel comfortable in or for expressing themselves in any way they feel comfortable. If Ayesha feels more comfortable covered up, as many women do, that is perfectly acceptable. It is not acceptable for her to use her platform as a celebrity to shame other women for their choices. It also sucks that we live in a world full of men trying to tell us what we can and cannot wear, and we have other women trying to do the same instead of uplifting one another.

What’s In A Name?

Quvenzhané Wallis is a smart, talented 12 year old black girl. She starred in Beasts of the Southern Wild and the 2014 remake of Annie. When she was nine years old she became the youngest Academy Award nominee EVER for best actress for her role of Hushpuppy in Beasts. It was also at this age that her childhood was taken from her by a writer at The Onion.

Black children do not have the luxury of being seen as children. Delicate, fragile, emotion filled children. There are tons of studies that prove this. These notions that black kids are tougher, and less childlike than their white peers comes from, in my opinion, media portrayals of black kids. Black kids are almost always shown negatively on tv, movies, and in the news. Black kids are portrayed as bad, thugs, tough kids that get in fights, do drugs, and get pregnant at young ages. This is why when Trayvon Martin was murdered the media tried to paint him as a thug, because this is the only narrative they have of black kids. They forgot to mention that he did well in school, loved his parents, and went to space camp.

I think this is why when she was only nine years old The Onion decided to call Quevenzhané Wallis a cunt.

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 7.19.59 PM

The tweet came after a reporter failed to pronounce Quevenzhané’s name and instead elected to call her “Annie.” Quevenzhane corrected her and that’s when sh*t started to pop off. Imagine a reporter failing to correctly pronounce Benedict Cumberbatch’s name. It would be completely unacceptable and unprofessional for a reporter to mispronounce the name of anyone they are interviewing, and instead try to call them a completely different name. So why is it ok to do so to young Quevenzhane. She was nominated for a freaking Academy Award, she deserves respect. The fact that The Onion then decided it was completely ok to call her a cunt for correcting someone for mispronouncing her name, is very telling about the disrespect society has for black girls, and people in general.

It is no secret that black people often times have names that are not Eurocentric, and are therefore outside the norm. Sometimes these names might be difficult to pronounce, but seriously how hard is it to learn? Society conditions us to think some names are wrong or ghetto and others are perfectly acceptable. Think about how difficult it is to pronounce Tchaikovsky, Saoirse Ronan, Joaquin Phoenix, Zach Galifianakis, but somehow society manages not to fuck those names up. Those names arent considered weird or ghetto, and the people who claim those names aren’t called cunts for correcting reporters who mispronounce their names. So let’s give the same respect to black people who have hard to pronounce names as we do towards white people with hard to pronounce names.

 

 

 

 

Let’s Talk About Kylie Jenner

Kylie Jenner, born into immense privilege, lives her carefree life doing carefree things, things that have gotten her into trouble with multiple marginalized groups of people. Where do we even begin? *Sigh*

Today let’s talk about her latest hypocrisy. Kylie recently did a photo shoot and interview with Interview Magazine. The same magazine that ran those problematic pictures of her big sis Kim not too long ago, you know the ones that were based on racially insensitive images. In Kylie’s shoot, the able bodied star used a wheelchair as a prop. Neither the photographer or Kylie have explicitly stated why the wheelchair was used, but if you study the context of the article and the other photographs, it’s message is clear.

The photos are clearly a representation of three things: confinement, submission, and domination. One photograph shows a man holding Kylie back, and in the same theme she is shown in the wheelchair. Clearly being restrained. Other photos depict Kylie, clad in black latex chaps holding a serving platter with a single flute of champagne. Submission/subservient role. Another picture shows Kylie riding on a mans back. Domination. The photoshoot clearly lays out Kylie’s life, but in a tactless ableist way.

Kylie comes off as extremely confused in the interview. She talks about missing sunsets and hiking and having anxiety and being bullied and hating makeup but also wanting to be a successful business woman with a makeup line. I feel for her, she’s 18, she’s confused. What’s clear from the interview is that she feels her fame confines her, which is where I presume the whole wheelchair “metaphor” comes in.

Trash.

To use a wheelchair as a sign of restriction as an able bodied person is…troublesome. As an able bodied person myself, I cannot speak for people with disabilities who use wheelchairs, and I do not want to attempt to do so. Instead, I’m going to share a few people’s perspectives, people who do live with disabilities.

Tumblr user petitetimidgay had this to say about the situation:

Photo of able-bodied Kylie Jenner modeling in a wheelchair contrasted by a photo of Tumblr user petitetimidgay in her wheelchair. Text accompanying photo reads, "I tried my best to create a more authentic version of Kylie Jenner's Interview cover, given that I'm, you know, actually disabled and a real life wheelchair user. I can barely get people to make eye contact with me, let alone land a cover shoot. If being in a wheelchair is trendy now, I've apparently been a trendsetter since before Kylie was born.

Via petitetimidgay’s Tumblr

In an open letter written to Kylie, 17 year old Ophelia Brown argued:

Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 1.56.58 AM

Via @Bandaidknees’ Twitter Account

She also went on to say:

“My wheelchair is not a limitation — it is my wings. It lets me go to school, go out with friends and live life like a “normal person.” You’re still young enough to remember what it’s like to want freedom and independence. To want to go out without your parents, to want to live life as YOU. My wheelchair lets me do those things. And despite how different it makes me feel, I couldn’t be more happy to have it.”

These women are only two examples of the vast opinions any of the millions of people with disabilities could have about this subject. However, their opinions are important. For a lot of people living with a disability is not easy. Aside from the physical pain a disability may cause, their are emotional consequences as well. Both women above expressed feelings of alienation from being in wheelchairs, a stigma attached to their wheelchair. A feeling that Kylie can try on for a fun photo shoot and take off at the end of the day. It’s essentially appropriation. For the millions of people who utilize wheelchairs, they can’t just get up and walk away from that stigma at the end of the day like Kylie can.

There’s another problem with using a wheelchair as a symbol of restriction. For many people, like Ophelia said, a wheelchair is not a restriction. It’s the complete opposite. It is a tool that allows them to live their lives freely and independently. To assume that living life in a wheelchair is the be all and end all is absurd.

Another important point that both women above pointed out was the association of disability with beauty. There is an assumption among able bodied people that disability is ugly. Something shameful or worth our pity. I’m a big fan of activist Mia Mingus, a woman of color who is queer and disabled. In this lecture, (lengthy but worth it) she talks about the ideal body and how it relates to people with disabilities. Kylie Jenner and her sisters are famously regarded as having the ideal body, which is why it is especially problematic to put someone of her status into a wheelchair, something that has historically had negative societal connotations for those who use it. People with disabilities are sexual beings with agency. Modeling is all about sex appeal, which is something that comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and abilities, so why aren’t more people with disabilities offered modeling jobs and photoshoots? Basically it’s cool to model in a wheelchair if you have an ideal body and don’t actually need a wheelchair. But if you are actually a person who’s body a wheelchair is designed for, you’re shit out of luck with that modeling contract.

It is just ironic to me that a young woman who talks about being bullied in her interview, and who, as a result, created an #IAmMoreThan campaign, would fail to see the hypocrisy of such a photo shoot. Kylie’s anti-bullying campaign is a great use of her public platform, but seriously…she didn’t think modeling in a wheelchair would he harmful to some of the very people that she is hoping to help through her campaign…

I’d like to just chalk it up to her being an 18 year old airhead who hasn’t yet found her purpose in the world, but honestly there is no excuse for ignorance. I can’t blame it all on her though, the creative minds behind the photos should have known better. Although, they probably did know, and knew that controversy sells. *sighs for, what, the second time in this post?*

An Open Letter To Raven-Symoné

Photo Credit: gabsgomez via Flickr

Photo Credit: gabsgomez via Flickr

Dear Raven-Symoné,

You don’t have to coon like this…

*Side note on my use of the word “coon” since I don’t want to be problematic. In this context I’m using the word to describe a person of color whose sole purpose is to entertain white people. The term has historical connotations. This blog defines the term and it’s history well.

Raven-Symoné is a black woman, hails from Atlanta, GA, the black Mecca of America, grew up on The Cosby Show perhaps the most black centric show in history, and has seemingly normal parents who raised her as a black woman. So why is she saying stupid shit that is damaging to the black community that *used to love and adore her. I say used to because I think a lot of black people are tired of her, but also feel sorry for her. Cooning is honestly sad, and reflective of self hate.

Let’s discuss her first faux-pas. Back in 2014 Raven sat down for a now infamous interview with Black Female Billionaire Oprah Winfrey. At the time, Raven had just publicly come out as a lesbian and Oprah asked her if she wanted to be labeled “gay.” Raven responded, “I want to be labeled a human who loves humans, [and] I’m tired of being labeled. I’m an American; I’m not an African-American, I’m an American.” She also said a couple of other things and then another big thing, “I am an American, and that’s a colorless person.”

Yikes. (That was actually Oprah’s initial response/warning, “don’t set the twitter on fire.”) Set “the twitter” on fire she did. Black twitter came for her with vengeance, and rightfully so. I can completely understand being tired and frustrated with the endless labels that come with being out of the “norm” in society. I get it. It’s frustrating when my white friends introduce themselves to people and it’s just that, an introduction. For me, an introduction to someone new is a dive into my racial makeup, “what are you????” they ask as if I’m some alien species. Though I do not identify as queer, I can understand why it would be annoying to have to identify as such. Why can’t we just all be “humans” and transcend the bounds of color, gender, sexuality and whatever other label people want to paste on our foreheads?

Here’s why. WE ARE NOT CHEESE. WE CAN NOT BE MELTED AND BLENDED INTO ONE DELICIOUS POT OF MEGA CHEESE. America is not a melting pot and we do not live in a post racial society. Feeding into the whole “I don’t see color” mentality does not help to end racism at all. If you “don’t see color,” you are privileged. You live in a position where the color of your skin does not define who you are, and you are lucky to be able to live that way. Erasing color erases the unique situations people of color face in life. We are forced to see color because the colors we wear on our skin everyday have certain stigmas attached to them that we can’t seem to shake. Black men have to see color because they cannot walk down the street in a hoodie without being stopped and searched. Black trans women have to see color because they are targeted and murdered at alarming rates for living in their skin. All people of color feel the color of their skin, the slant of their eyes, the kink in their hair, the religious clothing they wear, being judged and scrutinized the second they walk into a room filled with non people of color. Suddenly they are the minority in the room, and whatever it is that makes them the “other” is leading to their subjugation within that room.

Refusing to see color is lazy, and frankly, when people say it they sound like complete condescending asshats. I understand wanting to judge people not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character, but it’s not realistic. It’s also kind of rude to assume that people of color don’t want to their skin color to be part of their identity. Not seeing color assumes that there is something wrong with the color that is being erased by that stupid statement. What is wrong with color? Black is beautiful and comes with a rich and proud history that did NOT begin with slavery. Some people may argue, “we are all humans.” Yep, we are, and some of us are black humans, brown humans, tan humans, and despite all the injustices we have faced, we are proud of the skin we are in.

Modern Day Stupidity

Since that incident, Raven has gone on to say some even more ignorant things. She has recently been appointed young-ish token black on The View. A morning talk show that I just can’t grasp my head around. Barbara Walters, you are an icon, why did you bring this trash to my TV? Seriously, what credentials do these people really have to be discussing most of the issues they discuss? But anyway, here we have Raven as a representative of the black community on the view, because people of color don’t have the luxury of denouncing/distancing people from our communities, if they’re black they unfortunately represent all of us no matter what stupidity comes from their mouths. (Example, when brown people engage in violence, all brown people are deemed terrorist, when a white person engages in violence not all white people are deemed violent, the aggressor is a “lone” shooter, mentally ill, etc.) She uses this platform to appeal to white audiences, totally dismissing and antagonizing the audience that she actually represents.

More recently she has said two things that have angered the black community enough for someone to form a petition (https://www.change.org/p/barbara-walters-petition-to-remove-raven-symone-from-the-view) to remove her from the view. The first comment was “I’m not gonna hire you if your name is Watermelondrea.” OH PLEASE, RAVEN- (emphasis on the hyphen) SYMONÉ. Your name is stylized and non-traditional. On this particular episode your hair was dyed bright red and styled into a mohawk, but you wouldn’t hire someone named “Watermelondrea.” Who is to say Watermelondrea isn’t just as qualified as Tim? You know what, let me not even get started with the names because I can talk all day about how society has conditioned us to think Tchaikovsky, Michelangelo, Aristotle are cool names, but Watermelondrea isnt. Basically, what Raven said hurt. It hurt because black people face so much discrimination from people of other races that it hurt to hear the same type of discrimination coming from “one of our own.” Raven did apologize for her words, but honestly the damage was done. Her true feelings were shown.

The second problematic thing Raven said were her comments after the violent arrest of a young black teenage girl in South Carolina. After discussing the video, Raven said,

“My mom always taught me: I was born this color, I’m gonna have to deal with the things that are happening, and you come together and work it out. But when I’m in a situation, I definitely don’t want to cause worse things to happen to me. It sucks sometimes.”

What she failed to do was address the systems at work that allowed a grown ass man to come into a high school, what is supposed to be a safe place for students, and violently arrest a young woman who was not causing physical harm to anybody at the time. Instead she blamed the victim. Saying, “when I’m in a situation, I definitely don’t want to cause worse things to happen to me” in regards to this situation, is no different from blaming a woman for her own rape and saying something along the lines of “she shouldn’t have been drinking or wearing that dress.” Even if the girl did something wrong, at the end of the day she is a child, one that is suffering after the loss of her mother and grandmother and who could use a little empathy, not physical harm.

Raven is ignorant, point blank period. Instead of use this platform she was gifted to uplift people of color, she is using it to cause harm instead. I’ll say it again, when people of color are put on these platforms they are representative of the black community as a whole, and the self-hate that Raven is spewing is not indicative of the black community as a whole. It’s honestly sad. It is clear to me that Raven has not learned how to love and accept herself as a black woman, and I hope that one day something will click and she will be happy in her own skin. Until then, sign that petition to get her kicked off The View. As a matter of fact lets create a petition to get the view and all of the other awful day-time television shows taken off the air forever.