Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Being black and beautiful against stereotypes

The national debate sparked by broadcaster Don Imus' use of the term "nappy-headed hos" to describe black players on the Rutgers women's basketball team has raised an unintended, seldom-discussed question:

How have African-American women maintained their femininity and sense of beauty after centuries of dehumanization?

They survived the inhumanity of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the indignity of being separated from their families on slave auction blocks. They endured abuse and rape by slave masters and overcame the injustice of being bred and worked like animals. During segregation and after desegregation, they suffered doubly for being black and female in a culture that esteemed neither.

More recently, the physical attributes historically possessed by black women were deemed undesirable by America's wider society - until women of other ethnic groups began to exhibit them. Cornrows weren't chic until Bo Derek got them, curvaceous derrieres weren't sexy until Jennifer Lopez came along, and full lips were unattractive until Angelina Jolie's kissers showed up and sparked a cottage industry of lip-plumping potions.

Black women are least likely to be perceived as attractive and worthy of respect, some observers say, which may be why groups ranging from black rap artists to black comedians to white radio hosts have no problem denigrating them.

And the darker her skin and the kinkier her hair, it seems, the less she is valued.

Check out the rest of this great article by LaMont Jones on Kansas.Com!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Booty stays in Africa, while skinny goes West

Skinny African girls may get to strut on Western catwalks but the fat ones have to stay at home.

This is the message being delivered to the 500 or so Ghanaians who have registered with the country's only international modelling agency, Exopa.

"A lot of them want to go. But not everyone has the chance to go because of the size the Europeans want them to be," says Exopa's Ghanaian director Sima Ibrahim.

As models on Western catwalks get thinner and thinner, their hungry look has sparked noisy debate about the pressure this places on girls and women to achieve perfection - even if that means "size zero".

In Africa, rolls of flesh are usually seen as a sign of wealth and status.

Few aspire to a skinny look, as those who look starved and ill are often that way through misfortune rather than choice.

But just as Africa's youth find themselves choosing between Western music and clothes and those rooted in their own tradition, they are now faced with two opposing images of beauty - the Western ideal of an ever thinner frame and the African one of a buxom and well-rounded figure.

Check out the rest of this story by Orla Ryan in The Star!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Interview with Yolonda Yvette!

Yolonda Yvette is a beautiful model originally from my area of Washington DC now residing in Florida. I first found Yolonda on her
Myspace site. What I like about her is obvious but she also is a very cool, down to Earth and beautiful woman with Black, Latina, and Asian roots. She is classy and warm, and she does have a nice body as well! Not only that, she is goal oriented, hard working, and serious about modeling as well.Need I say more? Check out my interview with the beautiful Yolonda Yvette!

First of all, where are you from and what city, state or town are you representing? I was born in Washington, D.C., better known as "Chocolate City" but was raised in Germany. I have lived a little bit of everywhere but for the most part, I'm representing Florida.

What are your measurements? 34-26-38

What do you think is unique about your look? Due to being ethnically diverse (Black, Latino and Asian) my contrasting features allow my uniqueness to shine through. Call it eclectic, if you will.

Why did you want to become a model? It actually started off as a hobby. I've always been into fashion and the art behind the industry. (I'd like to thank Tyra Banks, America's Next Top Model and Fashion Police for teaching me the ropes). Then one day, I had my first professional photo shoot, learned that the camera loved me and from then on out I've been hooked.
What do you hope to bring to the modeling field or game? Inspiration; not for those models who are arriving into the industry or already established, but for those who will come after me. Anyone can claim the title of "model," but I would rather be known as a role model.

What do you like to do in your free time? I'm the epitome of laid-back so I spend most of my time relaxing. Every now and then, I'll go to the club or a few parties. I love to cook, read, write, exercise and go to the movies but my passion is music: listening to it, singing it, dancing to it, collecting it and writing songs.

Where is your favorite vacation spot? Wow, that's a tough one. I'll have to say Fiji because I have always wanted to go there and based off the pictures I've seen and word-of-mouth, I'm sure I'll love it.

I’m sure the fellas will want to know-are you single or taken? I'm single.

What kind of man do you prefer; nice guy or bad boy? My ideal guy would be a nice guy with the ability to be bad and vice-versa. (It's a Gemini thing; two souls in one so I have to be sure to cover both personalities). *wink

What was your first kiss like? My first kiss was better than it should have been for my age. It was very nice. What age was I? (I'll plead the 5th on that one).

If you were a piece of candy, what kind of candy would it be and why? I would be an assorted chocolate because as Forrest Gump would say, "…You never know whatcha gonna get". *smile

Another question I'm sure the fellas will want to know, what are you most likely to wear to the beach? To bed? To the club, if you go to clubs?
To the Beach: a bikini from Victoria's Secret or House of Dereon.

To Bed: This usually depends on my mood. It could be sweatpants and a wife-beater, short shorts and a tank top or an oversized tee-shirt, lingerie or…well, after lingerie what else is there? *wink, wink

To the Club: Only and always the sexiest clothes in my closet; you'd have to see me in person to understand how serious my club wear is or better yet… ask about me.

Being as beautiful as you are, you must get alot of attention day to day. How do you deal with all that attention? I take the attention and compliments, when given kindly but very lightly simply because beauty and good-looks are temporary. They could be gone in a split second due to a freak accident or a jealous attack. I choose to bask in my good deeds to others and blessings from God, for only what I do for Christ will last. True beauty radiates externally when a person is beautiful internally.

If you had a choice, what magazine would you be on the cover of? I would have to say Vogue or King because both are the top-selling magazines within their genres and have paved the way for many rising stars in the entertainment and fashion industry.

If you had a choice of videos, which artist would you want to work with? Oh no…I knew this was coming! (laughing) I can't just choose one. I'm such a music fanatic but it would range from Jay-Z, T.I. & 50 Cent to the All-American Rejects, Daughtry & Toby Keith.

What are your goals in terms of being a model? My modeling goals are to be successful, stay true to who I am spiritually and mentally and ultimately to be a positive example for someone to follow and have fun.

I've seen you on Myspace, are you on any other sites? Yes, I'm on a few here and there. To my surprise, I am on several Top Friends lists on Myspace. (Shout out to everyone showing me love and support). I also have my own website:, which is currently under construction.

Anything else you want to throw out there to the people? To never give up on your dreams. If someone or something is bringing you nothing but drama and negativity, throw it away because if it's not going to make the both of you better people and this world a better place, what is its worth? Everything has a reason and its day so remember to love and live life.

I’m glad that I got a chance to catch up with you, so for my last question, I want you to sum up your style and yourself with one word..... Classic.

Yolonda's Favorites:

Color: Red
Type of Flower: Calla lilies
Type of Car: Chevrolet
Musician: Aaliyah & Beyonce
Brand of Jeans: Wet Seal & BabyPhat
Brand of Lingerie: Frederick's of Hollywood
Movie: A Perfect World
Type of Food: International
Mixed Drink: Cosmopolitan & White Russian
Sports Team: All of them (I love sports!)
Day of the Week: Everyday I'm blessed to wake up
Actor or Actress: Jamie Foxx & Angelina Jolie
Rapper: Tupac Shakur
Book: The Bible
Free time activity: Listening to music & relaxing
Perfume: Paris Hilton & Victoria's Secret Divine
Celebrity: Allen Iverson, Beyonce
Flavor of Ice Cream: Cookie Dough or Dulce de Leche
Type of Kiss: One with meaning

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Nigeria's Next Top Model?

I like this concept! Nigeria has a Next Top Model show. I wonder if we in the US will be able to check it out. And the models look kinda tight! This is a concept that needs to be seen worldwide!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Interview with Vida!


Check out the interview with Vida on AllHipHop! Memorable question and answer: Does Game have any game?

Vida Guerra: No, not at all - honestly, because he couldn’t get me. So, that was over but he was trying to get my phone number. I didn’t want to give it to him, so we just exchanged e-mail addresses. As soon as the conversation ended, the guy that I was dating walked up. I knew that in his mind, he was probably thinking, “That guy is hitting on my girl.” I stood up from talking to Game, walked over to the guy that I was seeing, and gave him a hug and a kiss. That was the end of that situation, but in January 2006, Game started hitting me up, talking about, “Let’s go hang out.” I would tell him that I was busy, or that I was out of town. I would always brush him off. This happened for two months. His reply to me would always be, “Why are you running,” or “Why are you hiding?” I figured that after a while he would take a hint and stop.

Check out the rest on AllHipHop!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

'Next Top Model' recruits here-Casting call draws about 200 women

Their hopes were as high as the heels they wore at Fort Myers' first-ever casting call for the hit reality show "America's Next Top Model."

Many of the 197 women auditioning Sunday afternoon for the chance to be on supermodel Tyra Banks' show flipped their hair, practiced their catwalks and suffered in 4-inch spikes."For it to be here in Fort Myers — wow," said Port Charlotte clerk Truchard Bien-Aime, 19, atop 31/2-inch silver, strappy heels. "We don't usually get a chance like this so close to home."

To take that chance, many of the women had to slip out of their Sam & Libby and Jessica Simpson patent leathers to prove they were at least 5 feet 7 inches tall barefoot, one of the qualifications. The women also had to be between the ages of 18 and 27.With that test passed, they could face the camera and the questions of Mark Gilson, creative services director for the local TV station that airs the show, The CW6.Gilson asked the women what they consider their best features.

Many of the women said their eyes.

Check out the rest on The News Press

Monday, April 02, 2007

Uforiya brings fashion to Howard U!

Uforiya’s subconscious led her into the jungle where hunters roamed and sightseers moved about. In the jungle, animal prints from cheetahs, leopards and sparkle-embellished zebras were all the rage. Balancing the prints were neutral colors such as olive, tan and brown. Men wearing safari jackets and ladies donning form-fitting dresses and cargo-styled pants explored the rough terrain.
This is not a scene from a movie, but rather a sequence from “Oneiro: A Nocturnal Submission,” the fashion show hosted by the University Fashion Council (UFC) and Uforiya, Howard’s first and only model troupe.
The show, held Friday night in Blackburn’s ballroom, displayed not only fashion but also lively choreography and a storyline based loosely on a girl named Uforiya, who aspires to be on top and whose nightly dreams take her on fantastical adventures.
The opening sequence featured the male models dressed primarily in camouflage and the women wearing bright, vibrant colors. Coming down the runway were dot and striped patterns, strips of denim turned into corsets and polka dots fashioned into belts. One model wore a pink and purple metallic skirt and, in the name of high fashion, another sported a pair of gold and silver sequined underwear over black tights.

Check out the rest in the Howard U Hilltop! (registration required)