All Articles Tagged "clutch magazine"
Over the past few years, we have been allowed to enter the Queen Bey’s Hive. Through Beyoncé’s social media accounts, we are able to scroll through her most priceless moments with family, stunning performances, and selfies. Like all of us, Beyoncé controls how she wants to appear to her audience. Therefore, when Beyoncé banned independent photographers from her Mrs. Carter tour, I didn’t understand why people began to ask: “Is Beyoncé not secure in the skin she’s in?” When what we should be asking ourselves is: As consumers (and human beings), do we allow others the same non-judgmental agency when controlling their Internet personas?
“Beyoncé may run the world, but the diva is going to extremes to have some serious control over her internet personification. The decision was indubitably prompted by this year’s Super Bowl fiasco, after Buzzfeed published unflattering photos that propelled Beyoncé’s publicist to issue an emailed request for removal. Instead of taking the pictures down or replacing them, the site reposted the images and the email with the headline: “The ‘Unflattering’ Photos Beyoncé’s Publicist Doesn’t Want You to See.” Visitors of Buzzfeed are familiar with the comedic and playful tone to the popular site, but Bey wasn’t laughing.”
Yes, people are interested in a Beyoncé who does not “wall” herself in, at her convenience. We want to see those stank-faces while she is dancing so we can feel the passion, blood, sweat, and tears of every practice session that make her concerts so noteworthy. But if she is not comfortable with sharing a less than flattering picture of herself, can we find it in ourselves to let her live? If a friend uploads an undesirable photo of you on a social network, you would want it to be removed. “Take away the power to un-tag and how many women would be orchestrating an online petition to permanently ban Facebook from ever seeing the light of day?” When people become celebrities, do we set and require new societal expectations? Our implications show we demand total transparency from celebrities even if it is embarrassing because we are far removed from the actual life they live.
Beyoncé’s appearance of flawlessness has helped her brand come off as all-s*xy and all-sassy all the time, consistent, and never messy. With Beyoncé we know what we are paying for – her talents and not antics. Though her brand is constantly evolving, we must also remember her rise to fame did not occur during the social media age. “The Beyoncé we’ve come to know has constructed an entire empire based off of seeming perfection and trying to keep the focus on her music, her acting endeavors, her business ventures. She receives million dollar endorsements solely from her pristine beauty and body. I’m not sure how it feels to be labeled one of the most beautiful women in the world, but in addition to her already gargantuan self-standards, one can only imagine the pressure she’s put under. And her rule number one is to never let them catch you slipping. And we can all agree that the one thing Beyoncé demonstrates in her career is to “be a brand first, human second.”
Fans are always thirsty (even the anti-folks who go to every story about her to down her) for her to send out bow-down tweets to other artists or to hear the juicy, most intimate details of her marriage to Jay-Z. The want for Beyoncé to find the perfect medium between her private and public self for the entertainment of others is alarming. We tend to forget we all have inner-Beys. Privacy settings, makeup, and filters have allowed us to leverage between who we are and who we want to expose ourselves to. Are we really out here posting our bad photos and embarrassing ourselves through social media? Of course not–we want people to see us at our best. In reality we are controlling how our “audience” (aka, our friends, family and foes) views our authenticity just like Queen Bey. So what’s the problem?
Last week, or maybe the week before, I stumbled across an article on Clutch Magazine. The article, written by Danielle Pointdujour, comically detailed the experience of a newly engaged friend of hers who spent the night at her parents’ house with her fiancé. Not surprisingly, since the two weren’t married yet, her parents had arranged for she and her man to sleep in separate bedrooms. But in the middle of the night, the love below started talking to her and she invited her man to her room for a midnight romp. Of course he obliges; and sure enough, just like something out of a cheesy romantic comedy, her mother walks in and sees the two of them mid-hump and freaks out.
The story was funny but even more hilarious was the comments section. Almost unanimously, everyone agreed that the author’s friend was trifilin’ and completely disrespectful for acting like that in her parents’ home. From the comments section, one could surmise that when it comes to black folk, having your boo sleep in another room, until you all are married is pretty much standard protocol. I know it certainly was in my house. When my sister first started dating her boyfriend, in college, he would come to visit her over the holidays. Not only did my parents not let he and my sister sleep in the same room, my father made him sleep at my aunt’s house. She lived ten minutes away. It was not a joke. Eventually, my mom was able to convince my dad to let my sister’s boyfriend stay the night; but the idea that his youngest daughter would be hunched up with some dude, under his roof was completely out of the question. And my sister understood that.
I don’t know about ya’ll, but from the time I was able to walk and talk, my parents started letting my sister and I know exactly what it was. Locking our bedroom doors was not permitted. “Don’t be locking these doors, these are my doors.” If we so happened to break something in a moment of rough housing, we were reminded just how much we didn’t own. “Don’t break anything because you don’t have any money to pay for it. None of this stuff in here is yours!” My father, who really wasn’t known for discipling with smart comments, even dropped this little piece of knowledge on us: “This is my house. I just let you live here.” Well dang.
As hard as it was to hear those reality checks, they certainly got the point across. Owning a home was the American dream and I know my parents put up with a lot of ish at work in order to make sure we kept it and that it was well maintained. It was and still is the sanctuary from all of the foolishness they encounter in the world. The place where what they say goes. Where their rules reign. That’s important to anyone, but particularly so for black folks, whose intelligence, capabilities and authority are constantly being questioned in the workforce and society at large. The house, the kingdom is an escape from all that, and it must be respected by anyone who sets foot on the premises. To this day, my dad still feels a way about Left Eye setting Andre Rison’s mansion on fire. “She burned down the man’s house Veronica, his home.”
Now, I’m not going to lie. There were times when I tried to rebel against the rules of the house. After my freshman year of college, when I came home for Christmas break, my sister and I stayed out til four in the morning chatting it up at a friend’s house. When we walked in our house, my father was on his way out the door for work. Needless to say, he wasn’t pleased. When he came home that evening, we got into an argument about acceptable curfews and how our coming in so late/early was disrespectful. I didn’t see the big deal. We weren’t out clubbing or drinking or with [straight] boys. We were at a friend’s house. What I failed to realize at the time, was that if I wanted to stay at my parents’ house during the college breaks, I needed to abide by their rules, or find somewhere else to stay. And if that meant being home before 4 in the morning, that was just one of the stipulations. And that’s what I think those commenters on Clutch were getting at. If you can’t control your hormones for a couple of days, stay at a hotel. We always have options.
Though there were times when I thought my parents’ measures were extreme, now that I have my own spot, I know exactly what they were talking about. I don’t like for my little apartment to serve as a bed and breakfast for just anybody. I’m very particular about who stays here. And when guests do come, I don’t want them traipsing the dirt and grime from the bottom of their shoes on my rug of many colors. When you work hard for something, not only are you going to take care of it, you’ll certainly want to make sure other people do the same. We all have our rules and if you’re going to invite or allow somebody to stay in your home, they’re just going to have to follow them…or get ta steppin’.
What rules did your parents have growing up? Were you allowed to sleep with your significant other in their house before you were married?
OK, so maybe we all haven’t been asking this, but as a lover of T.I. I can admit I have been a hater of Tiny. And as my Twitter timeline often shows on Monday nights, and obviously author Shahida Muhammad’s as well, lots of women find themselves asking, out of all the women T.I. could have, why did he choose Tiny?
As Shahida points out in her case for Tiny, the question over T.I.’s choice is totally rooted in superficiality. We make comments about Tiny’s face, shape, hair, clothing, and everything else on the outside to suggest Tip can do better without any thought for the fact that she’s a good mother, a talented singer/business woman, a devoted wife—you know all those things we should be looking for in a partner. You could argue that “ghetto” is an internal trait, but considering T.I. is straight from the hood, that argument is only going to get you so far.
But we’re also being hypocrites when we criticize her. Shahida writes:
“We often call out artists for constantly displaying such unrealistic and unhealthy images of women in their videos, but when we see an artist settle down with someone like Tiny she gets ridiculed.”
You can’t argue with that point at all, and it says a lot about how men bring out the worst in women when it comes to jealousy, cattiness, and wanting something they’ve got.
As T.I.’s Family Hustle has gotten through more and more episodes, I find myself thinking these two are the cutest, country couple I’ve ever seen. The way they interact, their Atlanta accents, even both of their short statures make them look like the perfect match on the outside—and as a few Clutch readers pointed out, if you happen to think T.I. is nothing more than your average, ordinary dude in the looks department, then the question becomes why not Tiny?
Whatever the couple has that attracts them to one another seems to be working. They’ve been together for 10 years with minimal rumors of infidelity, and T.I. doesn’t skip out on a chance to acknowledge his wife for holding him down throughout years of legal battles. At the end of the day, those are real examples of love and honor that will get you to the alter if you’re looking for something real; not looks. T.I. appears to have made the right choice.
Have you ever questioned why T.I. chose Tiny? (Be honest) What do you think about the couple? Perfect match or he could do better?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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(The BackList) — I don’t know when I first was introduced to Clutch magazine. But instantly I thought three things: dope + necessary+ finally. Under the passionate tutelage of founder and editorial director, Deanna Sutton, and under the banner ushering in the new era for young, contemporary women of color, Clutch represents an important model in digital publishing entrepreneurship—finding a need, successfully filling that need with high quality design and content, and connecting with your audience, sincerely at your home base and through social media. As a result, the magazine has accumulated a steady increase in viewers every quarter since its inception. BackList caught up with the crazy busy Sutton to gain insight into her day-to-day, future goals forClutch, and why tough skin is an essential trait for publishers.
BackList: What did you do in your previous life?
Deanna Sutton: I was in marketing and public relations for some top PR agencies and brands.
BackList: When did you first visualize Clutch?
DS: I first visualized Clutch in 2002 after I lost my father suddenly. I was in a deep state of depression and through an encounter with my best friend on the state of magazines for women our age, the idea was born. We started as print and re-launched as an online magazine in April 2007.