All Articles Tagged "ebony"
So You Don’t Want To Get Married Because It’s Hard Work And Sacrifice, Isn’t Everything Else In Life?
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone say “Marriage is work” well, I’d never have to work again.
It’s always said as though nothing else in life takes work. Work is defined as an “activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.” By that definition, we work all the time. Sometimes, getting out of bed in the morning takes serious effort. To me, cooking is a lot of work. I have a boatload of clothes to fold later tonight and that is work. Trying to keep up with the fast-paced dialogue on ABC’s Scandal is work. Not to mention the actual work I have to do in order to get a paycheck next week.
When people say marriage is work, they’re often saying that as a bad thing. It takes some mental and physical effort to maintain any human relationship – including marriage – but that effort isn’t necessarily undesirable considering it’s possible for work to also be fun.
We don’t talk about the good aspects of marriage though because we’re too busy talking about the negatives or ignoring the partnership completely. I’m not sure if Black people are really against marriage as much as they say or if it’s just a, “I’m not fired because I quit” sort of response to the statistics that say marriage isn’t in the cards for a substantial amount of our people.
I was thinking about this after reading the latest Ebony magazine and their list of 100 Ways to Jumpstart Your Life. Called the “Black Woman’s Guide to Having Everything You Ever Wanted”, the list is extensive. It includes basics but good reminders such as “refresh your wardrobe”, “make a vision board” and “forgive,” along with thinkers such as “begin again”, “forge your own path” and “start a movement.” However, among advice such as “go back to school” and “become a mom” there was no suggestion to “get married.” This perplexed me.
Given an opportunity to talk about the positive impact marriage can have on a woman’s life, the topic was totally skipped. There are some women who never want to get married, sure. There are also some women who never want to be a mom (married or not). So if we can talk about the benefits of being a mom, certainly we can acknowledge the benefits of being a wife. In fact, being a mom seems to require a lot more work and sacrifice in one day than being a wife ever requires in a lifetime.
Don’t get me wrong, marriage is give and take. Sometimes, you have to compromise and make sacrifices to make the other person happy, but sometimes, sacrifices are made to make you happy. Sometimes, marriage is him converting a spare room into your own dream closet, or him watching endless Friends marathons on Nick at Nite until he’s laughing along with you. Sometimes, marriage is him picking up the bread on the way home because you don’t feel like going back out, or him having to eat weird fat -free snacks because you’re on a health kick. Sometimes, marriage is his combined income helping you to afford the new iPhone 5 while still having enough money for savings. Sometimes, marriage is him texting you a new job opportunity or reminding you where you left your keys. Sometimes, it’s him warming up your side of the bed while you’re wrapping your hair at night or listening to you tell him stories about people he’s never met. Sometimes, marriage is him dropping you off at the front door during a rainstorm or running to put gas in your car while you’re getting ready for work. Sometimes, marriage is him leaving you alone to write while he cuts the grass, straightens the bedroom and takes out the trash. Sometimes, marriage is you using every dish in the cupboard to cook a single meal and he washes the dishes afterward. Sometimes, marriage is an awesome partnership.
We always hear high-powered career women crediting their success to their single state, but marriage can help women reach their career goals (and beyond) as well. A husband can be your most enthusiastic supporter and biggest fan even when no one else is supporting you. Sure being married means having to care about someone else, but it also means having someone care about you day in and day out. If that means putting in some work, sign me up because that kind of love will certainly jumpstart a life.
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It’s hard to imagine Gabrielle Union not embracing her gorgeous brown skin and beautiful smile, not to mention her talent as an actress, but the famous lady who’ll turn 40 next month (crazy, right?) admits that was the case when she was a child. Covering the October issue of Ebony, and with a six-page spread inside, Gabrielle exposed the self-esteem issues she battled as a younger woman and even shares advice she would have given herself in her early years. Here’s a bit of what she said:
“Your deep mahogany skin may not resemble that of the others in your family, but it’s just as gorgeous and you’re just as worthy… One day you’ll appreciate how much your brown skin shines in the moonlight, glistens in the sun and ages ever so slowly. Don’t let that pesky low self-esteem creep in and fool you into believing that you don’t have value…don’t allow it to crush your will or dampen your spirit…”
The fabulous lady who is the star of BET’s upcoming series “Being Mary Jane” is also the star of her own romantic feature with Miami Heat basketball player Dwyane Wade. When the magazine asked for her thoughts on the secret to lasting love, she had this to say:
“Don’t let other people’s needs, wants, desires, fantasies, hopes or dreams dictate your choices and decisions. Follow your own path, and don’t worry that you’re being selfish or disloyal,” she says. “Never worry about love…real love will find you…an incredible love with an incredible man…there is a beautiful rainbow at the end of your storm.…”
Gabby definitely seems to be basking in every color of the rainbow at the end of her stormy divorce from ex-husband Chris Howard. To read more about Gabrielle’s personal past, present, and future, check out the October issue of Ebony on newsstands September 10.
What do you think about the snippet of Gabby’s advice to her younger self?
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I know there are a lot of Brandy fans out there, and you all want your girl to win in more ways than one. But I just wish she would stop trying to pressure her man into giving her a ring every time she’s interviewed by the press.
When Ebony asked Brandy about potential wedding bells and her relationship with boyfriend Ryan Press in May, the singer replied:
“I wish we were engaged. He’s taking a little long on the ring side of things…”
Now in an interview with Sister 2 Sister three months later, she’s still singing the same old I Wish song like she’s Carl Thomas.
“I keep hearing about a ring,” Brandy told the site. “People keep calling me, hinting to me about it, but I don’t know.”
First off, I need those people to stop trying to spoil any potential surprise engagement/not get Brandy’s hopes up unnecessarily. Second, even though the singer talks about the journey to finding the right one, saying, “It starts with me” and that she has to marry “somebody that I can completely be myself with,” it’s clear she isn’t being completely honest when she tells S2S “I’m going to be patient and let it happen and just let it be.” If that was the case, she wouldn’t have ended the interview with:
“I guess it will happen when it’s the right time. Keep your fingers crossed for sometime soon I will be engaged.”
You guess? Keep your fingers crossed? Correct me if I’m wrong (and I know you will) but that doesn’t sound like someone who is too secure in her relationship moving forward, or who has even had a discussion about marriage with her boyfriend. I know how exciting the prospect of marriage is for women and I think it’s totally fine to admit that you want to be married and you want to marry the man you are currently with. But why not tell the media that she and Ryan have talked about marriage and they’re not rushing into things or something that doesn’t make the potential engagement seem so one-sided? I know proposals are often talked about like something that just lands into a woman’s lap but any couple who intends on building a successful, lasting marriage will have real discussions about expectations and timelines and all of those important things prior to any ring shopping or press interviews.
Maybe Brandy considers this a way to drop not-so-subtle hints to Ryan and get that coveted rock sooner, but this is also a way to get embarrassed quickly if that ring never comes. I will cross my fingers that the latter never happens. What do you think about Brandy’s engagement talk?
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The ladies of “Sparkle” look divine on the September issue of Ebony Magazine. With Carmen Ejogo, Jordin Sparks and Tika Sumpter’s new, highly anticipated, film hitting theaters August 17, they told the zine about working with Whitney Houston, channeling their characters and how they feel about their careers.
Check out what the ladies had to say about Sparkle if she was a real person on StyleBlazer.com.
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Although the fashion industry continues to be dominated by Anglo-Saxon ideals of beauty, these seven black fashionistas turned the industry on its head. Displaying the splendor of diversity in color and size, they broke racial barriers and used their modeling and fashion platforms to pursue other business opportunities, support their favorite causes and open the world’s eyes to the beauty of black women.
Donyale Luna was the first black cover girl. Born Peggy Ann Freeman in 1945, this Detroit native enjoyed success in front of both still and motion cameras. In 1965, her sketch was featured on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar. The following year, Luna became the first black model to be featured on the cover of Vogue; it was the British version of the magazine.
The New York Times proclaimed 1966 “The Luna Year” and stated that at the age of 20, she was the hottest model in Europe. She appeared in several Andy Warhol movies, starred in an Otto Preminger movie alongside Groucho Marx, and was the title character in Salome, an Italian movie made in 1972. The Sunday Times Magazine of London, described Luna as “the completely new image of the Negro woman. Fashion finds itself in an instrumental position for changing history, however slightly, for it is about to bring out into the open the veneration, the adoration, the idolization of the Negro.”
Riddle Me This: How Does a Yale Student Get Fired From The Wall Street Journal For Just Making Stuff Up?
Let me just say something right off the top. If I ever land a position with the Wall Street Journal, there is no way I am going to mess it up by simply being stupid. But that’s precisely what one Yale student has supposedly done, as WSJ has announced that one of their interns, Liane Membis, has been relieved of her duties, a.k.a. fired, amid allegations that she fabricated stories.
According to Talking Biz News, WSJ has placed the following note on it’s website in lieu of one of Ms. Membis’s articles:
“Bridging a Local Divide,” published online on June 17, has been removed from the Journal’s web sites. Many of the names contained in the article about the re-opening of the 103rd Street Pedestrian Bridge in Manhattan were fabricated by reporting intern Liane Membis, and the quotes couldn’t be independently verified. Ms. Membis is no longer working at The Wall Street Journal.
A Journal spokeswoman provided this additional statement to the site on the incident:
“Liane Membis was an intern for the Journal for less than three weeks and wrote or contributed to five published pieces one of which has been removed from our online archives and two of which have been edited to remove quotes that were provided by the intern and that cannot be confirmed. Notes detailing the actions taken have been placed at the original URLs. Ms. Membis is no longer working at The Wall Street Journal.”
The expected first reaction is why the heck would you mess up an opportunity at WSJ by just making up quotes, stories, and people rather than interviewing some people, getting some quotes, and writing some stories? I know Liane is young but I would have liked for her to recognize the prestigious position she was in as a 22-year-old woman of color inside the old boys news network. The fact that she landed the internship tells you she’s smart, as does her rank as a senior at Yale University, and as does her experience writing articles for the Yale Daily News, CNN.com, the Huffington Post, and Ebony, so she says. All of this experience is now in question, much like her WSJ pieces, because if she can fabricate people, places, and things in an article, she can certainly make up experience on a resume.
To be fair, my frustration with Liane is not because I feel her actions reflect poorly on black people, black women in particular, and our professionalism. My issue is that she was in a place so few of us journalists get to go and she truly squandered it away. But despite the mini-tirade I just went on about her actions, I’m going to say something that may sound totally contrary to everything in my last few paragraphs: I’m not surprised. The reason being journalism is no different from any other facet of our society today. Journalistic integrity doesn’t bring notoriety and $2- to $3- word-per-minute paychecks. Sensationalism, muddled facts, and skimping on the details does.
Assuming Liane is in fact guilty of fabricating these pieces in her three-week stint as a WSJ intern, I see her actions as no different from many of the women we discuss here on a regular basis. Like Montana Fishburne who saw Kim Kardashian’s rise to fame on the wings of a viral sex tape as a way for her to become famous, like the women we chastise on “Basketball Wives” and “Love and Hip-Hop” of every city, Liane wanted to make her rise to the top quick, easy, and painless. Sure, we could just call her a lazy journalist, but the question is what motivated that laziness. What made making stuff up an option for a Yale student at the Wall Street Journal (or a graduate from any school at any publication)? It’s the fact that laziness and becoming more famous for your gaffes than your greatness at whatever you do has become the American way. Unfortunately, no matter what amount or quality of education you receive, the glitz of going about life the easy way usually shines a lot brighter than the prospect of picking up the phone and calling five or six random people for a one-line quote on a bridge that you don’t care about anyway. At least that’s what appears to have happened here.
And though I don’t want to make it seem as though Liane had an obligation to the black community in her position, however minute she may have thought it was, what I hope is that like with the famous Jayson Blair case, this situation does not reignite discussion over affirmative action practices and black people landing certain positions based on their melanin rather than their merit. But given that two other non-black journalists have also screwed up recently—the New Yorker ‘s Jonah Lehrer and Hearst’s Paresh Jha—I’d say we’re in the clear. If anything, these other two incidents only prove my point further. These days, everyone is looking for a quick climb without forgetting about the consequences of a hard fall when you don’t go about it the right way.
What do you think about this situation and Liane Membis’ alleged actions?
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I don’t know about you, but after looking at this man, I’m certain that I need more chocolate in my diet and in my life. BJ Williams is beautiful! This brotha with his light eyes and sparkling smile is the type of model we need more of in the magazines, and his abs are extra proof of that! The model hailing from Las Vegas is on the come-up, appearing in ads for the likes of Sean John, Levis, and doing spreads for GQ, Ebony and more over the years. If you’re trying to see what he’s working with, you’re welcome to click through this slideshow (though I know how you all are about slideshows…). We promise you won’t be disappointed by this delectable piece of man meat!
One of our favorite light-eyed cuties Michael Ealy is gracing the latest cover of Upscale magazine for the month of July. And guess what he’s talking about? His relationships, the failed ones and why he’s done dating women in the industry.
See what he had to say in an exclusive for theYBF
On why he doesn’t date industry chicks
“I’ve been done with [dating industry women]. You do it for years and years and years—theater, television, film. It’s a workplace thing… But the difference for me now is that I’m mature enough to know that this is a work thing. The minute we stop production, I’m not going to feel this way anymore.”
On why his past relationships were a bust
“I think there was a part of me that was just attracted to the crazy. I tended to involve myself with women that brought drama. And I had a bit of a savior complex. I thought I could save them from whatever daddy issues or cheating issues [they had].”
“In the past, I was definitely known as a guy who took himself and his relationships a little too seriously. I won’t say that I always knew how to have a lot fun.”
And in other magazine cover news, Trey Songz and Kelly Rowland will grace the cover of Ebony magazine’s “sexi” issue. Since both of these singers are known for their rock hard bodies they shared secrets of how they keep their bodies toned.
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We all remember the stunning ‘Hope’ poster that marked Barack Obama’s first presidential election and now the artist behind that work has created an equally striking piece of art commemorating Trayvon Martin.
Shepard Fairey was asked by Ebony to create the illustration for it’s latest issue which is on newsstands now, and on his personal blog, the street artist explained the inspiration behind what he came up with.
“I have followed Trayvon’s case closely and I think any compassionate human being can relate to Trayvon as a brother or son and would want to see a thorough investigation into the killing of an unarmed person. In my portrait I wanted to emphasize Trayvon’s humanity as well as the public outcry for a just investigation into his death.”
Fairey’s famous portrait of President Obama was installed at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington on January 17, 2009 and garnered him much critical acclaim from the masses. I wouldn’t be surprised if this image of Trayvon found a home outside of Ebony as well.
What do you think about his illustration?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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There’s still a buzz going around about Chris Brown and Drake’s rumored Rihanna disses that writer Michael Arceneaux recently took to task on Ebony’s website in a piece titled, “RUDE BOYS: Stop Sl*t Shaming Rihanna.” The crux of his article can be summed up with the simple question, who are you to talk, as he points out the double standard and sheer audacity of these two male slores to try to expose Rihanna on wax when they’re doing the same thing or even more—a practice he calls “sl*t shaming.”
This isn’t a new argument, and I fully agree with the sentiment that with all the skeletons in these dudes’ closets and the blemishes on their character that we already know about, they shouldn’t have even fixed their lips to try to come at any other woman for what she does with her body; however there’s just something about defenses of Rihanna that never sit quite right with me.
At the end of his article, Arceneaux turns his attention away from these lyrical bashers and focuses on the public at large, writing:
“As for everyone else so fixated on this notion that there’s a problem with the way Rihanna carries herself and brought this attention on herself: grow up. She could have Mother Teresa’s sex life and would bring about the ‘starlet or streetwalker’ debate from any man with a certain attitude about women and sex.
“To ‘sl*t shame’ is to perpetuate the idea that sex is dirty, and in particular, dirty and dangerous for a woman. That rigid mindset is problematic as it is unrealistic and does little in the way of advancing the way we discuss consensual sex between adults. You know, any day now.”
Perhaps, but I venture to say something that’s probably a tad unpopular: Rihanna did invite this attention on herself and on purpose. She could in fact have the sex life of Mother Theresa but she has the public image of a hypersexed 20-year-old who can’t get through a set without grabbing her crotch at least 12 times and that’s just how she wants it. This is not the same as a woman walking down the street in a short dress who gets harassed by a man or even assaulted, this is a calculated marketing ploy to keep people’s interest in her because if it weren’t for her swexy shenanigans we’d have nothing to talk about. And with the choice by Rihanna and her team to create this image comes a certain risk because there are two sides to the sex symbol coin. Let’s just take a serious look at Rihanna’s career for a moment. She gets more attention for being topless in British Esquire, or showing her butt cheeks in a photo shoot with Terry Richardson, or telling Rolling Stone that she likes rough sex than she does when she announces a new tour date or an album release. Sex and promiscuity are her image and I think people have a right to criticize having her nipples in their face more than her new song.
My thing is, I’m not so down with the boys do it too argument. I am to the extent that if you call out one, call out the other. And yes, women can sleep around as much as their vaginas desire. But I’d rather both sides keep quiet about their bedroom dealings. No matter how comfortable you are with sex, that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s a private act. I wouldn’t force my sex life on anyone else and I don’t particularly care for anyone else’s to be shoved down my throat either. And the reality is, in today’s society sex is dangerous—for both genders—and going about it too casually, as she would like us to think she does, is dirty and dangerous. As I’ve said over and over again, she has no responsibility to anyone to be a role model but I don’t think it’s hard to understand why seeing her bounce from night club to night club scantily clad then supposedly laid up with a different celebrity, then catching the flu every other week and having IVs in her arm and missing professional engagements is cause for concern. It’s not any of our places to police what she does with her body but when you see the type of effort she puts into making us see her as a sexually liberated woman contrasted with the lazy approach to her actual career, it’s not wrong to think, hmmm she may want to slow down just a bit.
And I don’t think men are obsolete from this same shaming either. They may not be criticized for having sex but I know I have come across many a post calling out rappers and athletes for foolishly impregnating women across the U.S. of A and not being able to pay child support let alone keep a roof over their heads because of their sexual promiscuity. It’s a different argument but the same premise nonetheless. I don’t think anyone is trying to shame any of these people for getting it on when and with whomever they please but when you can’t be about your business because you’re so busy selling or engaging in sexual fantasies, then you ought to be ashamed.
What do you think about the criticisms against Rihanna? Is she being sl*t shamed?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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