All Articles Tagged "girls"

Artists Who Got Called Out For Not Having Black Women In Their Videos

February 26th, 2014 - By Brande Victorian
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white women in music videos

Last night Pharrell’s new album “Girl” streamed on iTunes radio, much to fans’ delight. By morning, though, any excitement for the producer’s new project was dimmed by concerns over his album cover and its lack of color — and by color we mean Black women. No matter how you feel about this particular situation, Pharrell is far from the first Black man to be called out on this issue. Check out this list of artists who offended plenty of fans by not featuring black women in their videos.

Idris Elba Tweets Lena Dunham Of ‘GIRLS’: “Can I Come Do A Scene On Your Show”

January 23rd, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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From EurWeb 

Idris Elba met Lena Dunham of HBO’s “Girls” while they both were guests on UK’s “The Graham Norton Show” earlier this month, and wasted no time in trying to cash in on their introduction.

The “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” star tweeted afterward:”@lenadunham Very funny woman. Can I come do a scene on your show?”

Joking about a topless photograph of himself which he accidentally tweeted recently, he added: ”i promise, NO selfies…:)”

Read more about Idris appearing on GIRLS at 

Enough Is Enough: 2013′s Most Played Out Celebrities

December 11th, 2013 - By M A
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Overexposed Celebrities 2013

Brian To/

The past 12 months have been chock full of celebrity news, intrigue, and downright absurdity. And while some celebrities have managed to become even more beloved, there are some that have become a) increasingly more annoying in 2013 or b) have transitioned from our hot list to our not list. So before we say goodbye to 2013, MadameNoire presents its most most played out, most just-get-out-of-our-face, most overexposed celebrities of the year.

Guess Who’s Coming To “Girls”? Danielle Brooks Of “Orange Is The New Black”

September 16th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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danielle brooks



By now you know of our love for “Orange is the New Black” and “Girls.” So imagine our excitement when we learned that one of our favorite characters from OITNB is coming to our beloved “Girls.”

You may remember that last year, “Girls” creator, Lena Dunham, came under a lot of fire for lacking diversity on the show. In response she brought on Donald Glover for a hot second and now she’s tapped Danielle Brooks to come onto the show. In an interview with Ebony, Brooks talked about the popularity of her character, maintaining her morals as an actress and her new role on “Girls.”

EBONY: When Taystee described another inmate confusing “your” and “you’re” as “some ignorant Beyotch a*s Shyte,” I almost died. It was such a hilarious moment that still really underscored her character.
DB: [She laughs] That’s exciting as an actor to share with the world, the idea that until you get to know someone that maybe your opinion of them isn’t quite correct. People have ideas of what Black women in general are. I get to show people that we are just as complex and we are also relatable. These women are regular people.

EBONY: So did you have any reservations at all about playing a Black woman in a prison?
DB: Not really. I like to play people who are underdogs and misfits. People who are not on a straight and narrow path. That’s exciting for me. I know the rest of my career isn’t going to be playing inmates. I didn’t have any hesitations because working with someone like Jenji and Netflix; they’re not about following the trends of what we think television has to be.

EBONY: Okay, give me some of your favorite Taystee one liners.
DB: Oh boy. I had fun when I said, “You got a little something on your nip nip there.” I had a blast with the rap. I really thought it was fun to do “Mr. Healy, those cracker meth head Beyotches won’t let us change the channel and it’s our turn!” because that is something that I would never ever dare to say.

EBONY: Your father is a minister and a mother who is a deacon. Is it hard to maintain your moral center as a young actress?
DB: I think at first it is very difficult because you just want to work. So sometimes you feel like, ‘Well maybe I can compromise what my morals are.’ Luckily because of my background and because of my parents and the way they raised me, and the team I have, they all are helping me to realize that it’s OK to say ‘no’ to projects.

EBONY: Have fans been coming up to you left and right?
DB: Taystee is such a likeable person. A lot of people will come up to me as if they’ve known me for years. Yesterday I had a police officer stop me and ask me for a picture and that was kind of cool.

EBONY: What’s next for you?
DB: Of course you’re going to get to see a lot of Taystee in season two and I just shot an episode of ‘Girls’ for HBO. I will be the first Black woman to be on ‘Girls,’ so that’s exciting for me. Other than that I just don’t know. I’m hoping Melissa McCarthy will hit a sister up.

Great news! Can’t wait to see what Danielle does with her “Girls” character.

Read the rest of the EBONY interview here.

Lust Is In The Air: Sure Signs Cuffing Season Is Over For You

July 9th, 2013 - By Davisha Davis
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Everyone lives for cuffing season. It’s the time of the year when you know for certain 99% of singles are looking for someone to keep them warm in the winter months. But now that the weather is getting warm and summer is officially here, you might as well kiss your cuffing buddy goodbye. Here are some signs that this “relationship” is over for you.

Keisha, La Toya, And Other Names You Automatically Know Belong To A Black Woman

July 2nd, 2013 - By Brande Victorian
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Y’all know we can get creative when it comes to names, so know need to get uptight about this. Yesterday we went through the names that are inherently black and male. Now it’s time to look at the monikers you know belong to black women off the bat.

Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock


Mercedes may have a Spanish origin, but unless you’re around people of that heritage, when you hear someone talk about their girl Mercedes, you can be about 99.9% sure that woman is black.

Building Your Child’s Self Esteem | Mommy in Chief

June 17th, 2013 - By jade
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In this episode of Mommy in Chief, we are discussing how to build your child’s self esteem. It is very important as a mother to build your child’s self esteem from birth. We also have a special treat for you at the end of the segment. You don’t want to miss the cutest little kids expressing how confident and beautiful they are!


Iris L. Johnson, LCSW, PC, is a graduate of Hunter College School of Social Work, Ackerman Institute Externship and Hunter College’s Adoption Therapy Programs. Ms. Johnson has served in leadership positions at several New York City social service agencies and has extensive experience working with young children, adolescents, and families who have experienced trauma and socioeconomic oppression. She has presented nationally on issues that impact women and children, especially families of African descent.

She is a mother of two-one biological and one foster care/adoption.

Ms. Johnson maintains a private practice in New York City and Brooklyn, working with individuals, couples, families, and groups.


Want More Mommy In Chief? Watch these episodes:

 Season 3

Season 2

Season 1


Only One Real Carrie: Sarah Jessica Parker Speaks On Why The “Carrie Diaries” Is “Odd” To Her, And SATC Paving The Way For “Girls”

March 11th, 2013 - By Clarke Gail Baines
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Fashion and television icon Sarah Jessica Parker sat down with Net-A-Porter’s The Edit magazine to speak about more than just personal style, and she decided to open up about the road Sex and the City paved for Girls, and how she really feels about the CW bringing you a whole different version of Carrie Bradshaw via The Carrie Diaries (are you even watching?).

While The Carrie Diaries is a cute show, it doesn’t seem that Sarah Jessica Parker is a big fan of it. She didn’t outright tell the magazine that she didn’t like it, because she’s a fan of the young lady who plays a young Bradshaw, AnnaSophia Rob, but it’s definitely not what SJP was expecting. When asked how she felt about the new portrayal of her iconic character, Parker says, “I’m not so sure.”

“You know, I think it’s one of those tests of your generosity,” Parker continued. “[Robb] is a lovely girl and I want her to feel good about it, but it’s… odd.”

Just as a reminder to all though, The Carrie Diaries is of course from the book of the same name by Sex and the City writer Candace Bushnell, so it’s definitely not a random out of the blue concept (and in fact, the book is pretty good–bought it for my diehard SATC stan sister). Therefore, Parker just might be creeped out by watching another person embody the character she brought to life. As for the legacy of Sex and the City, Parker says she’s hesitant to say it gave a voice to a generation of women, but it definitely let the stories of many women be told in a more frank manner.

“I think it certainly encouraged women to share more candidly,” she said. “I don’t know if it empowered women. I hesitate to say whether we were the pioneers or whether we gave voice to something that was there, but I recognize there was a connection.”

And this candid way of doing things definitely influenced Lena Dunham and the whole Girls series (and honestly, it probably also did so for shows like Girlfriends, movies like Bridesmaids and more). SJP says the influence is specifically around women playing a larger role in production of these stories on these shows, like Parker having a behind-the-scenes role outside of just being Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City. It definitely allowed other women to do more than just be a small-screen star.

“HBO was very encouraging of the beyond-camera role I played, and I feel that had we not done it, I don’t know that would have existed for ‘Girls.” It’s a such a different way of thinking and it’s not conventional. I also think Dunham came along understanding her voice and with the support of a producing partner Judd Apatow experienced enough to say she is capable of this, she needs to be in charge of the story as it’s her voice. I do feel ‘Sex & The City’s’ success made that possible, and it would have been different otherwise.”

She definitely has a point. But what do you think? And what do you think about the prequel to SATC, The Carrie Diaries?

It’s A Love-Hate Relationship: My Problem With “GIRLS”

January 28th, 2013 - By Charing Ball
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Girls is a perfect example of how complicated television viewing can be for black folks.

I will admit to liking the show. In fact, I have watched it faithfully since giving in to my curiosity, somewhere through the first season. It’s a good show, one I almost missed by feeding in exclusively to all the criticism. This is not to suggest that the critics aren’t right: calling itself the voice of a new generation is basically challenge-accepted from the blogosphere to find out ways in which it is not. And anyone with a Netflix account and a modest knowledge of Sex and the City, Golden Girls, Designing Women, Girlfriends and a whole host of shows largely centered on the intimate lives of four women, will already cite that this “voice” has long been inter-generational. But at least it is set in Brooklyn – Oh wait, so was Living Single

Although Girls’ overworked concept is as fresh as day-old orange juice and bagels, the show is not without its charming originality. First and foremost, Hannah, the title character played by the show’s own writer/producer Lena Dunham, is short, frumpy, has a double chin and has more gut than butt. These television anomalies not only challenge how we define Hollywood beauty, but also make Hannah in some ways, a pioneering figure. In addition to being the atypical protagonist of a show centered around the dating and sex lives of women, Dunham takes it to another magnitude by filming her uncharacteristic television body in the buff, appearing, at the very least, topless in just about every episode I’ve seen. When asked in an interview why she filmed so often without any clothing on, Dunham poignantly said that she wanted the world to, “Look at us until you see us.”

But despite Dunham’s aim to expand the range of women on television, one troupe which she, and the other members of the creative team behind Girls perpetuate, is this whitewashed and insular world where race doesn’t exist – even in Brooklyn. This is not in the sense of the common criticism about the lack of characters of color, which has been levied upon the show. While I understand how frustrating it is to have countless television shows centered around the lives of white folks’ ratchetness be labeled as revolutionary, and more specifically voices of a new generation, a story doesn’t necessarily have to have a central character of color to have some value. And while not the epitome-voice of the new generation, like it has been marketed, I think the clever writing and story lines does, in my opinion, warrant it being listed as one of many interesting and atypical contemporary voices.

Despite not being the sole onus of either the contemporary voice or television’s diversity problem, I still find it quite interesting how cued in the show’s creators are in wanting to challenging one-ism while being totally tone-deaf to the desire to see equal representation on the screen.  For me, those two concepts go hand and hand. However I am a black woman. And Dunham is not.

In the second season opener, we see Hannah straddling Sandy, her new black Republican lover, topless and having at it. Sandy, who is played by Donald Glover. This is what you wanted, this is what you get? While clearly a middle-finger to her critics, it is not all that daring a nod to the race discussion she might have been hoping for. At this point in television history, what’s so shocking about a white girl having sex with a black dude? Miranda did it for an entire season on Sex and the City. One could mistakenly interpret this scene as an attempt, albeit lame, to be both dismissive and antagonistic to the critics. However, in the second episode, we are treated to more interactions with Sandy, some of which occurs outside of the bedroom. During one such occasion, Sandy and Hannah are discussing an essay of hers she had asked him to read. Sandy didn’t like it; Hannah is upset, but instead of coming at him for his dislike of her essay, she goes in on him about how irresponsible it is for him to be a black Republican, especially considering that “two out of three people on death row are black men.” The end of the scene involves the two breaking up and Hannah walking away from Sandy. This is the last time we see Sandy, and I suspect, the “race” issue.

Through this exchange, we see Dunham take a much more poetic response to critics, presenting to us the difficulties and awkwardness, which some folks, particularly white folks, might feel when race is interjected into the conversation. On one hand we have Sandy, whom outside of knowing his name and that he is black and republican, we really don’t know much about. However, that might be the point. Perhaps Hannah is so clueless and self-absorbed that she honestly doesn’t know that using statistics about the incarceration rate of black men as a weapon in an argument is just a tad bit racist. In a sense, Hannah could be one of those white girls who just doesn’t “get it.” And despite how irksome the real life Hannahs are, there is something very honest about seeing her (their) portrayals on television.

Or as Judy Berman, editor of FlavorPill, who penned this piece for the Atlantic, writes:

What Dunham’s latest well-intentioned disappointment makes clear is that it will never be enough for white writers to simply try harder in their depictions of non-white characters. Some may produce keenly observed, authentic-feeling portrayals, but even those who have spent their whole lives surrounded by people of diverse backgrounds will never know first-hand what it’s like to be a person of color in America. They will never respond to Django Unchained in quite the same way as Haitian-American writer Roxane Gay. Those who don’t get it will, for the most part, continue to not get it. The truth, distasteful as it may be to those who imagine that we live in a “post-racial” era or believe it’s small-minded to apply identity politics to art, is that we still haven’t reached a point in our history at which the discrepancies between the way people of different races (or genders or religions or sexual orientations) experience life are negligible.”

But while Hannah may not “get it,” I’m not sure that I can say the same for Dunham. Sometimes some folks are keenly aware of what they do and say and are just really sophistic in caring about the effect that it has on people. Some folks, in fact, are very comfortable in their privilege, which doesn’t require them to answer or even be responsive specifically to race, gender or where they might intersect. For instance, in an interview with Alec Baldwin on his podcast, Dunham criticized Rihanna for her relationship with Chris Brown and smoking weed, and then said that she is not a good role model for young women. According to US Weekly, Dunham also says that she “had to become more conscious about what I say and what I promote, not in a way that stifles me, but just in a way where I realize now that there are 17-year-old girls who come up to me and tell me that the show means a lot to them.”

In the matter of a season and half of Girls, I have seen a character accidentally smoke crack; intentionally sleep with a gay dude; almost have a threesome; do coke for the sheer experience of writing about it; and affectionately be peed on in the shower by a boyfriend. It’s hard to play the role model card when your entire representation of a new generation hinges on women, who are one bad decision away from being crack w***es. Likewise, I find it highly unlikely that Dunham cannot recognize, or even find some commonality with, Rihanna’s own growing pains, and that experienced by characters of her hit television series, which is said to be based upon her life and the lives of friends in her social circle.  On television, fictional Hannah deserves our empathy or at least understanding. In real life, Rihanna does not. That’s why it is almost laughable when Dunham speaks of looking, “…at us until you see us.” Like, what version of “us” does she truly believe the television viewing audience has yet to accept and acknowledge?

How “Girls” Reminded Me That Your Man Has To Support Your Goals

January 24th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: HBO

Source: HBO

You might have noticed by now that we here at Madame Noire are fans of the HBO series “Girls.” We frequently discuss plot, character development, relatability and predictions with fervor. We agree that even though the show lacks– or lacked– any characters of color, that it is a great show. (Our own friendship circles lack diversity as well.) Our assistant editor even asked for the first season for Christmas. We friggin love it. What makes it so genius is that after college, in our early to mid twenties (essentially the life I’m living now), there is so much uncertainty. So many mistakes made, friendships tested and minor or major freak outs along the way. We can see all of that in Hannah’s story. We see ourselves, even though she’s not black like we.
In last week’s episode, Hannah had an interaction with her new boo thang Sandy, played by the much beloved Donald Glover. In that particular one, Lena Dunham held up a mirror and I saw my reflection oh so clearly. If you’re a fan of the show and you haven’t seen this episode, you’ll want to stop reading now. Because it’s about to be spoiler city.

In the episode, Hannah decides to ask Sandy to read one of her pieces. A few days go by and he hasn’t said anything about it. When Hannah tells her friend this, she says quite frankly, If he hasn’t read it, he doesn’t care enough about you to read it.
But it’s the realness only a really good friend can deliver, so Hannah goes to Sandy and asks him why he hasn’t read her piece. He sighs before telling her that he did read it…he just didn’t like it. He kept reiterating that he thought it was very well written but it just wasn’t his thing. Even though Hannah and Sandy seemed to have little else in common. (Sandy’s a Republican. Who actually prefers to acknowledge his blackness instead of “play colorblind” like Hannah.) The fact that he didn’t like her writing was the straw that broke the camel’s back. She walked out on him and the D she was expecting to get that night.

I watched the episode, almost cringing. The situation was just too [painfully] familiar. So when my sister’s boyfriend, who was watching the episode with us, wondered why Hannah was so upset, I might have overreacted and been crunker than necessary in explaining my Hannah’s feelings.

Me: Naw, if he doesn’t like her work then they’re not going to work out.
Him: So, if a man doesn’t like something you’ve written then you can’t continue to date him?
Me: It’s not that he didn’t like it. If a man has constructive criticism for my work, I might not like it, but I’ll appreciate it. He didn’t have any suggestions to make it better. He said it was well written. It was that he didn’t like what she was writing about. If she’s going to write about something then that means she’s passionate about it. And if he doesn’t like what she’s passionate about, then it’s not going to work.

Whew Jesus. I had to remember this wasn’t my life or my work that I was defending. It just felt like it. It wasn’t that long ago when I was sitting in a similar situation. It wasn’t that my “Sandy” didn’t like what I wrote or even the way I wrote it. It was that it would take him forever to read it. I’d send it, a day or two would go by, and I’d ask if he’d read it. “No…not yet.” A week… the same response. Every time I sent something, and I’d get that response, my faith in the relationship would decline. In his defense, he would eventually read it, it just took too long, sometimes a month. I’d often wonder if I was overreacting, if I was being impatient. I’m still not entirely sure; but today, I’m leaning more towards no. I mean dang. Writing is what I’ve decided to do with my life. It’s a skill I’ve honed since childhood. It’s the form in which I express myself the most clearly and authentically. It’s my mind, my ideas… me on paper…or a computer screen. If you cared about me, why wouldn’t you read it as soon as you got a little free time? It particularly bothered me because I know, though I wasn’t perfect, that I at least supported and encouraged his dreams and aspirations, anytime he wanted to talk about them. I was always there to lend an ear when he needed it. I didn’t say, “Can we talk about this later?” or zone out while he was speaking about his goals. Why couldn’t I get an eye for an ear? A little reciprocity?

Hell if I’ll ever know. But I do understand why Hannah had to be out.

Have you ever had a man who you felt didn’t support your dreams or talent? Were you able to work through it or did it eventually cause you to leave? 

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