All Articles Tagged "liya kebede"
The League of Extraordinary Women: A. Keys, Oprah, Liya Kebede, and Laila Ali Make Fast Company’s List
The strides women are making in the world are not lost on business magazine Fast Company. That’s why they’ve dedicated their July/August issue to 60 female influencers who are changing the game in their feature, “The League of Extraordinary Women.” And though we’re always happy to revel in the accomplishments of women worldwide, what’s especially nice about this list is that it celebrates the successes of a number of black women from Alicia Keys, who landed the cover, Oprah, Laila Ali, and Liya Kebede, to Tiffany Dufu (The White House Project), Leymah Gbowee (Women and Peace Security Network), and Michele Ozumba (Women’s Funding Network).
The magazine talked to Alicia Keys about her work in South Africa with the Keep a Child Alive organization and how a chance offer from AIDS activist Leigh Blake to tour the country and witness its AIDS epidemic firsthand back in 2002, led Alicia to become one of the most prominent celebrity AIDS activists.
“I started meeting these kids who had been so isolated and alone, and not much younger than me,” said Alicia who is now 31 but was only 21 when she began her work. “It was so deep to me. Leigh had a very clear vision, that if we could get these kids the right antiretroviral medication, we could allow them to lead a full life. I dedicated myself to that vision right then.”
The two ended up founding Keep a Child Alive later as an organization dedicated to raising funds for medication and HIV-related programs.
“When I think of these crazy stories of women in certain countries who are forbidden birth control or protection of any sort,” she said, sighing, “these married women concerned that their husbands have the virus . . . it works out in the worst way for them.”
Thankfully, the millions of dollars she’s raised over the past 10 years has helped to make sure things start to work out the best for these women. Check out the full list of Fast Company‘s extraordinary women here. What do you think?
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We showed you the Nigerians, the Jamaicans, The Canadians, The Black Brits and now it’s time for those from the Horn of Africa to shine. For those of you who don’t know, the Horn is comprised of East African countries like Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia. And although they belong to the same region, these countries (like those in the rest of Africa) boast a myriad of languages, customs, and histories.
Unless you live in Washington DC or Minneapolis, you may not be familiar with many people from the region but best believe, they do represent stateside despite the fact that they don’t have a heavy presence in Hollywood. And although they don’t hail Haile Sellasie, these following 7 celebs are all working the entertainment circuit as models, chefs, musicians and even video vixens. You may be suprised by a few…
Even if you don’t know her name, you surely have seen Liya Kebede’s face and body behind some of the most lucrative fashion and beauty brands of our time. Open any magazine and you’ll see the Ethiopian-born beauty modeling H&M, J.Crew, and Estee Lauder (as its official spokeswoman). But like many of her supermodel colleagues, the mother of two hasn’t stopped at just modeling. She also has an Ethiopian-inspired fashion line, has delved into acting, and launched her own philanthropic organization to reduce maternal, newborn and child mortality.
By H. Fields Grenée
I’ve never really thought much of beauty. As an African American female raised among an extended family where every skin tone, eye color and hair texture was represented – beauty was a rich texture of various shades.
Maybe this is why writing an article about the perceived increase in use of Ethiopian models by advertisers to appeal to the African buying audience seemed an easy task. But in actuality the subject proved to be a scorching hot potato issue. Few if any wanted to discuss the topic openly because it scratched the surface of an uncomfortable dilemma.
Since the early seventies, marketing budgets spent to attract African American consumers has steadily increased. Commercial plot lines went from rarely showing minorities to, in many cases, showcasing them, or more accurately – pushing an encapsulated ideal minority.
“With the recent interest in Ethiopian women, or women from the “horn” more broadly, it is amazing how almost blatantly Social Darwinist ideas get espoused,” noted Professor Davarian L. Baldwin, a Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of American Studies at Trinity College, who focuses on African Diaspora issues.
“So in the case of Ethiopian women, I hear talk about an “Ethiopian” skin tone, facial features, and bone structure. I hear so much about the beautiful skin of Ethiopians, not in terms of blemishes or smoothness but because it is seen as the perfect balance between darker sub-Saharan Africans and whiter Caucasians,” said Baldwin. “I also hear they are the perfect beauty blend because of their brown skin and yet long (more Caucasian-looking) hair.”
Though Baldwin purports “ideal beauty standards” for any ethnic group are ridiculous, his research clearly shows that “dominant” beauty types within groups both emerge and tend to change over time.
He notes an example of this found in the shift in Italian beauty standards from Sophia Loren, a “southern” Italian beauty of the ’60s revered for her smoky full-figured “dark” look versus the now popular fair-skinned, blond waif. Then there is the ever evolving face of Jennifer Lopez. Since first garnering attention in the late ’80s as a dancer on In Living Color, she has softened her look, lightened her hair and become the benchmark for “voluptuous” curves in Hollywood.
“To be sure something must be made of personal choice,” contends Baldwin, “but it seems far from coincidental that (JLo’s) personal choices move her closer and closer to the dominant beauty standards of U.S. media outlets as she has grown in “acceptance.”
“Yes the phrase ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder may be true,’” he says, “but it’s also true that beauty standards have emerged based on the repeated dissemination of certain types and the pay scales and contracts given to models based on particular features.”
“Honestly, I wish I could’ve lived in their time. They had so much fun.” – Liya Kebede on the ’90s supermodel era in Vogue
Liya Kebede is an international supermodel who has used her fame to advocate for the vulnerable in societies worldwide. She has been a fiery advocate for children’s rights and empowering women. But in the midst of her serious battles for the betterment of humanity, she remembers the importance of beauty and fun. It can be hard to balance serious aspects of life with pleasure in your personal life, but Liya shows that you can and should do both. So no matter how hard you hustle, remember to take the time for levity.
Work hard — put also play hard Madames!
Hate it or love it, Americans need Hollywood to guide us in world affairs and encourage our contributions to countries and organizations in need. While Bono, Bill Gates and Angelina Jolie are celebrities who have used their star power to bring attention to various causes, it may seem like there are only a couple of African-American celebrities who raise awareness and money for Africa without much praise or recognition. Alas, there are more than the media lets on. Here, we’ve assembled a few of the shining stars who give back to Africa and then some…
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As difficult as it was to keep Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama from sneaking up on this list (their influence goes without saying), it was also just as easy to find other women who inspire us in other ways. Through philanthropy to just being downright fabulous, these five women inspire us to be better. From Beyonce Knowles’ tenacious work ethic to Jada Pinkett’s boost for self-expression, it’s always a delight to see women who are encouraging and empowering (in this article, we’ll just refer to them on a first-name basis).
Model, Liya Kebede premieres new collection [ENTRE]
Wedding dress under $200…that you can wear more than once [ENTRE]
Haitian families try to create normalcy in states [ENTRE]
Shakira’s video for official song of the 2010 World Cup debuts [ENTRE]
Kourtney Kardashian’s baby reminds her of her father [ENTRE]
The Brooklyn Belle has a Twitter-moment [ENTRE]
Black fashion designers hard to find [ENTRE]