All Articles Tagged "May 2012"

Rihanna Tells Elle She’s Going to Do What She Wants When it Comes to Chris Brown

April 4th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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Rihanna’s got the cover of Elle magazine‘s May issue and during the feature interview, the singer took no issue with speaking about her past and present with Chris Brown. If you were one of the many people who noticed Rihanna’s “Good Girl Gone Bad” image seemed to get a whole lot badder after their altercation, she says you’re right. Speaking on their breakup, she said:

“It gave me guns. I was like, well, f***. They know more about me than I want them to know. It’s embarrassing. But that was my opening. That was my liberation, my moment of bring it. […] Now you know that, so you can say what you want about it. I don’t have anything to hide.”

But what about when it comes to their reconciliation? Does she feel like she has to hide that?

“The bottom line is that everyone thinks differently,” she said. “It’s very hard for me to accept, but I get it. People end up wasting their time on the blogs or whatever, ranting away, and that’s all right. Because tomorrow I’m still going to be the same person. I’m still going to do what I want to do.”

Holding fast to her numerous rants about being unhappily single, Rihanna said this about finding the right man:

“I feel like it’s hard for everybody! I don’t think it has anything to do with being famous. There’s just a major drought out there. […] But I just need to find the person who balances me out, because then things like my schedule won’t matter. I’ve done it before, so I know I can do it again.”

As far as having kids goes though, she says that could happen at anytime.

“It could be tomorrow. It could be 20 years from now. I just feel like when the time is right, God will send me a little angel. But first, of course, I have to find a man. I mean, there’s a very important missing piece to the puzzle here!”

I don’t know about you but the idea of Rihanna becoming a mommy “tomorrow” scares me. Can you see Rih Rih having kids down the line?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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Did Kerry Washington Deserve the Vanity Fair Cover?

April 3rd, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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Deserve may not be the best word in this instance so let me rephrase. Did Vanity Fair miss the mark—again—by leaving Kerry Washington off of their “Special TV Issue” cover?

In the May issue, the magazine pays homage to the rise of the female cast lead with Julianna Margulies Claire Danes, Sofía Vergara, and Michelle Dockery, the stars of “The Good Wife,” “Homeland,” “Modern Family,” and “Downtown Abby,” respectively, gracing the cover. Inside is a spread that has many feeling like the days when coloreds had to come in through the back door as Kerry Washington and two other minorities, Grace Park and Archie Panjabi, share space with Emily Deschanel, Emmy Rosum, Emily Vancamp, and Kat Dennings, the stars of other prime-time series on ABC, NBC, and CBS. You can either look at this issue in its entirety and think only the biggest female television stars were put on the cover and that’s why Kerry Washington was not, or you can assume Kerry’s color prevented her from snagging the coveted position. Undoubtedly, the decision that led to things appearing as they do involves a little bit of both—how much of each I can’t say.

The thing is Julianna, Claire, Sofía, and Michelle are well established in their shows and as television actresses so it makes sense for them to be on the cover, and if we’re looking at this as an example of Hollywood white-washing, Sofía’s presence is at least one mark on the diversity tally. Kerry Washington’s show “Scandal” hasn’t even debuted yet, but on the other hand, she is the only black woman headlining a show on a major television network this season, that show is being created and produced by yet another black woman, Shonda Rhimes, and it is based on the true professional story of a very successful black woman, Judy Smith. Those three factors would lead me to believe Kerry would have at least some merit to be featured front and center (or at least have her show’s title be listed on the cover as many of the others are) but as Dodai Stewart points out on Jezebel, “it would seem that the magazine takes great pains to insure that a black person does not end up on the cover.” And by cover, we’re not just talking this one. As recent as January, Anthony Mackie and Rashida Jones were the only black people to grace the mag’s Hollywood issue and in 2010, a lot of fuss was made over the fact that nine white women were deemed the face of New Hollywood.

Part of me feels like why should I expect Vanity Fair or anyone who’s not black to understand how big Kerry’s role is. Do I really take note of white milestones? I’m not really sure there are too many left to be made, but you get the point. It’s not surprising that the editors wouldn’t pick up on the opportunity to showcase what could be a huge breakout role for her, and when I think about that factor, I tend to agree with the sentiment a lot of people have, which is do we need them too?

Whenever a discussion like this comes up, people question why we’re looking for validation by mainstream/white America, but I don’t think our grumblings are necessarily rooted in that. I personally think we just want balance. If a black woman who commits a crime can be sprawled across the national evening news and on the cover of newspapers worldwide, then when a black woman treads new positive ground in the entertainment industry she should be given that same amount of attention. A lot of the frustration surrounding situations like this is also the fact that it makes us question if we’ll ever break through the colored ceiling. We don’t need white people’s acceptance to have a sense of pride about ourselves or to celebrate our own achievements but we do need white people to acknowledge when we’re doing something that doesn’t fit into their narrow ideals of black life and abilities because that acknowledgement trickles down into so many other aspects of our daily lives. On one hand we’re talking about something as trivial as a magazine cover, on the other we’re talking about something as significant as not seeing all black women as unattractive, unemployed, sexually promiscuous, violent, angry, and any other negative stereotype pressed upon us. We need to be seen in a different light on this level so that when it comes down to serious issues about ill treatment towards black women our humanity, and uniqueness, and diversity as a cultural group is seen, not just the images they want to see or want us to believe about ourselves. When mainstream media doesn’t recognize someone who obviously doesn’t fit the stereotypical mode, it makes us wonder whether they see it at all.

I’m not totally convinced that Kerry’s absence from this cover was a huge racial slight but I won’t hesitate to make a mental note about Vanity Fair’s continual avoidance of black women on their covers. Publishing is a business at the end of the day and the editors have to cater to their demographic, but they should be conscious of the fact that they could be missing out on a chance to expand their readership by literally adding a little more color to their covers. I’m personally going to wait to see just how successful “Scandal” becomes and monitor mainstream media’s coverage of her, then I think we can make a more educated opinion about whether, as Clutch writer Britni Danielle said, “this is just another example of Hollywood welcoming black actors into the fold, but keeping them on the fringes.”

Do you think Vanity Fair should have placed Kerry Washington on their “Special TV Issue” cover?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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