Showing posts from April, 2012

Book Review: Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Lustre

Have to admit when I first saw this book at a friends house I judged it by its cover, thinking it would be as pretty and superficial as its cover, I really wasn't expecting it to be as informative and as well researched as it was - I know shame on me!

Written by American fashion journalist Dana Thomas who has worked for some very reputable publications such as Wall Street Journal, Harper's Bazaar and The New Yorker. Deluxe focus is on the business of fashion and how the industry lost its artistic integrity when business men like Bernard Arnault (the chairman of LVMH) got involved, snapping up fashion brands in a ruthless manner. Thomas explains how luxury goods was once a niche market serving the needs of the wealthy while today it has become billion dollar super groups like LVMH compromising luxury's quality, design and status by selling luxury to the masses for the goal of maximising profits.
According to Deluxe the industry is worth $157 billion, with the major 35 l…

Beyonce Tops US Mag People's Worlds Most Beautiful Woman List

People's top 10 Worlds Most Beautiful Women 1. Beyonce
2. Sofia Vergara
3. Charlize Theron
4. Lily Collins  5. Madeleine Stowe
6. Christina Hendricks
7. Michelle Williams
8. Paula Patton
9. Miranda Lambert
10. Kate Middleton
Today America’s most influential magazine, People magazine, has revealed their 2012 celebrity winner for their title of Worlds Most Beautiful Woman. To my dismay this years title has gone to Beyonce Knowles, whom I have for some time now had my reserves about because despite being marketed as this 'girl power' icon and inspirational black woman, her image and song lyrics tell a different story which only makes me question whether her presence in popular culture actually hinders black people's progress (particularly black women).

While I am pleased to see a black woman take the title, especially since it’s coming from a popular magazine, I don't think this actually counts as a real example of the white media acknowledging black beauty and valui…

Important Black Female: Joyce Banda

Our first post under the IBF title, we are honouring Joyce Banda who at the beginning of the month was made the first female President of Malawi, taking over from President Bingu Wa Mutharika who sadly dead earlier this month. Banda also makes history for being the second female to become the political head of an African country.

Banda has come under fierce criticism from the countries oppositional parties for her background as a 'market woman' which Banda is more then proud to acknowledge since more than 80% of Malawian women are said to be in this profession.

Born in the Malawi village of Malemia, in 1950, Banda has a strong academic background and founded the National Association of Business Women, a group which lends start-up finances to female traders; she entered politics in 1999 and prior to her current position as Malawi's President she was in fact serving as the country's elected Vice-President.

Banda married twice, left her first husband in 1981 for be…

Porn Chic

Funny enough when I first started reading this I found it (slightly) amusing that short skirts where being associated with 'porn' until I got to the end of the article and read the quote made by one of Indonesia's political representatives and that it made my blood boil!
 "You know what men are like... Provocative clothing will make them do things" What the f*** (excuse my language), people of this level of ignorance really angers me.  Men who think the way a woman dresses in inviting them to behave inappropriately is NOT nature,  this way of thinking has been nurtured by patriarchy domination and it ain't right!
When will we see the irrational demands asserted on women base solely on the notion of gender superiority and inferiority, we need to appropriate difference.

Article pictured was taken from: Stylist Magazine, issue 122, 18th April 2012, page 12.

Sweden's Racist Cake 'Art' Offering For World Art Day

For those not in the know, the racist cake is the art instillation by Stockholm born artist Makode Linde, who is black and uses race as the theme in a lot of his work (some more successful then others in my opinion), like the golliwog, a very racist piece of imagery which Linde has used in a number of pieces to make amusing racial art instead of more serious thought provoking art (again my opinion).  The cake was for World Art Day with Sweden's Cultural Minister Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth participating in the cake 'mutating' which was said to be addressing female genital mutation. 

While obviously I agree the cake was offensive to black women, it was in such poor taste and with the obvious intention to provoke a reaction that by making too much of a fuss over it is given the artist too much credit and the reaction he was clearly going for.

I came across 'cake-gate' (as some are calling it) last week through my correspondences with Black Feminist UK, before I ha…

Radio Interview With The C.O.W.S

Yesterday I was interviewed by the US radio show The C.O.W.S (The Context Of White Supremacy), discussing the affects of racism and racism in Britain of which I have dedicated many blog posts too.
Being my first time on the radio (if you don't count a phone in competition I once won) I was very nervous but also excited to par take in a discussion on modern racism and gain some insight into our American brothers/sisters shared conditions of racism.
I'm very sure my nerves got the better of me but either way it was a great experience and some really interesting discussion points were raised, one of which was on a recent incidence in the US that mirrored an incident that happen in the UK around the time of the riots, where black youths (from either side of the pond) are seen stealing the clothing off a white male, see links to images below:

UK image

US image

Are Women More Prone To Depression?

Can't say I'm surprised considering all the social pressures placed on women such as the need to succeed be it school/uni exams, in the workplace, relationship, appearance, etc.
I also think that being more in touch with our emotions then men, women are probably more likely to admit feeling depressive and seek professional help which could be another reason for the results outcome.

What I always wonder with these kinds of studies is what is actually done with the results, I mean I can't see our governments using this info to address the problem so what's it for?

Recommended Read:
- Affluenza, Oliver James

Article pictured was taken from: Stylist Magazine, issue 120, 4th April 2012, page 17.

Taxing Strip Clubs To Fund Sexual Assult Services, Bright Idea? Well The US Seems To Think So!

This made me laugh when I read it.  Taxing establishments that sexually exploits women and perpetuates the notion of male domination to pay for sexual assault services, its kinda like asking drug dealers to help fund rehab facilities or asking a murderer to cover the victims funeral costs!
Surely if the state of Illinois really wants to tackle sexual assaults then legitimising patriachy establishments such as the strip clubs by imposing a tax is not the way to go, back too the drawing board boys.

Well if you don't laugh at these things it'll only make you cry (with rage)!

Article pictured was taken from: Stylist Magazine, issue 120, 4th April 2012, page 17.

Israel Bans Underweight Models In The Media

I actually heard about this a little while ago, though its pretty interesting that a government has intervened the way it has though its does open up a can of worms.  Like firstly international brands many need to specialise their ad campaigns for their Israeli market and secondly what is their definition of 'underweight' is it ones BMI, body fat ratio or just their general appearance?
Will celebrities be exempt from this as they can often be 'underweight', could this stop the likes of Rihanna say, from modeling in her own perfume ads? Either ways I'm sure the advertising industry will find loopholes to keep skinny models in their ads. Also I fail to see what difference disclosing whether an image has been airbrush since confirming this won't stop men and women absorbing the unattainable body and beauty expectations promoted in an airbrushed image carrying a small print!

I'm neither for or against the use of young skinny models or airbrushing but I do thin…

Racist The Hunger Games Tweets Highlights Why Fiction Writers Need to Stop Making their Characters Ethnicity Ambiguous and Address the Issue of Race

What are the odds, just yesterday evening I was having a discussion on how white authors often fail to include ethnic characters or specify the ethnicity of their characters in their writing, then today's news headlines are reporting the racist outbursts The Hunger Games fans have been unleashing on twitter due to the film casting black actors in some of the important roles.

I found the discussion fascinating since I had never really thought about it before let alone noticed that I like many others will envision fictional characters as white (where their ethnicity is not specified). Since the discussion I have been trying to recall fiction books that I've read where the characters ethnicity is actually stated and not just me making the assumption, as well as any ethnic characters which may have appeared in these books. Needless to say I found the task hard and have only been able to come up with one book (Harry Potter).
Though now it would seem this ambiguity fiction writer…

Is Feeling Sexy Empowering For Women?

Not long ago I read an article on the Mirror online (yes the Mirror, their perspective is often surprisingly refreshing) about the actress Michelle Williams' declaration in an interview for the American GQ magazine that 'being sexy is a negative thing' while discussing her role playing Marilyn Monroe in the Film My Week With Marilyn. The fact that Williams graces the front cover of the lad mag posing half naked kind of depletes her point somewhat, though it did get me thinking whether as a woman being sexy is negative?

While I understand the context in which Williams was making her point that the achievements and contributions women make in our society are often undermined while beauty and attractiveness hold more cultural value or appreciation, which is true (you need only think back to the BBC's female Faces of the year 2011 fiasco in January as a prime example), William reiterates this by saying that "I wouldn't say that that would be one of my first qual…

Film Review: The Hunger Games

I have to admit I had never heard of The Hunger Games before all the fuss was made about its film debut and being a Harry Potter fan I wasn't best pleased with all the talk of this franchise out shining Harry Potter, Twilight yeah fine but not Potter!

While I can't say I really enjoyed the filmed, I was entertained and I managed to grasp the storyline well without having read the books. The storyline is very inventive with elements of surrealism though I had expected it to be gorier then it was since the British press have been making alot of noise about the films child certificate rating; there was one scene I felt was a little upsetting though I do agree it was needed to convey the unsettling fictitious future created.

Not to give much away in terms of the storyline but the concept plays on classism with its dystopia future seeing the US divided into 13 states (or district); 12 of which are populated by the working class whom are all struggling to survive with the 13th …