In the News & On the Web: Black Models, R. Kelly, UBO MOvie
On the heels of Vogue's historic and therefore much talked about "Black Issue" that hits newsstands here next week, there is an article in today's NY Times (again) about the lack of Black models in major fashion magazines and runways. Written by Cathy Horn, "Conspicuous by Their Presence," focuses more on the upcoming issue and on Steven Meisel who photographed all the models including Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks, Jourdan Dunn and Sessilee Lopez. Some interesting quotes from the article:
O.K., so fashion ain’t deep. It looks into a mirror and sees ... itself. The irony in fashion is that it loves change but it can’t actually change anything. It can only reflect a change in the air. But what changes fashion? What would finally move American designers to include more black models on their runways? That 30 percent of the country is nonwhite? That black women spend $20 billion a year on clothes? That an African-American is the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party?
Over Ms. Sozzani’s initial objections, he also hired Toccara Jones, a full-figure model, who became known from “America’s Next Top Model.” “I wanted to say something about weight, and I’m never allowed to do that,” he said. “I met Toccara and thought, she’s beautiful. What’s the deal with her? She’s great and she’s sexy.”
Some people think it's agood idea and others don't. I personally think it's fantastic, but I am also aware of how some in our society like to make these grandiose public acts just for show, which don't have any roots in anything substantial or lasting. So my eyes are wide open.
So R. Kelly was acquitted of all charges. Surprised? Nope. I knew it. Anytime it takes that long to bring someone to trial there is a lack of seriousness in the midst. My comrade Joicelyn said it firsts three years ago, the judicial system and our communities at large do not care what happens to little Black girls. I followed up just a month ago when Kila (who is from Chicago) thought Mister Braid-My-Hair would be getting his cornrows done in prison. I told her then that those folks on the jury are probably blaming the girl in the video for being promiscuous and that further more we are not about to lock up the dude who gave us the 2-Step. Jalylah over at Vibe really sums it up nicely.
And lastly Miles Marshall Lewis hipped me to the making of a documentary about UBO (Urban Box Office). Dang near every Black artist/ writer/ "tastemaker" was scooped by UBO—the mega all encompassing, multimillion dollar website with aspirations to be all things for all Black folk. Well needless to say that ish never panned out cause well it would seem that the folks at UBO spent their millions on lavish parties (launch party on Ellis Island), crazy salaries, private jets, Gucci suits, Cuban cigars and Dom Perignon. So typical! Anyway this doc, being produced by the man behind the hugely popular gossip site Urban Expose, should be painfully hilarious. I was asked to freelance for UBO three weeks before they went out of business and am still feeling the affects of their greed and mismanagement today when investors are still crazy skeptical of the urban online arena and it's potential to be highly successful. Thanks UBO for that one! Check the trailer: