October 30, 2009

"Tyra Banks Puts 'Top Models' in Blackface. When Did This Become OK?"

Tyra has our attention.

29 comments:

victoria said...

Never. Tyra, the poster person for bad taste.

Slow Joe said...

Hell yes it's OK.

Look, no one out there really thinks Tyra is oppressed. She's proof that things have gotten much better, whether she knows it or not.

This kind of thing, though, is simple speech, and an intelligent way to analyze what it's like to have darker skin.

I think it would be fabulous if it were possible to change your racial appearance and walk around. Especially for minorities who think being white is fabulous... but never mind that.

There's nothing offensive about blackface... stereotyping blacks is pretty offensive, but blackface in and of itself can be a good thing.

Synova said...

Okay... since when did "black face" come to mean "skin beautifully darkened in a classically natural looking way?"

Just wondering.

The lady in the photograph looks Indian (like from India) far far more than African so does that even count as "black face" by the new definition?

mariner said...

C'mon Ann, you're slipping.

The answer is: when black people started doing it.

PatCA said...

The one photo looks beautiful. It takes a total neurotic to see "socially charged".

Black face implies mocking and stereotyping. Get over it, huffpo, like Tyra did.

SteveR said...

Tyra Banks is just a nicer looking version of Howie Mandell. If they can make it big, anybody can. What a country.

Fake said...

"The answer is: when black people started doing it."

Umm... Black folks have been doing black face for a pretty long time now. Google up Bert Williams, for example.

I agree with Synova that "tasteful makeup that causes a model to appear as a darker-skinned person than she actually is" <> "blackface", which is a particular caricature of blackness.

Synova said...

And wouldn't very dark skin becoming fashionable be a *good* thing?

I mean... maybe I get it a little bit because all the bleach blonds are annoying and sort of take away whatever advantage there is in being blond without the bleach (is there one?) so perhaps there is an element of feeling that what makes a very dark complected person unique and beautiful is diluted when instead of bleaching the models go dark instead. Maybe.

Women have been shooting their lips up to make them fat for years... that's "black face" too, isn't it?

Beth said...

Black folks have been doing black face for a pretty long time now.

Zulu, a black "social aid and pleasure club" organized 100 years ago in part inspired by music hall satirical perfomances, and in part to satirize Rex, the white Mardi Gras krewe made of "Americans" - as opposed to French Creoles. Zulus ride in blackface on Mardi Gras day, and that goes for both black and white members of the club. This practice was unpopular during the 60s and early 70s, though, and for awhile the club was the subject of protests and criticism by the younger folks.

Andrea said...

So when people use those fake tanning lotions they're being racist? Man, they keep moving these goalposts all over the place!

Synova said...

Andrea, my cousin some 25 or so years ago stopped tanning because her black room-mate made the observation that all those girls trying to get as dark as possible would never want to actually *be* black.

Personally, I'm not so sure.

I think that it's more likely a "sneeches on beaches" sort of situation. No one in their right mind would voluntarily choose to be ostracized or discriminated against but why would the girls tanning think that if they actually had dark complexions they wouldn't still be "in"? In Dr. Seuss's story the popular, discriminating Sneeches just changed the basis of their discrimination. It didn't end, in fact, until everyone was so mixed up they couldn't get them separated any more.

Photog714 said...

"Tyra has our attention."

Speak for yourself, Toots. Sounds like just another ration of politically correct horseshit to me.

Candle said...

I am offended on behalf of womyn who have black faces everywhere. When will white women learn that they cannot do this? They never learn.

Synova said...

The solution, of course, is to make them dark purple, or green, or some other unnatural color.

Like that blue lady on Farscape.

Donna B. said...

That this is being called "blackface" is supremely idiotic.

Maguro said...

If it isn't OK, George Hamilton is in big trouble.

Saint Croix said...

Richard Pryor put shoe polish all over Gene Wilder. Silver Streak is rated one of the 100 funniest movies ever made.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yu1TZVX72Aw

TMink said...

Beth, I am the proud owner of a Zulu coconut from 1971. It is gilded, as is appropriate, and it cost my dad $10.

My kids love it, but I do not let them touch it, saying it is gold and fragile.

Trey

AllenS said...

In Japan, Geisha's do white face. They probably started doing that before they ever met white people. So, you've got that. Me? I like war paint.

J Lee said...

Really, with Tyra it's the creeping male pattern baldness on the upper forehead that unnerves me the most.

Balfegor said...

In Japan, Geisha's do white face.

Those first two words made me think you were going to talk about Japanese doing blackface (Ganguro and Mamba and so on). Whiteface came totally out of left field there.

kentuckyliz said...

Why not blueface...like Braveheart

Get in touch with their inner Boudica Celta

Christy said...

So much for modeling being about the clothes.

Joe said...

I too am curious how this is defined as "Blackface" which refers to a very definite style of makeup.

Beth said...

That's very cool, Trey. I never manage to get up early enough to catch the whole Zulu parade. Sometimes I get the end of it, on Canal Street. The coconuts are long gone by then.

grapp said...

So what are we gonna do with Beyonce and all those singers who put in "white" contact lens colors and dye their hair blonde or lighten it? Are they going "whiteface"? This enquiring black woman wants to know. The whole thing is absurd. Live and let live.

Penny said...

I really like this show. Much more than I like Tyra.

It's always interesting to watch people getting excited about competing in something that is WAY "beneath us". Right?

And if they are pretty average looking, yet in a beauty contest, and as stupid as you would expect them to be? Even better! Right?

Kev said...

Me? I like war paint.

AllenS, I remember a while back that you spoke of having "Indian ancestry," but I always had it in my head (until a few weeks ago when you spoke on the topic) that you meant you were from India. I've gotten so used to the PC "Native American" term that it totally messed with my thinking in that regard.

wv: culunrzz. Ppl who cookz?

AllenS said...

I'm the kind that eats cows.