Nicole Beharie & Danai Gurira Cover Essence


“Sleepy Hollow” actress Nicole Beharie has landed what will hopefully be the first of many covers for Essence magazine.

Though I had hoped Nicole would grace the cover alone, she has instead been featured alongside another worthy cover star: Danai Gurira of “The Walking Dead,” Alfre Woodard, who has been featured on a solo cover in the past, and surprisingly, LaVerne Cox of “Orange is the New Black.”
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Does He Only Text You?

I have noticed an ongoing trend in relationships these days. One where couples no longer whiseper sweet nothings in their partners ears, but rather text them.

I have several girlfriends who seem to spend more time texting their men over the phone than actually spending time with them in person.

According to a recent study on how technology has affected the dating scene, 65% of respondents felt it was okay to ask for a FIRST date via text message. 48% said it was okay to break up via text, while 30% admit to actually being dumped via text message.

Even more sobering, many women claim texting has totally ruined the act of courting. “A lot of guys don’t even call anymore, they just text,” said one female respondent. “Guys no longer feel like they have to woo you. Now it’s all about technology. They feel a text message is just as good as a phone call or one on one interaction.”

When asked how much time they actually spend with their “textmates,” most admitted that texting has cut down the one-on-one time they spend with their partners.

Natasha Reynolds, a college student, says she and her boyfriend hardly speak by phone or see each other because of their busy schedules. She admits the short length of text messages had led to misunderstandings and thus they have limited their texting time. She says she hopes it will strengthen their relationship and the way they communicate with one another.

So, how you Brown Sista readers? Do you find yourself texting your men more than you talk to them via phone or see them in person? Do you think texting has ruined the art of dating?

Have your say.

How Beyonce Can Save the “Girls”

If you guys are chart buffs like myself, then you know that Beyonce’s latest single “Run the World (Girls), has not exactly set the world on fire. Though the song debuted at #33 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is her second highest debut ever, it is still struggling not only on iTunes (#41), but radio as well. Despite selling 77,000 copies in its first 3 days, many of those copies were bought multiple times by eager fans wanting to make the song appear hotter than it actually is.

The fact of the matter is that “Run the World (Girls) has been a monumental disappointment to radio and the public at large. On its own merit, the single has not piqued the interest of anyone, much less the general record buying public. Sure, great performances and a great video may help revive the single on the charts, but that still won’t truly make the song a hit. Music should be able to stand on its own merits and not require great visuals in order to make the public want to buy or listen to it.

So what does a singer, who some think has the potential to become the female Michael Jackson, do when her big comeback and supposedly groundbreaking new single falls flat with not only her fans, but the public as well?

I don’t know; you tell me.

Where are the Brown Sistas?

From movies to magazines, it seems being a black woman who self identifies as such, is very much OUT. I couldn’t help but be reminded of this when I saw the press release about Cassie, Solange and Selita Ebanks being named the new diverse faces of Carol’s Daughter products.

Looking at this group of women, who all self identify as multi-ethnic, I couldn’t help but wonder how these three women and the words “Beauty in Diversity,” could be used in the same sentence. Most of all, I couldn’t help but wonder why Carol’s Daughter, a company owned by a brown skin woman and built on the backs of black women, would not use at least one sista that had just a hint of color and PROUDLY self identified as a black woman.

In other words, where are the Brown Sistas? Do we not exist anymore? Are we too black to be even be acknowledged?

It appears we are.

Steve Stout, a black man, and the marketing genius *sarcasm* behind this campaign, had this to say about the choice of Selita (Irish, Native American, Black) Solange (Black,Creole) and Cassie (Mexican Filipino, Black) as brand ambassadors for Carol’s Daughter.

“What we’re doing now is moving into a polyethnic space. We want to be the first beauty brand that truly captures the beauty of the tapestry of skin types in America. When I say polyethnic, I mean women who are made up of several ethnicities. If you ask them what they are, they’re going to use a lot of different words to describe themselves. That’s in line with the Census data coming out — people are checking much more than two boxes. We believe we’ve put together a shoot that celebrates many different ethnicities, to become a mirror of what America’s really becoming.[…]“They will serve as cultural ambassadors in bringing forth this acceptance that the definition of beauty is now colorless. There are no longer boxes of white, black, Latina, Asian. More and more women are checking the other box, they share the vision and embody the messaging in their attitude, appearance, projects and core values.”

Selita added: “Today, people are blended, and I think the three of us are a prime example. Women in my family range from vanilla to the deepest chocolate.”

Now I truly have no problem with diversity and people who self identify as many things. I do however have a problem with a world that seems to moving closer and closer to wanting to wipe visibly black women off the map, even in our own communities and our own spaces. Just as black women are no longer the obvious choice to play alongside black men in movies, we are also no longer the first choice to be considered in ad campaigns for a product line we help put on the map.

And by the way, does Steve Stout and Carol’s Daughter not recognize that diversity can also be found in very brown and black skin women? I’m sure they do, but in a polyethnic world, a world they clearly want in on, I guess the darkies just don’t count.

Today’s Gimmick, Tomorrow’s Icon

While browsing You Tube over the weekend I came across the most amazing video of a 1971 Tina Turner performance with The Ikettes. I was not only struck by how amazing Ms. Tina and her all girl dance troop was, but judging from the some of the comments left, how controversial many of their performances were back then. Tina once spoke of how she and the Ikettes were banned from American television simply because they were sexy black women wearing mini-skirts. She also spoke of the slack she got for giving what was considered raunchy performances back at a time when women were still mostly conservative.

I could not help but juxtapose the negative attention Tina received 40 years ago with that many female artists get today. Both Beyonce and Rihanna have been criticized for their often crotch baring performances when in actually neither is doing anything new or unheard of. As a matter of fact, both admit to parodying artists who came before them. Rihanna has often cited Madonna as an influence on her, while Beyonce has cited Tina herself as her most major influence.

Likewise, long before Lil Kim, Foxy Brown and Nicki Minaj ever picked up a mic to spit their filthy lyrics, Okatown 357 were rapping about their juicy coochies driving men crazy.

Many of today’s most reviled and criticized female artists were influenced by women who came before them who were also reviled and criticized. Quite a few of those women went on to become respectable artists who are now seen as icons.

I say we should back off a little bit and let today’s divas do their thing and earn their stripes just as their predecessors did. Who knows, todays gimmick could very well be tomorrow’s legend.

FYI: Though I referred to The Ikettes as a dance troop, they were also performers in their own right who recorded albums and kept the crowd entertained while Tina was off stage.