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THE BLACK ISSUE : Pioneering Models of Colour

Hellooo Poutlings!

With living in South Africa, the racism card likes to be used often, because of our troubled past. Unfortunately, I do not believe this will ever go away, but what people do not realise is that it is not only South Africa that has overcome problems when it comes to racism.

Enter, the modeling industry. Diversity has never been the modeling industry’s strong card, as highlighted by Vogue Italia’s groundbreaking “Black Issue” from 2008. What was so groundbreaking was the fact that it happened at all – an international fashion magazine drawing attention to racism in its own industry.

With this in mind, I’d like to point out that before this publication, “The Black Issue“, there was a massive movement of women of colour fighting for their rights to be in the fashion industry, here are some of my favourites highlighting their stides on and off the runway.

PRINCESS ELIZABETH OF TORO – 1936

The daughter of the King of Toro, one of the four tribes that originally ruled Uganda, Elizabeth was the third black women to ever attend Cambridge University and Uganda’s first female lawyer. When England’s Princess Margaret invited her to model in a charity fashion show, Elizabeth’s modeling career took off and she graced the pages of Vogue and the cover of Harper’s Bazaar in 1969. She later moved to New York where she modeled for the legendary Irving Penn.

NAOMI SIMS – 1948 – 2009

Before there was Naomi, there was Naomi. The first black supermodel, Naomi Sims worked overtime to break into what is still a largely racist industry. Naomi officially made it when she appeared in a US national AT&T commercial, the cover of Ladies’ Home Journal and the cover of Life All in 1968.

IMAN – 1955

With her long, graceful neck and statuesque beauty, Iman looks like she was actually plucked out of a Somalian village and thrown on a runway, but in reality she was discovered by photographer Peter Beard while she was studying political science in Nairobi. Upon coming to New York in 1975, however, she happily played along with the myth that Beard had discovered her as “a teen tribeswomen tending 500 cattle and sheep in a Kenyan game preserve”. What followed is one of the greatest careers in modern fashion history : a muse for Yves Saint Laurent, Issey Miyake and Calvin Klein, an entrepreneur and the one women to tame David Bowie.

MOUNIA

Mounia was Yves Saint Laurent’s first black muse and his favourite model. She was also the first black model he used in his haute couture shows. Mounia rose to prominence following YSL’s classic Porgy & Bess show, which he designed around her and led to covers of WWD and French Elle.

DONYALE LUNA 1945 – 1979

Pegg Ann Freeman escaped the slums of Detroit, USA, for the glitz and glamour of NYC. Here as Donyale Luna, she was was exotic and intriguing whereas in Detroit she “wasn’t considered beautiful or anything.” At 6’1″ with her already striking features and ultramarine contacts, she was in high demand, becoming the first black women to cover British Vogue in 1996. Donyale lived like, partied like and dated rock stars only to eventually die like one when she overdosed in 1979.

BEVERLY JOHNSON 1952

Bev Johnson’s name will go down in history as the first black women on the cover of US Vogue in 1974, a watershed moment for models of all diversities. Bev logged over 500 covers in her career before embarking on a mildly successful acting career and starting her own line of wigs.

BILLIE BLAIR – 1946

A former nursing student from Michigan, Billie became “New York’s newest superstar model” and the “standard of female beauty” after setting Paris ablaze as one of the stars of the Battle of Versailles in 1973. She commanded $400 a day – years before Linda Evangelista wouldn’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 – though still making her one of the best paid runway models at the time.

GRACE JONES – 1948

Part supermodel, part mental patient, dart disco/New Wave/dancehall queen, Grace Jones is an enigma, wrapped in a question, wrapped in a kimono. Her distinctive style and personality are a constant source of inspiration for musicians like Rihanna and Lady Gaga to magazine editorials, who find her a favourite subject in particular… is it any wonder? That type of crazy comes along once in an androgynous moon.

PAT EVANS

Black, bald and beautiful. Pat shaved her head in the 60s as a protest against the modeling industry’s obsession with straight hair. The decision proved fortuitous for Pat, leading to appearances in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and perhaps, most famously, a quartlet of album covers for The Ohio Players. In 1974, Pat threw it all away when she published a scathing article in Essence magazine attacking the industry’s racism and its discrimination effectively ending her career.

PAT CLEVELAND

Pat was discovered in the subway in 1967 by fashion illustrator Antonio who admitted that he thought she was ugly, but with his help she became a dynmic and versatile force in print and on the runway. Along with Blair, Cleveland was one of the black models that entranced the French during the Battle of Versailles.

Like Sandylashxx has mentioned before, Black Most Definately is Beautiful.

*missfitz

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Things That Are Wrong With the World : COURTNEY STODDEN

Hi Pouters!

WARNING: THIS POST MAY BLOW YOUR MIND.  

Another Monday, once again something or another has annoyed MissFitz.

Another set of inappropriate photographs of teenagers everywhere on the web and do you want to know who I blame today? Today, it has to be Courtney Stodden‘s fault.

Actually, do you know what?

When Kendall Jenner did her HUGE INAPPROPRIATE PHOTO SHOOT, everyone freaked the fuck out, and justifiably so, right?

She was only 14 years old, she was wearing very little clothing, she looked too sexy for 14, heavy eye makeup, the near-exposed breasts and the sexual poses of an eighth grader. But let’s be very careful not to exploit any young women in the process of looking at the above pictures… because that would be wrong, right?

Let’s rewind back to 2007, a whole 5 years ago.

Meet a VERY young pair of Kylie and Kendall Jenner, back in 2007. Aren’t they cute and how damn cute are they going to be when they hit the club scene and start sucking carrots on film?

Unfortunately, with a momager like hers, you can’t just stick to normal aspiring teenage model stuff like this…

ignore the fact how she has been made to look like big half sis Kim Krapdashian, this is the type of MODELLING these kids should aspire to excel at…

Anyway – back to the one at fault today in my eyes.

Courtney Stodden.

How is it respectable by the rest of the world that this 17 year old can parade around with her ass cheeks hanging out and her implants flapping in the breeze and her best “I’m getting thrashed by a giant meat stick” face and NO ONE CARES?

Is it becase her mother sold her into slavery by “allowing” her to marry Doug Hutchinson?

Is it because, yeah, even though she is only 17 years old, and has been doing this for a while now, it’s ok, because she is Doug’s property, I mean, wife?

I understand that she wants to do it, I do, and I’d respect that if it weren’t for the fact that she still isn’t legally allowed to make her own decisions, I may also respect it, if it wasn’t that she was half an inch away from turining everyone who looks at her photos into pedophiles, and before you start saying “blah blah blahSHE IS ALMOST EIGHTEEN blah blah”, let me refresh your memory, remember this photo? It was taken a year ago.

courtney was only 16 years old.

Now, really, what does she do all day? Does she have business meetings with her mum where they discuss what activity she could do while wearing a bikini next?

Courtney Stodden, playing volleyball on the beach on her own…

Does she spend time scouring the internet, and making notes of special holidays and their dates so she can be sure to do an appropriately themed photo shoot?

Courtney Stodden shits all over your Easter…

Does she have a support group that she attends for people who are sexually attracted to vegetables?

If you do not believe that she needs to go to a support group for people who think vegetables are sexy, go to Youtube now, and type in COURTNEY STODDEN PETA COMMERCIAL. Yikes.

I don’t think so. I think Courtney spends the majority of her time doing stupid shit. I think she wakes up, puts a bikini on, begs Doug to take her shopping and then twiddles her thumbs and and applies self tan until she comes up with enough words that start with the same letter to make a coherent thought to share with Twitter.

How sweet everyone, LOOK!! It’s Courtney’s mum! And isn’t cute that they are bonding together in the kitchen over blank expressions and fake smiles and soy milk!

Really, it doesn’t get any better than this, unless of course you’re Courtney stodden’s mum, who I haven’t really spoken about a lot here, maybe I should start.

The lady in question’s name is Krista Keller, and she was on board with selling her daughter to marry Doug Hutchinson from the start.

Remember this quote?

“It was a very beautiful, loving, nonsexual type of turn. It was admirable on his end. Then he called me tot ell me they were falling for each other. I could tell my daughter had the kind of love when you want to marry a man or be with a man. Even though she was just 16, I knew it was going to take a pretty big man to handle her because of her sexuality and because of the attention she gets.”

Or, even better… this one?

“The gay community has been so loving to her. I know Anna Nicole Smith had a great rapport with the gay community, and I think they’ve been waiting tohave someone they can connect with, and I think Courtney is that person. She is different and frankly stands out. Frankly, we thought she’d fit better in Hollywood.”

Just in case anyone forgot, Anna Nicole Smith was a woman who dropped out of high school and eventually became a stripper. She married her first husband when she was 17 and she had her first child when she was 18. A few years later she divorced her husband, and a year after that she married a wealthy 89-year-old oil tycoon who she allegedly never lived with and who died a little over a year after their wedding. She worked as a model for Playboy and Guess jeans, she was in a handful of mediocre movies, she was a spokesperson for a dietary supplement, and she had her own reality show. She was known, at least in the later part of her life, for being a little wacky, seemingly from the effect of some sort of substance abuse. In the last few years of her life, she gave birth to a baby girl, dealt with loads of paternity drama, and saw her 20 year old son die from an overdose. In 2007, just a few months after her son’s death, Anna died of an overdose herself.

Thats admirable mummy, comparing your daughter to a woman who had myraid mental issues and substance abuse problems, battled with weight issues for a decade, rode a bunch of old-man-dong and ended up overdosing. Super! Also, all of the gay friends I have, think Courtney is complete and utter weirdo.

Last, here’s another quote from Courtney’s mum about Doug himself

“He’s not creepy. He is such a great guy, he’s so intelligent. I see why they are together, he looks like he’s in his early 30s and Courtney looks like she’s in her late 20s. It’s like they’re talking about someone else when they say bad things about Doug. He’s with my daughter and I wouldn’t want a creepy guy with my daughter. He’s a wonderful, great man. Dough was managing Courtney’s career, but he has so many things coming his way that he just can’t handle it all. It will be better for Courtney with me managing her. I love my daughter, and I’ve been a good parent.”

I suppose good parenting is subjective…

You know what world, I rest my case.

**missfitzz

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