Tag Archives: Racism

Caroline Woziacki Imitates Serena Williams

Hiya Poutlings!

Today, in things that one should not do when playing a live televised tennis match: stuff your front and back to appear that you have big boobs and a big backside.

After doing this, the Danish tennis player Caroline Woziacki has been accused of racism after she did this on the court the day before yesterday, apparently mimicking her fellow women’s player tennis Serena Williams. Caroline Wozniacki was playing a game in Sao Paolo, Brazil against Anna Kournikova. She played for a minute or two dressed like that and the audience went ballistic cheering before she pulled the towels out. You can watch the video of this

Some people see this as just a goofy joke, especially since Caroline and Serena are supposedly friends – how good of friends, who knows, who cares, whatever.

Jay Busbee from Yahoo Sports put it perfectly :

“This is an era where no jokes goes unscrutinized, and no humour apparently exists without sinister subtext … An apology may be forthcoming, but it shouldn’t be.”

Others are saying it was a racist imitation because it was highlighting the extreme sexualization of women of colour’s bodies.

Now, unfortunately, we live in a world where something can be racist regardless of the person’s intent – this chick may be friends with Selena Williams and may not have intended to do something racist. But that doesn’t mean what she did was not racist. On the other hand, my inital reaction to Caroline Wozniacki’s behaviour was that it was first and foremost unprofessional. She’s in the middle of playing a tennis match, for !#@% sakes. Then, when I read she was imitating Serena Williams, my next thought that mocking the size of her boobs and backside was a bit cruel on live television…

I am all for good natured rivalry among friends, making fun of someone’s sexualized body parts during a televised match is a bit much.

Once I read upon the controversy, I never thought the act was “racist”, however, the “sinister subtext” that Jay Busbee referred to – was not obvious to me at first glance. I would also imagine that people defending Caroline’s actions are saying its not a big deal.

wozniacki

Ultimately, however, I feel it’s not my final call as a white women to decide whether or not this is racist. Stupid – yes. Racist – up for debate. It’s a time to listen what people who are directly affected are saying : if people of colour are saying this mimicry was racist and problematic then we should listen.

…do you have any thoughts on this?

*missfitz

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Filed under Celebrities, Daily Banter, Media, What not to do...., WTF

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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So Silly… Why Did Jessica Leandra rush to Twitter?

Hi Pouters!

In South African “model” news today, FHM  models winner 2011 has had her title stripped from her after posting a racist tweet yesterday afternoon on her twitter account @jessicaleandra

She later “apologised” and has posted an apology blog.

She has already lost her FHM 2011 Model Winner and Quick Trim Sponsorship

 

While, she is currently trending on Twitter, and after having FHM broadcast an official statement on their website that her title has been taken away with immediate effect, rather harshly, but not without reason and QuickTrimSA pulling her sponsorship as well as one of her listed charities – Little Eden releasing a statement which says they “condemn racism” , it is needless to say that she is probably not having the best Friday…

I think she is extremely stupid to have posted this on her Twitter page, as it seems, the rest of the country is. If the incident wasas bad as she is describing it to be, WHY DID SHE NOT GET OFF HER TWITTER ACCOUNT AND GO DIRECTLY TO THE POLICE?

Maybe there was a terrible situation she had been in, but as she said she is not going to disclose any of the information of what happened, so guess what, we’ll never know…

I firmly believed from when they announced the top 10 for 2011 (which I was following as one of my friends was in it), that she was far too young to achieve such a title, if I am not mistaken she was 18 at the time, competiting against real ladies, in their twenties, and unfortunately maybe this has been a lesson learned by FHM for running competitions to teenagers to enter. Teenagers are not always as mature as their bodies and typing skills may appear.

Will all the press be ultimately good for her career? I personally don’t think so, unless if she changes her name as something like racism in South Africa can not be tolerated, even out of anger… Because, lets be honest, its not only the black population that are involved in sexual harassment, every other colour under the rainbow nation will also have lots of incidents of this nature.

As Rian Geldenhuys said on the Modelbook Facebook Group:

“Model” – One serving as an example to be imitated or compared: a model of decorum. Not this one”

My only hope is that if she can scrape her career off the floor after this, that she will learn to act prudently on her online marketing and social networking, and learn to be a true role model.

Enjoy the weekend Pouters!

xxxxx missfitzzz xxxxx

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Filed under Daily Banter, Facebook, Media, Models, Social Networking, Twitter, What not to do...., WTF