Looking from the outside in - people, place and practice

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A transsexual Michelle Obama

Candy magazine celebrates 'transversal style'. For its fifth issue, publisher Luis Venegas decided to feature a transexual model, Connie Fleming, as Michelle Obama. They called her 'The Candydate'. He explains the rationale behind the cover here:
'I especially love the cover story, which for the first time isn't a super-popular star, but a fabulous, beautiful black transwoman channeling a politician who looks pretty much like Michelle Obama. I remember back in early 2007 when the Democratic Party’s nominees were narrowed down between two 'controversial' stereotypes never before seen for presidency: a black man, Barack Obama; and a woman, Hillary Rodham Clinton. At that time, I thought, 'when will the time come when these archaic walls break down and the White House will be occupied by, for example, a black, transsexual woman?'

I love this cover and the idea of 'anything is possible' behind it.

They have also features James Franco on the cover in the past.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Was this Serena Williams impersonation super racist?

Recently, Danish tennis player Caroline Wozniacki strutted onto the court mid-way through a game with towels stuffed in her clothes to represent a Serena-like chest and bum. The audience laughed as she pranced around with the padding. She even let out a moan every time she struck the ball - one of Serena's signatures. This wasn't even her first time doing this impersonation. Last year, she skipped onto court to a Rihanna song; also padded as to represent Miss Williams's body shape.

Her behaviour was strange and no one really knew why she acted this way, yet the blogosphere and Twitter lit up with responses. One blogger wrote: 'This isn’t “harmless fun” as one article described it. its racist. out and outright racism. mocking and making fun of the bodies of black women for a laugh? real funny, stupid white girl. real real funny.'

Another wrote:

'It may have been done in “jest,” but I love how people can can turn a black woman’s body and sexuality into a caricature. However, we should not have the autonomy to celebrate any successes of our own.'

And another...

'Given the history and current-day context of racialized standards of beauty, and the hypersexualization of people of color, when a white woman makes fun of a black women’s body, especially in a way that hypersexualizes her and draws on the stereotype of black women’s big butts, it’s racist.' via

Personally, I think this is very disrespectful and without a doubt incredibly racist. I know that she probably meant this in a light-hearted manor; but to me this is the same as putting on black-face make-up. She doesn't focus on Serena's assets as a 'woman', but as a 'black woman'.

Let us know what you think!

Watch the video of her performance below:


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Barbie's diet advice: 'Don't eat!'

We are of course familiar with fad diets like the cabbage soup diet and protein-heavy diets like Atkins, but during the 1960s Barbie's answer to losing weight, and keeping it off for good, was quite a special one. That is: "Don't eat!"

According to the "Slumber Party Barbie," produced in the mid-1960s one must simply starve oneself. The slumber party outfit, complete with a scale - permanently set to 110 pounds - and diet book makes for the strangest Barbie concept pack, probably ever produced?

How do you think this effected the minds of little girls? My guess? Not for the better.