Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Food for Thought

Going Down in Flames, Thanks Guys!!!: Hyper-agressive, Hyper-sexualized: the American Black Man

Check out Top Chef's blog post for today. It's something that I've thought about, but never really devoted the time to converse about. Usually, I talk about things such as this with my dad, but I've been too busy. The first thing I thought when I saw the Vogue cover (besides, "I hate the Cavaliers!" of course) was, "Why is he wearing sweats?" After that, I knew I wasn't the only one to think that. However, more people were concerned with the overall image of once again, the black brute juxtaposed with the angelic white woman. The aggressive stance, the screaming face, the evidence is there. I'm interested in Vogue's and A-Dubs' (Anna Wintour) response because I haven't heard any response to the tremendous amount of backlash that the cover received. It was the annual "Shape" issue which already causes a stir because of its blatant political overtones (as in, oh, see, we do care about fatties!), but the uproar was over the size of the so-called "plus-size" models, not the cover. That alone speaks volumes; the fact that no one (read: the masses, read: the non-black masses) don't care/see the issue that the cover raises, which means that it is an acceptable image to see a roaring black man in sweats holding onto a sweet-faced white model in a designer gown. And therein lies the problem. Again, my question is this, why hasn't Vogue, LeBron, or Gisele said anything more concrete? Perhaps they weren't expecting the uproar over the cover, in sort of a "wtf? we put a black guy on the cover? isn't that enough?" way. Perhaps that's the case, but a statement nonetheless is appropriate in this case. In the words of dear Cali Girl, "silence is violence." No one saying anything, Vogue in particular, indicates, to me, at least, that they don't care enough to at least acknowledge the stir the cover caused, or even that they are willing to admit that they see where the throngs of complaints are coming from. Maybe that was the magazine's intention. Maybe they knew exactly what they were doing with the image, which is why they've been so tight-lipped. As a fair-minded person, I'd like to hear Wintour's side of the story. An apology or statement would indicate that the complaints aren't going unnoticed, at least.

I did a little preliminary digging, and found some Vogue spokeperson saying that the shot was fun, energetic, and upbeat. I kind of want to slap her. James said he was just showing a little emotion, who cares what anyone thinks? (And that is why I hate Ohio. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'll stay on topic).

My personal opinion is that the cover is, admittedly, a little much, and although I'm not too worked up about it, I can see why there's controversy. I did do a *side eye* when I saw the cover because to not, in this racially-charged society, question (at least a little) the possible implications of such a picture would be naive of me.

Later, I will dedicate another post to more lighthearted fare like eyebrow waxing, the Boy, and the A- that I got on my Shakespeare midterm (score, right?!). But now's not the time. Stay tuned, though; Lucky's gotten herself a bit worked up about various things, and that doesn't bode well for anyone involved...

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