Celebrity Weight and the lies that fuel our disordered eating

Caution: This post contains lots of pictures of me in a bikini.

 

 

I Google everything— although these days Google is irritating me with their invasive policies—and my dirty secret is that I sometimes Google celebrity weights, because you know, I want to know what 120lbs on 5’3″ frame would look like. This week I have been obsessed with my own weight as I have gained several pounds and so I have been Googling celebrities who I think should weigh about the same as I do.

Who tell me do dat?

The madness follows…

I have used photos of my own body because I know what size I am and I can verify my own weight.

Since I know my own weight and height let’s compare things that are known to…the patently crazy things that Hollywood would have us believe.

 

Here I am at 5’3 (160cm) weighing in at 116lbs (I was actually ill and had lost tons of weight)

116lbs

 

Now here is Alicia Keys who according to several sources (note I did not say reliable sources) allegedly weighs in at 122lbs on her 5′ 6″ frame

Right, so according to Hollywood people Alicia is 3 inches taller than me, weighs a mere six pounds more and yet…

Here I am four months after giving birth to my son with 141 lbs on my 5′ 3″ frame, allegedly 19lbs heavier than Alicia in that image… still looking smaller than Alicia (who looks hot)

141lbs

141lbs

 

Now here is Paula Patton who it is reported carries a mere 115lbs on her 5′ 4″

Don't get distracted by her hot husband Robin Thicke

Don't get distracted by her hot husband Robin Thicke

and here I am carrying 120 lbs on my 5″3′ frame

120lbs

 

Beyoncé who allegedly weighs in at 128lbs on her 5′ 3″ frame

 

Me carrying 125lbs on my 5’3″ frame

and here I am at 131lbs 

131 lbs

 

 

and here is Christina Aguilera who is reported to weigh 140 lbs on her 5’1″ frame… No National Enquirer, I don”t believe she is 175lbs either.

Nicki Minaj who allegedly weighs 140 lbs and stands at 5’4″

 

And here I am with 133lbs on my frame, taken today.

133lbs

 

 

conclusion DO NOT Google celebrity weights. If you don’t already have a complex these lies will give you one.

 

Don’t compare yourself to the lies that Hollywood is selling.

 

 

Nubienne gets the artistic treatment

Wow, what a wonderful surprise! Today I got an email from Scott Hamilton informing me that he’d drawn my portrait… ummm what? I have no recollection of sitting for a portrait. Scott had in fact drawn my portrait from my profile picture, an image that I love. I am honoured to have been a part of this artist’s 100 faces project and you can check out his blog here and his facebook page here.

 

Thanks again artboy68!

"Beautiful Nubienne" ©Scott Hamilton (artboy68) 2012

Black like Barbie and Me

*Updated to include the lastest images and designer credits.

 

When I was a child my mom searched high and low to get me dolls that looked like me–my parents we very black conscious—but even as they found black Barbies, way back in the late 70s black Barbie had dark(ish) skin but always, always the Barbie I got had the inevitable waist length, swishy straight hair.

Vintage Barbie

I grew up believing that Barbie was the ideal beauty and that black was indeed beautiful but only if black was simply white with black skin. I coveted long straight hair that I could brush like I brushed Barbie’s and when I was six I got my first relaxer and I was thrilled, I brushed it and I swished it and I felt beautiful. When I was nine I was almost bald from the chemicals and had to have my dry, broken hair cut to near army specifications.  When it grew to an inch or so I was told that I would finally be able to get another chemical, the Jheri Curl. My mother and her hairdresser told me that this was the only way that they’d be able to “manage” my thick, kinky hair and I believed, trusted, that eventually I’d get my hair back to Barbie’s length and texture. Even though I had long since given up my Barbie dolls I desperately wanted to be considered beautiful, and so without thinking about it I began my quest for perfect, acceptable hair, for Barbie hair.

Barbie’s hair was straight, it was long, it was brush-able and it was pretty when I heard other girls speak of what was pretty  they often said “oh, her hair is so pretty, just like a dolly” I was indoctrinated and I didn’t even know it. I was 17 when I finally ditched my obsession with straight hair and embraced my kinky, nappy hair but it has been a struggle in the years since because society still places a premium on straight (or not kinky) hair and the process of indoctrination starts before we are even aware such things are affecting our young girls.

A few years ago Barbie got a makeover, her DD breasts (implants I think) were scaled back to a reasonable size and she got a little thicker in the middle (thank goodness because that 18″ waist was freaking me out) she acquired several black friends  in the forms of Kara, Grace, Chandra and Trichelle but even as she got a little soul, Barbie’s long hair still flowed straight down her back and little girls who were black like me still coveted her tresses. We had bought into the fiction that Barbie was selling, that long straight hair was beauty and that if we could pretend that it was growing out of our heads like Barbie that was even better. The mainstream black hair industry is built on this fiction and some of those little girls from my youth had grown up and were making the weave shops happy with the results of unaddressed indoctrination.

Warning! This video is Not Safe For Work (Language)

Well, now that we all feel a little dirty, I will say that I applaud Mattel’s efforts to make Barbies that actually look like black women although I remain disappointed that they are all apparently addicted to weave like liquored-up West Coast socialites. What to do about the issue? I recently decided to make a Barbie that I wished I had when I was five, Barbie with kinky hair almost like mine, with inky black skin like mine and with clothing and accessories that didn’t look like she’d just left the set of a Lil’ Wayne video.

Here she is straight out of the box with her swishy long hair

Before

and here she is with her pipe cleaner curlers

and with the curls

and finally with her new, fierce ‘fro  and wearing a one-shouldered shibori top and pearls.

After!

 

 

Kara is wearing Alexis Campbell Resort Wear 2012 Photo Credit: Risée Chaderton 2012

 

Chandra's hair by Hajar Mohammed of Hapi Loc Groomers and her outfit is by Ayeba Asher Photo Credit: Risée Chaderton

somebody is going to love her birthday gift!

Credits:

Alexis Campbell – clothing and accessories,

Christine Kumchy – Shibori  fabric (shirt)

*Ayeba Asher – Traditional African Clothing Designer

Leigh Weatherhead- Principal doll stylist

Adrian Charles: Lighting Assistant

Risée Chaderton – Photography, hair and styling

Liming in Puerto Rico with Liat

 Last year, I had the opportunity to go shopping in Puerto Rico, whoo hoo! Article and images below with a link to Zing Magazine where the story appeared this month.

 

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The Caribbean is often a mish-mash of culture, of peoples and of experiences, and our neighbour in the north, Puerto Rico, is no different; She shares her history with Spanish conquistadors, with Amerindian peoples and with African slaves almost equally, and yet her inextricable link to the United States is often her defining characteristic. 
In 1493 when Columbus made his second voyage to the Caribbean and Puerto Rico was one of the islands he claimed in the name of the Spanish crown. The Amerindian people he found there, the Taino, were enslaved and in the end nearly exterminated. But, as with many Caribbean people, the story of the original inhabitants of the island still lives on in the hearts and minds of many Puerto Ricans. 

Pigeon handler at Capella del Cristo- Old San Juan © Risée Chaderton 2011

Today this island is filled with modern sky-rises set against a backdrop of verdant tropical expression. From majestic mountain ranges and tropical forests in the centre of the island, to coral stone caves and wide expanses of sandy beaches along the coasts, Puerto Rico has a little of everything. 

The rich history of the island can be seen in Old San Juan in the blue cobblestoned streets and Spanish forts, and in the Taino petroglyphs that can be found in the mountains of El Yunque National Rainfrorest. Many people visit Puerto Rico for its rich and diverse history – but they are also tempted by its varied shopping options. 

Closer than Miami, and with excellent and affordable accommodation choices, it is an easy decision to take a quick flight to San Juan in order to shop until you drop at one of the many large malls. 

Plaza Las Americas is one of the largest malls in the region, and with shopping options ranging from Abercrombie and Fitch to Macy’s and Charlotte Russe, bumping into a Caribbean neighbour, arms loaded with shopping bags, isn’t such an usual thing. 

 

San José Church - Iglesia San José © Risée Chaderton 2011

Carolina Mall has a much smaller variety of stores but remains at the top of the heap for many bargain-hunting fashionistas. Savvy shoppers will be happy with the choices: high-fashion Mango with its designer line and sleek store; Best Buy and Radio Shack for the techies; Aldo for shoppers with a shoe fetish; American Eagle Outfitters for the rugged but stylish, and G by Guess. And if all that shopping works up an appetite, the variety of food is astounding, from Pizza Hut pizza to Japanese teriyaki chicken, my favourite stop was Strawberry farms, with its homemade cookies and chocolate-dipped everything. Bags, shoes, make-up, food and accessories can easily create a credit card crisis during a casual stroll through this mall! 

Once your shopping is complete, LIAT has partnered with Cargo Solutions International located in Barbados to help you get your purchases home without the hassle of overweight fees. They even help you make an informed choice between barrels or durable containers, depending on your budget, and offer a pick-up service from your hotel.

the wide expanse of Carolinas beach © Risée Chaderton 2011

 

If you want a hint of culture to spice up your shopping trip make your way to Old San Juan, where the architecture will take you back a hundred years, and the juxtaposition of Ralph Lauren and jalousied windows somehow makes perfect sense and where the best food is often found by abandoning your tour guide and following the locals. The best breakfast I had during my time in the city was in a tiny café where no one spoke English. Here I was served mouth-watering fresh orange juice, home made bread and coffee potent enough to impress any aficionado. 

James Larkins of The Parrot Club © Risée Chaderton 2011

 

The city is more than five hundred years old and its history as a military fortification is evident in every stone. The streets are paved with a unique blue brick that lends an air of artistry to the city. Its brilliant blue colour is a residue left by the iron baked into the clay. Many stories tell of the bricks being brought to Puerto Rico as ballast on the ships of the Spanish, but most Puerto Ricans disavow that tale, telling instead a more likely story of English foundries, iron kilns and a desire to maintain the historic value of a city as well as a little old-fashioned mystery. The city’s architectural integrity is maintained by strict town and country planning laws that restrict the type of new buildings that can be erected. This ensures that the city remains beautifully enshrined in its historically accurate mask even as the people evolve and flow through it like a tide. Old San Juan was founded in the early 15th Century as a military site used to defend the island from many who came after Columbus and tried to claim her.

The gates of Old San Juan © Risée Chaderton 2011

Even today most of the protective walls remain, and the main fort, Fort San Cristobal, rises like a sentinel in the East, silent and insurmountable. Monuments to Christopher Columbus are numerous on the island, despite the fact that many Puerto Ricans seem ambivalent or mildly irritated by the mention of the Genoese sailor.  James Larkins, a resident of Old San Juan, described the dichotomy this way: ‘Puerto Rico is a country of contrast and controversy. Many people are not very happy about Christopher Columbus,’ he shrugs, ‘but the statue is still there.’ In the shadow of that statue in Plaza De Cólon you will find local craftspeople selling jewellery made of sea shells, clay beads and bone, wooden mortar and pestles. It is one of the few places I visited where I was able to see indigenous art—in the shadow of Columbus. 

Gates of Old San Juan in the morning © Risée Chaderton 2011

Puerto Rico is historically rich, culturally vibrant and visually stunning, and it is certainly a shopping stop not to be missed.

 

Risée liming on the street in Old San Juan— I'm working, I swear!

No, that wasn’t funny, that was racist.

I received a FWD in my inbox today, I don’t often get forwards as I have my spam filters set to block them but somehow this one got through. It was titled “Funnies” and it was peppered with racist, anti-islamic and anti-immigrant humour, it wasn’t at all funny.

It was sent to me by someone who would never consider themselves racist, who would be horrified by such a charge and yet this is precisely how racism grows and is spread, we don’t think, and by not thinking we perpetuate stereotypes and feed racism . Here is a link to an excellent article on stereotyping and why we sometimes laugh at racist jokes and I have posted my response to the forwarded email below.

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“The Red Cross just knocked on my door and asked if we could contribute towards the floods in Pakistan. I said we’d love to, but our garden hose only reaches to the driveway”

I was devastated to find out my wife was having an affair but, by turning to religion, I was soon able to come to terms with the whole the thing.

I converted to Islam, and we’re stoning her in the morning!

Question – Are there too many immigrants in Britain ?
17% said yes;
11% said No;
72% said “I am not understanding the question please.”

“There’s a new Muslim clothing shop that opened in our shopping center, but  they threw me out after I asked if I could look at some of the bomber jackets.”—

Dear….,

This one in particular hurts, insert any of our Caribbean countries or people instead of Pakistan, it’s the same thing. I know you didn’t think too hard about these “jokes” but I was deeply upset when I saw them. Dehumanising people who are not like us through popular “jokes” are the actions that make it easy to act in racist ways, these types of actions, when directed at black people- President Obama as a witch doctor or as a dreadlocked, weed smoking drug dealer- offend us greatly and with justification, we cannot stand by and do the same thing to Indians and Muslims.

When I visited England to stay with my ex’s parents this was precisely the kind of thing his family found funny and I was told racist things like this on more than one occasion. Regarding immigrants in England I was told “this is a white country you know” all this said while I held my little brown half-English baby in my arms.

We cringe (or at least I cringe) when I hear of Iraqi civillians dead from the war, mothers, children, sisters, brothers, babies I cringe because I see my own family in their faces, they are human, with human wants, human needs and human loves, when we help spread the belief that Muslims and Pakistanis are not human, that they “sell bomber jackets” implying that they are all terrorists, or that the way to “help” flood victims in Pakistan would be to add water presumably so more Pakistanis can die we reduce their humanity and make it easier to accept the atrocities committed against them.

These are the same tactics used against black people in the early twentieth Century and still in play today, all the mockery, the coonery, the “humour” about black pickanninies stealing chicken and eating watermelon, the blackface, the “jokes” about black people living on welfare, or having multiple babies by multiple fathers, about our women being overly sexual-a charge often still leveled at young black victims of sexual assault in the media and in popular culture- all of that desensitised a nation so that when pregnant Mary Turner was strung from a tree by her ankles, burned and disemboweled and her foetus stomped on no one was prosecuted, no one was charged, few people even remember and even fewer care.

“Snow White and de Sebben Dwarves” featuring the over sexualisation of black women and the Mammy caricature, it also portrays us as stupid, uneducated and more interested in money, sex and bling than in self improvement…sound familiar?

I took the time to write all this because I love you, because this hurts, because I can see some unthinking person saying these things about my brown, vaguely Arab/Muslim-looking child and mostly because it matters that we brown people not fall into the traps set for us by white supremacist culture.

Here are some “jokes” about us from around the web, I don’t find them funny and essentially they are the same thing.
BLACK:
1.Q:why are black peoples nostrils so big?
A:because thats what GOD held them by when he was painting them.
2.Q:what do you get when you search for the word baboon from the dictionary?
A:a picture of Robert Mugabe.
3.Q: What is black, purple,and yellow?
A: A black person goin to church.

4.Q: What do you call a black guy who goes to college?
A: A Basketball player.

5.Q: What does it mean when you see a bunch of blacks running in one direction?
A: Jail break

6.Q: Why do black men have bigger manlinesses than white men?
A: Because as kids white men had toys to play with

7.Q: What does FUBU really stand for?
A: Farmers used to buy us.

8.Q: Did you hear about the black who died yesterday on Rt. 80?
A: He stuck his head out of the window at 100 mph and his lips beat him to death!

9.Q: What do you call 400 black people swiming in a river?
A: An oil spill

http://www.authentichistory.com/diversity/african/3-coon/5-chickwatermelon/index.html  A really good link about racism in popular culture. I’ve also attached some images that were considered both amusing and appropriate when they were released.
love…
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