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.

 

 

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

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.

———————————————

“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…
____________________________

Wanda, Wanda, Wanda

I wrote yesterday about Tomiko Fraser’s hair in the new Gain Fabric Softener commercial and while I was googling the other star of the commercial, Wanda Sykes, I came across these fabulous photographs of Sykes and her wife Alex.  Wanda’s hair looks fantastic and wifey’s tux would look great in my closet.

Alex gave birth to the couple’s twins in April and is looking fabulous.

Of fabric softener and kinky hair

For a few days now a Gain fabric softener commercial has been catching my eye, the ad features model/actress Tomiko Fraser with Wanda Sykes doing a delightful voiceover but the star of the ad is neither Sykes nor Fraser herself, but it is Fraser’s fabulous TWA, teeny weeny afro. It is rare to see natural hair on American television and even more rare for that hair to be tightly kinked on a dark skinned woman.

Photo credit: D'André Michael

I can’t help but have mad love for both the ad agency who conceptualised this and for Tomiko Fraser who made it look so very good.  Fraser has been sporting her natural hair for a while now and speaks candidly and publicly of her journey. I am really happy to see natural hair embraced in this way and I look forward to more black models with kinky hair gracing my TV screen and magazines in the future.

Here are some pics from her public Facebook page so you guys can see that she looks like a regular (gorgeous) woman and that her ‘fro looks fabulous even when not photographed by a pro.

Edit: Visit Gain’s Facebook page to tell them you love seeing kinky natural hair in a mainstream ad, maybe with enough positive feedback we can encourage more people to love the nap.