Beyond Black & White » Christelyn Karazin http://www.beyondblackwhite.com Chronicles, Musings and Debates about Interracial & Intercultural Relationships Tue, 03 Mar 2015 16:06:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Leona’s Love Quest : “Sheezus, It’s Hard Out Here for a B*tch!” http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/leonas-love-quest-sheezus-its-hard-out-here-for-a-btch/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/leonas-love-quest-sheezus-its-hard-out-here-for-a-btch/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 15:50:41 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=36353   If you’ve never heard of British pop singer, Lily Allen you might want to check her out. Her songs are catchy, topical and normally quite humorous. About a year ago she received some criticism over her depiction of black female dancers in this satirical video as promotion for a single from her latest album, […]

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If you’ve never heard of British pop singer, Lily Allen you might want to check her out. Her songs are catchy, topical and normally quite humorous. About a year ago she received some criticism over her depiction of black female dancers in this satirical video as promotion for a single from her latest album, Sheezus. I began thinking about Allen’s feminist video again in the aftermath of Kayne’s latest asinine antics. The problem that critics had with Allen’s “Hard out Here” video is that it is impossible to make this kind of sexism look any more ridiculous. (Funny how most critics have let rap music videos with hyper-sexualized images of black women go largely unchecked for decades, but I digress.) No matter how hard it is being a female pop singer on TV, it pales in comparison to working against these awful stereotypes of black women in the real world.

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Let me get real here for a moment, it’s not like we don’t know how the media comes up with some of these negative images of black women. Back before the Northeastern part of the country was being held hostage by a polar vortex, I had stopped for gas in my neighborhood and I couldn’t help but overhear the conversation this ABW was having on her phone. I couldn’t help but overhear because she was swearing like a sailor telling her “baby daddy” that he wasn’t shit and wasn’t ever going to be shit. She was precisely the eye-rolling stereotype with a bad attitude that any reality show could ask for. I’m sure these are the kinds of black women that all of the hipsters in my newly gentrified neighborhood are noticing, not me, the self-respecting, middle-class black woman quietly pumping gas in my car. All I could think about was Wanda Sykes’ bit about her dignified black mother telling her that, “White people are looking at you!”

Perhaps my presence has gotten a little more notice since I created a fan page for Leona’s Love Quest. I’ve been spending hours combing the internet in search of some positive news to share with my fellow “dignified” black women. One encouraging trend is that the hourglass figure seems to be making a comeback in a major way. It was a long time coming with the popularity of Beyoncé, J-Lo and Sofia Vergara. Now it seems like every Hollywood starlet on the red carpet has been trying to jump on the bootylicious bandwagon. Unless there is some new kind of magic that targets fat loss from around your waist and moves it directly to your ass, some of these women have enhance their figures artificially- and this includes some of us black women! I’ve been following the fan page for Black Women Losing Weight, which frequently features black women who have sometimes 100 pounds or more, accompanied by their “before” and “after” photos. However, I’ve noticed that curvy women with a very small waist compared to their bust and hips will get a lot of praise. A black woman with a straight or athletic build will most likely get at least a few comments telling her that she is getting too thin and needs to stop losing weight.

So let me get this straight. If I lose weight and my figure doesn’t look like this:

Sensual Afro American woman in jeans undressing

It’s because I’m trying too hard to look like this:

Twiggy Models Her Own Line

OK, sure. I may have to sacrifice a little bit of curve if I shed a few pounds, but it’s not like I can create ones that were never there. Oh well, moving on.

One of the articles I shared on my fan page from Buzzfeed, How I Rebuilt Tinder And Discovered The Shameful Secret Of Attraction by Anne Helen Petersen, showed that a fabricated profile of a black-ish woman received the highest number of swiped “yes” ratings with an 89% swipe! The majority of users identified her as either “mixed race” (48%) or black (40%). Yay!!!

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I almost felt good about that until her results were compared with another woman whose race was undeniably identified as black (97%) and received only a 43% swipe-yes rate:

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Surely there are additional differences between the two women to be taken into account here, but these results do suggest that many men are still using stereotypes or the paper bag test as the measure of a black woman’s attractiveness. Personally, I’m still wondering why my mystical, high-yellow, man-magnet powers have never kicked in. I suppose I am also too identifiable as black.

Of course, this experiment doesn’t address the ageism any woman over 30 has to deal with. Christian Rudder’s research revealed in his book Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking) that, “For every 100 men interested in that 20-year-old, there are only nine looking for someone 30 years older.” So if you’re over 30 and not interested in settling down with a man nearing retirement, you might just be shit out of luck if you’re looking online. Not even white women get a pass for this one. Not long ago Interracial Dating featured a very attractive blond woman in one of their ads who was may have been approaching 40, (Dang, I wish I bookmarked that photo!) and I didn’t have to scroll down very far before I saw the comment, “She looks old.” I mean damn! Did he think every photo this company chose to use was supposed to be catered to his personal preferences? I guess if he had his way, every single woman over the age of 30 should just roll over and die. Plus, I know I am not the only woman who tried interracial dating websites like these only to find her inbox flooded with emails from black men or non-black men who were all about living that thug life with their black queen by their side because DBR still comes in all colors.

The truth is Beyond Black and White is a safe haven for most of us. I didn’t even realize the necessity for a community like this until I found it. There is a level of support here for black women of all age ranges and viewpoints so long as we can agree to disagree. So if by now some of you were thinking, “Damn Leona! What happened to your positive, upbeat perspective you gained at Matthew Hussey’s retreat?” don’t worry; I’m still hanging on to it.  I only want to acknowledge that a lot of us here have been putting in the work; we’re keeping our options open, getting healthy, becoming our best selves and at times it doesn’t feel like we’re making one damn bit of difference.  Even my attempts at self-improvement have a funny way of making me focus on my shortcomings when I fail to adhere to my rituals. Creating change isn’t easy, especially when I am constantly being bombarded with new standards, statistics, or evidence that keeps trying to make me feel “less than.” Just read this comment in response to a recent article about white privilege in the New York Times:

I graduated from engineering school at that same time as a fellow student who is black. Our grades were about the same, she’s a great person and a pleasure to work with (we did a couple of demanding projects and presentations together as students), very smart, very personable, very polished, and quite good-looking. After graduation we went out job hunting for the same kinds of jobs with companies of roughly the same size. I’ve always felt that we were equally good engineers, but that she’s much calmer than I am and that she’s probably easier to be around day after day. I was offered a job after every interview, while it took almost a year for her to receive an offer. I never worried about how my blue eyes and light brown hair might be perceived when I arrived for an interview with yet another all-white firm, but I know she thought each time about the reactions she might get. This was to me a very clear example of how people are given advantages or held back by the biases of others. 

I say we take some time to air our grievances without letting it defeat us. Self-love may be the only key to rising above all the negativity out there, but it’s not keeping me very warm during these cold, winter nights we’ve been having in the Northeast. Do you need a moment to vent? If so, I am here for you and I’m giving you full permission. It is hard out here for a bitch, Lily Allen, and it’s even harder for a high-quality black woman.

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Issa Rae, Jacque Reid and Others Talk Interracial Relationships on “Nightly Show” http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/issa-rae-jacque-reid-and-others-talk-interracial-relationships-on-nightly-show/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/issa-rae-jacque-reid-and-others-talk-interracial-relationships-on-nightly-show/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 17:02:38 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=36336 A section of the Nightly Show featuring Issa Rae, Jacque Reid, Christina Greer, and Marina Franklin where the host and women discussed interracial relationships was brought to my attention, and I think it’s worth the discussion. Full disclosure: I personally know Jacque Reid and Issa Rae, both amazing and dynamic women. At around 8:50 host […]

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A section of the Nightly Show featuring Issa Rae, Jacque Reid, Christina Greer, and Marina Franklin where the host and women discussed interracial relationships was brought to my attention, and I think it’s worth the discussion. Full disclosure: I personally know Jacque Reid and Issa Rae, both amazing and dynamic women.

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At around 8:50 host Larry Wilmore broaches the subject of interracial dating and the unique issues black women in America face doing it. Issa was first, and talked about how black women were at the bottom of the barrel, and that made me really sad. Issa, with all her beauty, talent and success shouldn’t be at the bottom of anyone’s barrel. We may think things like like this are harmless, but they’re not. Repeating the toxicity of what others use to kill our spirits on a world platform does ripples of damage that I don’t think we really understand.

Then it was Jacque’s turn. I liked her practical take on dating, and respected her commitment not to compromise her standards. Maria, the comedian was funny and unapologetic about her younger white boyfriend. Christina, the only woman on the panel who was married (and to a black man) did the typical, “good black men are out there,” and “good black men aren’t unicorns” platitudes. I really wish happily married black women would be more supportive about encouraging black women to date and/or marry the best man for the job, instead of perpetuating the increasingly unreasonable “black love” fairy tale. Sister, you’re married and happy…why can’t you fist-bump those of us to find the same happiness, but in a different package? Just be honest about how hard it is for “black love,” and give the permission black women *think* they need to date who the hell they want to.

What’s your take?

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Kid Rock (Crudely) Highlights How Preferences Can Change Over Time http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/kid-rock-crudely-highlights-how-preferences-can-change-over-time/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/kid-rock-crudely-highlights-how-preferences-can-change-over-time/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:10:21 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=36297 Kid Rock is seriously spreading some haterade towards Beyonce, with his recent criticism of her success and openly wonders how she can be so big without a “Sweet Home Alabama,” or “Purple Rain.” One could discount this to mere professional jealousy, considering that Beyonce and Jay Z are about the most successful artists on the […]

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Kid Rock is seriously spreading some haterade towards Beyonce, with his recent criticism of her success and openly wonders how she can be so big without a “Sweet Home Alabama,” or “Purple Rain.” One could discount this to mere professional jealousy, considering that Beyonce and Jay Z are about the most successful artists on the planet, and Kid is…well…where he is.

But a below the belt comments about Beyonce’s race and body type gave me pause. He said, “People are like, ‘Beyoncé’s hot. Got a nice f-cking a–.’ I’m like, ‘Cool, I like skinny white chicks with big t-ts.’ Doesn’t really f-cking do much for me.” Serious question: does Rolling Stone get these guys wasted before interviews?

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Kid Rock was married to Pamela Anderson for about five minutes.

That’s cool. Skinny white chicks with big bobs (a la Pamela Anderson) obviously have their appeal. However, there was a point when Kid Rock was loving him a black woman by the name of Kelly South Russell so much that he made a kid and wrote a song about her, “Black Chick, White Guy.”

Well, got give him cool points for being a present father, however. His son goes with him everywhere, and he has primary custody. He almost looks old enough to go out with Dad on the prowl for skinny white chicks with big boobs!

It’s okay, Kid. I get it. I once had a preference for tall black men. Now I’m all about the vanilla. Still like ‘em tall, though…

Preferences aside, all the family drama 
all seems kind of…well…not great. Turns out the now 22 year-old progeny of the Kid just made him a grandfather with his girlfriend. Does Trojan not sell condoms in Michigan?

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Matthew Hussey: Five Signs You’re Dating a Toxic Person http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/matthew-hussey-five-signs-youre-dating-toxic-person/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/matthew-hussey-five-signs-youre-dating-toxic-person/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 18:59:56 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=36294 Sometimes, we know the person whom we’re dating is wrong for us. That little voice inside tells us something is wrong, and we often second guess it, or outright ignore it. I love the points my friend, Matthew Hussey, has put together. Take a look…   Here’s also my rule: If the man or woman […]

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Sometimes, we know the person whom we’re dating is wrong for us. That little voice inside tells us something is wrong, and we often second guess it, or outright ignore it. I love the points my friend, Matthew Hussey, has put together. Take a look…

 

Here’s also my rule: If the man or woman you’re seeing doesn’t make you feel good about yourself, you need to end it. Relationships aren’t supposed to be a constant struggle and a constant hardship. If your partner makes you feel bad more than he makes you feel good, then it’s time to reassess how healthy your relationship is.

If you haven’t yet peeped Matthew Hussey’s online video relationship tutorials, you’re missing out. Like I always say…I wish I’d had this priceless knowledge when I was single…it would have saved me a lot of heartache! Click here to learn more.

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Home Made Detangler and Shine Enhancer…Apple Cider Vinegar!! http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/home-made-detangler-shine-enhancer-apple-cider-vinegar/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/home-made-detangler-shine-enhancer-apple-cider-vinegar/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 05:30:23 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=36291 For the first time in my life, I am completely, head over heals, sprung on my hair. And falling in love with my hair has been a journey in acceptance, wonder, and chemistry. I’ve learned what ingredients my hair likes, and how certain things work towards giving me a certain effect. One thing I have […]

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hair

For the first time in my life, I am completely, head over heals, sprung on my hair. And falling in love with my hair has been a journey in acceptance, wonder, and chemistry. I’ve learned what ingredients my hair likes, and how certain things work towards giving me a certain effect.

One thing I have learned is that the scalp like to be slightly acidic. And after a wash, kinky hair detangles really well with one part apple cider vinegar and two parts distilled water.

So why does it work? According to the book, The Science of Black Hair, apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a “highly acidic liquid that helps smooth and contract the hair’s cuticles to greatly improve shine and manageability.

So here’s how I use it: Wash and deep condition, and then BEFORE I put in my leave in conditioner, I spray the ACV and then let it sit in my hair before I manipulate it. I usually cover it with a towel for about 10 minutes. Your hair will be unbelievable soft and manageable thereafter.

What natural products are you using on your hair these days?

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Mark Jacobs Knows Pink…with “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang!” http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/mark-jacobs-knows-pink-kiss-kiss-bang-bang/ http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/mark-jacobs-knows-pink-kiss-kiss-bang-bang/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 05:11:23 +0000 http://www.beyondblackwhite.com/?p=36282   I have a love/hate relationship with pinks and reds. If the undertones are too blue or purple, I look ridiculous. If the pink is too pale, I’ll look like a chalky mess. So when I find a color I love, I’m gonna tell you about it! I got a sample of Marc Jacobs’ version […]

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I have a love/hate relationship with pinks and reds. If the undertones are too blue or purple, I look ridiculous. If the pink is too pale, I’ll look like a chalky mess. So when I find a color I love, I’m gonna tell you about it!

I got a sample of Marc Jacobs’ version of pale pink (at least it’s pale for us chocolate girls!) when I cashed in on all my Sephora points. First thing I noticed upon applying was the pigment…they are NOT playing! It goes on rich…really rich. What you see is not even applied in full force…I dappled…

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What you see above is often deemed un-doable for us dark ladies…blue eye shadow and pale pink lipstick. Nah…hunny…both can work! Not to mention, pink blush…

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Get the look…

 

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Marc Jacobs, $30 at Sephora

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The blue I’m wearing is “Night Sky” from stila. I’ve had the entire palette for years…it’s amazing…long lasting, gold undertones so the colors don’t look ashen on dark skin. This is a must-have. You get this, you won’t really need another every-day shadow kit. It’s on sale right now for $20. Get. It.

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