chanel iman & a$ap rocky for vogue


these pictures are pure perfection, and i love that a$ap defies the hard core rapper stereotype.  his gold grill makes the shoot more authentic and chanel is giving LIFE in each pose.

p.s. it seems anna wintour is allowing a bit more diversity in vogue these days as not only are the couple included in this month’s prized september issue, but three models of color grace the cover.  there’s also a dope article about shayne oliver of hood by air. but then again the recently published a piece about big butts being all the rage (as if this was just invented as a trend), and well…

is natural hair only for black women or nah?

natural hair blog curly nikki has been in the natural hair game for a minute. helping to build the natural hair movement, both the website and its founder, nikki walton, have increasingly gained national attention over the past few years. writer jamilah lemieux fired shots at the popular blog last week after it featured a white woman’s natural hair journey (pictured below) on its website. Curly Nikki

in an article titled “white women on #teamnatural?” no thanks,” jamilah stated:

community is important.  black spaces are important, and in the era of self-proclaimed “new blacks” and the gentrification of both black popular culture and neighborhoods, they are increasingly rare. so when the sacred sanctity of black girl space was violated via the inclusion of a white woman on a natural hair blog, it should come as no surprise that a number of people were disappointed. and i’ll admit, i was one of them.

throughout her opinion piece, jamilah was very unapologetic about advocating for spaces uniquely for black women.  she goes on to speak about the commodification of the natural hair movement and cultural appropriation writ large.

not surprising, nikki walton responded on her site; here’s an excerpt:

now, unless you’ve been in the natural hair game for less than 15 minutes, you know this whole argument is old as hell. i’ve come down clearly on the side of inclusion before.  the reasons are simple, but i’ll state them again. success in the natural hair movement is defined by the total acceptance of our hair by ourselves, and then ultimately, others.  i and other bloggers have been working hard to make the natural hair movement popular. it’s obvious now that our impact on the hair care industry and popular culture has been tremendous. generally, this has led to good outcomes like a crap load more product options, and a warmer reception among friends, family and colleagues. without popularity, none of this would have been possible. however, we can’t have popularity without sacrificing privacy. is it worth the trade? hmmm…who knows. as a practical matter, what i do know, is that it is difficult to try to make something popular and accepted by not sharing it with others.

as an attorney, i’m not often neutral in arguments. in fact, i typically choose a side just to argue for sport, but this one is sticky. what say you politics and fashion family? is the term “natural hair” only for black women or nah?


pharrell apologizes for native american headdress


hip hop entertainer extraordinaire pharrell williams is arguably at the height of his success, but that doesn’t make him immune to making culturally insensitive decisions.  the entertainer is wearing a native american headdress on the cover of elle uk’s july issue for no apparent reason. the headdress which is worn by native american chiefs and warriors is sacred, but for elle uk it was used as a prop, an exotic artifact that makes the cover more “interesting.” pharrell has apologized for the cultural appropriation stating, “i respect and honor every kind of race, background and culture. i am genuinely sorry.”

do better dear heart. we’re #nothappy.

laverne cox on the cover of time magazine


laverne cox, actress and trans advocate, made history this week by being the first trans woman to grace the cover of time magazine.  in the article, the orange is the new black star discussed the trans movement, her childhood experiences and why focusing on genitalia is misguided.  check out the behind the scenes video here.

politics & fashion celebrates all women, especially those who tell their stories in the face of persecution and oppression.

lupita nyong’o people magazine’s most beautiful person of 2014


much love to lupita nyong’o for being named the most beautiful person of 2014 by people magazine. this is the first time a dark-skinned black woman has graced the cover of people’s annual 50 most beautiful people issue, and only the fourth that a woman of color has been given the honor (halle berry, beyonce and jennifer lopez).  seeing her on the cover reminds me of her words at the essence black women in hollywood event:

“…i hope my presence on your screens and in magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey: that you will feel the validation of your external beauty, but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside.  there is no shade to that beauty.”

people magazine connected lupita with alek wek, the model who lupita says changed her thoughts about how being “nigh shaded” is beautiful.  the actress stated, “when i saw alek, i inadvertently saw a reflection of myself that i could not deny.” watch the video of their discussion below: