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Mona Bethke

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It’s cyclical…and we’re back to it

Check out the Magazine Article!

Double speak while repeating a practice that has been prevalent since about 1441, however it became quite common in theater in the early 1800’s and in film in the 1930’s. So, fast forward to 2013…

It isn’t like the advertising industry (print/Internet) has not been actively altering the level of “black” in their models (check out the image of Beyonce), but honestly, I can’t say I saw this coming!

beyonce2_500x375

I think I’m more incensed by the photographer calling this art and avowing the intention was not to offend:
“I would like to apologize for any misunderstanding around my recent photos for Numero France. It was never my intention (nor Numero’s) to portray a black woman in this story. Our idea and concept for this fashion shoot was based on 60’s characters of Talitha Getty, Verushka and Marisa Berenson with middle eastern and Moroccan fashion inspiration. We at no point attempted to portray an African women by painting her skin black. We wanted a tanned and golden skin to be showcased as part of the beauty aesthetic of this shoot.”

So, in essence his explanation is that he wasn’t intending to have a white woman portray a black woman, he was intending to have a white woman portray a Middle Eastern/Moroccan woman. So much better?

The magazine’s comment:
“The artistic statement of the photographer Sebastian Kim, author of this editorial, is in line with his previous photographic creations, which insist on the melting pot and the mix of cultures, the exact opposite of any skin color based discrimination.”

Way to to try and drag your ass out of the flames!

Oh and by the way, this is not the first offense…here you go…

“Klassen wrote in the Daily Beast, “. . . this isn¹t the magazine’s first racial offense. In 2010, it used Caucasian model Constance Jablonski to portray an African mother in an editorial spread, complete with Afro and dark face paint, posing with a black baby in a field of wheat.”

This is not over by a long stretch…

A poem from my book, “Rejecting 18 Square Feet” that has just been released!

Final Final FrontClick here to purchase!

Who Is That Girl?

I’m never that girl that totally fits in
even though daddy makes me listen
to stories about negro struggles
and how my light skin
will be my salvation
keeping me from ghetto starvation
I won’t be a stereotype
far away from the black struggle hype

I’m never that girl with a reflection
of straight blonde hair
flowing through bristle brushes
I have thistles that look like
licorice whips hanging from eager lips
unless momma braids it too tight
and makes my cheekbones stand out
showing my heritage as other than white

I’m never that girl
okay that’s not true

I’m always that girl
tryin’ to fit in
hittin’ the store for lye
to unkink my hair
so I can lie
about being bothered by stares
because the flare of my nose
gives away how far from white I am

I’m always that girl
with a great tan
year round caramel candy
watchin’ the other girls
frying in the sun
to catch up
and get a topcoat on winter white
while I fight to shed the sun

I’m always that girl
playin’ Russian Roulette
with daddy’s threats
that a black man in my life
will banish me from family life
with a black man in my life
away from my daddy’s
blackness and white wife

I’m always that girl
a buddy with the guys
rather than sneaking a kiss
behind the gym
because I don’t fit in
with the pretty girls
that don’t have to embrace
a chemical infusion

I’m always that girl
feeling like I’m a walking sin
because I’m brown skinned
my ancestry is
in another world
in another place
in another time
I’m expected to jump the line
and be a unique looking white girl

I’m always that girl
okay that’s not true

I’m never that girl
on the cover of a magazine
even though my eyes are green
and my hair is light
I’m still in the fight
cause my color’s not right
you know not enough white
to appeal to the masses

I’m never that girl
who can fill out a form
that asks for my race
and check one box
that doesn’t say other
sitting in the middle of two cultures
carrion for the vultures
that won’t let me define myself

I’m never that girl
okay that’s not true

I’m always that girl
that begs momma to
relax and color my hair
so I can be like my friends
when looking in the mirror
and have that Farrah Fawcett wings on the side look
and have that golden blond Marilyn Monroe shine look
and have that bone straight flat iron look
and have that hair blowin’ in the wind look
and have that I could be a model look

I’m always that girl
okay that’s not true

I’m never that girl
that embraces her natural self
and runs fingers through kinky hair
getting stuck in nappy knots
laughing a lot because now
I have that Angela Davis revolutionary look
I have that yellow halo like I’m a goddess look
I have that threw my flat iron in the trash look
I have that hair cradling my smiling face look
I have that don’t need to be validated by a man look

I’m always that girl
struggling to undo the teachings
of a man ashamed of his own skin

I’m never that girl
that thinks she’s beautiful
because her reflection sees color

I’m always that girl
and I’m never that girl
©R.MonaLeza

2 thoughts on “It’s cyclical…and we’re back to it”
  1. Tasagi Designs March 5, 2013 on 2:14 PM

    please sign the petition to stop racism, see my post and link to petition here:
    http://tasagi.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/truth-is-stranger-than-fiction-help-stop-racism/

  2. Tasagi Designs March 5, 2013 on 2:14 PM

    P.S. Great poem!!

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