Amber Rose vs. The Kardashians

MyBrownBaby Fresh links to stories I was digging this week…

I’m Trying, But I Just Can’t Get with Princess Culture
Nadirah Angail for

I wish princess culture was the only issue. If so, it would be relatively easy to combat . Most girls are over princesses by their tween years. Problem solved, except it doesn’t end there. By about age twelve, princess culture is most often replaced by airbrush culture and “I’m nothing if I’m not sexy” culture and “I’ll only eat every other day so I can be waif thin” culture. This idea, that women are but a collection of poseable parts, is so pervasive and inbred that many refuse to acknowledge it. Instead, they break the internet by getting bucket naked in a “tasteful” photo shoot. Instead, they make Instagram porn and wait for the likes to roll in because, you know, it’s artistic. Instead, they Jedi mind trick you into believing it is an empowering form of feminism.

How to Get Your Fetus Ready for College
Tracy Moore for Jezebel

Here’s the thing: How you view this desperate race to the college admissions office depends on who is doing the racing and the pushing. It reads as totally obnoxious, grabby materialism when it’s coming from middle class helicopter parents, but absolutely inspiring when it comes from programs that help normalize college for demographics who don’t normally get any information about it whatsoever, which is where every resource like this should be directed. That is to say, the poor. Kids who are the first in their families to attend college. Kids who have no one to model college or career ambitions for them. Kids who desperately need someone to make it clear that college is possibly the only ticket out of poverty for them, the only safety net they can fashion together themselves, and that the sooner they think of it as inevitable and worth the time and money, they better, because it can literally make the difference between a lifetime of car title loans and a comfortable existence.

What the Black Lynchings Numbers Don’t Reveal

Kidada E. Williams for DAME

Given the EJI’s research of local archives and court records as well as their interviews with victims’ kin, the full report will likely contain the victims’ names and more information about their lives. This would help to individualize, indeed humanize the numbers of the lynching dead, and hopefully inspire academics and the larger public to do the work of connecting victims to their families and the communities in which they lived. When we focus on who lynching victims were in life, we see their social and emotional ties and are reminded that every single victim was part of a family and community that had to live with their killings. Reckoning with the full humanity of lynching victims is one of the best ways to move beyond the numbers, and realize the devastating costs of this level of racial terror.

Amber Rose vs. the Kardashians: How Race and Class Reshape This Slut-Shaming Beef
Danielle Belton for The Root.

This is the crux of the problem: Kardashian opened the tragicomic door by suggesting that Kylie Jenner’s actions (real or imagined) as a child of privilege are somehow more mature and logical than Rose’s underage decision to strip to survive poverty. The truth is, at face value, the differences between two teens making questionable sexual choices when they’re still developing are negligible. Things only become complicated when race and poverty rewrite the rules, making one woman’s scarlet letter another’s proud expression of individuality. White supremacy may see a difference between a 9-year-old Kylie playing stripper for a reality show and a 15-year-old Amber entering sex work when she wasn’t even old enough to drive, but that’s just plain racism and classism rolled into one.

A True Picture of Black Skin
Teju Cole for the New York Times.

And yet there’s also a sense that he gave the pictures what they wanted, instead of imposing an agenda on them. In “Mississippi Freedom Marcher,” for example, even the whites of the shirts have been pulled down, into a range of soft, dreamy grays, so that the tonalities of the photograph agree with the young woman’s strong, quiet expression. This exploration of the possibilities of dark gray would be interesting in any photographer, but DeCarava did it time and again specifically as a photographer of black skin. Instead of trying to brighten blackness, he went against expectation and darkened it further. What is dark is neither blank nor empty. It is in fact full of wise light which, with patient seeing, can open out into glories.

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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.

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