41 Women of Color Get REAL About Beauty and Diversity

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2017-03-22 18:32Z by Steven

41 Women of Color Get REAL About Beauty and Diversity


Elizabeth Siegel, Deputy Beauty Director

Lindsy Van Gelder, Writer

Patrick Demarchelier, Photographer

Left, on Dilone: Swimsuit by Alix. Bracelet by Hervé Van Der Straeten. Center, on Aamito Lagum: Swimsuit by Acacia Swimwear. Earrings by Marni. Right, on Imaan Hammam: Swimsuit by Mikoh. Earrings by Loewe.

We smooth it with scrubs. We soften it with creams. We dab it with highlighter. But our skin is so much more than a reflection in the mirror. Our skin is the metaphor that defines how we’re seen — and how we see ourselves. For our April 2017 cover story, Allure asked 41 women of color to tell us the story of their lives through their skin — and skin tone. Because our skin can be both a vulnerability and a defense. But most importantly, it can be a source of celebration…

Meghan Markle, actress, Suits

“I have the most vivid memories of being seven years old and my mom picking me up from my grandmother’s house. There were the three of us, a family tree in an ombré of mocha next to the caramel complexion of my mom and light-skinned, freckled me. I remember the sense of belonging, having nothing to do with the color of my skin. It was only outside the comforts of home that the world began to challenge those ideals. I took an African-American studies class at Northwestern where we explored colorism; it was the first time I could put a name to feeling too light in the black community, too mixed in the white community. For castings, I was labeled ‘ethnically ambiguous.’ Was I Latina? Sephardic? ‘Exotic Caucasian’? Add the freckles to the mix and it created quite the conundrum. To this day, my pet peeve is when my skin tone is changed and my freckles are airbrushed out of a photo shoot. For all my freckle-faced friends out there, I will share with you something my dad told me when I was younger: ‘A face without freckles is a night without stars.’ ”…

Misha Green, cocreator, writer, and producer, Underground

“My skin is a shade darker than caramel, with a speckle of chicken pox scars that I tried to pass off as freckles in middle school. Spending summers in the South growing up, I was always aware of colorism in the black community, but it wasn’t really until I attended an all-white middle school that I encountered it. I remember riding the bus and one of my classmates was turned around in her seat staring at me. I asked why. She wanted to know what I was mixed with. She had never seen such a pretty black girl, so she assumed I must be mixed with something. At the time, I was too offended to answer. But since then, I have been asked what I’m mixed with too many times to count, and each time I am met with skepticism when I reply that I am black. I continue by informing the misinformed — the African diaspora comes in many hues; all of them are beautiful.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Star Trek’s Zoe Saldana Drops the Mic

Posted in Articles, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2016-06-18 19:44Z by Steven

Star Trek’s Zoe Saldana Drops the Mic

June 2016

Sarah Van Boven

She doesn’t shy away from confronting sexism. She doesn’t shy away from facing issues of race in Hollywood. In fact, Zoe Saldana doesn’t shy away. Full stop.

Zoe Saldana is talking shit. No, for real: “Everybody told me, ‘Oh, don’t worry, I know you hate changing diapers, but when you have your own kid…. Well, guess what? I had my own kids, and I will do whatever I need to do to not change a dirty diaper,” the 38-year-old star of this month’s Star Trek Beyond says of her now-19-month-old identical twin boys, Cy and Bowie. “A blowout? I can’t do it—I end up with shit everywhere! There is shit on the boy; there is shit on me; there is shit in my hair. And I’m like, How did this happen?”

How did this happen? How did the little girl from Queens who got shipped off to the Dominican Republic at nine years old when her father died suddenly and her mother needed to focus like a laser on supporting her family end up here, dropping an ice cube into the glass of pink champagne she’s having to celebrate wrapping up a photo shoot with Patrick Demarchelier? Well, first of all, you get the feeling that things don’t “happen” to Zoe Saldana. She wills them into existence with the same titanium-core determination that propelled her from her breakout role as a mouthy ballet student in the 2000 movie Center Stage straight through to her impressive current position of starring in not one, not two, but three blockbuster movie franchises that have already grossed a cumulative $4.4 billion worldwide (and that’s before the filming of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has even wrapped or Avatar 2, 3, 4, or 5 has come to an IMAX anywhere near you). But enough about her hugely successful career. Saldana wants to get back to talking about her toddlers…

…Which brings us to a topic that has dogged Saldana for almost five years: her role as the iconic black singer in the recently released biopic Nina. From her initial casting in 2012 to the first trailer on YouTube to the quiet, no-fanfare release of the film in April, Saldana has been pilloried online for having the audacity to play the dark-skinned, highly political singer. And after Saldana tweeted a quote from Simone, the singer’s estate tweeted, “Cool story but please take Nina’s name out of your mouth. For the rest of your life.” Saldana faces these criticisms, like everything else in her life, head-on.

“There’s no one way to be black,” she says quietly and slowly, clearly choosing her words carefully. “I’m black the way I know how to be. You have no idea who I am. I am black. I’m raising black men. Don’t you ever think you can look at me and address me with such disdain.”…

Read the entire article here.

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