Is anyone else uncomfortable with the way the media (traditional and new) has handled the question of Caster Semenya’s sex and femininity? When I first saw that Semenya was being tested to verify that she was a woman, ¼ of my mind understood the need to make sure athletic competitions are fair and that competitions exclusively reserved for women can’t be infiltrated by a male ringer but ¾ of me was more concerned about the message in between the lines. When everyone was saying Semenya looked like a man, weren’t they just saying she wasn’t conventionally attractive or that there’s a certain way for a woman to look – not like that?
It was inevitable, I suppose, but South Africa’s YOU Magazine has swooped down on Semenya like a hawk to make her look “pretty”, aka more like a woman ought to look. “Muthafucka for WHAT?” © Steve Harvey. Did we really need a “new and improved” version of Semenya as though something was wrong with her before? YOU is just trying to place Semenya in a pretty little box. A little makeup, a dress, earrings and a new hairdo then BAM! You’re a lady! I’m like, kind of insulted by it all.
When it all boils down to it, Semenya was being asked to prove herself female because she wasn’t cute. I know I might be simplifying it too much but that’s sort of the point. Instead of being rewarded for years of hard work and training (which, along with genetics, likely contributed to her muscular body and features), she was being criticized. Continue reading
"Whatever you liiiiiiiiike"
After winning an Emmy for best informative talk show and showing her real hair to the world, Tyra Banks is back with another season cycle of America’s Next Top Model. The show is more of the same (silly modeling challenges, cliched casting, tragic backstory, girlfights and overacting from Tyra and Miss Jay) but with a small twist – the models are petite. Aren’t they always petite except for a couple of token “plus” chicks? Yeah, but THIS cycle, the hopefuls are all under 5’7. I applaud Tyra for trying to tinker with the show’s formula and “break barriers’ in the fashion industry but um, I don’t believe it. Sure, I want the fashion industry to better reflect the realities of women’s bodies and to support rather than destroy body image ideals but I have little confidence that a plus woman or a short woman can make it in high fashion. Print and TV? Sure. Runways for top designers? No. This cycle promises to be like the rest so I won’t go into the episode. My focus is on something else entirely right now… Nigel.
After a couple of tweets with the fabulous Thembi (@thembithembi; What Would Thembi Do?), I had to share my appreciation for the wonderful ANTM judge and “noted” photographer Nigel Barker. I would add Nigel to my LIST* with the quickness but he doesn’t quite meet the requirements. Nigel is half Sri Lankan so he is “colored” enough to lust after openly and guilt-free, LOL. But really, he’s an even-handed judge, a good photographer, appears to be a good husband. has a British accent, and is much needed masculine eye-candy between Mr and Miss Jay. So yeah, this is a totally gratuitous, lustful post objectifying Nigel Barker. So what?!
*Referring to the List of White Men I’d Do if I Were Into White Men which at present includes the likes of Jason Stackhouse/Ryan Kwanten, and James Purefoy.