My Girl Crush Wins!!

Congratulations to Lupita Nyong’o for winning the Oscar last night for Best Supporting Actress! She looked wonderful and her beautiful spirit continues to shine through. What I love about Lupita is that she gracious about her time in the spotlight. I’m sure she knows¬† deep down that it’s not going to last. The media is very fickle. However, she understands the significance of her presence to little black girls around the world. She embraces it and that’s why I have so much respect for her.

Rock on Lupita ūüôā

A friend on Facebook pointed out while it was nice that Ms. Lupita won, we should never forget the continued racist practices/history of the Oscars. I agree. It was a bit disturbing to learn that yesterday marked the 75th anniversary of Hattie McDaniel’s Oscar win. It was disturbing because McDaniel won for the role of a slave. All these years later, a black actress wins for a role of a slave. Meh. This is not to say folks are ashamed that these women are playing slaves (or at least I’m not), but rather there hasn’t been any diversity in what black women/folks win for:

MoNique won Best Supporting Actress in 2010 for portraying an abusive mother.

Jennifer Hudson won for Best Supporting Actress in 2007 for portraying a singer w/ a bad attitude.

Halle Berry won for Best Leading Actress in 2002 for portraying an abusive and sex-starved mother.

Double Meh. I understand the Oscars likes when folks play out of character/villains even. Denzel Washington has played some wonderful characters over his 20 year career (including Malcolm X), and yet he won an Oscar for the role of a corrupt cop.

I don’t begrudge these folks wins. As actresses/actors, I’m sure it’s an honor to win an Oscar, no matter what. It represents the highest level of achievement in their field. I just hope the future will bring diverse wins for black folks.¬† 75 years from now, I don’t want a little black girl being happy that a black woman won for portraying a slave.¬† But I ain’t holding my¬† breath.

lupitapradaoscars3
Beautiful Lupita rocking her Oscar gown!

 

Mo’Nique

Recently, a photo of a slender Mo’Nique (actress/comedienne/Oscar winner) made it’s rounds on (black) blogs:

Mo'Nique 2013
Mo’Nique 2013

Folks noted that she’s now the evil skinny woman, she used to make fun of in her stand up routines.¬†¬†Many stated she probably feels ridiculous that she used to clown skinny women. How it was¬†disingenuous of her to have led “fat women astray” about loving their weight, but then goes on to lose weight herself.

I disagree. I hope Mo’Nique¬†stands strong on her earlier resistance¬† of being pressured to look a certain way.¬† I think Mo’Nique was making a cultural observation¬†about¬†how it was okay for folks to make fun of “fat” women, but folks got all defensive when she poked fun at skinny women.¬†¬†In the Hollywood Industrial Complex, I’m sure as a full-figured black woman,¬†Mo’Nique had to deal with¬†people taking issue with how she looked/not taking her seriously as a budding actress.

There is a myth in white feminism¬†and with black folks, that heavier women are adored in the black community. While black women are able to get away with more¬†voluptuous bodies than white women, there is still a disdain¬†for “fat” women in the black community, just as there is in the white community.

In a lot of black folks minds, it’s one thing to be “thick” like a Beyonc√© or numerous video dancers, it’s another to be “fat” like the¬†old¬†Mo’Nique or Gabourey¬†Sidibe:

Gabourey Sidibe 2013
Gabourey Sidibe 2013

I have read/heard people say some foul mess about Gabourey (Gabby). Folks want her to feel ashamed about how she looks. They think it’s appalling that the¬†Hollywood Industrial Complex likes to use black¬†actresses that look like Gabby. Why not slender black women like Megan Good? To a certain extent, I understand what they are saying. Racist Hollywood loves to use full-figured/dark skin black women as a way to make the black woman the joke or make her a “Mammy”¬†caricature.¬†However, the truth is skinny black women fair no better in racist Hollywood.¬†¬†They just get to¬† play the crackhead or “hoe” roles.¬† It’s not about how black women look, it’s the fact that racist Hollywood simply doesn’t care about the representations of black women, whether they are “fat” or skinny. All the black women in Hollywood could get down to a size two and would still be regulated to stereotypical characters. Why is there a lack of well-rounded, complex roles for black women in mainstream AND black movies?¬†¬†That’s the question black folks should be asking.

Whatever the reasons why Mo’Nique¬† decided to lose weight, it doesn’t make her fake. She just used her talents to counter the oppression she faced, as a full-figured woman in a lookist industry/society. She made the jokes, because she didn’t want to BE¬†the joke. ¬†I think she had sincere intentions and truly wanted to empower other full-figured women.¬† In any case, Mo’Nique is da bomb, no matter what she looks like.