America, the Beautiful Still?

This post was inspired by a tomato. YES, an effing tomato, a $2.49 hothouse tomato to be exact.  You see, I have been trying my hardest to eat “healthier” and live a better, healthier lifestyle in general. Yesterday I went to the store to get some produce and as I checked out my hothouse tomato, the register read $2.49….

**scratched record sound**

$2.49!?! For a tomato?!??! “Um sir, you can take that tomato off my bill, thanks.”

I walked to my car defeated and disappointed. I had plans for that tomato, it would have been an aid in the beginning of my new healthy living lifestyle. Instead, it would spark a firestorm of thoughts and emotions. The truth is, I couldn’t afford a $2.49 tomato. I had to choose between eating healthier or paying bills, and I had to choose the latter.  At that moment, I felt like many Americans who want to eat healthier, but can’t afford the rising costs of produce and other nutritious foods because they have bills to pay.  More so, I thought about so many African-Americans in this country who are bombarded with statistics of our demographic having the highest rates of heart disease, high cholesterol, etc.,etc. Yet if you go in most of our neighborhoods, I bet that you cannot find ONE decent supermarket with adequate produce. If you do, I am sure you will be paying a load of money. However, the selections of alcohol and junk food is phenomenal…much to choose from and very inexpensive (insert sarcasm face). While the media and the First Lady are off promoting healthy eating, the problem is most Americans are not and cannot follow suit. 

From there, I thought about the high school and college graduates itching to go college or back to school to obtain post-graduate degrees, but are apprehensive due to the economy. For fear they’ll be in debt for the rest of their lives and no job to show for the years of hardwork and the ton of student loans.

I thought about how hypocritical and full of sh*t America can be sometimes. Don’t tell me to eat healthy or that I am not eating healthy, but you do nothing to assist in the problem. Don’t tell me to get a master’s degree, but then turn me down for jobs and I’m left paying off student loans. Don’t tell me to be all that I can be, but fail to pay for my family’s well-being and my medical bills when I’m injured in your wars. Don’t tell me that there are too many teenage pregnancies, but then try to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood. Don’t go over our President’s presidency with a fine tooth comb, but when the last one was off effing up the country that put us in this predicament in the first place, you turned your head, or worse, failed to vote.

Yes, I am talking to you America, get it together.

Ticked,

A disappointed citizen

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In The Dating Game: Are Women Taking a Cue From Men?

Jacqueline- Marcus' match

  

When it comes to dating, some men are notorious for their lackadaisical approach to women and relationships. Texts are the choice of communication. Going dutch is the preferred method of payment when going out. AND, some like that openness of a not-so committed relationship. Whatever the case may be, (i.e. honestly not interested in a serious relationship at the moment, afraid of commitment, he’s married, etc.), women of today are taking note. Some women have adopted the, “if you can’t beat them, join them” philosophy.

“If you don’t want to talk via phone, fine, text it is and when you do call, I might just be unavailable.”

“Going dutch?? Not a problem, I have the money.”

 

There seems to be the notion that when a man does not want an exclusive relationship, the woman is the one who is getting the short end of the stick in these situations. Or that we’re making it so much easier for men to date us, but I beg to differ. Women are far more independent and liberated and know what they want these days, and thus, we’re making it easier for ourselves. There are women who don’t see the benefit of an exclusive, committed relationship, and yes, there are instances where she is not promiscuous, or “loose as a goose.”

In addition, with the exception of those women who stay in relationships with men for years, produce children and there’s no promise of commitment in sight, most know when to say, “ok, you’re not bringing anything to the table anymore, time to go”- much like men. Men are quick to dismiss a woman when she’s not offering him anything. Why can’t women think and behave the same way? If a woman is happy, satisfied and safe, what’s wrong with enjoying the freedom of dating someone, but having that option to date other men as she pleases? Men do…..

Is Hollywood Limiting Black Actors….To Dresses?

Martin= Shenenah (Martin), Big Momma of ‘Big Momma’s House’
Jamie Foxx= Wanda (In Living Color)
Cedric The Entertainer= Mrs. Cafeteria Lady (Cedric The Entertainer Presents)
Eddie Murphy = Rasputia, ‘Norbit’
The Wayans Bros=’White Chicks’
Tyler Perry= Madea, The Madea franchise

 

I could have went on, but by now I take it you get the connection. It seems America loves black men in dresses.Why is this a trend? If the loud, obnoxious and angry black female is the typecast role for black actresses, then the funny drag role is that for black actors, especially black comedians. You have to question the image that Hollywood Execs want to portray black men when these projects are always getting green-lighted over projects that reflect black men in positive roles, as MEN. As far as the actors who take on the roles, you have to question, when enough is enough- the drag role is quite cliche’ to me now. All the ‘greats’ have done it, let’s move on. While roles and general opportunities were very limited for black men in the ’60s, ’70s and even ’80s, the roles that black men played were strong, inspiring, heroic, and masculine and these men, (e.g., Bill Cosby, Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Lou Gossett Jr., etc.) played these roles with dignity.

When was last time a black actor played a hero? I’m thinking late ’90s- Will Smith in ‘Independence Day.’ If someone comes up with a current role, please let me know. The fact that I can’t recall a recent role says a lot. Also, when I learned that my future husband, Idris Elba (ya’ll know), lost the role as Alex Cross (think “Kiss the Girls” and “Along Came a Spider” movies, originally played by Morgan Freeman), to Tyler Perry of all actors, I wanted to start a revolt.  Excuse me movie execs, but NOTHING about Tyler Perry says: 1) Hero/crime-solver 2) Cross-over appeal, non-Madea. In addition, with the exception of a Star Trek, the only roles Perry has taken on was in his own films, which are notoriously known for being stereotypical. Hey, I’m just being honest. In comparison, Elba has experience in crime dramas, he was nominated for his role in the Luther mini-series, in which he played a Detective! Quite honestly, Elba encompasses everything that embodies a hero. Ok, so enough stanning over Idris, for the sake of this post, let me get back to my point—-> While its good that Perry is stepping out of his Madea character, I must give a side-eye to the movie execs for  the sudden drop of Elba for Perry. Will audiences really take Perry seriously, or will we see a more comedic version of Alex Cross à la Madea solving murder cases?

 I began to think about this recently when I saw a Youtube clip of Dave Chappelle on the Oprah show, (ignore the title, which will be discussed in a future post). He begins to talk about black actors in drag and his stance against it at the 1:41 mark.

So there are some black actors who refuse to go the “drag route.”  Is there really some “conspiracy” in Hollywood to emasculate black actors, much like the early 20th century minstrel shows, to which many in the blogsphere are referring to this phenomenon as such.  Furthermore, what are these portrayals of black women saying about the image of black women, particularly plus size women? Most of the roles played by these actors in drag are in fat-suits, not to mention that they are loud, obnoxious,and unattractive. Speaking of which, why is it that Keenan Thompson is the go to guy on Saturday Night Live when it comes to playing black women (i.e. Oprah, Star Jones)? Just some things to get you thinking.

Bottom line, its time for Hollywood to start taking black actors more seriously and give them more compelling roles such as action heroes, and love interests, etc.  As far as black comedians, as Dave Chappelle pointed out, your material will speak for itself, a dress and a fat-suit is not needed to induce a few laughs.

For The Love of Everything “Boughetto”

Boughetto: combination of being bougie (snobby) and ghetto

(Urban Dictionary)

Here’s one of the posts that I often have that are completely politically incorrect and I have no apologies for what I am about to write. I could lace this entire post with “Phaedraisms,” but I figured that the picture above explains it all since she could very well be the poster child. In my lifetime, I’ve been called numerous things, good and bad I’m sure, but I’ve never self-proclaimed anything, until now. In fact, I’ve lived this lifestyle pretty much my whole life, thanks to my mother, so I’m pretty positive it’s hereditary. I think its wonderful living the boughetto lifestyle; it’s the best of both worlds to be ghetto and bougie. I secretly love to see that one ghetto person at the stuffy events piling on too much food in the buffet line or the bougie chick that comes into the ghetto salon just to get a simple wash and press. To be black, no one really wants to be called, “ghetto,” in fact, no one wants to live in the ghetto per se, but living in the ghetto does have some perks, and one of them is that the lifestyle builds survivor instincts like nothing else. Naivety is non-existent and would you really want to go toe-to-toe with some whose ghetto colors are clearly showing????? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

At the same time, to be a black and female and to be called “bougie” has the same effect as being called, “stuck-up.” It might sting initially- however, I’ve come to the conclusion, that 9 times of out 10, if you REALLY think about this, those who label you this or have in the past are either: (a) ghetto themselves or (b) just someone who tried to holla, you gave them ZERO play and their just salty because the ego was crushed. Like I said before, being called “bougie” or even “ghetto” might sting, but at the end of the day, in both cases, you do receive some level of respect. C’mon, you know this, I’m just the first to admit it.

I experienced these lifestyles all my life, but to now live where they can co-exist is a wonderful thing. Hell, I have even given these two sides of me names. However, this feeling was just too much to handle as a watched Basketball Wives last night and found myself trying to choose a side. Yes, the show was beyond a snooze last season, but thanks to Tami, I’m an avid watcher now. Imagine me, as I watched the tussle between Jennifer, “Let’s Stay Together” Willliams and Tami “That’s What You Not Gon’ Do” Roman, go down. I was in personality purgatory. I wanted nothing more than for Tami to snatch Jennifer up after the, “In middle school, my father picked me up everyday in his Porsche” comment. My ghetto side raged and cried, “Tami whoop that azz.” Though, I could also relate to how Jennifer felt as Tami, on H.A.M status after the few drinks, charged her over something that wasn’t that serious. My bougie side thought, “Who is this ratchetness that stands in front of Jennifer? Just remain calm.”

If you’re wondering, I never did choose sides-I stayed neutral because I am BOUGHETTO of course!! In all, I know I am not the only person out there that thinks this way. I’m sure there are others, even men, and I would love to hear all of your boughetto experiences.

Signing off,

The QUEEN, aka Shug Avery aka Ivanka Rothschild

“He’s the only OB/Gyn I’d let touch my vagina” ….I couldn’t resist


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