Monday, March 09, 2009

Biracial Glamour

[Alexis Bledel as Rosie the Riveter]

By now I'm sure that you've seen the Glamour magazine tribute photos floating around the 'net. To celebrate the mag's 70th anniversary, they got some of Tinseltown's pretty young things to re-create iconic photos of glamorous, legendary women.

The honoree list was top-notch, if not a little predictable. Billie Holiday, Michelle Obama and Althea Gibson were the only African-American women, while Dolores Huerta was the only other woman of color depicted. To start, I loved the concept. Old meets new, flavors of the month meet icons, yatta, yatta, yatta.

But I was a bit peeved that out of the three Black women honored, all of them were replicated by biracial women. Paula Patton as Billie Holiday, Alicia Keys as Michelle Obama and Chanel Iman as Althea Gibson. Billie Holiday was a pretty fair-skinned (though, by my knowledge identified as African-American, not as mixed) woman, so it wasn't much of a stretch to see Paula don the famous flowered headdress. Michelle Obama is not only the product of two Black parents, she is by most accounts of a dark brown complexion.

[Paula Patton as Billie Holiday]

[Chanel Iman as Althea Gibson]

[Alicia Keys as Michelle Obama]

So Alicia Keys, though she is beautiful and fabulous, was a bit of head-scratcher. As my co-worker pointed out while we were discussing the issue, it would have been a great opportunity for a high-profile book like Glamour to feature a dark-skinned woman for a change. I don't regularly read the mag, but I can be certain that women of color in general are a rare sight.

Now, I don't personally know the staff of Glamour, but I am completely sure that they are incredibly hard-working, talented and smart, if not clueless when it comes to the Black community. So, I'll give them some insight into who I would have loved to see portray Lady O:

[Gabrielle Union. She's a UCLA graduate from a strong, Midwestern family. Resemblance, much?]

[Kerry Washington. Yes, you're probably tired of me talking about her, but she keeps it classy and chic, just like Michelle. ]

[Keshia Knight Pulliam. She's a Spelman grad, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and an all-around wholesome young woman. And, umm, she's Rudy Huxtable. Need I type more?!]

If you haven't seen the images, they are on Glamour's website. I posted a few of my faves below.

[America Ferrera as Dolores Huerta]

[Emma Stone as Carrie Bradshaw]

[Hayden Panettiere as Amelia Earhart]

Who would you have liked to see portray these feminine icons? What other icons would you have liked to see Glamour honor?

Enjoy the day!


Britt said...

I would have loved to see Sanaa or Nia. Also some new blood like JHud would have been cool.

CJ said...

hmm. I see your point but I still loved them. Doesnt matter who you picked, the real women are so fab. I thought India.Arie was suppose to do Nina Simone. No?

Get Togetha said...

I didn't think of it like that before...its true..they could've used someone more in Michelle's likeness...