Pop-Culture | Posted by Kadin Burnett on 06/19/2017

Why The Rihanna-Lupita-Ava-Issa Buddy Comedy Is So Important

We can't wait for their buddy comedy

We can’t wait for their buddy comedy

It started as an innocent, clever, and creative tweet. A picture of Rihanna and Lupita Nyong’o sitting next to one another at a fashion show in 2014 was making its rounds on the Internet. The duo look as if they could be on the catwalk themselves: Both were clad in big sunglasses, and Rihanna sported a furry coat while Nyong’o wore a white-collared burgundy sweater. One imaginative Twitter user, @1800SADGAL, responded to the picture: “Rihanna looks like she scams rich white men and lupita is the computer smart best friend that helps plan the scans.”

Spelling mistakes aside, the reply was retweeted almost 10,000 times, and garnered over 200,000 likes. It even got the attention of both Rihanna and Nyong’o. The actress responded …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Farha Khalidi on 06/12/2017

How Hailee Steinfeld’s “Most Girls” Pushes Back On Toxic Female Competition

Credit: Vevo/YouTube

Credit: Vevo/YouTube

“You’re not like most girls,” a boy tells Hailee Steinfeld in the music video for her latest single, “Most Girls.” He tells her this sincerely, but ignorantly; Hailee gets visibly uncomfortable by this “compliment” and tells him that she has to go. She rushes away from the unnamed, now irrelevant man.

The man, like so many other men who have uttered this classic backhanded compliment, doesn’t understand why it would make women cringe. They don’t see the hidden bitterness in those words because on the surface it seems sweet to tell a girl she is unique. But this “compliment” perpetuates the toxicity of female competition. It maintains that in order for a woman to be great, she must be distanced from every other woman—specifically elevated above …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Kadin Burnett on 05/22/2017

What The First Black ‘Bachelorette’ Will Mean To Viewers

Credit: Facebook

Credit: Facebook

Over its 15 years on the air, The Bachelor franchise has had some of the most aggravatingly attractive, square jawed, toned, and tantalizing contestants a producer could dream of. Every season, a sea of white faces, usually decorated with an occasional pinch of color, descend upon the Bachelor Mansion to drunkenly vie for the immediate and undying attention of one beautifully sculpted white person. But now, for its 34th season (which starts tonight), the franchise has finally stemmed its wave of “caucasity” by casting its first black bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay.

Until this point, the past decade and a half of The Bachelor franchise flirted far less with diversity than its contestants flirted with each other. Aside from the tanning-bed aficionados, non-white contestants have been rare, and the show’s …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Kadin Burnett on 03/14/2017

The Brilliance Of ‘Get Out’

'Get Out'

‘Get Out’

*Spoiler Alert*: This review contains details about the plot of the movie.

The film Get Out opens on a single shot that, just like the film as a whole, manages to brilliantly capitalize on horror tropes to illuminate the terror of racial stereotypes and racism. Terror in suburbia is a staple of the horror genre—a staple Get Out immediately subverts by opening on  a masked figure stalking an unwitting victim—a black man. The shot is followed immediately by a credits montage set to “Redbone” by Childish Gambino—a song that recounts a sinister and manipulative dishonest relationship and warns the victim to “stay woke,” and in turn foreshadows the relationship at the center of the film. This artful scene is just one of many that prove Get Out to …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Faatimah Solomon on 12/12/2016

The Exploitation Of Women Of Color In Music Videos Needs To End

Taylor Swift's 'Shake It Off' music video

Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’ music video

As a black feminist who is usually conscious of how normalized our misogynistic and often racist pop culture is, I am mostly displeased by the portrayal of black women in music videos. From Taylor Swift to Jason Derulo, artists across genres and of all identities seemingly fail to recognize that the fetishization of black women’s bodies in their music videos translates into their hyper-sexualizaiton in the real-world.

This treatment is first and foremost evident in the stereotypes about black women these music videos frequently perpetuate. Such stereotypes propagated about black women include the “angry Black woman,” the “sassy Black woman,” and the “hypersexual Jezebel.” But perhaps the most typical caricature of Black women is the sassy, finger-snapping, gum-popping, grill-wearing, twerking woman. And …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Kayleigh Bolingbroke on 12/5/2016

This New Music Video Powerfully Took On Police Brutality

YG in One Time Comin'

YG in One Time Comin’

In 2012, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. He was later acquitted of the crime. Two years later, Eric Garner was killed after being placed in a chokehold by police officers, and Michael Brown had been shot to death by a white police officer in Missouri just a month later. Their deaths, along with far too many others, did not represent a new phenomenon, but did awaken a newly powerful, social media-based iteration of a movement for justice: Black Lives Matter.

At least 263 African-Americans in the US died due to police brutality in 2016 alone. The number seems to only grow, and this fact hasn’t gone unnoticed by the media. Over the past two years, Twitter has been …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Farha K on 11/23/2016

Wifey Material

Wifey.

It has been almost one hundred years since the Women’s Bureau was established in the Department of Labor. The Bureau aimed to promote the welfare of wage-earning women and for their rights to be respected in the workforce. But this progress was simultaneously, continuously threatened by the stereotype of the “good wife.” American men were expected to yearn for (and receive) the retro misogynistic fantasy of coming home to a spotless house, good meal, and an effortlessly beautiful woman.

I once thought that this blatantly sexist expectation of women had long been retired, but a recent pop-culture fad disproved this misconception and reinforced the reality that so many men still expect their wives to cook and clean for them: Namely, the social media-based “wifey” meme.

The “wifey” fad basically …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Kamrin Baker on 11/14/2016

How Jane The Virgin Wonderfully Handled Abortion

Season 2 is off to a great start

*Spoilers below*

Jane the Virgin has been something of a crowd favorite since it debuted in 2014. But more than just entertaining its audience, the show has broken barriers regarding countless taboo topics, including virginity (obviously), illness and ability, feminism and women’s careers, Latina actresses’ agency in Hollywood, and unplanned pregnancy. And one recent episode, in which one of the main characters pursues an abortion, was no different.

To recap for those who haven’t binged Jane on Netflix, Jane Villanueva is accidentally artificially inseminated while engaged to another man. To top it off, she has planned to remain a virgin until marriage, due to a promise she made her very Catholic grandmother. A love triangle forms between her fiancee and the …

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