Friday, January 24, 2020

Oh Uh-Uh: Comme des Garçons' lace front cornrow wigs 
New decade, same appropriation.

The Japanese brand, Comme des Garçons is being dragged for its recent men's fall/winter 2020 fashion show during Paris Fashion Week where some of the male models were topped with braided lace front cornrow wigs, reports CNN.

When called out on it, hairstylist for the show, Julien d'Ys, claimed the styles were inspired by Egyptian princes. He wrote in an Instagram post.

"Dear all, My inspiration for the comme des garçons show was Egyptian prince. A Look I found truly beautiful and inspirational. A look that was an hommage. Never was it my intention to hurt or offend anyone, ever. If I did I deeply apologize."

The brand has released their own apology, according to Dazed. 
"The inspiration for the headpieces for Comme des Garçons menswear FW’20 show was the look of an Egyptian prince. It was never ever our intention to disrespect or hurt anyone – we deeply and sincerely apologise for any offense it has caused."
This isn't the 1st time Comme des Garçons has been in trouble with People of Color. In 2018, Comme des Garçons was called out for not using any Black models. In fact, according to Heroine, after a thorough investigation of the company's past runway shows, less than 10 Black models were found to have been featured at all.

So it seems they have upped their game from barely having any Black models to blatant cultural offense.

Yawn. This is so tired.

What Julien doesn't know is that we know this song and dance very well. We can all Google the types of wigs and hairstyles Egyptian princes wore, and they were not awful cheap synthetic cornrow lace fronts. Not to mention, Egyptians are African and are (and were historical) Brown people, unlike who was present in their last 10 fashion shows.

We all know that cornrows are a style coming from the traditions of the African diaspora. We all know that co-opting these styles is cultural appropriation.

We all know it's not cool, and stealing from Black culture for the sake of art is just a lazy ploy to elicit the Black Rage marketing machine.

At this point, the cultural appropriation by brands, especially newer design groups like this one, is just lazy.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Oh Uh-Uh: Ralph Lauren steals from a Black Fraternity

It is literally mere days into the 3rd decade of the 21st century, and here we are, dealing with the foolery of folks who clearly don't have enough diversity on staff.

Ralph Lauren's latest pair of chinos were for sale for 299.99€ on Ralph Lauren’s French website, which is about $334, and clearly features the Greek letters Phi Beta Sigma.

News site, Watch The Yard, which features news about historically black colleges and universities specifically Black Greek life, was the first to sound off about these pants, which featured the letters of the black Greek organization Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc.

Soon, a petition was created on behalf of Phi Beta Sigma, an organization that was founded at Howard University in 1914. This organization, that recently celebrated its 106-year anniversary, quickly followed suit, calling out for Ralph Lauren Corp. for the pants and demanding they remove the chinos from its global websites, saying:
"We are demanding that Ralph Lauren do the right thing and RECALL, DESTROY, & PUBLICLY APOLOGIZE for trying to capitalize off of Black Culture! We don’t know WHO thought that this was a good idea; but they need to fix it quick!"
Ralph Lauren has since removed these pants from its website. In a statement to Yahoo Lifestyle, the company noted it has also reached out to officials of Phi Beta Sigma, saying:

"As an American brand with more than 50 years of heritage, Ralph Lauren is inspired by many facets of American culture. As part of this, we are firmly committed to respectful and appropriate use of all cultural icons and insignias."
Another example of why inclusion literally saves brands and businesses from getting called out.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

So I started a TikTok...

I going to come right out about it, I started a TikTok account after listening to an earlier Drink With James. In that past episode, an influencer was discussing her success on TikTok where she shared her now-viral video of her view from her apartment view of New York. I have to be honest, I found her explanation and the accompanying video completely braggy and missing the condition most New Yorkers live in. After all, her video was of a high rise, ceiling-high window wide-open view of Manhattan. I rolled my eyes almost immediately.

So initially, my 1st impression of TikTok was disgust.

Then I joined and got to watching some of the other videos. I was pleasantly surprised. There are so many creative, funny, and innovative makers there. It's awesome.

However, I also encountered a lot of ignorance, bigotry, and, of course, racism. Because, wherever there are people, there is likely ignorance...

So I started an account to address the foolishness called the AntiBlackFishClub, thinking that it would be my release to all of the frustration I was feeling from the endless amount of ignorance that one receives on the internet in general.

I was surprised, and honestly, now inspired that the account as of today has blown past 5000 followers in just two weeks! So you are on TikTok, come hang, come chat, come grow with us!

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Come on home, Meghan, we left the light on for you

It's been a long time coming, but Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have decided to step back from their royal duties.
On Instagram, the royal couple announced what a few called " a grenade" or "bombshell" but what anyone who has been paying attention would say this was inevitable.

“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.” - The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, please visit (link in bio) Image © PA
A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on

It is no new news that British Media have not been kind to Meghan. In a recent interview, Meghan opens up, "Look, any woman, especially when they are pregnant, you're really vulnerable and so that was made really challenging, and then when you have a newborn, especially as a woman, it's a lot," adding that "No one ever asks if I'm OK." and when asked if she was, she simply shook her head no.

From very first headlines about Meghan being “(almost) straight outta Compton” and having “exotic” DNA, the racism against Meghan has been blatant and undeniable. Princess Michael of Kent wore an overtly racist brooch in the duchess’s company. Then there was that time a BBC host compared Meghan and Harry’s son Archie, a newborn baby at the time, to a chimpanzee. What about  the ridiculous suggestion that Meghan’s simple enjoyment of avocado being responsible for mass murder, or that her charity cookbook, some ridiculous way, was helping terrorists? The list continues...
Prince Harry is having none of it. Remember, Herry is Princess Diana's son. Diana too was cruelly treated by the British gossip rags, and, after a car chase trying to escape the paparazzi, she was killed in a car accident. Prince Harry was just a boy, but losing a parent literally because of the tabloids, was certainly not lost on him. "Every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash, it takes me straight back, so in that respect, it is the worst reminder of her life as opposed to the best."

In a recent statement, Harry said: "Unfortunately, my wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences – a ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son."

The British Tabloids may not have been kind to Meghan, but many others have been overwhelmingly supportive.

The most supportive seemed to be Black Women in general.

Meghan has experienced some of the most vicious and racist treatment that a royal (which she is) has ever experienced. Watching her put on the brave face and conduct her duties despite the monstrous way she has been treated, often for the most minute and unfair reasons is heartbreaking, but not unfamiliar. Whether blatant or subversive, being a person of color means you will experience double standards, bigotry, and racism.

Whether microaggressions at work or outright being called the N-Word, anti-Blackness is global, but let's not forget that Europe, where global colonialism and imperialism find their roots, is a different type of anti Blackness. And for Meghan, and reasonably, anyone else, it's too much.

I am proud of Harry and Meghan for making this decision, if for nothing else than their mental health. And while America is not exactly the bastion of equality, at least Meghan knows that there are loads of fellow people of color who can surround and encourage her and Harry as they raise their son and carve out their own future.

Come on home, Meghan, we left the light on for you.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Australia Is On Fire. Here Are 5 Ways You Can Help...

Australia is currently experiencing the worst bushfires known to man.

While no strangers to bushfires, the current bushfires have claimed over 15.6 million acres, 24 human lives, and nearly 480 million wildlife animals. And, despite a short reprieve of rain as reported by NASA's satellites, the fires are not expected to weaken anytime soon. Prolonged drought and climate change are being blamed for the brushfires that are showing no signs of stopping.

The devastation is heartbreaking.
- A third of the home to many unique and endangered species, Kangaroo Island, has burned, and many are unsure about what is left of the island’s biodiversity.
- Visitors to the town of Mallacoota had to be rescued by the Australian Navy after warned to "walk into the ocean" if the intense heat and flames got too close.
- New Zealand’s glaciers have been coated with ash and the enigmatic orange skies from the fires have been seen as far as Chile.

And these are just the beginning of the countries problems.

Celebrities such as Chris Hemsworth and Rihanna have shared on their own social media about the sheer devastation across the continent.
 Despite the devastation, there are ways that we can help. Here are a few ways to help the continent.