Category Archives: Uncategorized

Little Black Pop Tart

Growing up I had role models of various colors and creeds. Admittedly, finding some that looked anything like me proved to be a daunting task at times.

Not to mention shopping for Barbie dolls. Except I was looking for Christie, the side kick, and one of the harder ones to find. One year I received a Dionne doll from one of my favorite movies, Clueless. She had micro braids and frosted lipstick. I was in heaven.I was also the proud owner of all five Spice Girl dolls. Scary was my favorite and most treasured.

If I wanted to find a black person on a magazine cover, I usually thumbed through the pages of Essence, Ebony or JET magazines. I loved them. After all, the JET beauties resembled me…sometimes (or they were close enough!). Finding seven international magazine covers featuring seven successful black women in rotation at the same time made the little girl in me squeal with delight. Take a look at these beautiful ladies below.

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Obigatory Hair Post

Warning: This entry is [admittedly] vain!

 

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Great, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way… I had to take the time out for a personal post. This year has already shown us that beauty and femininity comes in different packages with a wide assortment of dressings. This includes our hair. As a young African American woman who wears her hair in its somewhat natural state, I’ve noticed that black celebrities are becoming more and more willing to do just the same. I wanted to take the time out to share my own journey through pictures, courtesy of my handy-dandy Instagram. Enjoy!

 

Face Tweeting

My blogging experience has existed mostly on Tumblr. There was a short-lived attempt during my sophomore year of high school, but The Black Pop Tart was my first stab at somewhat original content. No re-blogging.

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I was excited and overwhelmed. Not to mention anxious that my content wouldn’t live up to its initial hype. I’ve used my Facebook and Twitter sites to advertise myself and my page. Through this experience, I’ve found a renewed respect for Facebook. Logging on can become a monotonous, yet irresistible task.

Fortunately I’ve been able to have fun with the website again. I’ve learned that when branding yourself, advertising your projects is only 30% of the job. You must be consistent and contribute on a regular basis. Witty statuses and interpretations of current events draws people to your page, but to you as well.

My abhorrence of Twitter has only strengthened. It lacks the back and forth communication that I enjoy on Facebook. Oh, and not to mention the 140 character or less attack on my long winded sentences. Twitter is simply not for me. I am willing, however, to attempt to learn how Twitter works.

 

What’s So Wrong with Vickie?

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I was thumbing through my Tumblr page when I came across one of my posts from late last year. I usually don’t watch the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows, but there was little else to do. My dissatisfaction with the fashion show was mostly because the models have very little variance.

This year, however, I will give Victoria’s Secret their credit. I was excited to see some of my favorites, such as Jourdan Dunn and Lais Ribeiro. I was even more excited to see not one, but two models of Asian descent.

While the diversity has a long way to go, I’m excited to see more and more women of color added to the roster!

AAW

Suey Park: Self-professed angry Asian woman and my current fascination.

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I first heard of Park when one of my classmates, while staring vacantly at her fingernails, muttered something about the “angry Asian woman that attacked Colbert”. The only angry woman I was used to hearing about was of the black race so my interest was immediately piqued.

“Who?”

That’s when she went through an entire diatribe about the Asian woman, never mentioned by name, that had the audacity to criticize Stephen Colbert’s satirical genius. To be honest, I was so convinced by her brief run down that I initially agreed that the offender was merely a person with brittle feelings. I had personally been the center of much worse jokes. By the time I returned to my apartment, I was using my personal friend, Google, to find out as much as I could about the angry woman.

The immediate reaction to Park from many online publications was that she was too sensitive or ignorant to satire. She was mostly penned as simply being crazy. I started to question my own sanity, because after reading her Twitter feeds and examining the Colbert interaction I didn’t think she was crazy at all. More importantly, the disgustingly racist and sexist comments on many of these websites explained Park’s anger.

Having part of your identity used as the butt of a joke, despite how satirical it may be, is something that most of Colbert’s audience probably don’t understand. They do not belong to a “niche group”, they are merely the population that most things are associated with. They’re identity is all over the place, this country specifically- in the media, on our products, in our career associations…

These watchers are believed to be enlightened and thus able to appreciate the use of satire. What they easily forget is that enlightenment can only entirely be achieved through empathy, not sympathy. Until you are able to walk in the shoes of someone whose person has been objectified within the larger, more visible, more influential population, you will never understand the anger that it can stir within a person. You can never understand the frustration that a person feels when it takes a middle aged white man’s stab at satire to make people rethink their misguided assumptions against an entire race, of which you belong to.

No, I don’t believe that Colbert should be cancelled like Park asserted with her #cancelcolbert hashtag. I do understand her frustration, though. I applaud her for vocally expressing this frustration as well. Although, part of my excitement is that the angry woman at the center of a story is not a black, neck rolling, verbally abusive stereotype but a young, articulate Asian woman who is ready and willing to dismantle the system- one tweet at a time.

Going Mobile, Y’all!

Okay, not really. However, if there was ever a day where I fully gave into my smartphone and all of its capabilities, my mobile app would look a little something like this:

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Of course, if you downloaded this app it would mean you have as much free time on your hands as I do. Decisions, decisions.

Yours Truly, the Black Pop Tart

Denitia and Sene

Denitia and Sene

This post I’ve decided to put you on to some new musica. There’s this duo  Denitia and Sene, that I’ve been listening to for the past couple of years now. I was originally familiar with Sene, the male member of the group, who had been in the hip-hop scene for a few years at that point. One day I was searching for something, anything I could find with him in it. It wasn’t long before I was introduced to Denitia’s smoky vocals. Her sound was classically r&b, yet oddly current at the same time.

Last year they released their first album, entitled His and Hers. The first single, Casanova, heavily featured Sene’s vocals over a stripped, synth-y  beat. Reminiscent of the 1980’s, it was another work that belonged in the surge of alternative r&b that has found it’s audience within the past two years. Songs like again .(new ride) and trip.fall feature ethereal melodies over infectious down beats and topped with relaxed vocals. Listening to their music is the equivalent of eating a gourmet burger out of a food truck and washing it down with a Pabst Blue Ribbon. Ironic and generally enjoyable. What else would you expect when a hip-hop artist from the Brooklyn teams up with a soulful folk singer from Texas? Ch-Ch-Check them out here

https://soundcloud.com/denitiaandsene

Over and Out, the Black Pop Tart

The Mindy Kaling Stan Fest

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Soon you will understand why this was the only plausible title for this entry. Let me just say that I love Mindy Kaling. Really, I do. Ever since the first time that our brown faces met when I first saw her on The Office, albeit through the television screen, I knew that I had a friend in her. The thing that I loved and hated the most about Kelly Kapoor was her complete and utter lack of consideration for others. What I mean is that Kapoor hardly ever did the mental checks that ‘good’ people are supposed to do. She was self-centered, superficial and blindly devoted to someone who barely cared about her. So unabashed was her character’s interest in herself that you wanted to hug her, slap her and then give her some Dear Abby type of advice. Some found her character annoying. To be honest I would have to if not for this fact that women of color are hardly ever portrayed without some type of struggle or inexplicable chip on their shoulder. Watching her crash diet and complain about a botched drink order at Starbucks was refreshing. Unfortunately, these were the things that easily made her a stock character.
The only thing that Kelly lacked was a true voice. So I was more than happy when Mindy Kaling wrote her first book. Even more excited when I heard that she was going to write, produce ad star in her own comedy television series. I was hooked at the very first episode. Kaling has successfully applied every romantic movie cliche into her show, twist it, and make it work! This is amazing to me, because in every disgustingly romantic movie the only person of character has either been a minor role or a sassy best friend. I was never Meg Ryan or Sandra Bullock, and neither was Lucy Liu. We got somewhat close with Jennifer Lopez (yes, I liked The Wedding Planner), but Maid in Manhattan dashed those hopes.
The show’s Mindy is not only a partner in a successful medical practice, but also seemingly superficial. It is not strange to hear medical jargon thrown in with Dior pumps. She’s like an East Coast version of Elle Woods! Please don’t ask me why that’s so exciting … Finally we get some exposure to an Indian-American woman on television. While that is a wonderful thing, Kaling doesn’t insist on being the representative for the Indian- American female experience. In her book and in interviews, she acknowledges the fact that while she may not have been physically similar to her peers they did have similar experiences. She has never allowed herself to feel like an outcast, and it shows in her series. She is able to speak about her ethnicity in the show without agenda.She’s not trying to change anyone’s minds or to even shift anyone’s perceptions. She’s telling stories about a woman, trying to navigate through her romantic life as efficiently as possible. She just so happens to be a woman of Indian descent. This is what I like to see.

Signed, the Black Pop Tart

What’s So Wrong With Being Mary Jane?

Well, it depends on whom you ask. The surprisingly popular BET show has garnered positive reviews, scathing criticisms and relatively high numbers. The show is about an African American woman in her early to mid-thirties with a thriving career in journalism. Unfortunately, her personal life isn’t as impressive. The show, now in its second season, began its freshman run with audiences (and Mary Jane herself) quickly finding out that the man of her dreams wasn’t as dreamy as he appeared. Long story short, he was married, but incredibly gorgeous. You see her dilemma. No late-night drama is complete without the archetypical love triangle. Two handsome men – one single and one available- the decision should be simple, right? Nope. To be fair, I’m willing to bet that this geometric love affair is reason behind much of Mary Jane’s viewership. We’ve also met Mary Jane’s family. It is crazy, complicated and even loving at times- just like most of ours.

Successful woman of color- check. Steamy love triangle- check. Realistically dysfunctional family- check. So what’s the problem? Well, nobody likes a side chick. You can find Urban Dictionary’s definitions at http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=sidechick&defid=2201414  . Even Olivia Pope’s undeniably brilliant career as a political “fixer” on Scandal is constantly overshadowed by her unsavory affair with the President of the United States. Reality shows of questionable taste (I’m talking to you, Basketball Wives and Love and Hip Hop) accomplish an incredible feat by bringing in respectable views with unsympathetic casts. One of the main criticisms of these women are that hardly any of them are actually wives, and some of them are rumored to have been the mistresses of athletes. Why are these women given such harsh criticism when their male cohorts are not? Many of them have been able to turn banal existences into profitable careers (gotta love club appearances and bottle service). Are these women lauded for their accomplishments? No. Instead, they are constantly being referred to as home wreckers, despite the amount of time that has passed since these indiscretions.

Am I advocating for the side chick? No. Am I supporting the eponymous characters role. Not exactly. I am asking people to ask themselves a few simple questions: Why, after considering a character/ person’s redeeming personality traits, are their mistakes held at such a higher plateau? Why do these issues overshadow other aspects of their personality? During every episode of the Gabrielle Union vehicle, we are shown quick clips of real women explaining how and/ or why they can relate to this character. Does anyone really want to watch a show where the main character does not have issues or does not make the wrong decisions? Who can relate to that? If anything, I wish these representations of women of color would come up with more original character development. Okay, we get it, extramarital affairs are easy to write and scandalous enough to bring in views. What I would really like to see is how a successful woman (of color or otherwise) was able to pay off all of her student loans and afford a mortgage whilst keeping her sanity.

Signed, the Black Pop Tart

P.S. – Feel free to watch this hilarious video by the one and only Kid Fury, who is clearly over the hype.

 

Where Pop Cultures Collide

Welcome, welcome one and all! I have decided to use my small slice of the world wide web to exercise some of my favorite things: sarcasm, my ridiculous knowledge of pop culture, and my love for cultures in general. My goal is to navigate through media’s strengths and shortcomings in as funny a manner as possible. As a black, or if you prefer to be ultra politically correct, African American, female college student I’ve become increasingly aware of how the media handle my culture and others alike. Never fear, my hopes for this blog are to be as inclusive as possible, teach you a little something and maybe get a laugh or  two. As a “pop culture” blog, this page will touch on movies and television, print media, and relevant trends. Enjoy!