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Pioneer1

What's Wrong With This Picture?

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58f8adf21b0000330016c881.jpeg

 

 

 

Hmmm................
Is it ME, or is this picture of the otherwise attractive Viola Davis on the cover of Time magazine a bit unflattering and even slightly "unnerving"?

 

 


There are 2 directions we can go with this:

1. The most obvious is that her lips are curled back and it looks like she's showing her fangs.
It looks a bit monsterous.
No person....male or female...naturally shows that much of their teeth and gums in an attempt to smile.
Whoever it was back at Time did that shit on purpose to make her look scary or clownish.


2. The less obvious but still pretty good point that I don't hear enough Black women discussing is the fact that dark skinned women SHOULD NOT wear red lipstick!

Some may ask why in the hell would a MAN have the nerve to sit up and tell women what kind of make-up they should or shouldn't wear?

For me it's simple.......
Unless you're lesbian, you aren't able to judge the attractiveness of a woman and how flattering her make-up is on her as good as a man (straight man) can.
Black women are the most beautiful when they wear make-up flattering to THEIR tone/color....the browns and earth tones.
Not wearing make-up designed to beautify White women....like bright red lipstick and blue eye shadow.


That red lipstick on Viola clashes with her dark skin and makes her look almost cartoonish or "mammy-ish".

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Well, Pioneer I agree; this is not an appealing photo of Viola. I probably would not have known this was Viola Davis--I think the hair threw me off.  I would be willing to bet money no one Black person was involved with this photo shoot.  If there were any involved they may as well have been white. 

It is obvious the look they were going for:

viola-sambo.jpg

Here are a few covers from Essence. The worse of these is far better than Time's cover.

viola-on-essence.jpg


None of the Essence covers have Viola sporting Sambo red lipstick and exaggerated grin.  The nicer shot have Viola sporting a more natural looking hairstyle.

Is Time's cover a racist treatment?  I think so.  But Time know's their audience and don't have to worry about any sistaz raising a fuss.

 

 

 

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This could be considered an unflattering picture of Viola.  But it is  an untouched candid photo of her taken taken at some time on some happy occasion of her life. And millions of black women look like this. The idea that dark women shouldn't grin or wear red lipstick resonates with Uncle Tomism.   Implicit in this caveat is that black skin should be muted by dull colors  so as not to draw attention to it,  and this is a form of self-hate.  Nowadays black women wear their hair any style  or color they want and many are not hesitant about  celebrating their lips with bright red lipstick, no matter what their skin color.Welcome to 2017!

I, myself,  hate dread locks and spiked hair that looks like its owner stuck their finger in an electric socket, but I realize that it's a new day and standards of "beauty" have changed and are in the eye of the beholder.    

TIME's selection is only racist if black people buy into the idea that black women who look like Viola's picture are someone to be ashamed of and ridiculed.  To ignore TIME's  blatant slave master gesture is to thwart  their contemptuous mischief. 

At a recent awards show, Viola sported a bright yellow gown and noted that there was a time when she wouldn't wear bright colors because of her dark skin but that  she had moved past that negativity and was now proud to finally accept herself as she was and wear whatever color she chose. She was also wearing red lipstick when she said this.  

   

 

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10 hours ago, Pioneer1 said:



For me it's simple.......
Unless you're lesbian, you aren't able to judge the attractiveness of a woman and how flattering her make-up is on her as good as a man (straight man) can.
Black women are the most beautiful when they wear make-up flattering to THEIR tone/color....the browns and earth tones.
Not wearing make-up designed to beautify White women....like bright red lipstick and blue eye shadow.


That red lipstick on Viola clashes with her dark skin and makes her look almost cartoonish or "mammy-ish".

It sounds like you can only judge someone's attractiveness if they are a potential sexual partner.

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Troy

I'm glad you posted those Essence pictures of her.

We know how "dimed up" Viola can look....and "they" know it too, but when Time did that photo-shoot, making her look good wasn't their intention.

Our people need to be wiser about these little tricks and games racists play in order to make themselves look good and make our people look bad.

Another game racists like to play in the media is putting attractive White women next to unattractive Black women.
It doesn't matter the context or program, it could be the news a movie a show or even a magazine article.
Like you said in another thread, there are plenty of fat unhealthy White people, but how many of THEM do you see on television, in the movies, or even on the cover of magazines?

We all know how the news will often pick the crazies negro with no teeth in his mouth they can find in the neighborhood and interview HIM on what went down that evening.

But they also love to find a White women with clear skin, smiling and in shape and put her next to an overweight loud relatively unattractive Black woman.
No need to say anything, just put them together and let the viewers observe the glaring difference so that it sinks into their subconcious.

And some of these dumb negroes are so silly and want attention so bad that they don't mind hopping up infront of the cameras looking like a mess and talking even worse.....not realize they're being made a fool out of and just being used to make White people look superior.




Cynique

Well for one thing, she's not "grinning" on there...she's GRIMACING.

She looks like she just stubbed her toe walking around the house barefoot!

I didn't say dark skinned Black women shouldn't wear bright red lipstick because it draws too much attention to their dark skin. Dark skinned women shouldn't wear bright lipstick because of subliminal sexual reasons.  A woman's lips are a reflection of her vagina.

It's really quite simple.....
White women tend to have pinkish (most of them anyway) vaginas and red lipstick subconciously draws a man's attention to this fact.

I've seen more than a couple Black women's vaginas and I have YET to see a bright red one....and don't care to.

Black women's vaginal lips are various shades of brown and her facial lips and lipstick should REFLECT that!

But hey, in my book a woman has the right to where whatever the hell she wants.

Just don't get mad if people point and laugh at you and call you a clown because you're wearing make-up that is unflattering and totally not designed for you.
How many White girls do you see running around with coco-puffs chocolate lipstick on?

 


Delano

It sounds like you can only judge someone's attractiveness if they are a potential sexual partner.

No, common sense and instinct allows you to have SOME perception of how physically attractive people are perceived by the public.

For example....
You don't have to be a woman or a gay man to tell that a sloppy made dude with speckles all over his skin and deformed features may to be considered very physically appealing to most women.

But when it comes to judging females I'd be less than honest if I said that the sexual aspect wasn't atleast a factor.
How did YOU use to judge people back when you were having sex?

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Pioneer you and I live in such different worlds. It is not possible for me to answer your question.Up until the last year or so I didn't judge people. Now I judge what level to engage with people.

 

1 hour ago, Pioneer1 said:

Troy

I'm glad you posted those Essence pictures of her.

We know how "dimed up" Viola can look....and "they" know it too, but when Time did that photo-shoot, making her look good wasn't their intention.

Our people need to be wiser about these little tricks and games racists play in order to make themselves look good and make our people look bad.

Another game racists like to play in the media is putting attractive White women next to unattractive Black women.
It doesn't matter the context or program, it could be the news a movie a show or even a magazine article.
Like you said in another thread, there are plenty of fat unhealthy White people, but how many of THEM do you see on television, in the movies, or even on the cover of magazines?

We all know how the news will often pick the crazies negro with no teeth in his mouth they can find in the neighborhood and interview HIM on what went down that evening.

But they also love to find a White women with clear skin, smiling and in shape and put her next to an overweight loud relatively unattractive Black woman.
No need to say anything, just put them together and let the viewers observe the glaring difference so that it sinks into their subconcious.

And some of these dumb negroes are so silly and want attention so bad that they don't mind hopping up infront of the cameras looking like a mess and talking even worse.....not realize they're being made a fool out of and just being used to make White people look superior.




Cynique

Well for one thing, she's not "grinning" on there...she's GRIMACING.

She looks like she just stubbed her toe walking around the house barefoot!

I didn't say dark skinned Black women shouldn't wear bright red lipstick because it draws too much attention to their dark skin. Dark skinned women shouldn't wear bright lipstick because of subliminal sexual reasons.  A woman's lips are a reflection of her vagina.

It's really quite simple.....
White women tend to have pinkish (most of them anyway) vaginas and red lipstick subconciously draws a man's attention to this fact.

I've seen more than a couple Black women's vaginas and I have YET to see a bright red one....and don't care to.

Black women's vaginal lips are various shades of brown and her facial lips and lipstick should REFLECT that!

But hey, in my book a woman has the right to where whatever the hell she wants.

Just don't get mad if people point and laugh at you and call you a clown because you're wearing make-up that is unflattering and totally not designed for you.
How many White girls do you see running around with coco-puffs chocolate lipstick on?

 


Delano

It sounds like you can only judge someone's attractiveness if they are a potential sexual partner.

No, common sense and instinct allows you to have SOME perception of how physically attractive people are perceived by the public.

For example....
You don't have to be a woman or a gay man to tell that a sloppy made dude with speckles all over his skin and deformed features may to be considered very physically appealing to most women.

But when it comes to judging females I'd be less than honest if I said that the sexual aspect wasn't atleast a factor.
How did YOU use to judge people back when you were having sex?

 

13 hours ago, Pioneer1 said:



For me it's simple.......
Unless you're lesbian, you aren't able to judge the attractiveness of a woman and how flattering her make-up is on her as good as a man (straight man) can.
Black women are the most beautiful when they wear make-up flattering to THEIR tone/color....the browns and earth tones.
Not wearing make-up designed to beautify White women....like bright red lipstick and blue eye shadow.


 

So in the  first section you are saying only Lesbian women and straight men can judge a woman's attractiveness. Then you say common sense and instinct allows judgement of a woman's attractiveness. So if I put these two sentences together then Gay men and Straight Woman lack common sense and instinct. Which is the logical albeit nonsensical conclusion drawn from your statements.Since you are defining abilitiy along sexual orrientation to the object. Does the woman's sexual orientation matte. Or is all about the person looking.

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@Pioneer1Just goes to show how differently people see things.  No way in the world does Viola look to me like she's grimacing.  She is not frowning and looks surprised and happy.  

Your theory about red lipstick is ludicrous.  Red is not a substitute for, or a reminder of pink.  Pink comes in different subtle shades and is worn more by white and light-skinned black women more than red, because pink is a soft feminine color, while red is brassy. Raspberry or wine shades are  the color most dark-skinned  black women prefer but these shades are also just as popular among white women because they are exotic. Black women of varying brown shades can wear any color makeup they choose because brown is a neutral color. So you cannot generalize about black women. Also the shape and size of lips are a factor. 

Red lipstick is in a class by itself, and women wear it for many different reasons.  Sometime because they just like the color red. Also women are just as focused on impressing other women as they are in attracting men. Exuding sex is not always their goal.  No healthy vagina is bright red and I doubt if  women even consciously think about trying to replicate their coochies on their face, especially  since a mouth full of teeth come with their lips. But if a white man wants to be reminded of a white woman's vagina, then pink lipstick is the better choice. Tight or revealing clothing is more  suggestive than make-up. 

Of course there are  women of all races who have natural beauty and who can get by with little or no make-up. Make-up is not a subject that is even relevant to race because women of all ethnics can abuse it or skillfully apply it.

BTW, white women who embrace the Goth culture wear black lipstick and fingernail polish.  

 

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Del

It is not possible for me to answer your question.Up until the last year or so I didn't judge people.

You come from the Bronx, but you didn't "judge" people?

Lol......

Man, if you were born in New York and didn't have enough sense to make judgements about people you wouldn't have made it past 14.

Infact, if you were a Black man in the United States PERIOD and didn't know how to make judgements about people and your situation atleast on SOME level there's a good chance you wouldn't have made it past 20.
 

So in the first section you are saying only Lesbian women and straight men can judge a woman's attractiveness. Then you say common sense and instinct allows judgement of a woman's attractiveness. So if I put these two sentences together then Gay men and Straight Woman lack common sense and instinct. Which is the logical albeit nonsensical conclusion drawn from your statements.Since you are defining abilitiy along sexual orrientation to the object. Does the woman's sexual orientation matte. Or is all about the person looking.

Either it's nonsensical.....OR....your mind isn't analytical enough to comprehend the difference between those two statements.

Yes, BOTH sexes of ALL FOUR sexual orienations can...with common sense....make SOME BASIC judgements about the appearance of a person i

There are certain physical markers that most human beings with common sense INSTINCTIVELY KNOW will make a person somewhat attractive or unattractive like:
-Nice smooth unblemished skin
-Strong healthy white teeth
-Firm well defined musculature among males
-Well defined curves and hip-to-waist ratio among females
-As well as a balanced psyche or personality when it comes to interacting

These are traits that most people across racial or cultural lines tend to universally find attractive and you don't have to seek the person as a sexual partner or find them attractive YOURSELF to know that they.....or atleast those features...are attractive.

If see a man running up and down the street and see a man who runs out of a house naked with gobs of fat and flabby skin hanging off of him, patches of eczema all over his body, no teeth in his mouth, and a penis that looks like a second naval......I don't have to be a woman to JUDGE that this man probably isn't considered very attractive to women.


However, when it comes to the OBJECT OF YOUR ATTRACTION....meaning WOMEN (if you are a straight man) or MEN (if you are a straight woman).....you are far more qualified than other demographics to judge the attractiveness of an individual.
Other's can do it to a CERTAIN EXTENT....but we tend to do it better.

I think nature put it in most people to be able to judge others who aren't a target of our attraction atleast on some level in order to gage our COMPETITION.

In other words, I have to be able to atleast do SOME sort of estimation about how attractive another man is in order to know whether or not I should compete with him.


 

 

 



Cynique

Stop playing.....lol.
You KNOW that woman don't look right in that picture!

They made that girl look like Wanda from In Living Color:



Image result for wanda in living color

Also you keep talking about the many ways Black women wear their make-up as if all of them are fine.
So what if a lot of them are doing it, there are a lot of Black women overweight and theirs a lot of Black women with acne too.....doesn't mean either of these physical conditions are ok or attractive.

As as people we should be IMPROVING ourselves, not incorporating a culture of being deviant, dysfunctional, and down right freakish and calling it "individuality" expecting others to embrace it.

The plain fact is many Black women in the United States.....because so many were born and raised around White people and/or in White culture....don't know HOW to properly beautify themselves.
They don't know HOW to make themselves look better and more appealing.

So they imitate White women as best they can and many end up looking WORSE than nature intended for them to be because they're using products and methods that were not intended FOR them.

Red lipstick is but ONE.
Blue eye shadow is another.
Vaseline based products which aren't very good for Black skin is yet another example that both Black women AND Black men tend to use mistakenly.

The fact is, despite individual successes, as a people we haven't been taught how to BEST groom and beautify ourselves because we haven't had access to the science that Whites have had to know what works best for us.
Most Black women and men have to find out what works best for them by trial and error, there hasn't been too much scientific or lab work done to develop products specifically designed uniquely for our physique.

Now don't get me wrong, there've been products marketed TOWARDS Black people and sold as "ethnic" care products.
But on a deep scientific level that involves matching our chemical make-up and what reacts best to accentuate our natural beauty....cocobutter and sheabutter are about the only products I can think of right now.

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I stopped short of calling Viola's expression a "grimace," because of her eyes which look happy, but I did consider being hyperbolic to emphasize the point.

I think we all can agree that this is not a complimentary photo of Viola, particularly when you contrast them with the many other great looking shots you can find of her on the web.

The question is what was Time's motivation for creating and publishing this unflattering image of Viola.  I called it racist because a Black person would have selected a nicer image.  

Magazines understand the importance of imagery--especially one that has been around as long a Time. Time selected the image for a reason, and it was not a reason that any conscious Black person would have used.

Maybe I'll create a survey to see what others think.

 

 

 

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@Pioneer1Watta crock! I don't even know where to begin. First of all, Who is that a picture of on TIME's cover??? Viola or Wanda? Is it a drawing or a painting of her? Or a candid, untouched photograph that captures the way Viola looks when she grins broadly instead of when she is formally posing and professionally made up, well-coiffed and air brushed!  You are  simply expressing a subjective opinion when you say she is grimacing.  And the more i look at that picture of Viola, the less bad I find it, once I divest myself of preconceived notions.   

You don't know what your talking about with all of your generalizations about black people,  You are fixated on black people all conforming to your 1950 model of the way they should look, act and dress because you are afraid of how they will come across to white people.  And you stereotype your own race, with all your drivel about cocoa butter and vaseline.  You also  never take into consideration that slave descendants are hybrids and you can't apply  a rigid set of standards to them when it comes to their physicality.  

Or can you conceive of the idea that every criticism you make about black women is also true of white women, who come in all types. Black women aren't the only ones who wear unflattering makeup and clothing or who have oily or dry or pimply skin or who are overweight. And there is a female paragon that all women aspire to, not just black ones and all women are trying to emulate it. That's why white women are so into plastic surgery and losing weight. In putting down black people you ignore how black people are also considered style setters.  Many white people envy the  mystique and swag of black people.   

And your statement that I kept talking about the different ways black women wear their makeup is false! Lipstick is just a component of make-up and all i said was that they there are different shades of lipstick and black women wear them all. 

TIME magazine, in its systemic racism, apparently  thinks that black people are at their best  and most typical when they are smiling broadly.  So they didn't think Viola was grimacing.  it's all in the eye of the beholder.  

 

 

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Pioneer

Dang, those words contain some strong hate right there... whew!

4 hours ago, Troy said:

I think we all can agree that this is not a complimentary photo of Viola

Nope, no agreement here.  Ms. Davis  looks joyous with unbridled exuberance.  Something we rarely see in these posed and photoshopped images of today. 

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@Delano, another difference between men and women ;)

Mel, perhaps my perception of the photo is a reflection of myself, as a Black man in America.  Maybe the differences between men and women are large enough that we can't see the photo the same way.  Another thing I don't like about the photo is the hair. I know white girl hair is still a thing, but I've never liked Black women, particularly dark skinned women, with their hair styled like a European it just bothers me.  I'm glad to see the trend toward more natural hair styles among our young women.

I would also stop short of calling her look "joyous with unbridled exuberance," also because of her eyes. I think a person's eyes reveal a lot about what they are feeling.  Her eyes to not relate unbridled exuberance to me.  Of course, this is purely subjective but it is another reason I don't like the shot; her eyes are telling me one thing while her toothy smile is saying something else.

Cynique, while Essence can be quite heavy handed with Photoshop and makeup, don't think for a second that Time did not edit Viola's picture.

Can we agree that Time has a sensibility that is not optimized for presenting Black women, and that sensibility is rooted in white male dominance?

I'll almost certainly take a survey and see how the results pan out both in general and by gender.

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1 hour ago, Troy said:

Can we agree that Time has a sensibility that is not optimized for presenting Black women, and that sensibility is rooted in white male dominance?

Well interestingly enough that could be case -speaking from experience, the majority of white men love their black women milk chocolate to dark chocolate... So that photo of Viola might be quite appealing to them.  Yep there's yet another perspective.   

 

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Delano

WOW

That's the same thing I said when you claimed you grew up in the Bronx but didn't use judgement when it came to people......lol.


 

 


Troy

The question is what was Time's motivation for creating and publishing this unflattering image of Viola. I called it racist because a Black person would have selected a nicer image.

It was absolutely racist.
White supremacy at it's finest and most subtle.

Our people really need to be sharper when it comes to noticing things like this, but perhaps this is yet ANOTHER example of how men and women differ.

Notice how the women on the board are so quick to defend ANY image of a Black woman that even a clearly unflattring and almost insulting one is defended.

While the men on the board step back and say,
"Whoa ho hoooo.....waaaaaiiit a damn minute....they could have done better than THAT!"

 


It's like this in real life!

I was out with a sister.....a pretty conscious sister....a few days ago when I first noticed this picture and SHE didn't think anything was wrong with it either!
She was so quick to defend Viola and any image of Black women put out by the media that she didn't take time to analyze the expression and colors they decided to use and most of all the REASON Time decided to use that particular image.

It only took me a half a second to realize something was wrong.
And when I sent emails to a couple of my boys, they BOTH agreed that it was "mammyish".


I remember Farrakhan said that Black people are so happy to just SEE themselves on television on in the movies not caring HOW they're depicted.
At the time I first heard it....I didn't understand how right he was.
But the older I get the more I understand.
 

 

Can we agree that Time has a sensibility that is not optimized for presenting Black women, and that sensibility is rooted in white male dominance?

I'll almost certainly take a survey and see how the results pan out both in general and by gender.

You have MY agreement, and I eagerly await the results of that survey.
It's probably split down gender/sexual lines....lol.

Black women....rightly so....are angry and tired of people "bashing" the way they look.
However a lot of our sisters...our of anger and confusion....have taken this "I don't give a fuck what nobody thinks of me" attitude that says they can dress and act anyway they like and no one has the right to critique them let alone correct them.

White racist males can easily take advantage of that by encouraging them to dress and act as crazy as they want to and then put them on display as a mockery and insult to Blacks in general...and many don't have enough sense to realize it .

Leslie Jones' performance on SNL is a GREAT example of the digraceful offspring born from Black ignorance mating with White racism.
Gangsta rap is another even more powerful example.
Silly negroes just to happy and excited to be seen....they don't care HOW they're portrayed.

 

 

 

 


Cynique

What I said about Black women weren't "criticisms" so much as they were....well.....to be honest I'm not sure of the right word to use.
But my point was Black women are VICTIMS of a society that hasn't engineered products designed specifically for them, and out of ignorance and lack of options have been forced to either use products designed for White women or invent products of their own in order to groom themselves.....and through trial and error hope to be successful.



TIME magazine, in its systemic racism, apparently thinks that black people are at their best and most typical when they are smiling broadly. So they didn't think Viola was grimacing. it's all in the eye of the beholder.

It's not ALL in the eye of the beholder.
As I was telling Delano, some perceptions are UNIVERSAL among human beings and will be seen as the same.

You can argue from one culture to the next whether or not it's appropriate for a dark brown woman to wear bright red lipstick.
However when I woman smiles with her upper lips curled back and crimpled bearing her entire upper teeth and gums.....that's universally seen as frightening.

It's like a vampire without the fangs.

 

 


Mel

Dang, those words contain some strong hate right there... whew!

Naaaaah nah.......

That ain't HATE.....that's LOVE.

I LOVE my people and hate it when racist try to demean them, insult them, or otherwise make a mockery of them in the eyes of the world.

Like a good friend.
You know you have a good friend she loves you enough to tell you the truth about how you look in a particular dress of if you got a booger hanging out of your nose.

But what would you think of such a friend who would let you walk out of the house looking like a FOOL or let you run around town with a booger hanging out of your nose so that everyone points at you and laughs?

I'm the type of Black man who loves my sisters so much that I want to see them look there BEST, not let some racist encourage them to look like a clown so that they can be mocked and ridiculed.

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I created a draft of this questionnaire

I know simply presenting a questionnaire of this form can be considered sexist. But I'll risk it because race trumps sex every day of the week.  Besides I'm interested in seeing if there is a gender bias toward people liking this photo. And people perceive the photo a racist.

Actually crafting an online survey to determine this is not really easy.

I cropped out Time Magazine to remove any bias due to Time Magazine itself, though many people maybe still know where it came from.  Let me know what you think I'll post this on the site. It is a working form please feel free to complete it.

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I don't think it is flattering nor do I think it is racist. I don't know the intent nor am i certain how Viola Davis is harmed by being on the cover of time.

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I started out by asking if the picture was flattering but decided to go with is it racist, which is what I really wanted to find out.  

Photo aside, I think it is great that Time voted Viola one of the 100 most influential people. I cropped out the rest of the magazine because people might be more inclined to think it is racist because it is Time. I don't think too many people thinks she was "harmed."

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Del

Pioneer have you considered that maybe you are wrong pr perhaps mistaken?

That possiblity exists.
But not only myself but Troy and most of the other Black men that I've shared this with also feel the same way....that the picture is subtly racist and offensive.

When it comes to opinions, we're right by consensus...lol.

 

nor am i certain how Viola Davis is harmed by being on the cover of time.

Then let me explain.......

Viola is being harmed INDIRECTLY along with other Black women by being shown in an unflattering and almost mocking light.
Arbitrarily showing Black women in an offensive, ungraceful, or stereotypical way only re-enforces the historical narrative that White women are the epitome of grace and beauty.

 

 

Troy

I like the flattering part.

But perhaps you should choose a different word besides "racist" for the first question.
Maybe "stereotypical" or even "subtly racist".


Racism is often thought of as a pretty straight forward event that many people don't recognize it when it's practiced in a crafty and vague way that you can't really nail down.

Like I said before......
They'll pick 5 sloppy Black women and put them next to 5 inshape White women and carry on the program as normal.
You KNOW something isn't right about that set up, but it's hard to call it "racism" because no racist words are being said and it's plenty of Black representation.

It took us nearly a hundred years to come up with the term "institutionalized racism"....lol.

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The editors that select their covers know exactly what they are doing.  Remember years ago when the Vogue cover featured a lightened Jennifer Hudson?  They deliberately chose an image that depicted this lady as some sort of clownish jigaboo, for whatever reason.  Perhaps Meryl Streep asked them to do that to put her in her "place."

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Yes, perhaps the unqualified term "Racist" is a bit hard @Pioneer1 I've changed the question. 

You may complete the questionnaire above now.  I don't think I'll make any more changes to it.  Here is a link to the survey that you can share with others: https://aalbc.com/survey/ 

I'll make the results public after a few hundred people complete the survey-- assuming I get that many (it is a lot harder to get people to fill out surveys than it used to be).  I may break my social media boycott to share this.  It is controversial enough to appeal to that crowd and Facebook's algorithm,

Hi @Mzuri , can you point to an article which supports what you wrote bout Streep?

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Meryl Streep and Viola Davis are reportedly very good friends. 

What keeps sticking in my craw about this debate is that there are millions of black women who look like that picture of Viola Davis.  Her flawless complexion is dark brown,  she has a very good set of teeth, she wears red lipstick  and  her hair is  in a style that sistas have been wearing for at least 75 years, dating back to the days when they hot-combed their hair and put it up in curlers.  Why do y'all think that this  is a picture that blacks should be offended by and that to picture a black woman in this pose is racist.  Seems to me all of you are a part of the problem, not the solution because you think black folks should be portrayed as perfect rather than natural because you, yourselves have adopted white standards and are ashamed of your own people, - unless  they are wearing their hair wild and spiked or in ropes of synthetic extensions. I would like some specifics as to where TIME tampered with this picture?

 

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I understand Cynique. This is one of the reasons I'm motivated to run the survey.  This is not really about Viola Davis or Time.  To me, it is about all of us; how and why we, as Black people in a white racist society, perceive images like this so differently.

I'm not concerned about reaching consensus on whether people think the picture of Viola is attractive or not, I'm more concerned about the motivation behind the perceived differences.  Again, I believe the image reflects the underlying racism that permeates our culture.   Others, of course, won't see it this way; because "It ain't that serious." 

My only concern is that people will view the survey as sexist.  Perhaps racism is inextricably intertwined with sexism...

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2 hours ago, Cynique said:

What keeps sticking in my craw about this debate is that there are millions of black women who look like that picture of Viola Davis.

@Cynique  THANK YOU!!!  I didn't know how to phrase it...but you nailed it! yet, I'm still trying to wrap my head around it. 

@Pioneer1 and @Troy seem to have adopted the white man's "caricature" of black women as a standard to what they find unattractive about black women. 

It's weird too because in a way they've allowed racist white man's caricature, troll them and then rent space in their head.  That caricature has seem to have effected their perception of black women's "beauty".   

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@Pioneer1

Pioneer have you considered that maybe you are wrong pr perhaps mistaken?

That possiblity exists.

Yes but have you thought about how yiu could be wrong?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 

Which is subject to influence by culture, politics , peers and one sex organs and perhaps sexual orientation. 

@Troy Statistics won't tell you people's motivation. You can start by asking why you and Pioneer, see it differently than Mel and Cynique. However that requires a level of introspection and intraspectionthat is rare. That's not meant as a slight. The key may be in triangulation. 

 

@TroyAlso can you post the  statistics in total and by race. Mean average and mode for your different categories : sex and race. Age may be interesting but may resukt in either samples tgat are too small. Region may also be interesting. Which couldbe used to see cultural shadings. 

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LOL! Whoa hold everything!  Mel, have you considered that the very same critique you leveled against Pioneer and me could be leveled against you and Cynique--verbatim?   Think about it....

Indeed Cynique reveals the crux of my argument when she wrote, "...you think black folks should be portrayed as perfect rather than natural..."  I don't see Viola being portrayed as natural at all--far from it.  What is "natural about her appearance?  Again, it is more of a caricature, a white man racist depiction of a dark-skinned, middle-aged Black woman.  As far as expecting perfection... that is the last thing on my mind.

Del, statistics, as Facebook can tell you, reveal more about a person's motivations than even they themselves are aware of.  I agree, collecting more data would shed more insight, but I'm afraid it I ask too many questions it will discourage participation.  I did add your "flattering" question.  I can collect the regional data from the IP addresses. Besides this is more fun than scientific.  Again I'd like to see if there is a correlation between gender and the perception of racism.

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Its anonymous but you could ask for sex, age brackets and region. So it's not invasive. 

I am not certain how you can determine motive when its is not always clear to the individual , what is motivating them. 

You could ask them to rate the picture. Does the picture remind you of anyone. And what do you think of Time. How likely are you too see her next film. You can get a wealth of information  with a few questions. 

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38 minutes ago, Troy said:

LOL! Whoa hold everything!  Mel, have you considered that the very same critique you leveled against Pioneer and me could be leveled against you and Cynique--verbatim?   Think about it....

Of course! That is probably why I don't see black people through the eyes of white nationals / racists. Never have.

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Troy

While there ARE exceptions like Mzuri and some females I know in real life who found that particular picture of Viola unflattering, another factor I think may be contributing to the division of opinion along sexual lines is the male drive for COMPETITION.

When I read the posts from the ladies I hear more of a "do your thing" "be yourself" " who cares what other people think of you" attitude being pushed.

They could care less about what other people outside of themselves think.

But with men, we constantly want to BE THE BEST and HAVE THE BEST.

We're COMPETING.
Whether it's with money, power, or even women.

We want to match the Black woman up against the White woman and compete them over who looks the best.

So any attempt to make her look bad or even mediocre....is NOTICED MORE or atleast PERCEIVED MORE.
And seen as an insult or slight to derail our status in the competition.

Do you understand what I'm saying?

The competitive spirit where we want to be the strongest and want our women to look the best may be very subtle, almost subconscious...but I believe t's there.
And it's what drives us as men to notice the slights and unflattering portrayals more than women who may not even bee looking for them.

And because women don't tend to be AS competitive on a larger scale, they don't see what the big deal is or what's at stake for however she's being portrayed.


 

My only concern is that people will view the survey as sexist.

Anytime you ask others to make judgements about a woman's particular look...whether it be her natural body or how she's made up or dressed......you might as well assume that atleast SOME people are going to perceive it as atleast slighly sexist because of historical reasons.

 

 



Cynique

What keeps sticking in my craw about this debate is that there are millions of black women who look like that picture of Viola Davis. Her flawless complexion is dark brown, she has a very good set of teeth, she wears red lipstick and her hair is in a style that sistas have been wearing for at least 75 years, dating back to the days when they hot-combed their hair and put it up in curlers. Why do y'all think that this is a picture that blacks should be offended by and that to picture a black woman in this pose is racist.

Well allow me to pull out some of what's sticking in your craw.........lol.

For the UMPTEENTH TIME:

It's NOT her hair style that's the problem.
It's NOT her dark skin that's the problem.
It's NOT her dress that's the problem.
It's NOT her being happy that's the problem.

My focus is on 2 THINGS:

1. Her lips being curled back and asymetrical like she's some vampire bearing her fangs.

2. Her wearing bright red lip stick that clearly CLASHES with her rich dark complexion


No woman smiles with her upper lip curled all the way back showing nearly all of her upper gums.
If a woman sat next to you like that in public you'd jump up and run away.
It's simply not a normal or natural expression....and the photographers KNEW that.


And again, a woman with dark chocolate skin shouldn't wear bright red lipstick because not only does it brings back memories of the racist caricature "mammy"; but it also gives the subconcious impression that she has a bright red vagina which is unhealthy.

 

 

 


Mzuri

They deliberately chose an image that depicted this lady as some sort of clownish jigaboo, for whatever reason.

Well said.

I'm glad another lady was able to see the same thing we're seeing and co-sign.
We can debate the REASONS all day long, but first let's acknowledge the fact that this picture is an unflattering misrepresentation.


 

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I guess I'm a product of my environment, @Mel Hopkins.

I was just about to post the graphic to solicit people to fill out the survey, but while looking at the photo, divorced from the Time magazine cover, it just looks like a westernized Black woman.  The visual loses a little of it's punch removed from the context of Time cover.  @Pioneer1 what do you think?  Does it make a difference to you?

Mel, I guess where I'm stuck is that you are saying that I'm using the white racist lens to view the photo.  I can tell you for certain that is not it--because if I were, I would actually like the photo as much as Time obviously does.  If anything, I'm looking at it from a Black male racist's lens.  

A birthday Cake for George WashingtonBut since Black people can't be racist in America... I'm just seeing it from the perspective of American Black man.

Remember the not to subtly racist book, A Birthday Cake for Washington.  This book was overseen by plenty of Black people.  Even the Illustrator Vanessa Brantley-Newton is Black. The Book's editor Andrea Davis Pinkney is Black.  Indeed before the book was pulled Davis is quoted as saying:

“… [W]e have a tremendous responsibility to present history with the utmost accuracy and care . . . . author Ramin Ganeshram . . . spent years researching the life and times of George Washington’s enslaved chef, Hercules to craft her book . . . .  And, with this responsibility in mind, acclaimed artist Vanessa Newton made the deliberate choice to depict slaves as beautiful people who possessed great dignity, . . . and who smiled about their achievements in the face of slavery’s degrading evils”.

No one prior to this book's publication said wait WTF is going on here?!

This is why we need Black heterosexual men in publishing... and they wonder why Black men don't read more.  New York publishing does not care about Black men.

I could go on all day with examples like this.  The Time cover just another one.

As a sanity check, Mel and Cynique, do you think this book is racist?

 

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Mel

@Pioneer1 and @Troy seem to have adopted the white man's "caricature" of black women as a standard to what they find unattractive about black women.

Yes, I actually DO find that particular caricature of Black women unattractive and unappealing.

Whenver I see Black women....especially young Black women...on the street with those Aunt Jemimah rags tied around their heads with the knot in the front I feel like running up to them and snatching it off.....lol.
For decades we've fought to get rid of the "mammy" image and now some of our youth want to bring it right back as a sign of rebellion.



It's weird too because in a way they've allowed racist white man's caricature, troll them and then rent space in their head. That caricature has seem to have effected their perception of black women's "beauty".

Read what I said to Troy about males and COMPETITION and maybe it will help you make more sense out of our reaction.

What I'm gonna say may be taken as sexist but the fact is......Black women SHOULD care how people see them and SHOULD do their best to beautify themselves and make themselves more attractive.

In nearly every culture on this planet, it's part of a rite or custom for women to beautify themselves....that includes the hundreds of various African cultures.

Men = Strength
Women = Beauty

Anytime a woman stops worrying about her looks and stops trying to be beautiful, it won't be long before she stops trying to be a woman PERIOD.


Viola Davis IS a beautiful woman and that picture of her just doesn't give her the justice she deserves.

 

 

 

 

Delano

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Which is subject to influence by culture, politics , peers and one sex organs and perhaps sexual orientation.

That may be true.
However
I go back to what I said earlier about heterosexual males actually being MORE qualified to judge women's looks than even women themselves.
And vice versa.....
Whenever I try on clothes and want to know how I look in something....I don't ask another man....I ask women.


How can someone of the SAME sex judge how attractive the OPPOSITE sex will find someone?
 


Troy

Actually, without the Time cover and her name on it to context the image, I wouldn't have even KNOWN it was Viola Davis because the image looks so "nothing like her".

Other than that, I probably wouldn't be AS shocked because not knowing who it was....I wouldn't have other MUCH BETTER pictures with which to compare her to.

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12 minutes ago, Troy said:

I'm just seeing it from the perspective of American Black man.

I don't think this was a point of contention.  I was never in doubt that you were looking at her from a perspective of American Black man.  I've heard that perspective all my life...

So you can imagine how weird it was for me to learn some white men don't look black women that way... and those white men see us not as the caricature they created for the black male consumption but they see us dark skinned women who wear red lipstick and have full-bodied hair, as attractive and appealing.  
 

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35 minutes ago, Troy said:

And, with this responsibility in mind, acclaimed artist Vanessa Newton made the deliberate choice to depict slaves as beautiful people who possessed great dignity,

@Troy After coming from the National Museum of African American History and Culture... I understand this depiction.  I wouldn't have before visiting the exhibit. 

I was blown away by the workmanship and detail put into the artifacts - original cloth, homes, tents, all makeshift spoons, dishes, a hand stitched shawl that Harriet Tubman wore... These people were ENSLAVED and still took pride to make the best out of crap! According to some exhibits, they picked the cotton, ran the gins and had to make their own clothes from inferior fabric... so maybe if they smiled it was from the pride they took in their work.  (shitty yes, but really awe-inspiring)

35 minutes ago, Pioneer1 said:

For decades we've fought to get rid of the "mammy" image and now some of our youth want to bring it right back as a sign of rebellion.
 

@Pioneer1

So you fought to rid the "mammy image" that was created by someone who seeks/sought to oppress you, by denying black women agency to wear what they choose?  Is that how you fight someone who oppresses you? By subjugating someone who is willing to fight along side you? 

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Mel
 

Is that how you fight someone who oppresses you? By subjugating someone who is willing to fight along side you?

Sometimes the fight isn't with the OPPRESSOR
Sometimes the fight is with IGNORANCE.

Women who wear those handkerchiefs tied around their heads aren't fighting along side of me.
Infact they aren't fighting PERIOD.
It's a style many of them picked up on in IGNORANCE.
Most of them are too young to know who Aunt Jemimah is or what she represents, they just see a few other women wearing it and they begin to imitate it....especially on "bad hair" days.

If they were better educated with a knowledge of history and the historical images OF racism then they probably wouldn't wear rags tied around their heads like that.

It's the same with young Black men who wear their pants so low that they have to shuffle and wobble from side to side when they walk.
If they had a better knowledge of history and how Black men were often FORCED to walk in the manner that they are CHOOSING to walk now.....they probably would change their ways.

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@Pioneer1, I've never experienced an "overseer" so I may be to liberal in my use of the definition  -but this feels like you believe in doing the work of those who seek to oppress. 
What people choose to wear is their choice.   If someone chooses to make a caricature of someone's style - that ignorance is THEIRS and theirs alone.. not the person wearing the style.  

I'm glad those young women are ignorant (as in unaware) of the caricature of Aunt Jemina - at least they aren't tainted by self-hate and it won't take up room in their head.

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2 hours ago, Pioneer1 said:

My focus is on 2 THINGS:

1. Her lips being curled back and asymetrical like she's some vampire bearing her fangs.

2. Her wearing bright red lip stick that clearly CLASHES with her rich dark complexion


No woman smiles with her upper lip curled all the way back showing nearly all of her upper gums.
If a woman sat next to you like that in public you'd jump up and run away.
It's simply not a normal or natural expression....and the photographers KNEW that

This is just not true, Pioneer. You can't make the statement that no woman smiles like that because they do. Viola did. This is simply your opinion  because her broad smile reveals the incisors that every one has and, in your view, she is grimacing.   In mine,  she is not!  And where is it carved in stone that dark brown and red clash!.  They actually don't! The complement each other.  Red and and dark brown  are regularly found in fabric prints;  Wearing a dark brown skirt and red blouse is not an example of clashing.A red tie with a dark brown suit, either. You are simply brainwashed to think this when it comes to dark women and, as usual, you are generalizing.  And to say that a photographer was standing around waiting for Viola to smile broadly is ridiculous!  i am not under the impression that this picture was taken specifically for this TIME  article.  i think it was an old picture that they already had in their files. Once again, i say, that you want black people to dress to impress white people; you are stuck in a "negro" mindset circa 1950, and want blacks to be carbon copies of white people. If a black woman is secure enough  to tie  her head up in a handkerchief, then more power to her! Just because Aunt Jemina brings to mind slave days, does not mean it is an inaccurate image.  She's of another time and place and was what she was. 

@TroyI think the book is racist because it inadvertently reinforces the idea that slaves  were happy people who loved and wanted to please their "massas", a myth that lets white people off the hook.  

BTW, Why do you say that picture of Viola is not natural. Very few women of any race go without make-up  or wearing their hair styled or colored in some way. and if you think Viola wearing make up and  her hair in a style other than an Afro is unnatrual, then i disagree. I have repeatedly referred to this picture as a candid shot, a true depiction of how she looked at that moment.  

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We are commodifing her. As if she were a consumable.  And since she is an actor that is partially true. But not in this context. Why does she have to be attractive or not atttactive. She is a sucees in a field littered with failure.

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@Delano, you answered your own question.  Viola s a great actress but she is a commodity, very easily substituted... this is the nature of celebrity.  Which also goes to @Frederic's point.  I'm sure Viola is accustomed to people talking about her in ways that she may find surprising, incomprehensible, or even silly. Again, it is the nature of celebrity. 

I asserted this conversation is not about Viola--it could have been anyone.  Is it a debate about the depiction, and resulting perception, of Black women in a white racist society.  Obviously, there is some disagreement on the nature of these different perspectives.

These differences in perspective come up ALOT.

Another example is that way Black women are portrayed in rap music video and lyrics (I have not watched a rap video in several years so I don't know if anything has changed). We all know the negative ways Black women were(are) portrayed.  We have also heard the rap artists explain away and justify depicting Black women in an objectified, misogynistic manner.  I always viewed this as a racist treatment of our people, but I was always an outlier on this issue.

@Mel Hopkins as far as the book is concerned I "understand" the portrayal--this was not the first book like this, nor will it be the last.  Little Black Sambo was a happy character too.  But both are straight up racist.

Mel of course white men "see" Black women differently in the context of this white racist culture. Here is an example that will help you understand the difference:  When Black American men go to other countries (DR, Rio, Ghana, etc) the women in those countries treat Black American's "extremely well" (wink, wink).  Can you appreciate why the local men in those countries would look upon these women differently that the American men would?

Now here is the kicker Mel; if these local women also believe that the American men were better to them, or somehow less critical of their appearance than their local men; how do you think those local men would feel?  Now think about that in the context of how you described the way white American men look at Black women here.

@Cynique, I did not recognize Viola, so the image is extremely unnatural in my opinion.  Pioneer did not recognize here either.  But before you say this is more about us that the picture consider the following:

I've yet to come across a cover photo in a major magazine that is 100% "natural."  But some covers are more natural looking than others which of the magazine covers below do you (please anyone may answer) think is more natural looking? Which cover do you find more flattering? Please explain your answer.

viola_davis_magazine_covers.jpg

@Pioneer1, I see now I have the add back the Time magazine cover, content is important here.  I'll launch the survey later this morning.

Thanks everyone for the comment so far, it has been very enlightening.

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