Category Archives: Tyra

Vogue Italia Launches Vogue Curvy and Vogue Black

Curvy women and black culture are officially en vogue.

Vogue Italia has relaunched their website to include channels for Vogue Curvy (for full-figured women), Vogue Black (for black women) and Vogue Talents (for up-and-coming talents).

The site, which is available in English, boasts video interviews, photo galleries, articles and images—all the features fashion lovers spend hours dissecting on the web.

Vogue Curvy currently features an interview with plus-size model of the moment, Crystal Renn, while Vogue Black offers an exclusive talk with model/mogul Tyra Banks. Vogue Black also includes a profile on Grace Jones and an article “Know Your Fro” by amazing beauty blogger and friend of The Glamazons, Afrobella. Vogue Talents presents an interview with the Rodarte sisters, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, and footage from their Fall 2010 Fashion Show.

The content is pretty exceptional. The concept, on the other hand, has caused quite the controversy.

In general, everyone agrees that it’s great that Vogue Italia recognizes that curvy women and black culture are worth celebrating. But some argue that presenting them on separate channels is still divisive. It’s like saying ‘You deserve attention, just not on our main channel. Here’s a section just for you.’

Similar complaints were made during the launch of the Vogue Italia All-Black issue and V Magazine’s Size Issue. To some, it perpetuated separatism. Instead of incorporating women of color and women with curves into these magazines on a regular basis, groups are given an issue where it’s all about them…one month out of the year. They’re celebrated, yes, but still marginalized.

On the other hand, people are arguing that ESSENCE Magazine, Ebony Magazine, Latina Magazine, Sister 2 Sister Magazine, etc. are just as separatist, focusing solely on a particular ethnic group. Sure magazines like Ebony were created as the answer to exclusion from the mainstream, but now those magazines have set the tone for what “inclusion” means. It seems Vogue Italia is just following suit using that same, proven formula.

Which leads me to my next question…can a wide range of cultures, sizes and ethnicities be represented (regularly) in one book? Is it even possible?

Judging from some unfortunate comments about the Vanity Fair controversy, if a magazine is not overtly associated with a race, people believe it should be assumed that it’s a “white magazine.” Which presents the need for a “black magazine.” Perhaps, that’s the thinking behind Vogue Italia’s separate channels.

When will the pages of a magazine, or the screen of a website, be big enough to fit all of us? Do we even want it to? Discuss.

Kisses,

Coutura

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WIN IT!: Tyra Show Plus-Size Model Competition

Before curves became en vogue, Tyra Banks was an advocate for plus-size models in the fashion industry. Besides recruiting fly, full-figured models for America’s Next Top Model like the beautiful Toccara and Whitney Cunningham (who I met at the party celebrating ANTM’s Oxygen move…what a sweetheart!), Banks has faced vicious criticism for her own weight gain as well.


It’s not easy for a plus-size model in Fashion and I’ve always appreciated Tyra’s willingness to speak out about it. Finally, she’s putting her money where her mouth is.


Banks is launching a plus-size competition on the Tyra show called “The Fiercely Real Model Search.” Plus-size models between the ages of 13-19 can enter to win a one-year Wilhemina modeling contract, a cover and fashion spread in Tyra’s online magazine and a spread in a major fashion magazine. Click here for details.


Here’s what the model-turned-mogul had to say about the competition:

“I’ve always felt it was my mission to expand the narrow perceptions of beauty; through ‘America’s Next Top Model,’ ‘True Beauty’ and ‘The Tyra Show’ I challenge industry and universal standards by featuring and celebrating non-traditional beauty, and stressing that true beauty is both inside and out,” Banks said. “Adolescence is such an impressionable time in a young woman’s life, and I hope this contest helps teen girls discover their own beauty from the inside out.”



Truly commendable. All beautiful plus-size girls get ready to half-turn, pose and strut for the modeling chance of a lifetime! Tyra will announce the winner on her talk show on March 3rd. 


Good luck from The Glamazons!


Kisses,


Coutura


America’s Next Top Model Joins the Blackface Bandwagon

Hey Glamazons,
A Glamazon reader brought to my attention that in last night’s episode of America’s Next Top Model, Tyra Banks painted a white and Asian contestant black for their photo shoot. According to the Huffington Post:

“…in last night’s episode, Tyra crossed the fine line from tasteless over to offensive when she put the remaining six contestants in ethnic garb and gave them biracial identities.”

Tyra shot these six contestants in a sugarcane field in Hawaii, culturally significant because as she puts it, people traveled from different places to work there and procreated to develop blended races. In reference to the ethnic garb, Tyra explained that the clothes chosen aren’t accurate representations of the way certain cultures dress, but merely “a fashion interpretation.” Hmm. Does creativity negate the need for historical accuracy? Does it justify cultural insensitivity? Interesting…

Given my and lot of your heated reactions to another “fashion interpretation,” the French Vogue Blackface photo shoot, I was sure that Tyra’s photo shoot would be met with just as much hostility. Until I read another comment about the fact that Tyra has painted white and black contestants with Asian features for ANTM Cycle 3’s shoot in Tokyo. See photos below.




I wonder if Asian, and specifically Japanese, women watching the show felt the same kind of outrage that many of our black readers did…or is this practice specifically hurtful to us given the sensitive history of blackface?
What do you think? Are the images from the ANTM photo shoot as offensive as that from French Vogue? Why or why not? Why was there an outrage among black women (and men) for the French Vogue photoshoot while the Asian population remained largely silent about the ANTM photo shoot? What’s the line between art and racism? Does it differ depending on the race being “interpreted”?
Discuss.
Kisses,
Coutura
Photos: The CW. antmc3.blogspot.com

The Truth About Weave Part I

Hey Glamazons!
Ever since Chris Rock called us out in the documentary, “Good Hair,” everyone has been discussing why weaves are…well, horrible. Men are complaining that they can’t run their fingers through weaved heads without hitting the tracks or “speed bumps,” or “choo-choo’s” as they call it. Women are applauding celebs like Kandi from Bravo’s Real Housewives of Atlanta for wearing their own hair while side-eyeing her castmate, Nene’s weaved haircut.
In fact, on our magazine’s website, commenters talked about weaves like they were for bald-headed misfits that secretly hate themselves. Like the natural hair on weave-wearer’s heads is so nappy, thin and sparse, the only way we can get out of bed and face the public is if we put some poor Indian woman’s hair on our heads. Not true!
On behalf of weave lovers everywhere, Ferocia and I are doing a two-part post breaking down myths about being weave-a-licious—and proving that it’s not a bad thing.
-MYTH: Only women with short or no hair wear weaves.
I recently had a weaved bob (see below), took it out last night and wore my real hair to work the following day.
My hair in a (weaved) bob
My real hair after I took the weave out
Everyone—from men to multicultural women—had the same question:

“If your real hair is long and healthy, why do you wear a weave?”
Huh?
I thought such ignorant concepts about weave disappeared in the 90’s, but maybe I’m wrong. No longer are weaves the saving grace for people with no hair.
In my opinion, it’s old news that women with flowing beautiful hair down their back (and even white women…hello Khloe Kardashian! (If you don’t believe it, watch her segment on Wendy Williams where she talks about putting a bobby pin on her track) are wearing weaves for a number of reasons. Let’s name a few:

(1) To try a new color or cut without committing. I wanted to rock the asymmetric bob trend without cutting my real hair and having to suffer through that awkward stage as the hair grows back. I also wanted to energize my look with a sexy new honey blonde color. A weave allowed me to experiment with cut and color…and take it out as soon as I was over it (for me, this is a two week span). Genius! A lot of celebrities—from Rihanna to Mary J. Blige—wear weaves for just that reason.
(2) Some weaves are easier to maintain than real hair. As I prepared to travel to Southern Spain this summer (most amazing trip…ever! btw), I knew I would want to swim in the ocean everyday. Instead of wearing my real hair, which would entail me washing, blow-drying and flat-ironing daily, I wore a weave that could withstand daily trips to the beach.

(3) To add texture and volume to your real hair. Many women just sew in a few tracks of weave (of the same length or shorter) to make their own hair fuller. Run your hands across the scalps of your favorite famous Hollywood starlet and I guarantee you’ll find one or two tracks in the center or bottom to give her that glamourous red-carpet volume.
(4) To give your real hair a break. Curling and flat-ironing your real hair takes a tremendous toll. Many women circumvent this by applying heat to style weaves while their real hair remains safe from harm.
Sure, weave has its share of setbacks. For example, sometimes, your scalp just needs to breathe which is why it’s good to rock your hair out every couple of months.
Also, sewn-in weaves can cause breakage by tugging at your real hair in cornrows. For this reason, when getting a sewn-in weave, it’s important to avoid braiding the hair so tight that the weave pulls at your real hair. My hairstylist even braids synthetic hair into my cornrows so the tracks don’t strain my real hair as much.
One complaint that isn’t a setback? That men “can’t run their fingers through weave.” Trust: I wouldn’t let you touch my hair, real or weaved, anyway. =)

Discuss: What’s your opinion on weaves?
Kisses,
Coutura

Magazine Glam: Tyra to Launch Fashion Mag


Hey Glamazons!

Former Victoria’s Secret and Sports Illustrated supermodel Tyra Banks is going behind the scenes to launch her own fashion title, according to WWD. Tyra: Beauty Inside & Out emerges as the latest business venture from the business mogul, who already has a popular talk show and reality show on her roster. 
The web-only magazine will employ six full-time staffers and feature topics ranging from beauty and fashion to healthy living and relationships. In true, shrewd business-woman fashion, Tyra sidestepped the flailing print industry to explore the burgeoning online media world. The site will launch today at 5PM with a competition for America’s Next Top Model Cycle 14, where the winner gets an interview in the final round of the audition process.
Are you excited for the launch of Tyra’s magazine? Will you be logging in? Discuss.
Kisses,
Coutura

Model Misbehavior

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Impossibly skinny women and gay men took over Manhattan as we celebrated America’s Next Top Model’s move to Oxygen. With Mama Tyra leading the procession, a parade of stilettos, bandaged dresses and flowing weaves moved from the red carpet on Broadway to the inside of NYC’s famed Gotham Hall. Saleisha, Bree, Jazlene, Camille, Bianca, Danielle, Stacy Ann, Furonda, Whitney Cunningham all strutted past us clicking their 3-inch heels. It was like being transported into a real-life Top Model marathon…with endless martinis, bbq shrimp and free lip glosses (with the Oxygen logo…soo cute!).

After enjoying some great star sightings—Dawn and Q from MTB4, Miss USA (Crystle Stewart) and Ms. J in all his fabulousness, we mingled and sashayed to the tune of Sexy Back and Prince’s Kiss.

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Miss J and Coutura reunite!

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Okay, I secretly watched every season of Making the Band! I just love these two. Can we get a collabo?

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All in together now….Awwwww! Aren’t they adorable?

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The beautiful ones: Miss America and MAC Make-up Artiste Extraordinaire, Josh Swann

…And we laughed incessantly at the infamous scene where Tyra screams on Tiffany. They played it on the big screen over and over again! Props to Tyra for being able to laugh at herself.

Of course, they had an impromptu fashion show. It was fabou (and made me even more excited for Fashion week!) even though the girls wore the same party dresses they came in. They still proved Ms. Jay’s training (walk like it’s for sale and the rent is due tonight!!) was not in vain.

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Cute!!

But for all the glitz and glamour, there was a furry pink elephant in the room: the fact that the models just didn’t seemed to be working. Everyone arrived with a hungry publicist with comp card in hand and most weren’t even signed to an agency. Some had left the industry altogether. And the few models who had secured gigs (a magazine shoot here, a TV commercial there) were treated like royalty. Sadly, I can almost guarantee that the big wigs in the fashion industry (read: the Almighty Anna Wintour and her entourage) don’t even know their names.

And what’s worse? Arguably the most successful vixens to come out of ANTM, Eva (who’s marrying that fine black man…good for you, girl) and Toccara, didn’t even show. Ouch. It seems the show itself is the only winner, not the models vying for a spot in the fashion biz.

Even the party’s theme, Obsessed, came off as a not-so-subtle plea that viewers will continue to be obsessed with the series after the move to Oxygen. (Interesting that Project Runway, it’s cousin, or rival depending on who you’re talking to, is making the switch to Lifetime). I personally stopped watching ANTM last season (uhhh…just over it…) but tell me, will you be tuning in?

Oh and here are more pictures of the ANTM girls for your enjoyment. WORK, LADIES! (No pun intended, I swear.)

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Camille’s tan was from the Cayman Islands!! I could use that glow (the frigid NYC weather makes you paler and paler…)

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What do you know about a mohawk with a blonde highlight and supersize bow tie? The world can’t handle all this smexy.

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My best model pose. My friends made me do it!

Until next time, stay warm (my Northeast friends!!).

Kisses,

Coutura