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Author Topic: black women/blond hair  (Read 26277 times)

petitschoque

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Re: black women/blond hair
« Reply #50 on: April 26, 2006, 10:54:12 AM »
I don't think that any of them are "ethnically ambiguous" and if they are, you imply that there is something wrong or inauthentic in being so.

Don't read things into my words.

I believe they are ethnically ambiguous, and I believe it is due to deliberate marketing. They have to appeal to the widest audience.

I think it is lame and boring because my eyes desire more variety. However, I never said anything about wrongness nor did I raise any issues of authenticity.

Hybrid Vigor

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Re: black women/blond hair
« Reply #51 on: April 26, 2006, 10:58:59 AM »
I don't think that any of them are "ethnically ambiguous" and if they are, you imply that there is something wrong or inauthentic in being so.

Don't read things into my words.

I believe they are ethnically ambiguous, and I believe it is due to deliberate marketing. They have to appeal to the widest audience.

I think it is lame and boring because my eyes desire more variety. However, I never said anything about wrongness nor did I raise any issues of authenticity.


Maybe I just take a more essentialist view about it - my feeling is that to White people, Ciara is still black regardless of how much weave you pile on her head. I could be completely wrong, but I don't think it enhances crossover appeal nor do I feel like you can "make" someone appear to be ethnically ambiguous. I'm not sure if I've ever thought about it the way you are describing - my feeling is that White people feel how they (meaning each individual) feel about Black people. So if you have Suzy Q who isn't open to the idea of listening to a black singer, she won't listen to one, whether its India Arie or Christina Milan. I'm not sure if I'm making sense, but it goes back to what I was saying in the Hampton hair thread - changing your hair/dress/style/whatever doesn't make you any less Black to White people. 
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petitschoque

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Re: black women/blond hair
« Reply #52 on: April 26, 2006, 11:14:44 AM »
Maybe I just take a more essentialist view about it - my feeling is that to White people, Ciara is still black regardless of how much weave you pile on her head.

Whether or not someone whose look crosses ethnicities is still seen as a black person is not what I was talking about. What I meant is that there are varying degrees of blackness and these often correspond to varying degrees of mainstream acceptance. Of course, skin/hair color isn't the only consideration in determining who will appeal to the mainstream (ex: peppy attitude with a slightly valley girl accent might make one black star more "approachable" than another who has a thick "blaccent" and isn't at all cutesy but anyway--this is in direct opposition to your belief that "hair/dress/style doesn't make you any less black"...).

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I could be completely wrong, but I don't think it enhances crossover appeal nor do I feel like you can "make" someone appear to be ethnically ambiguous.

I think you can totally enhance ethnic ambiguity--you can't make Indie.Arie ethnically ambiguous but you can take a dark-haired Beyonce, give her flowing extensions, lighten her hair, lighten her make-up...and voila! Much less "ethnic"...just as you could give her a dark brown head of tightly curled hair with earthy make-up (browns and reds instead of pale pinks and bronzes) and voila! Much more "ethnic." This is how make-up artists and stylists eat.

I also think ambiguity totally does enhance crossover appeal...but that's a matter of opinion not fact so we can disagree on it and both have valid points. I don't believe that the viewpoint of white people is so simple that they can't differentiate between different types of blacks. I mean black Americans are fond of the House Negro v. Field Negro analogy...didn't that roughly correspond to light negro v. dark negro? And if so, why do you think that whites could differentiate then but suddenly can't nowadays?

Even if whites really see black as this monolith with no variations, the fact is that crossover appeal doesn't only mean appealing to white people. Someone like Beyonce can fit the standard of beauty dominant in the latino community, for instance, and gain fans that way. She can even appeal more to asians than someone like India.Arie or Jill Scott would. There are exceptions but people often prefer those with whom they can identify and physical appearance is part of that identification IMO.

I suspect that those seeking to expand beyond just the 'black' or 'latin' markets consider ethnic associations when positioning themselves for stardom (and I don't think this is a very original suspicion). I also suspect that the less "ethnic" the better (for those who are ethnic to begin with...for whites, a touch of "exotic" might be good). For instance, I believe there's a reason Shakira dyed her hair blonde when she hit the American music scene and hasn't switched since. Sure, she used to dye her hair when she was just a latin star but there was variety in the colors she chose and the colors were often dark. Her insistence on blonde nowadays instead of her natural black or the dark red she favored for a while might be simple preference...or it might be a smart choice that has made her easier to market to whites and even blacks (who also favor a de-ethnicized woman IMO) in America.

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Re: black women/blond hair
« Reply #53 on: April 26, 2006, 11:16:42 AM »
I don't think that any of them are "ethnically ambiguous" and if they are, you imply that there is something wrong or inauthentic in being so.

Don't read things into my words.

I believe they are ethnically ambiguous, and I believe it is due to deliberate marketing. They have to appeal to the widest audience.

I think it is lame and boring because my eyes desire more variety. However, I never said anything about wrongness nor did I raise any issues of authenticity.


Maybe I just take a more essentialist view about it - my feeling is that to White people, Ciara is still black regardless of how much weave you pile on her head. I could be completely wrong, but I don't think it enhances crossover appeal nor do I feel like you can "make" someone appear to be ethnically ambiguous. I'm not sure if I've ever thought about it the way you are describing - my feeling is that White people feel how they (meaning each individual) feel about Black people. So if you have Suzy Q who isn't open to the idea of listening to a black singer, she won't listen to one, whether its India Arie or Christina Milan. I'm not sure if I'm making sense, but it goes back to what I was saying in the Hampton hair thread - changing your hair/dress/style/whatever doesn't make you any less Black to White people


That is a very sheltered comment.

Hybrid Vigor

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Re: black women/blond hair
« Reply #54 on: April 26, 2006, 11:29:19 AM »

I also think ambiguity totally does enhance crossover appeal...but that's a matter of opinion not fact so we can disagree on it and both have valid points. I don't believe that the viewpoint of white people is so simple that they can't differentiate between different types of blacks. I mean black Americans are fond of the House Negro v. Field Negro analogy...didn't that roughly correspond to light negro v. dark negro? And if so, why do you think that whites could differentiate then but suddenly can't nowadays?

Personally, I just think that most whites do not think about the variations in Black people as much as Black people think about them. I just feel that by the time I start interacting with a White person, they already have concepts about who Black people are and whatever traits they associate, positive or negative, with Black people. If they are open minded about befriending me, then they are just that. If not, then they aren't. If they are open minded about Black music, then they are, if they aren't, no amount of "crossover appeal" changes that. But there are people in the gray area and there is where these ideas of ambiguity could come into play.


And Gemini, what makes my comment "sheltered"? Do you think I've only had limited interactions with White people?
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Re: black women/blond hair
« Reply #55 on: April 26, 2006, 11:34:46 AM »


VS



This convo just reminded me of that India Arie/Alicia Keys Grammy debacle.  I have to agree with Petite on this..ofcourse ethnic ambiguity enhances crossover appeal.  That's why so many artists go for that look...or maybe that's why so many artists that become popular already have that look.  Either way...

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crazy8

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Re: black women/blond hair
« Reply #56 on: April 26, 2006, 11:38:26 AM »


VS



This convo just reminded me of that India Arie/Alicia Keys Grammy debacle.  I have to agree with Petite on this..ofcourse ethnic ambiguity enhances crossover appeal.  That's why so many artists go for that look...or maybe that's why so many artists that become popular already have that look.  Either way...



I have a picture of Beyonce in an e-mail, is there any way for me to paste it onto this thing?

Hybrid Vigor

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Re: black women/blond hair
« Reply #57 on: April 26, 2006, 11:39:21 AM »
Is no one here of the opinion that Alicia Keys' album was just BETTER than India Arie's? And maybe I'll get jumped on for this, but India Arie is pretty generic to me - an earthy type who is talk-singing songs about love and self love. India Arie and Jill Scott and maybe even Amel Leaurrex are all pretty similiar in terms of style and sound - who is doing anything comparable to Alicia? And I'm not even that big of an Alicia fan, but I don't think her winning the Grammys over India was just "well she's light skinned so her music is more accepted".
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Statistic

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Re: black women/blond hair
« Reply #58 on: April 26, 2006, 11:40:06 AM »
Part of being successful in Hollywood, music industy etc., *usually*, for black women, includes looking like a dark-skinned white woman to a certain extent. So BP is right.

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Statistic

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Re: black women/blond hair
« Reply #59 on: April 26, 2006, 11:42:18 AM »


I have a picture of Beyonce in an e-mail, is there any way for me to paste it onto this thing?

create an account here: http://photobucket.com/ and upload it. THen link the image to here. and voila.
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