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Reblogged from lupita-nyongo  4,819 notes

    lupita-nyongo:

    Lupita Nyong’o’s Speech at the ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Luncheon

    I wrote down this speech that I had no time to practice so this will be the practicing session. Thank you Alfre, for such an amazing, amazing introduction and celebration of my work. And thank you very much for inviting me to be a part of such an extraordinary community. I am surrounded by people who have inspired me, women in particular whose presence on screen made me feel a little more seen and heard and understood. That it is ESSENCE that holds this event celebrating our professional gains of the year is significant, a beauty magazine that recognizes the beauty that we not just possess but also produce.

    I want to take this opportunity to talk about beauty, black beauty, dark beauty. I received a letter from a girl and I’d like to share just a small part of it with you: “Dear Lupita,” it reads, “I think you’re really lucky to be this black but yet this successful in Hollywood overnight. I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me.”

    My heart bled a little when I read those words, I could never have guessed that my first job out of school would be so powerful in and of itself and that it would propel me to be such an image of hope in the same way that the women of The Color Purple were to me. 

    I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin, I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned. The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of a mirror because I wanted to see my fair face first. And every day I experienced the same disappointment of being just as dark as I was the day before. I tried to negotiate with God, I told him I would stop stealing sugar cubes at night if he gave me what I wanted, I would listen to my mother’s every word and never lose my school sweater again if he just made me a little lighter. But I guess God was unimpressed with my bargaining chips because He never listened. 

    And when I was a teenager my self-hate grew worse, as you can imagine happens with adolescence. My mother reminded me often that she thought that I was beautiful but that was no conservation, she’s my mother, of course she’s supposed to think I am beautiful. And then … Alek Wek. A celebrated model, she was dark as night, she was on all of the runways and in every magazine and everyone was talking about how beautiful she was. Even Oprah called her beautiful and that made it a fact. I couldn’t believe that people were embracing a woman who looked so much like me, as beautiful. My complexion had always been an obstacle to overcome and all of a sudden Oprah was telling me it wasn’t. It was perplexing and I wanted to reject it because I had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy. But a flower couldn’t help but bloom inside of me, when I saw Alek I inadvertently saw a reflection of myself that I could not deny. Now, I had a spring in my step because I felt more seen, more appreciated by the far away gatekeepers of beauty. But around me, the preference for my skin prevailed, to the courters that I thought mattered I was still unbeautiful. And my mother again would say to me you can’t eat beauty, it doesn’t feed you and these words plagued and bothered me; I didn’t really understand them until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be. 

    And what my mother meant when she said you can’t eat beauty was that you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul. It is what got Patsey in so much trouble with her master, but it is also what has kept her story alive to this day. We remember the beauty of her spirit even after the beauty of her body has faded away. 

    And so I hope that my presence on your screens and in the magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel the validation of your external beauty but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside. 

    There is no shade to that beauty.

Reblogged from noratherese  1,296 notes
noratherese:

racebending:






mollsattacks:



Surya Bonaly’s illegal backflip at the Nagano 1998 Olympics in protest of what she saw as unfair judging 
#flawless 






People always roll their eyes when I say that Figure Skating is my favorite sport.  As a kid who grew up in the 1990s, though, I’ve always had a soft spot for it.   First of all, it is one of the only sports where women athletes receive more public attention than the men athletes.   Also, growing up in the 1990s, this sport was one of the only sports where I was able to see athletes who looked like me and athletes who were women of color competing on mainstream network TV.   Kristi Yamaguchi, Debbie Thomas, Michelle Kwan, and of course, the awesome Surya Bonaly.  I still remember cheering when she did this back flip in 1998.



All true. Surya Bonaly was awesome. Glad I got to see her at Champions on Ice back in the day. She used to also get in trouble with judges for never wearing tights when she competed, because there were no skating tights sold in her skin tone.

noratherese:

racebending:

mollsattacks:

Surya Bonaly’s illegal backflip at the Nagano 1998 Olympics in protest of what she saw as unfair judging 

#flawless 

People always roll their eyes when I say that Figure Skating is my favorite sport.  As a kid who grew up in the 1990s, though, I’ve always had a soft spot for it.   First of all, it is one of the only sports where women athletes receive more public attention than the men athletes.   Also, growing up in the 1990s, this sport was one of the only sports where I was able to see athletes who looked like me and athletes who were women of color competing on mainstream network TV.   Kristi Yamaguchi, Debbie Thomas, Michelle Kwan, and of course, the awesome Surya Bonaly.  I still remember cheering when she did this back flip in 1998.

All true. Surya Bonaly was awesome. Glad I got to see her at Champions on Ice back in the day. She used to also get in trouble with judges for never wearing tights when she competed, because there were no skating tights sold in her skin tone.

Reblogged from fuckcolonialism  270 notes

I am aware of the lack of representation of Native Americans in TV and movies, and when Arnaud Desplechin brought the idea of this movie to me, my instinctive reaction was: Why me? Because I really do believe that Native Americans could have played the part better, different… It could have been done.

But there is a money issue in doing movies, and the fact that I have a career created the chance of the movie being made. That is a fact of life at this moment in time. So, when I read the story, I just felt it was a really strong story that should be out there. And, with all due respect, I dared to do it. There have been actors playing outside their groups; it is a tradition in acting. In the history of theater, even women were played by men.

By

Benicio Del Toro’s justification for playing James Picard, a real life Blackfoot Native American veteran, in the film “Jimmy P”.   Read the full interview at Indian Country Today. (via racebending)

i consider myself a fan of benicio’s acting, but just because something’s a “tradition” doesn’t mean it needs to be preserved. and the whole “i’m more famous than any native actor, which is why i kind of HAD to play this part” is really tired and counterproductive. this could’ve been a great opportunity for a native american actor to gain notoriety! benicio sympathizes with our lack of representation, but as long as “money issues” and actors like him are prioritized over native actors for these roles, the situation’s never going to change. 

(via fuckcolonialism)

When I was like 5 years old I used to pray to have light skin because I would always hear how pretty that little light skin girl was, or I would hear I was pretty ‘to be dark skinned.’ It wasn’t until I was 13 that I really learned to appreciate my skin color and know that I was beautiful.

By Actress KeKe Palmer, on a panel of women of color, describing her experience with colorism and internalized racism as a child.
Reblogged from nuestrahermana  7,620 notes

    nuestrahermana:

    Fair or Not?: The Snow White Complex

    Directed by: M. Hasna M.

    “Fair or Not?: The Snow White Complex” is a documentary about Eurocentric standards of female beauty that are held across most (post-Colonial) cultures. 

    Some of the topics covered: Skin color preferences in relation to class/culture, the media’s role in exacerbating internalized racism, skin bleaching products, exoticism of dark-skinned women, and the phenomenon of tanning amongst White women.

    WATCH THIS NOW. WATCH IT.

Reblogged from rhapsody-tardisblue  285 notes

rhapsody-tardisblue:

it matters that Zoe Saldana is a light skinned black woman. it matters that there are at least three recognized, talented, and fresh actresses who could play Nina Simone just as well as Zoe. that she is talented does not matter when other people can play that role. this film project is entirely disrespectful to Nina’s estate, her daughter, and Nina herself. were she the light skinned, more Hollywood accepted woman that Zoe currently is, her career would have taken an entirely different route.

which is why it matters that she was dark skinned with a wide nose and big lips. that was a part of her struggle and her message. it matters to me because there was one day when I was young and i wore my hair in a fro in between braidings, my father told me I looked like Nina Simone. it matters that someone who looks like her plays her because I can’t be the only dark skinned black girl whose ever wanted to see someone who looks like me make it and receive praise and award nominations. 

the fact that they have to fake Zoe’s hair with a wig that makes her look like a Polliwog is important, as is the fact that they have to darken her skin and give her a prosthetic nose, especially when there are people whose entire image wouldn’t need work in order to make them look like the real life human being she’s supposed to be portraying. Nina Simone was real. she’s not a created character whose story can be swept under a “creative license” rug.

Zoe is talented, there’s no doubt about that. she’s shown this a number of times. but her talent does not matter here. I’m not here for this project and I will be boycotting it as well.