The best and the worst parts from the last week.
Here’s what I can’t stop smiling over this week.
Leah Still Has Finally Beaten Cancer!
The 5-year-old daughter of Houston Texans defensive tackle Devon Still has officially conquered her neuroblastoma! The Stills rose to fame in 2014 when the Cincinnati Bengals hired Dad Devon to their practice squad, so he would be able to pay for Leah’s chemotherapy and medical bills. Leah’s valiant battle has been chronicled via her father’s Instagram and Twitter accounts which have brought exposure to the disease and raised thousands of dollars for the Still Strong Foundation. Congratulations to the Still Family!
Taraji P. Henson Winning a Golden Globe
What do you do when you win your first Golden Globe for playing the ever fabulous Cookie Lyon? Pass out cookies on your way up to the stage, naturally. I expect nothing less from the fantastic Taraji P. Henson, who completed her first Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Television Drama with a win this past Sunday. It’s always nice to see a WOC earning accolades for a job well done. Despite the lackluster second season, Henson is easily the most entertaining and well acted piece of the Empire puzzle. It’s the first win for the Fox drama, which is expected to return to the small screen on March 30th.
Beautiful WOC Cover Elle Magazine’s latest issue
Elle has chosen several fabulous brown women to cover their 2016 Women in TV issue that will hit stands nationwide January 19th. After placing Lena Dunham on one of their 2015 Women in TV covers, seeing more “all women” positive faces was refreshing (and altogether preferred, if I’m honest). Priyanka Chopra of Quanitco, Viola Davis of How to Get Away With Murder and the aforementioned Taraji P. Henson join Julia Louise Dreyfus of Veep and Olivia Wilde of the upcoming HBO show Vinyl as the featured faces. The covers are minimalist with little makeup and natural hair, serving to compliment the raw beauty of these leading ladies.
Amandla Stenberg Comes Out and Has No Time for Your Erasure
In the last year alone, Amandla Stenberg has been one of the few celebs to use their platform for good, and I live for it. Recently she landed the Teen Vogue cover and as a result had control of their Snapchat account. In a 2 minute video, Stenberg mentions her bisexuality and her refusal to have any of her identities suppressed in a way that I can only describe as fantastic black girl magic. She’s taken to Twitter and kept true on her promise to not be silenced, and to put in the work to end offensive dialogue. As a 22-year-old woman, I am in awe of this 17-year-old and all the wisdom she carries with her. Stay awesome, Amandla.
Someone has to talk about them, right? Here’s what I won’t miss from the last week.
Jaden Smith is the New Face of Louis Vuitton…And People Are Still Homophobic
Listen. Jaden Smith has never once tried to conform to anything that’s been “asked” of him. So when Louis Vuitton named him one of the faces of their 2016 line in which he wears a skirt, the outrage was actually disgusting. People have chastised Will and Jada Smith, Jaden’s parents, for failing him, when if anything they’ve done nothing but allow him to be his own person. I’m extremely disappointed in the amount of hostility and homophobia I’ve seen from the black community (especially from black men) towards this young black teenager chosing his own path in this world and doing what he loves. Jaden Smith has taken black masculinity and thrown it on its head and I am so here for it.
— Variety (@Variety) January 12, 2016
Sigh. Every time I say I’m going to stop complaining about her, she does something publicly irritating AGAIN. After the Golden Globes on Sunday during a press conference, Lawrence actually chastised an adult man for looking at his phone while she was in his presence. To add insult to injury, she told him to “live in the moment, live in the now,” which is ironic, because if she took her own advice she’d realize how miserably problematic she is all of the time. It clearly sounded like English wasn’t this poor guy’s first language (don’t worry, she made him look stupid about that, too) and he was likely looking at a written question on his phone. But the worst thing to happen to this reporter was his realization that he’s probably on his editor’s shit list. Why else would he be assigned to the Jennifer Lawrence press conference?
David Bowie’s Passing
I can’t claim myself to be a David Bowie fanatic, but there is no telling how massive of an impact he left on the music industry. His passing on Monday has left the world in an odd, delicate place. Bowie wrecked the definition of masculinity way before people were ever ready for it, and did it effortlessly. He stood up for black artists in the face of a then biased MTV. Don’t even get me started on his last album. He recorded it knowing his time left on earth was limited, and released his final music video just 2 days before he passed on his 69th birthday. I can’t even imagine being that selfless, to be able to give the world one last piece of me before I have nothing left.
But the world has forgotten his alleged sex crimes, one of which includes statutory rape. It’s a hard subject to touch; he was the voice of the “weird kids.” He sung for the marginalized and the different. But when we say, “Let’s forget about it,” it’s just another sheet tossed into the rape culture fodder. I think we can still thank him for what he’s given us, but let us not pretend his legacy went untarnished and pure. It’s just not fair.