sassysage's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘media images

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  • Comments Off on Sage’s Rage: art as activism

we love how nyc youth poet laureate & 18 year old high school senior, sharon lin, uses her words to move hearts.  her poem ‘a footnote on a hollywood blockbuster’ critiques the way images of women/girls of color are portrayed by media and beyond. check out the power of her message…


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  • Comments Off on Hot off The Press: Stop Questioning JLo’s Booty

i went by the dumbo arts festival this past weekend to check out the south asian women’s creative collective performance ‘beauty’.

it had me questioning how we/i decide what is beautiful and who’s standard i/we use to determine what is hot and what is not.

as i walked through the exhibit performances i stubbled upon the #damnilookgood installation. Qinza Najm and Saks Afridi, two Pakistani-American artists, created the piece that encouraged passersby to try on Muslim veils and re-imagine the experience as empowering.

it was a hot day; so i sat in sweat with the veil on waiting for my photo to be taken. the veil was tight and uncomfortable. in that moment i wasn’t convinced.

it wasn’t until the next day after seeing jlo and izzy’s booty video that i realized veiled or half-naked; SELF-DEFINED beauty is the only way to achieve true power.


i can’t judge women from other cultures that choose to be covered from head to toe. and i shouldn’t judge those who prefer to wear a lot less (though twitter has certainly chosen to judge the jlo video).

what we should judge is WHY are we making those choices.

without the pressure from family; without standards to adhere to by faith; without the constant media images (and scandalous videos); without ads selling best beauty (booty) ‘secrets’. without it all; if we really were free to just be our naturally beautiful selves…what choices would we make?

i have no answer.

for me just asking the question takes my beauty to whole ‘nother level…

and that feels empowering.

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  • Comments Off on Hot off The Press: Dove Real Beauty Sketches video asks ‘What do you think about how you look?’

you must check out this DOVE youtube video that was posted this week.

it has gotten over 8 million hits.


just goes to show how much we miss all the beauty in ourselves.  

it’s time to stop being so hard on ourselves.

i’m in the process of taking a ‘love me’ pledge.  

give it a try…

for the next 30 days, think about one thing that you love about your body (chose a different thing each day)

let me know what you picked…

hip hop is NOT the great redeemer that all these folks are trying to make it out to be.  there i said it!

that’s coming from an original hip hop head who fell in luv with the genre as soon as my ear buds could appreciate music…

i had high hopes for hip hop and still do.  especially when you see how its powerful force has manifested empires in so many facets of global society. it is a voice and i’m a firm believer in speech as a form of true freedom.  but i draw the line in making hip hop into a ‘Savior’.

this week i happened upon a Huff Post article about hip hop as the new spirituality for youth.  the author, Dr. Monica Miller was wrote a commentary on the jay z/kanye video “no church in the wild” and youth finding meaning through the lyrics of hip hop. she finds that for youth “music (hip hop often cited) provides what churches often can’t”.  she states that jay-Z and kanye should get, “an honorary degree in theology”.  MBA’s yes; MDiv, come on now…why?  are they really saying something that transformational? or are we hooked on the swag that makes hip hop so irresistible…

i’m sticking with the essence of hip hop and speaking truth.   hip hop is the new spirituality (?), sending hate mail to dream hampton cause she tweeted about nas getting a ghostwriter (?), defending to the end like it’s all good with hip hop (?).

if you’re talking about underground hip hop, i agree with you. but if you are referring to the mainstream, fast food version served up for the masses; i pass…glorify not please.   Dr. Miller is correct that many youth are listening to, believing in and living their life for hip hop. but that makes me wanna holla false prophet…

the messages in a lot of the songs, videos and overall vibe of mainstream hip hop is NOT COOL. let’s stop kidding ourselves and recognize that a lot of hip hop has corrupted the minds of many young and not-so young people in ways we should not be praising.   those hooks of get ahead by any means, nothing matters but bling, shaking booty is all that counts is NOT the road map to success.

just when i was ready to put away my b-girl kicks, lupe fiasco premiered his new video ‘b@tch bad’ from his upcoming album Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1.   All I can say is preach Lupe, preach…

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  • Comments Off on Hot off the Press: who looks like that?

many of us ladies look at the ads in magazines or tv and wonder who really looks like that?  the reality is that only a tiny fraction of women are the size of the models that are plastered all over the media.    

Did you know:

– Twenty years ago the average fashion model weighed 8% less than the average woman. Today, she weighs 23% less.

– Ten years ago plus-size models averaged between size 12 and 18. The majority of plus-size models on agency boards are between a size 6 and 14.

– 50% of women wear a size 14 or larger, but most standard clothing outlets cater to sizes 14 or smaller.

*reprinted from PLUS Model

In the January 2012 issue of PLUS Model Magazine, plus-size model Katya Zharkova is featured in an explosive editorial about this issue.

Check it out:

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  • Comments Off on Sage’s Rage: News you can use

I am really diggin’ the website, which provides up to date media news, fashion and relationship columns that ladies are sure to love. This site is put together by Cherry Martinez, journalist and radio host of Power 105.1 (NYC).  

Check out a post from this week which is on the money about the crazy images being put out there in urban media. I especially like the line, “more balance is needed in urban culture to show that there are talented people of all body types, especially for women.”

Bringing The Real Sexy Back: The Disproportion Of Male And Female Body Image In Urban Media

– by God-is Rivera

Not long ago, I was passing by a newsstand and happened to catch a glimpse of the most recent issue of Smooth magazine. I noticed a completely pore-less, voluptuous Black model, hair for days, flawless makeup, with a waist to hip ratio that would make even Serena Williams insecure and a derrière that would make Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez consider butt implants. Feeling a little depressed about my own perfectly fit and healthy body, I turned to the music magazines to take my mind off not looking like a perfect Coke bottle. I almost choked on my Coolatta when I spotted the cover of Vibe magazine’s “Sexy Issue” with hip-hop artist Rick Ross plastered on the front…shirtless, proud, draped in oversized chains and his flabby, grossly overweight torso covered in tattoos. As I stood open-mouthed and stared back and forth at both covers, my mind almost could not comprehend how utterly ridiculous the disproportion of male and female body images in urban media has become.

In recent years, women in urban culture have become increasingly sexy, glamorous and downright visually perfect. With the advancement of new cosmetic procedures like butt and breast enhancement surgery and undetectable weaves, women are expected to look downright perfect. Even actresses and models in their mid-forties (i.e. LisaRaye McCoy, Stacey Dash, Vanessa Williams) are looking half their age and like they never even been close to being pregnant even though they have all had children. No one has one stretch mark? No one has just a little cellulite?

The new technology of graphic design program Adobe Photoshop has also single-handedly changed the way photos in online and print publications are perceived. Almost like a magic wand, Photoshop allows images to be completely manipulated, which often results in distorted photos of women bearing impossible features like waists that have inches shaved off, rumps that have cushion added, pores and skin marks that have been virtually erased and skin that has been lightened or changed. With these misleading images being pimped in the media, young women (and even older women too) have been going to great lengths to mirror these unnatural trends, sometimes even going as far as to meet their own demise. Such was the case with Tameka Raymond, ex-wife of mega-star singer Usher, who had a close brush with death after complications arose during a routine liposuction procedure, and most notably the untimely passing of Donda West, mother of hip-hop producer and rapper Kanye West, who died after an adverse reaction to a cosmetic procedure.

The madness doesn’t stop there. As much as women are expected to look perfect, urban media has certainly loosened the physical reigns on hip-hop culture’s male representatives. Several men in urban culture are far from having ideal physical physiques. Obese rappers Fat Joe and Rick Ross have been overweight for years, but in each new video, they are surrounded with women with goddess-like bodies. Southern artists like Wacka Flocka Flame and Gucci Mane see much fame, but no one even comments on their noticeably non-toned bodies, which are also usually covered in tattoos. And being overweight isn’t always the issue; top artists like Wiz Khalifa and Soulja Boy often look severely underweight, with physiques that are nowhere near perfect. Gone are the LL Cool J and Ginuwine days where male artists boasted chiseled chests and made the fellas bop their heads and the ladies swoon. In today’s hip-hop, only the women have to look perfect.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not that shallow to think that every single person on TV should have the figure of a Barbie or Ken doll, but I do believe that more balance is needed in urban culture to show that there are talented people of all body types, especially for women. For the health of our daughters, hopefully soon there will be some balance brought back to the eyes of urban media.

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