I was sold on The Harder They Fall as soon as I saw the trailer. I didn’t completely understand what it would be about, but I saw Regina King and I saw a western full of Black people. That was enough for me. When I looked up more information about the film, I learned that the characters were based on real people. It wasn’t a biopic or a historical account, but the actors in the movie were playing characters based on real Black people from the Old West. Zazie Beetz was playing Stagecoach Mary, who I’d never heard of, so I looked her up.
Do casting directors have to cast for accuracy? No, not really. There are plenty of movies about real people where the actor in the role looked nothing like the character in real life.
Is it the responsibility of actors to turn down roles offered to them when the role should have gone to an actor from a more marginalized segment of society? Not necessarily. They have free will to accept any role that interests them. The public in turn has free will to criticize them for it, and that actor has to accept that the consequences of their actions may be some public backlash.
So I was not surprised to see Zazie Beetz cast as Stagecoach Mary. I was annoyed, but not surprised. I am however surprised to see that Zazie has gone on record about her privilege and about colorism in the press.
Last month the website Jezebel published a piece on Hollywood’s colourism problem, citing Beetz as an example.— The Times (@thetimes) November 10, 2021
“This is something that I think about a lot and consider when contemplating any role that I take." pic.twitter.com/DfCqlDiSp5
It’s on your mind and you just…don’t care? It’s on your mind and you have decided to acknowledge it exists but do nothing to improve the situation or change the narrative?
Zazie Beetz is a bi-racial woman with a German father and a Black American mother who moved to the US from Germany as a tot because the homogeneity of Germany wasn’t the best place to raise a little brown girl. She has said — like many other bi-racial Black folks with a white parent — that she sometimes doesn’t feel Black enough. And I hear that. This is not me questioning her Blackness.
But Zazie can’t say that she considers colorism in the roles she takes, and then take this one where the director had the opportunity to give us a full figured dark skinned love interest and we got the typical thin beige lady. It feels so obvious in the movie that the director felt we wouldn’t believe the chemistry and attraction between Nat Love (Jonathan Majors) and Stagecoach Mary unless she was a skinny light-skinned woman. She’s the only light-skinned actor in the entire film, and she happens to be the love interest.
I’m just irked by the fact that there are more than enough roles specifically written for the Zazie Beetzes and Zoe Kravtizes of Hollywood. Most of the leading roles in Hollywood are written for White Women. Most of the leading love interests written for Black Women have someone in mind who looks like Tessa Thompson. Roles for dark skinned women who aren’t a size 2 are few and far between. Stagecoach Mary was the perfect opportunity to cast someone who isn’t even invited to audition for most of the other roles written for women. The source material was a rarity, and if Zazie truly had colorism in mind, she would have turned it down.
Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson are officially dating.
Well, I didn’t have this one on my Bingo Card, but I also didn’t have Kristen Stewart and Lady Gaga as Oscar frontrunners either.
A source close to Kim tells E! News the 41-year-old reality star and 28-year-old Saturday Night Live comedian are officially dating: “They are really happy and seeing where it goes.”
“Pete has told her he doesn’t want to see anyone else,” noting Kim apparently feels the same. “She is telling some people they aren’t super serious but she isn’t seeing anyone else… She’s trying to not make a big deal about it but is super into him.”
Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson are officially a couple and you know what? I think that’s excellent. I wish I had a funny comment about it, but I genuinely think they are two goofy people under weird public pressures who are probably very relaxed around each other and have a lot of fun together.
Is Pete THE most attractive guy? Not really, you probably have to get to know him and he gets hotter. Plus, we know he got that hammer. But hello, Kanye looks like an angry chipmunk so what’s Kim’s track record? Besides, she built like a plastic ant. The leagues are not that different.
I hope they have big fun for as long as they’re together. And I hope they both feel like they hit the jackpot.
And I hope she’s using birth control because, as happy as I am for them, nobody needs to be tied to Pete Davidson as the father of your children.
Princess Belcalis Continues Her Reign
Cardi B. shows no signs of slowing down, long after her 15 minutes ran out.
We shouldn’t be talking about Cardi B. right now. “Bodak Yellow” should have been a flash in the pan, a hot summertime single that finally capitalized on the zeitgeist of reality stars trying to make a hit. It was brash, it was catchy, but it wasn’t groundbreaking, and Cardi wasn’t an especially great rapper. The lyrics weren’t overly clever, the rhyme schemes were simple, and her delivery was so awash in saliva I’m sure she left the mic wet.
Four years later, and we’re still paying attention. We’re waiting to see what she’s going to wear next. We’re waiting to see who she’s going to charm next in Hollywood. We’re waiting for her next album. And it all started because of a little video proclaiming her imperviousness to the elements regardless of attire.
Cardi the Scientist
In 2014, Cardi B. posted a Vine from a hotel hallway and it went viral.
Not only did it spawn countless imitators, it caught the attention of Mona Scott Young and the Love & Hip-Hop NY franchise. Though the VH1 reality show purports to focus on the women in hip-hop (those trying to make a name for themselves as emcees and those married into the business), the casting net has widened over the past decade to snag everyone from managers to video vixens to “boutique” clothing store owners who should never step up to a mic again, Rasheeda. Cardi was a stripper when she hit viral fame and was cast on the sixth season in 2015. Her first feature (on a reggae single) came out later that year and her first mixtape in 2016, after which she left VH1 for good with two seasons under her belt. She released “Bodak Yellow” in 2017, and the rest is history.
But “A Hoe Never Gets Cold” hasn’t lost its potency, and now it’s the subject of academic research.
Turns out Cardi B may have been onto something when she famously proclaimed that “a hoe never gets cold” — and now science is backing her up on it.
A new study published in the British Journal of Social Psychology has confirmed why scantily clad women are less likely to catch a chill than their covered-up counterparts.
(cont. NY Post)
This is not peer-reviewed, the sample size is too small, and the data could be interpreted as correlation as opposed to causation, but who else is having a Vine from 2014 used as prompt in scientific study?! Here’s the general outline of the research, if you’re so inclined.
Cardi the It Girl
Nobody at Paris Fashion Week has as much fun (or press coverage) as Princess Belcalis.
From Mugler and Chanel (everyday faves for Cardi) to Schiaparelli and Richard Quinn (keep the girls guessing!), it was an event every time Cardi stepped outside. Even when she looked like a sunflower from the Fresh Prince’s school play.
Royalty sticks together.
Cardi the Host
Cardi B will host the 2021 American Music Awards, which are set to air live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, Nov. 21.
A five-time AMA winner, Cardi has three nominations at this year’s show – favorite female hip-hop artist and two nods for “Up” as favorite music video and favorite hip-hop song.
Cardi B. is naturally funny. She went into Love & Hip-Hop with a sizable following, not because she had any music out, but because she had an unfiltered personality that was engaging, entertaining, and authentic. She’s managed to keep that part of herself, even through social media missteps, and it’s part of the reason why she’s been able to grow in popularity where so many others fade away.
Cardi B. is also a professional. If you give her a script, she will deliver the lines. I wasn’t sold on her casting in Hustlers because not every musician’s charisma can translate to the big screen, but I believed her. It wasn’t exactly difficult to believe her as a stripper, but still. She can deliver a line.
I’m not sold on Cardi as a host, because she’s not a great talk show guest. She works best in the highly structured environment of a movie set or performance stage or the completely unstructured environment of social media. When she has to censor herself, when there are beats in a conversation that she needs to hit…I haven’t seen that talent yet, but she’s had time to improve! I don’t need her to banter necessarily, but if she can make the teleprompter feel natural, she’ll do fine.
But the point is — we want her to do it and we want her to succeed. Because we like her and she’s the People’s Princess.
Cardi, America’s Sweetheart
Princess Belcalis is just like us and she’s excited about being famous. I, too, would be on social media gagging whenever a famous person mentioned my name, and her Twitter Love Story with Penn Badgley is currently the cutest thing online.
During press for You, Penn mentioned his admiration for Cardi’s ability to be authentic online. Cardi saw it, and she fangirled.
OOOOMMFFFGGGGGG HE KNOWS ME !!!😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱OMMMGGGG!!!!!!Yoooo like I’m famous famous https://t.co/Z7MFQc2t2i— iamcardib (@iamcardib) October 17, 2021
In response, Penn changed his Twitter avatar to Cardi.
And of course Cardi noticed…
…and changed hers too.
And now Penn, as Joe from You, has sent Cardi a letter.
How Joe found my new house adress ?😳😳 pic.twitter.com/1FFy43tvWv— iamcardib (@iamcardib) November 5, 2021
And y’all, I cannot tell you how much I enjoy watching Cardi B. just be famous and enjoy it. Ten years ago she was getting fired from the grocery store and now she’s a real celebrity with real celebrity fans. Love that for her!
Cardi the Wedding Officiant
Cardi Tries is a webseries by Facebook Messenger where Princess Belcalis tries something out of her comfort zone and cameras capture the magic. She’s tried everything from ballet to rhythmic gymnastics to teaching pre-school, but last month she officiated a lesbian wedding, with Raven-Symone as the ringbearer.
In the latest episode of Cardi Tries—the rapper’s Facebook Messenger series—Cardi is joined by That’s So Raven star Raven-Symoné as she officiates a same-sex wedding in California. The episode, released in time for National Coming Out Day, sees Cardi officiate the ceremony for newly weds Brandi and Shannon, as Raven is their ringbearer.
“By the power invested in me by the state of California and my online course, I now pronounce you wife and wife,” Cardi declared.
Becoming a marriage officiant is actually really easy. I did it a few years ago when my best friend was getting married and I basically sent off for the paperwork, sent it back, and then went down to City Hall to file it. I’m just tickled that this is one of the things she wanted to do and now a lovely ladycouple can say Cardi B. officiated their wedding. And Cardi isn’t letting her new certificate go to waste either: Kal Penn barely got “I’m gay….” out before Cardi offered to officiate his wedding too. Princess Belcalis as the go-to officiant for gay Hollywood weddings? I’m here for it.
Cardi The Champion
Princess Belcalis has managed to snag at least one top 5 single every year since “Bodak Yellow,” with a number one single in 2017, 2018, 2020, and 2021, and she hit #3 in 2019. For a predicted one-hit wonder, she is exceptionally consistent, and the industry knows that if you want some buzz, but Cardi on the track. Did Normani need a feature on “Wild Side” — not really. Did Lizzo need a feature on “Rumors” — not really. Both songs were good enough to stand on their own, but both camps wanted/needed buzz, and Cardi gave them a little extra shine.
But I don’t mean a champion of the charts — I mean a champion of femcees. Cardi is not shy about a collaboration and she loves to give a shoutout to the other girls in the industry. Nowhere is that more evident than the soundtrack to Halle Berry’s new movie.
Halle Berry is making her directorial debut with Bruised where she plays the starring role as a disgraced MMA fighter. Berry and Cardi B. serve as executive producers on the soundtrack, and they put together a roster consisting of only female hip-hop talent.
Look at the lineup! Look at the material! Look at the range and the variety!
That is how you give love back to the girls and it’s so good to see! I’m so enjoying this shift in hip-hop where the women are allowed to give props to each other instead of go at each other, because they have forced space in the industry to make room for more than one at the top. When there’s only one throne at the top of the stairs, everybody fights to sit in it, and nobody is going to help you climb. Now that we are in a second golden age of women in hip-hop, we can see the space for everybody, and Princess Belcalis is putting the girls on.
I don’t know where Cardi’s career will be four years from now, but if the past four years are any indication, we have a lot to look forward to. She’s been steadily improving her craft while branching out to other areas. She continues to show us how hard she works and how hungry she is by how busy she makes herself (while pregnant half the time). And she’s still likeable. Everybody who meets her wants to work with her, and you don’t get there just because you make hits.
Cardi B. is still the girl from Vine who never gets cold, and I say long may she reign, whether she wants to wear the ermine or not.
Why do female gymnasts wear leotards?
Unitards may become more commonplace in the near future.
Less than three months after the Olympics, the 2021 World Championships took place in Kitakyushu, Japan last week. At the Worlds following an Olympic Games, you would expect to see the next crop of athletes to look for over the next four year cycle. In some cases we did. Leanne Wong and Kayla DiCello missed out on competing at Tokyo but took home Silver and Bronze, respectively, in the All-Around. Since this competition was so close to the Games due to the COVID delay for the Olympics, a lot of the athletes who ended up on the podium were holdovers from August. All-Around winner Angelina Melnikova finished third in Tokyo. The Floor Exercise winner Mai Murakami also finished third in Tokyo.
One new bright spot of particular note: There was a full unitard on the podium.
Germany’s Pauline Schäfer placed second on beam at the 2021 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, and she did so while dressed in something rarely seen at women’s gymnastics meets: a unitard. Earlier this year, German gymnasts debuted these long-sleeved, long-legged leotards at the 2021 European Gymnastics Championships, and they wore them in other competitions such as the Tokyo Games.
(cont. Yahoo, UK Style)
This is her routine from podium training, but if I see the scored routine uploaded, I’ll edit the post.
I couldn’t find any other instance of a female gymnast winning a medal wearing a full unitard and I hope this marks a turning point in women’s gymnastics where the athletes feel more comfortable bucking the trend of a leotard and choosing more coverage if that makes them feel more comfortable.
Men’s gymnastics made its debut at the 1896 Olympics, but there was no women’s event for the sport for another 40 years. In 1936, women got their chance to show off their athletic prowess in the sport, but the qualities looked for in judging greatly differed from their male counterparts. Georgia Cervin, former gymnast and author of Degrees of Difficulty: How Women’s Gymnastics Rose to Prominence and Fell from Grace, says, “When the sport was developed for women, they adapted the men’s sport to make it ‘appropriate’ for women. Women were expected to do soft, rhythmic, flowing, graceful movements that emphasized beauty and flexibility. [Men] were expected to emphasize strength instead.” This was a time when intense physical activity was discouraged for women, because their primary job was to bear children and run a household. Medical science of the day thought strenuous exercise negatively impacted fertility.
The remnants of that graceful, feminine requirement are most evident in beam, with its many flourishes, and floor exercise, where women perform to music and men do not. Women were expected to dance and show grace and poise, while men were expected to tumble. After a marked shift in gymnastics in the 1970s, women too are focused on tumbling. Simone Biles performs acrobatics that many men will not attempt, yet she’s expected to smile, dance around, and show how graceful she is in addition to the athletic tumbling now required.
(This is me saying men should be able to perform artistically to music if they want, and women should be able to just do a straight out tumbling routine like the men if they want.)
Anyway, if your job, as an athlete, is to show how graceful and feminine you are, you are performing marriageability and attractiveness. Part of that will be a competition outfit as revealing as cultural norms will allow while also being able to move about.
Material science has progressed and norms have allowed for higher cuts, so now the standard attire for a female gymnast is a high cut leotard that you aren’t even allowed to adjust. (Seriously — there’s a deduction for adjusting your leo, so you can’t even pick a wedgie out of your butt.) I’ve watched gymnastics my entire life and I’ve always known deep in my spirit that if I was a 16-year-old girl, I would not want to be on worldwide television in what amounts to skintight underwear. My best friend was a gymnast growing up and she basically said the same thing — she was uncomfortable wearing them.
The leo isn’t required though. There’s nothing in the code of points that says you have to wear one, so why is it the standard? I asked Bestie this morning if the girls weren’t aware they could opt for a full unitard and this is what she had to say.
Me: I wanna write something about the women’s gymnastics unitards. Did you know back when you were doing gymnastics that you didn’t have to wear a leotard? I feel like most gymnasts don’t even realize it’s an option, or if they do know, it’s so far in the back of their mind they wouldn’t even consider it, because everybody else is wearing a leo.
Bestie: It was never an option to not wear a leotard. Even during practice, like now some can wear the small shorts and such, we weren’t allowed to do that. (But that was all pre and up to 2001 for me.)
I think the hard thing is that when you’re representing the team you have to wear the team leo, and if they don’t even make the unitard version you’re in a tough place. So if you’re on a team, you’d have to run it up the flag pole very early that you want a unitard because I assume it will be more expensive (you pay for your own leos—unless you’re sponsored, I think—and they probably will take longer to make/need to be made custom plus use more material). This could all have changed since though.
I hadn’t thought about the team aspect and that makes perfect sense. You need to look like a unit and, even if you’re uncomfortable in the leo, you might not raise that objection because then you wouldn’t look like a team. The German team all wears the same unitard, because they decided as a unit to eschew the leo, but some gymnasts prefer it. Have you ever wondered why some gymnasts have chalk on their legs, particularly before floor exercise? It’s for the grip. You want to be as tight as possible to complete your rotations in a piked position and the chalk helps you grab your legs. Getting that same grip on a leg covered in fabric takes some adjustment.
Will we see more winners in full coverage like Pauline Schäfer? I think so! Gymnastics as a sport (in the USA particularly) is having a reckoning with sexual assault, and while a leotard doesn’t keep you safe (you can be assaulted in anything, this is not a “well, what was she wearing?” moment), it does put you more firmly on a path of bodily autonomy. Being able to say you’re not comfortable in a garment is an exercise in asserting yourself and claiming ownership over your own physicality. The more we see unitards on the winners podium, the more young girls will opt to train in them, and the more we will see elite athletes who are used to (and more comfortable) competing in them.
It’s all about choice, and Pauline Schäfer’s win is a reminder to female gymnasts that they do actually have a choice in what they wear.
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