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Of course I’m going to see Sex and the City 2, probably a couple of times with various friends over the course of its first week (which is why the first movie grossed so much, everyone did the same thing I did). As the sequel’s opening day (May 27th) gets closer, its television trailers have gotten a little longer, they’re releasing a book to showcase all the fashion and now, nine clips have popped up on the Web.

You can only expect so much from the movie versions of the hit HBO show namely because the franchise itself has become so commercialized. I miss the HBO real-life advice Sex and the City where the characters had epiphanies, made terrible mistakes and summed up life over brunch with their friends. The show reminded me of the woman-talk sessions my mom used to have with her friends and sisters. I was so little but there was something so intriguing about those conversations that I’d do anything to be able to eavesdrop. I remember listening through the vents downstairs to the kitchen- yes, it was really that serious. And as I got older, I learned those conversations- with your girlfriends- was where you decided to break-up, get divorced, get married, dish about sex and find out if the things you were experiencing were normal. The guys watched football and played golf and the girls chatted.

Even though Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda didn’t look like me or like the vast majority of women (I looked up to and eavesdropped on their conversations)- they had substance. Seasons 1-6 cultivated countless situations and slogans that beg for reference in real life. I can’t tell you how many urban relationship myths, Jack Burger’s and “Big” loves my girls and I have come across. We learned that while waiting for marriage is quite noble, it could also land you in a divorce. We learned the type of guys we wanted, hello Smith, and the type of guys we’d dump…like the one who raped Charlotte’s face.

We could see that while Samantha’s sexual inhibition was funny and applaudable on screen, her behavior in real life meant she was a whore. Not because she liked sex but because, if you’ll remember, she didn’t always protect herself. We learned that the guy you think you want might not be the one who’s best for you…Big vs. Aidan or Harry vs. Trey.

In the new movie franchise (1 and 2), friendship becomes the selling point trumping men and babies, making them merely accessories in addition to the lives we already have. HBO’s version was more realistic to me in which the girls were on a mission to “have it all” after all, having it all is what makes being a woman so much fun.

Notable clips

French model Noemie Lenoir, 30, who turned herself into a household name in the UK after landing an advertising campaign for Marks & Spencer, was found unconscious in the forest on the outskirts of Paris near her ex-boyfriend’s house. She was found lying next to a pile of pills and an empty liquor bottle and is recovering from her suicide attempt in a hospital.

Why, you ask? All of the reports speculate that her unhappiness stemmed from some drama with a man. Whether it was her ex-boyfriend and father of her five-year-old son, Claude Makelele (the ex-Chelsea football star) or her new love, multi-millionaire Carl Hirschmann, who is currently battling his way through a sex and extortion scandal in Switzerland— Noemie had boy drama.

And while I know that being beautiful and rich doesn’t equate to happiness, I have a hard time comprehending how a woman who looks like this (see below) can have such little esteem that she would attempt suicide, possibly leaving her little boy without a mother. It would have been a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Recently another beautiful woman by the name of Naomi Campbell went on Oprah to talk about her drug abuse and how at one point she didn’t know if she would make it to her 40th birthday. Her story and tears about her own insecurities proved that once again, sometimes the most successful people can end up being the most unhappy.

No one knows what goes on in the recesses of someone’s mind or what happens in their personal lives, but what I do know is that a strong sense of self-worth is paramount. And that self-worth has nothing to do money or other external factors.

But apparently, it does have something to do with the men one allows themselves to get tangled up with.

Claude says he had no idea of Noemie’s state of mind but while she drowning in alcohol and popping pills, he was picking up a lifetime achievement award in central France.

I wish Noemie a swift recovery and the wisdom to re-evaulate the people and things in her life. Sounds like it was a cry for help and I hope someone’s listening.

It’s no secret that the fashion industry has an affinity for white models. And it’s no secret that Hollywood has an affinity for white actresses- clearly that’s why Halle Berry is the only Black woman to have won the Oscar for Best Actress since the ritual began in 1927. However it’s the modeling industry that’s always under fire, whether its the weight issues, lack of diversity, objectification or drug use- seems like they can’t get a break.

In a world where membership draws a hard line at height and body fat composition, I wonder how Black women (and other women of color) who have features and physiques different from the norm are ever going to be fully integrated into the system. In the short documentary the Colour of Beauty we learn that when a particular designer does want a Black girl, she has to be like “a white girl dipped in chocolate.”

And while Black girls like that do exist (thanks to our country’s history we come in a million different varieties)… can you imagine someone actually telling you that?

Diversity in fashion isn’t just about the runway, in fact, I’d argue it’s more about who’s working behind the scenes. Not only are the models as lily white as this year’s Vanity Fair Young Hollywood cover but so are the agents, the heads of major firms and the people working at fashion magazines.

Obviously, we can’t do anything about our “big eyes, big nose, big lips… Things that are common traits in African-Americans,” but hell will freeze over if we think just talking about the problem is enough to solve it. I mean, how do you go about integrating an industry that seems very comfortable with things the way they are? After all, can you imagine a client trying to explain to a person of color exactly what “type” of Black girl is needed? I don’t think think the chocolate dipping analogy would go over too well.

Integration isn’t about just being able to show up to the party without fear of being escorted out, it’s about being invited. How do you change people’s perceptions about beauty when its based off something completely subjective to begin with? And unfortunately, in a world where models would be manufactured like Barbies if they could, I’m not sure the Black ones would be the first choice to market clothes. After all, no one wants to be thought of as a “Negro company”…I learned that from Mad Men. Looking at it through an economic lens, items are marketed to people who have the money to buy and in the world of high fashion, Blacks are an afterthought-along with anybody else who can’t afford a $400 pair of shoes or a $1,500 bag.

That’s the official story.

The truth however, is that Blackness or rather, the stereotype of Blackness has been rejected because it’s seen as being ugly. And in a world where everything that matters is based on superficial perception, how do you go about changing the way shallow people think?


New Miss USA photos featuring the girls in racy lingerie have been causing quite the stir. The photos taken by Fadil Berisha show the girls in fishnets and sexy bustiers rolling around on a bed and people who oppose the imagery say that it is too sexy for Miss USA and sends the wrong message when the pageant is all about promoting and empowering women.

Okay… I’m confused. How is judging women solely off of their looks and how they answer open ended questions empowering?

Donald Trump, the pageant’s owner, defends the photos and a rep explained them saying, “We are in the business of beauty and the contestants who compete for the title of Miss USA are not afraid to be sexy. These ladies are the full package – smart, accomplished, relevant and sexy!”

People have always had complaints about pageantry and in this case you have to consider that as our society gets sexier…everything has to in order to catch up. Not saying it’s right or even that I agree with the photos, but it’s kind of ridiculous to battle the ins and outs of the competition as a whole, when the entire institution is shallow to begin with. Just saying.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I consider Christina Aguilera to be the most vocally talented artist of this generation. She’s like Whitney in the 80’s and early 90’s and Mariah when she actually sang ballads and didn’t secretly want to be a pop star. Well now, Christina’s back after two years and a baby boy named Max. Her new album Bionic drops June 8 and has people comparing her new look to Lady Gaga. Even though Christina has ten years on Gaga, and I’d say Gaga probably got more of her influence from her. Granted, she’s quite overtly sexual in the first single’s video Not Myself Tonight but her display of her sexuality isn’t something she’s ever been shy about. Her album Stripped was all about shedding layers and as a byproduct clothes. Remember Dirty?

But in the video for the new single, she’s a little bit more experimental and as I heard yesterday, maybe she shouldn’t be considering she is married with a son. I don’t know if that should be the criteria or the reason to change your natural artistic progression but it’s definitely a valid opinion. In Not Myself Tonight, she kisses girls and boys and engages in a Basic Instinct scene at the end. In general it’s a very dark video complete with bondage references but I’m not sure if it’s worst than other videos where sexuality is conveyed solely through dance.

Watch: Christina’s Not Myself Tonight

At the end of the day, Christina has the talent to back up whatever erotic scenes she wants to include in her own video. There’s a fine line between being comfortable and confident in your own sexuality and skin versus using your sexuality as power to get attention. Granted, I expose my bias because I don’t see Christina as a sex symbol nor do I think she wants to be one. I think she’s an artist who uses the multiple facets of herself to allow others to better experience her music. And at the end of the day, she’d still sell records if she just stood there and sang. Some artists have to show as much skin as possible and put just as much energy into their dancing as they do their “singing” because for them having the total package is essential to success.

So yeah while her new video is out there I still respect her vision because I seriously doubt she’s relying on her lack of clothes to sell records. You become a sex object when you turn your sexuality into a product as if that’s the only thing that will make people bite. Christina just doesn’t have to work that hard.

Through the transition from high school to college to grad school and then back home to L.A., I’ve met a plethora of different women who I can proudly call my friends. Not associates or clubbing buddies, but actual real friends who are content doing the things I also enjoy. I might not see most of them as often as I like… they live all across the United States, but when I do see them we’re able to pick up right where we left off without missing a beat.

In the grand scheme of things friend compatibility can be a major life hurdle but for those who’ve mastered the art, or just got lucky, having a great group of friends to count on is essential. But I think that in order to be a good friend or to know the type of friend you want to have, you have to determine what your friend style is. Forging a friendship can be likened to dating, thankfully most of us have had to “make new friends” since preschool, so while we might have some practice relating to others, it doesn’t make the process any easier in adulthood.

As a child, your requirements for friends entails categories like: how many dolls they have, how fun it is to be at their house versus your own and what movies they like. As a teen, it’s about who understands you the best, who doesn’t get you in trouble but is still fun and whether or not they have a car. In college, your best friends will hold your hair back when you puke, jump in a fight if necessary and don’t judge you (at least outwardly) as you “find yourself.” As an adult? The list infinitely grows mostly due to the long distance factor. When friendship has to forge time zones, 8 hour work days and relationships with a significant other, priorities change and thus the friendship does too. As an adult, you’re more likely to be friends with the people who are the most like yourself. It all depends on lifestyle choices. How does the person spend their time and does that match up with how you want to spend yours?

Some fall by the wayside during this period, while others work around it and get back in touch when they can. Whether or not this works for you, is all dependent on your friendship style. Are you the kind that needs/wants daily updates or are you the type that’s content with a once a week gab session or even a once a month catch up? The point is that friendship comes in all different varieties and just like dating, you have to figure out what you can deal with and what you can’t.

Me? I’m quite content with the once a week or once a month variety mainly because in dealing with long distance friendships, I’d prefer the long catch-up to the daily occurrences. As far as friends who live in the city? I see them often, but I’d still rather do that than gab on the phone where most of our talks get put on pause due to the outside influences either one of us is experiencing at the moment. Cell phones were a genius invention for convenience, but for friendship? Not so much.

Everyone’s not going to fit inside your definition of friendship and if you aren’t getting what you need then…find a new friend.

Thomas Hagan, the only man who admitted his role in killing Malcolm X, was paroled Tuesday after 44 years… and I say that’s not quite long enough. Not only did he kill one of the most compelling leaders in history, he’s a traitor. I finally watched Valkyrie last week (I’m telling you, Netflix has changed my life) and saw what happens to traitors…whether they’re in the right or not. They get shot by a firing squad and while I don’t wish death on anyone, I’m not sure Mr. Hagan really understands the full scope of his actions. And how could he?

He was a weak man, following in line with a group of people whose jealousy of Malcolm X’s power and influence allowed them to be manipulated into murder. What’s done is done but I wonder what would be different today if Malcolm X hadn’t have been killed, if his beliefs about Black on Black crime were actually followed…if he didn’t threaten the entire structure of this country which unfortunately disproportionately benefits some.

I wonder if Mr. Hagan walks around Harlem, if he passes by the Audubon Ballroom and wonders how different life could have been. I wonder if he realizes what he stopped, the movement he halted and the millions of lives that he affected. I wonder if he feels bad that he left a wife without a husband, four beautiful girls without a father and a race without its prince.

Under these circumstances, Mr. Hagan is a man we should gladly pay our taxes to keep in jail. Picking a side doesn’t have to be about black and white, in fact once Malcolm realized that, that’s when his assassination became of the utmost importance. It was fine when his thinking was limited to race, but once he expanded his thinking in terms of all mankind he became too dangerous. Once he began to understand that not every Black person was his friend and not every white person was his enemy, he chose the side of equality, of fairness… of everything our Constitution proclaims. So when I call Mr. Hagan a traitor I’m talking about his inability to see the big picture, his inability to pick the right side.

And that’s not a quality that’s helpful or needed in our society. Some are angry, wondering if Mr. Hagan had participated in the killing of a white iconic figure, would be have been released? But to me, that’s a pointless discussion. I think Mr. Hagan’s will never be free of his demons, after all when it really mattered, he chose the wrong team.