Thursday, February 5, 2009

Taking Aim At Madison Avenue: Tell Them Pretty Brown Girls ARE NOT Hard To Find.

This, from New York magazine online, with nods to The Black Snob:

Madison Avenue is scrambling to adjust to a new era, when the most admired people in America are a black family. To reflect this reality, talent scouts are on the hunt for models who look like the Obama children, Sasha, 7, and Malia, 10. “People are looking for girls who resemble them,” says Charlie Winfield, the head booker at FunnyFace Today. Tali Lev, an agent with the Gilla Roos agency, keeps links to her “Sasha” and “Malia” model lists on her desktop for easy access. “Photographers even want them for their portfolios.” Marlene Wallach, president of Wilhelmina Kids & Teens, says the First Daughters are tough subjects to match. “It’s a very specific age and a very specific ethnicity, so there aren’t that many girls that would necessarily fit the bill.”

See, this mess right here?

I mean, I’m giddy that President Obama’s deliciously beautiful daughters, Sasha and Malia, are the new standard of American little girl beauty—that the fashion industry, in its infinite wisdom (*sticks finger down throat and gags a little*) is jumping on the “black is beautiful” bandwagon now that the Obamas are America’s bellwether for all things cool, fly, and in style. But why, why, WHY must Madison Avenue’s embracing of these pretty brown girls come with a backhanded pimp slap to the faces of African American children? I mean, really? What, exactly, is so hard about finding pretty 7- and 10-year-olds with brown skin? And why are we acting as if those little girls are some kind of exotic breed of black child just because they have a white grandmother? And damn, did we really have to wait for Barack Obama to become the first black president in order for talent scouts to realize that maybe, just maybe, they should consider adding black children to their roster of models?

Having trouble finding them, Ms. Wallach? Check Brooklyn and Harlem, Atlanta and Decatur, Detroit and the South Side of Chicago, Compton and Newark and Dallas and Memphis. And every doggone city in-between. Check the playgrounds and the school yards—the malls and Sunday schools and the choir pews. You know—the same places you’d find ANY child pretty enough to “fit the bill” for your precious ad houses.

If you dare.

But just in case you “talent scouts” just can’t see yourself sitting through church service in The SWATS, MyBrownBaby is going to hip you to some game: The Black Snob, the blogger who put MyBrownBaby on to the Madison Avenue shenanigans in her poignant, must-read post about black children and beauty, is collecting pictures of scores of beautiful brown little girls and shipping them directly to Ms. Wallach and her colleagues over at Wilhelmina Kids & Teens so that they can see firsthand that pretty black girls aren’t really all that hard to find. Here’s Snob’s poignant casting call:

We at The Black Snob aren't just about complaining! We're here to help the clueless who seem to think black Americans (the kind with African, European and other mixed ancestry) are, you know, hard to find. Even if there are 40 million blacks in America (according to a 2006 US Census study) and almost all of us fit that make-up in some way, shape or form and there are millions of little girls, each cuter than the last.

So, if you know a cute little black/brown girl, working professionally as a model or is an undiscovered diamond in your family, school or neighborhood (with the parents' or guardian's permission), please submit her adorable picture to The Black Snob's "Cute Black Girls Are Everywhere, You Idiots" campaign, via email where we will happily put together a lovely post and release a press packet to the dunderheads at Wilhelmina to say, "Um ... looking for cute, little black girls? Ur doin' it wrong!"

MyBrownBaby readers: I implore you to send your pictures to Snob—help her prove the point that black IS beautiful—and quite easy to find if you bother to open your eyes and LOOK for it. Her deadline for submissions is February 8, 2009.

Say it loud!

post signature


  1. (*singing*)I'm Black And I'm Proud! Yeah, I heard about this "calling all brown girls wherever you are" madness. I think the Black Snob is a beast for doing this! What a great idea! Thanks for the info. I will pas it along.

  2. Seriously! This right here is why I'm stil hanging on to a little bit of the complex I had as a child. Sheesh.

  3. Girl! My fist is in the air! Good thing my little girl already has a comp-card made and I am sending it in!!!

  4. They have taken an historic moment of glory and reduced it to a trend. Martin Luther King would be so proud. Sigh

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  5. Very excellent post and you could not be any more right on this one! Add Columbia, SC to that list!!

  6. that has to be some of the most close minded attitude and thought from a woman i've ever heard.

    i'm hoping that with prominent brown girlie pies in the spot light something will change. i pray so for my jk! who, by the way, is soooo fab cute it hurts!

  7. Holla! Oh I will be sending my brown baby's picture in STAT! GReat post D!

  8. Holy Crap. I don't even know what to say about this.

  9. Well, hell! This speaks volumes about America's perception of non-whites. Now, I watched Slavery and the Making of America on PBS last night - so at this moment, I clearly understand the depth of the roots beneath this societal tree of negativity.

    I'm reminded of:

    And what about our cute black and brown boys? My baby boy's face could sell just about anything!

  10. This is ridiculous. Love the call to action, though. That's what I'm talking about it!

  11. Love it Denene and passing it along...all of our children are beautiful....we are a unique blend of many color hues...they need to get with the program and yes I will make sure some photos get forwarded. Thanks for this..

  12. I wrote something on my blog about ... if you want, read it and use it. it's viral marketing secret; flood of traffic to your blog. its free. plz delete this message after you've read it. Add to your blog so that u can see ur flood of new traffic.... i'm still jealous of ur blog template. if i can steal it, honestly, i would :)

  13. You just said everything there is to say... or at least everything that I was thinking while reading. Man, I really wish folks would retire the world "ethnic" when referring to the looks of black people. Its like "ethnic" means "extraordinary" when it comes to black folks. WTF?? Black is, always has been and always will be absolutely frickin' beautiful!!!

    And with that said, I'm over to The Black Snob to show off my little black beauty =).

  14. the ridiculousness and obliviousness of Madison Avenue never ceases to disappoint me....ho hum...good post...jd


Speak Your Mind Here

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin

wibiya widget