Monday, September 14, 2009

Orange you glad I met Selina?

Hey girls,
I so found the next hot model backstage at Twinkle by Wenlan last week (there she is in Teen Vogue). Okay, I totally thought she was black. Hyperventilating with excitement (truly, finding black models backstage is a rarity these's not just hype), I ran up to her for a little interview. This is how it went:

Me: Hiimtiaiwriteforablackbeautyblog...

Beautiful Girl: Oh, I'm not black.

Me: Honey, someone lied to you.

Beautiful Girl: No, really (giggling the most refreshingly unaffected giggle). My mom's Indian, mixed with Arabic and Creole, and my dad is Vietnamese. Yep, Indian and Chinese.

Me: I thought you said Vietnamese.

Beautiful Girl: It's ethnically the same thing. Just a different country.

Me: Oh.

I found out that her name is Selina Khan, she's only 17, it's her third season, and she's having a blast. I told her she was gorgeous and she said I was, too, and so I made a friend for life. Oh, but back to the beauty report. I was so charmed by the orange lips! And it's funny, usually at the shows when the lip is some bold crazy color, it always looks a little off on the brown girls (makeup teams always have lighter girls in mind when they develop the color story). But at this show, it looked the BEST on the brown girl. Loved that! I tackled the makeup artist, Giancarlo Ceciliato, and he told me the shade was MAC LipMix in Orange. Since this is a MacPro color, you can only buy it if you have a special professional membership. Laypeople can enjoy MAC LipGelee in Saplicious ($14), a juicy burst of tangerine goodness. It's super-soft and totally wearable...way less intense than the LipMix, so you can wear it for day. Or, wear your favorite neutral and dab just a little in the center of you bottom lip and blend for just a hint of orangey love. Mmm, mmm, mmm.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aren't creole people of mixed African ancestry?

* Diamond *

3:39 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

That is the same thing I thought. I thought Creole were mixed african and french orgins?

4:21 PM  
Anonymous Yakini said...

Hmmmmm, something about that conversation (her end) doesn't sit right with me.

Firstly, I agree with the above posters that "Creole" usually refers to someone of mixed African/French descent. Secondly, I have NEVER heard any Asian person say that "Chinese" and "Vietnamese" are the same thing - because they are NOT. Two totally different countries, two totally different ethnicities.

She is a beautiful girl but I'm afraid was too quick to assure you that she isn't black. As far as I'm concerned the "one drop" rule still applies in this country, and she definitely has more than just one drop - whether she'd like to admit or not!

11:28 PM  
Blogger Jamilla Camel said...

Creole can mean ANY mixture of anything! Creole is a French word, but can mean an admixture of any ethnic background.

Me, I'm half Japanese, English, Norman French, German, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and American Indian. I think that qualifies as Creole ;-)

People don't seem to think I'm Asian, though, even though I am predominantly Japanese as an ethnicity!

8:00 AM  
Blogger tcrust said...

PLEEZE!!!!!! Honey, you are black!!!!

8:14 AM  
Blogger Jamilla Camel said...

Yakini, She is part Indian, so her terminology is old fashioned and may be different to what you're used to. Also keep in mind that people in South India are MUCH darker than most African Americans (I spend about 3 months a year in South India, so I can assure you that it's true). Hence, she can look African in skintone to people who are not used to being around South Indians, but to ME, she looks Indian.

I think we focus too much on whether someone is Black or Indian, or WHATEVER...she's gorgeous. Nuff said!

8:23 AM  
Blogger Isis said...

Ummm, okay?!!!

I had to unlurk and make a comment...I agree with the overall sentiment of the board.

All aside, when she gets booked are they requesting an "ethnic" "black" model?? Just a thought...

While I respect that she's an earlier poster commented, she was too quick to "denouce" any blackness--one of many characterstics that's probably getting her work...

12:12 PM  
Blogger Sharee said...

I love that color on her lips...I was rocking a color similar on the hands and toes a couple of weeks again and got tons of compliments!

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting...I didn't think that she was Black when I first saw her. I actually thought Native American, then I thought Indian. But I don't get Black at all. Brown skin doesn't not equal Black and she is the perfect example. I've seen plenty of Indian people darker than me. Anchal from ANTM anyone?

Anyway, I'm glad to see some diversity in any form. And I love the Orange Lips. Orange is my signature color, so Imma jump on this puppy quick!

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I CAN say that I am glad that she didn't just say "black." But I was confused that she didn't mention that she had any black in her. It just seemed odd. I always hate it when people of a multi racial background (think: Barak Obama) are grouped into being black. I'm glad she is aware of her full ethnic background. However, based on the mix she gave, I thought she did have some black ancestry (= indian, chinese and black). IDK.

* Diamond *

1:05 PM  
Blogger bcopher said...

I'm totally confused on why everyone is ganging up on this little girl about whether or not she's Black and how bold she is to deny her Black-ness.
First, she's only 17. Second, She's clearly Indian. Third, who cares?
She's not trying to be something that she isn't. She's just being her. Meanwhile, others are trying to tag her as they see fit.
I hope she remains strong, especially in that industry, and true to herself.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

Yeah, I have to agree with Isis, but the lip color is divine!

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*coming out of lurk mode*

She looks more asian in other pictures. I think she is from Martinique and a lot of Caribbean people are of mixed ancestry e.g Selita Ebanks is half indian

7:31 PM  
Blogger Fly Vixen [♥] said...

So I kinda got the same weird vibe when I read that she identifies as creole but like Jamila Camille said, there is more than one definition of creole. The original meaning from my understanding applied to Europeans born in the Americas or outside of their homeland as a way to differentiate between the natural born and the foreign born... And her comment about the Chinese/Vietnamese being the same is not all the way off. There are so many different subcultures in Vietnam and China and the Hoa are an ethnic group found in both countries... so maybe she felt they were the same. Either way she is gorgeous and I wish her the best

7:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is irritating me is the idea that somehow saying that you are Black means that you are stating that you are ONLY Black. I don't know a Black person who is ONLY Black. So whomever thinks that Barack Obama is NOT Black-or hates that he gets lumped into that category-is, well, a hater. I mean why do people always want to distant themselves from their African heritage or Black-ness. People in Malaysian and Austronesian countries consider very dark people Black or Negroid people. Maybe she isn't a descendant of an African slave-and neither are many "Black" people, i.e. Barack Obama, but that doesn't make her less Black than anyone else. She is pretty but she seems dumb as a board. Sure you're multiethnic, but these days who the hell isn't.

So says the daughter of a Cuban man and St. Lucian woman who happily identifies as people see me-AN AFRICAN AMERICAN.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Elle* said...

Oh Em Gee, who are you people to state whether she's black or not. Dang!

Anyhoo! I wanted to point out that outsiders CAN buy pro items but at Mac Pro stores only. You don't need a Pro card to shop there! I do it all the time!

10:24 PM  
Anonymous tabitha said...

I won't enter into the diaspora discussion (please see the post about the Obama daughters' hair), but yes-she is very pretty. I worry about orange next to my skin tone, though. I know Tia is always repping orange blush, but I think I'm too yellow to rock orange. Does that make sense?

Tia are you excited about the 'Fame' remake?

11:51 PM  
Blogger SugarWater said...

She's a beautiful "ethnic" young lady; and if she says she's not black then it should be left at that. Whatever her phenotype, that girl is flawless....And that point is not debatable ;-)

3:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She looks as Southeast Asian as you can get in the photos in the link I posted below. Also, 17 is the age when you learn to articulate your identity, especially when you are the child of multi-ethnic parents in America. This is a very American preoccupation, so her parents wouldn't have thougth twice about forcing her to choose an identity, because quite frankly it's not usually a non-American sensibility. Again, at 17, she's learning to articulate her identity and is probably overwhelmed by it now that her face's popularity forces her to think about it more. Anyway, here is a photo that shows a very Southeast Asian looking girl to me, I'd have thought she was Cambodian. That just goes to show you how relative outside appearance can be to different people. And maybe black is more of an internal identity than an outside marker. There isn't a black prototype or look in America. You have to feel/identify with black and if that wasn't the culture she grew up with, creole drop or not, it may just be unfamiliar to her.

7:27 AM  
Blogger Isis said...

I was thinking she was "Coolie" from the islands... the greater scheme of things I don't think it's big deal, we spend too much time dwelling on such things but race matters to most...for me I think it was the way she responded.

Seeing it in print her response could've been lost in translation...

OT--Anybody see Jimmy Carter's interview?? Race, race, race, it's all about race.

Anyhoo...I had to double check...I have Sapilicious and did I get robbed? My gelee has brown/gold undertones, looks nothing like this...

9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I'm black...I wasn't hating on the fact that Barak Obama has black in him...just hating that he has to be identied by one word/culture/race, when he is a mix. That "one drop" rule is plantation talk for "if that [n-word, b-word, - add next insult -] has ONE DROP of black blood, they can work the field/house."

* Diamond *

5:01 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

If Creole is a mixture of anything then we are all Creole. Some of my friends who say they are "Creole" say it is a way of life how thery were raised. Not nessesarily race related. BBut I did not mean any harm. She is Beautiful nontheless. Goes to show you the different brown ethnicities of the world.

6:30 PM  
Blogger Ashley said...

Is that the correct name of the gloss? I went to buy it yesterday and it looks more brown than tangerine.

9:34 AM  
Blogger 1969 said...

Back in the 80's-90's when these colors were hot....I remember wearing the hell out of Revlon's 24K Orange lipstick all summer long. It was a bright orange with flecks of gold.

Not sure if they even make that anymore but it looked great at the time.

This young lady is mixed with Indian and Vietnamese. If she chooses to identify herself as "not black" that's fine. It's her choice. She is indeed gorgeous and I applaud ANY diversity in Fashion.

9:28 AM  
Blogger Mia said...

I had NO IDEA there was an even larger and more wonderful world of Mac products for very special people!! How do I become one of these special people?! I want the lipstick; not the gloss. Do I HAVE to be a pro artist? I live in the Virgin Islands and have to have things shipped to me. Any ideas about how I can make this happen?! - Curlmanea

11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In her defense, and for the ignorant...she can look himalayan, southeast asian, south asian, caribbean, indigenous american, even black...that's what makes her beautiful..she transcends and encapsulates all given labels. Also, many Vietnamese immigrants from the war were ethnic Chinese of both Teochiew and Hokkien subgroups. They retained their culture over generations as national lines changed. I think this is what she meant in her case, that she is both Vietnamese and Chinese ethnically (hello a chinese american is still ethnically chinese, but ethnicity is defined by a cultural context...are chinese-americans not ethnically chinese as they are ethnically american as an african/european american?) I think what she said was taken out of context. So yes, in her case, same ethnicity, but different nationality. Chinese people do not have to come from China, and people from China aren't necessarily "ethnic" chinese (ie Uyghurs, Tibetans, white Russians).

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think she sounds confused about her ethnicity in general. Another issue is that Arabic is a language, not an ethnicity. And to me it just seems like the overarching term "black" describes anyone with a darker skinned hue, regardless of where they're from. It's not like the writer said "african" or "african-american".

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Francoise said...

I am a French woman and if this model stated that her mother was of Indian, "Creole" and Arab ancestry...AND she's from Martinique (which has a population of primarily African descent)...then she is what would qualify (in France) as a "metisse" or more specifically a Black person of mixed ancestry.

For what it's worth, African Americans almost always fall into this same "category" and in France, African Americans are referred to as "metisse".

I do find it interesting that she seemed so phobic of being seen as a Black woman (from any ancestry or country). I'm sure she manages to contain her fear of being Black when she's booking those jobs that specifically call for a Black model.

Hypocrisy....not a good look.


*shaking my head*

1:20 PM  

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