dailyphoto0909031Houston Comeback Album Headed to No. 1
Whitney Houston struggled with her voice during her much-hyped comeback performance on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Tuesday. But industry prognosticators don’t expect the diva to trip up on the charts next week. “I Look To You” — Houston’s first album in seven years — is expected to sell upward of 200,000 copies during the week ended September 6, which should easily enable it to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart when rankings are released next Wednesday. Houston would do well to suppress any loud cheers so that she doesn’t hurt her famous pipes. During Tuesday’s performance for 5,000 concert-goers at Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield, she apologized for her voice. (Continue Reading…)

Why Michelle Obama’s Hair Matters
When the First Lady attended a country-music event in July without a single strand of hair falling below her jawline, the blogosphere exploded with outbursts ranging from adoration to vitriol. Things settled down only when her deputy press secretary clarified that there had been no First Haircut. In the aftermath, a didactic post on MichelleObamaWatch.com proclaimed that anyone “familiar with the amazing versatility of black hair” would have known that the new summer look was simply “pinned up.” (See pictures of Michelle Obama’s hairstyles.) Many Americans have dismissed this hair hubbub as simply more media-driven noise – like the chatter about Michelle Obama’s sleeveless dresses, J. Crew cardigans, stocking-free legs or, for that matter, recent (shocking!) decision to wear shorts in the Arizona heat. But for African-American women like me, hair is something else altogether – singular in its capacity to command interest and carry cultural baggage. (Continue Reading…)

In Love With a Stripper: When Corporations Target Young Girls
I would like to say this has gone too far, or this crowns the end of civilization, or this marks the decline of society, but I’m afraid that would be too tepid in the face of such sense-suspending stupidity. In what can only be seen as the specific targeting of little girls under the age of 6, a toy is being sold by an unconfirmed company which features a female doll moving around a plastic stripper poll. Those who’ve seen it in action describe it this way: “The doll begins dancing when the music is turned on, and she goes ‘up and down’ and ’round and round’.” This “doll” is being marketed to innocent kids–kids without the wherewithal to decipher the insidious suggestions being transmitted. These kids are being sold an idea, early on, of the stripper lifestyle as fun and chic–the thing to be. (Talk to ’em, T-Pain.) (Continue Reading…)

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