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With over two decades in the game, supermodel Naomi Campbell has served an unmatched fierceness since her first Elle cover. Prominent for her endless legs and cocoa ageless skin, Campbell is arguably one of the most iconic fashion models in recent history. In the past few years, Campbell’s reputation took a turn for the worse. Campbell has been called short tempered, mad and even dangerous. Last evening a video surfaced showing an ABC News interview with the model. When questioned on an alleged “blood diamond” she received from former Liberian President Charles Taylor in 1997, Campbell became increasingly irritated and left the interview. Reports claim Campbell “punches,” “KO’s,” “strikes out” an ABC News camera and that the model ultimately refuses to testify in Taylor’s case.

News sources are having a field day. E! News says “This is the Naomi Campbell Meltdown We’ve All Been Waiting For” and the Mirror UK even lists a roll of shame detailing the model’s history of “temper tantrums.” Clearly the media gets a kick out of painting Campbell as the archetypical “angry Black bitch.” Still Naomi Campbell hasn’t skipped a beat. Fashionably resilient, the woman pumps out flawless spreads for the most prestigious glossies. If the media’s goal is to destroy Naomi’s sweeping career, they fail miserably.

We aren’t excusing Campbell’s behavior. Assaulting her former assistant with a telephone while threatening to throw her out of a moving car is simply not cool. Nor is punching a news camera. It’s a conclusively fair, Naomi Campbell has a problem with anger. It seems however, whenever Naomi Campbell has outbursts, she’s the eternal wicked witch, but when Kate Moss is caught on camera doing coke, how quickly the public forgives and forgets.

But for many black women, this is nothing new. Seems there’s no room to be upset and black. Seems the smallest confrontations involving black women, evolves into, “she attacked me!” When our counterparts have outbursts or meltdowns, the press solicits the opinions of mental health experts, deconstructing childhoods, blaming every outside influence but the women themselves. A black woman warrants no psychoanalytical weigh-ins, we are continually, inescapably and irrefutably branded as “angry Black bitches” or the more sanitized, P.C go-to congruent, “diva.”

The myth of the “industry black diva” didn’t start with Campbell. Entertainers like Patti LaBelle, Diana Ross and even Grace Jones fall within this working myth. Many of us deal with this regularly at our workplaces and college campuses. How often is our style of communicating angst, rightful irritability and disgust confused with anger?

You be the judge!

Photo Source: LEFTERIS PITARAKIS/AP PHOTO

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  • cece

    i think naomi needs to sit down. her tirades are boing and tiresome. someone her ages needs to show some CLASS and learn to walk away. i guess that is too much to ask. —personally i will be glad when she runs into the wrong person nad gets her butt kicked–?

  • I love Naomi Campbell (albeit from a safe distance) – used to decorate my walls with her covers from Vogue and Glamour and Mademoiselle back in the day. I think she has a huge heart and is very warm. But she DEFINITELY has anger management issues and needs to get help. Comparing Naomi’s occasional physical abuse of people who are within close proximity to her to Kate Moss’ drug abuse problem is simply NOT an apples to apples comparison. If you’re not sure, try getting smacked in your head with a phone vs. standing in proximity of someone doing coke – I think it’s safe to say that Kate Moss’ transgressions are victimless crimes (unless maybe you’re her family, but then that’s a private issue).

    I enjoy Clutch Magazine, but I can’t co-sign this one. This has nothing to do with race. Hopefully she has a good friend nearby to convince her to deal with this problem, but perhaps Naomi relishes in the fierce, unpredictably-dangerous reputation that she has earned. It certainly keeps her in the news.

  • chinaza

    I see nothing beautiful in her.She is arrogant and aggressive and she is a bully.That overshadows her “endless legs”and “cocoa skin”.If this was a nameless,unknown woman,no one would be fawning to excuse her behavior and she would already have that face knocked into next week.

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