Tag

african

Browsing

Lupita Nyong’o is beautiful…but I guess not European beautiful

As I sat scrolling through Instagram Saturday afternoon, I came across a post by Lupita Nyong’o. Nyong’o is a Hollywood actress who rose to fame after her role in the award-winning 12 Years a Slave in 2013. She became the first Kenyan-Mexican actress to win an academy award for Best Supporting Actress. After her breakout role in 2013, Nyong’o was adorned as this African princess of sorts- exotic, beautiful, but never more beautiful than the euro-centric standard of beauty displayed in Hollywood.

The image of Nyong’o that Hollywood approved of was a dark-skinned woman with a shaved head — regardless of the fact that her hair had grown since her role in 2013.

Pre-conceptions aside, what followed over the last week was a complete slap in the face. Nyong’o was photographed for the latest cover of Grazia U.K., a fashion news magazine. When the magazine came out, Nyong’o, and many others (myself included) were surprised to see that she looked completely different. The photography and editorial team had lightened her skin and completely removal of her Afro-puff. How on earth was this ok?

The complete alteration of Nyong’o image shows that, according to western Hollywood standards, a black woman cannot be too dark, a black woman must have straight hair, a black woman must speak properly, and a black woman must never be too sexy.

The photographer issued the following apology: “My altering of her image was not born out of any hate, but instead out of my own ignorance and insensitivity to the constant slighting of women of colour throughout the different media platforms.”

Many people who are unaware of the postcolonial issues that black women have faced, much less in Hollywood, are just willing to brush this off and hear the apology of the photographer that altered the image. There is no apology that can fix what has already been done. These events just prove how many people remain ignorant to the struggles women of colour face in the world.

The photographer, while apologetic, was merely following the pre-set Hollywood guidelines for cover photos. Nyong’o has been vocal about how removing her Afro-hair from the cover of the magazine speaks to the prejudice that still exists with black kinky and curly hair. It is tolerable to have straight smooth hair, but utterly classy and unkempt to be walking around with frizzy coils. Blacks are judged on their social inferiority based on their features like skin-tone, hair, and nose structure. This was just another example.

Taking away a black woman’s natural hair is like asking her to repress her culture and her heritage — to be compliant in the never-ending fight for what is deemed beautiful. If you have a problem with understanding this, then you need to kindly check your privilege.

Recipe: Ethiopian chickpea stew

Don’t let the warm weather fool you, the traditional Fall weather will be here soon enough. Often with the change in weather, people start to crave comfort foods — soups, stews and slow cooker recipes are in high demand. Ethiopian chickpea stew is the perfect mixture of everything in one hearty bowl. This stew is originally called Ethiopian chickpea wat.

A wat essentially refers to a stew or curry made by adding different ingredients and vegetables. The mixture of different spices is called berbere and often includes salt, chilli peppers, ginger, paprika etc. So, expect to use different blends and adjust flavours accordingly, especially if you prefer something more spicy.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans chickpeas ( rinsed)
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic ( chopped)
  • 1 piece of fresh ginger ( chopped)
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro ( chopped)
  • 3 large red tomatoes ( diced)
  • 1 ½ cups chicken/vegetable broth or water
  • 1 lemon ( juiced)
  • 2 carrots ( chopped)
  • 1 red potato ( diced)
  • 4 tsp olive oil

 

Spices ( Berbere)

  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp all spice
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

 

Directions:

  1. Mix dry spices ( berbere) together on one bowl and set aside
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot set to medium heat
  3. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and toss in the pan for two minutes or until slightly browned.
  4. Add the lemon juice
  5. Stir in the dry spices, stirring occasionally ,for one to two minutes or until you form a paste.
  6. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, carrots and potato and pour in the broth or water
  7. Mix well and sprinkle brown sugar.
  8. Reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer for 25 minutes, checking halfway and adding more water or stock if necessary.
  9. Sprinkle cilantro before serving

 

This stew can be enjoyed by itself, or with rice and flatbread. In Ethiopia, it is often enjoyed with Injera, a sourdough flatbread with a spongy texture.

 

Let us know what you think of this delicious fall comfort food in the comments below.