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Don't Worry, Be Hapa

Friday, October 30, 2009

(Above) Top model contestant Nicole channeling her Japanese/Malagasy identity
On America's Next Top Model a few days ago, host Tyra Banks transformed each contestant into some combination of two nationalities in a "Don't Worry, Be Hapa" model challenge.  You can bet there was some controversy surrounding Banks' choice to darken the models' skin with make-up as some people find the change of skin color insulting (calling it "Blackface") while others find the challenge an intriguing and interesting celebration of culture.  What's your take?


LISA VAZQUEZ on: October 30, 2009 at 3:12 PM said...

Hi there!

I think that Tyra was trying to show these girls as non-black but she was NOT trying to ridicule and demean black people - which is what "black face" (as entertainment) was intended to do. I think we have to view this in its correct context.

She wasn't mocking black people at all.

What was interesting was how the white girls reacted when they were placed in clothing and make-up that made them non-white... they felt awkward and they were unable to perform well... that was so interesting.

When they were in front of the camera asked to be beautiful white girls, they were enthusiastic and happy... when they were asked to be in front of the camera as beautiful non-white girls, you can see their discomfort with it.

Now THAT is what these blogs out there who are bashing Tyra should be discussing!!

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

Anonymous on: November 5, 2009 at 8:51 AM said...

I thought it was beautiful. And Tyra did it with class. As an Afro-American whose mother is half Cherokee Indian, I really liked the half sari/Native American head dress and it kind of gave me a great idea for a wedding dress...


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