celebrity

How model Halima Aden empowers by being true to herself

Halima Aden on the cover of CR Fashion Book

Model Halima Aden is giving black Muslim girls the visibility they deserve. Dec. 24, she tweeted out how she’s achieved success without sacrificing who she is.

“You can walk the red carpet, walk in fashion shows, and still be a cover girl while remaining true to yourself!” she wrote online, along with posting several of her high fashion covers for Allure, Vogue Arabia, Grazia, and CR Fashion Book.

Born in a Kenyan UN refugee camp to Somali parents fleeing their home country in the early 1990s and relocating with her family to Minnesota when she was seven, Aden has always paved the way for more inclusion and diversity in beauty and fashion. When she competed in the 2016 Miss Minnesota USA pageant, she was the first contestant in America to compete while wearing a hijab. She’s also the first Muslim model to dress conservatively and wear a hijab while working.

“To understand the importance of representation you have to ask people who’ve never felt like they were represented fairly,” she told Harper’s Bazaar. “For me, anytime I saw somebody who dressed like me in a movie, the character was someone oppressed. There was a narrative to it that didn’t match mine. Same thing with the news. Every time I saw somebody who looked like me, chances were they were doing something bad. Now, I get to represent my community to the majority.”

Read more of her story at the Harper’s Bazaar link above.

Loved this article? Follow JUST ADD COLOR at @COLORwebmag and on Facebook!

Man Crush Monday: Shemar Moore

(Photo credit: CBS)

JUST ADD COLOR reader Natasha Polsinelli has provided our first reader-submitted Man Crush Monday, Shemar Moore!

Moore is the star of CBS’ S.W.A.T., the same show that has our other Man Crush Monday highlight, David Lim. Moore has had a long career in Hollywood, starring on The Young and the Restless, Criminal Minds, and as the host of Soul Train from 1999 to 2003.

On S.W.A.T., Moore stars as Daniel “Hondo” Harrelson, a former Marine and S.W.A.T. sergeant who is the leader of his unit in his hometown of Los Angeles. Hondo is, according to CBS, “[t]orn between loyalty to where he was raised and allegiance to his brothers and blue,” but under Hondo’s leadership, “these dedicated men and women bravely put themselves at risk to protect their community and save lives.”

Moore has won eight NAACP Image Awards and uses his starpower to bring awareness to multiple sclerosis after his mother was diagnosed in 1998. As the spokesperson for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Moore has been a part of the organization’s annual charity Bike MS ride from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles and donates a portion of his “Baby Girl” clothing line to the organization.

Do you know an actor, musician, or activist you’d love to see highlighted on Man Crush Monday? Email me at monique@colorwebmag.com or message me on @COLORwebmag or on Facebook!

Irene Bedard speaks to Indian Country Today about her presidential “Family Feud” role

(Photo credit: Tidal/YouTube)

One of the highlights of Jay Z’s Family Feud video, directed and conceptualized by Ava DuVernay, is the exploration of female leadership in families and, indeed, in a future America. Seeing scores of diverse women running the country, culminating in co-presidency between Irene Bedard and Omari Hardwick, only made me want to see a full-fledged drama series based around these characters and this new, Afrofuturistic and ethnofuturistic world.

Indian Country Today’s Vincent Schilling interviewed Bedard about her role and the importance of honoring female strength in relation to the nation and the world. Here are some key points from her interview.

On getting the call to star in Family Feud while at Standing Rock:

“…In the midst of all of this in Standing Rock, where reception is terrible, I got a call from my agent asking if I could be ready in three days to do a video project in New York. I got on a plane not knowing what I was doing except it was an untitled Ava DuVernay project. I love her and I knew whatever she was doing, it would be awesome. I went with complete faith.”

On hearing she was playing Madame President:

“[DuVernay] looked at me and said, ‘So, you are the President of the United States in the year 2444.’ I was like, ‘What?’ (laughs.) She said, ‘You are actually the co-President because at this time we have realized over the generations that we need to have more balance between the feminine and masculine.’… Of course this was going to done right with a director like Ava, but then to have Beyoncé and Jay-Z? I got to tell my son about this, He was like, ‘what?’ (laughs.) This project gave me some teenager cool points. (laughs.)”

On the importance of representing the matrilineal aspect of leadership:

“…Violence to Mother Earth is another representation of violence against women. Why do we do this? I feel it is because we are out of balance.

If you look at the story of White Buffalo Calf Woman, there are two men who come to her and one man wanted to own her, while the other wanted to give respect and value. The man who wanted to own her got the thunderbolt, the other who wanted to honor her received the gifts, the pipe and the people thrived.

We are lacking in intelligent discourse. I believe that we as a society are much more capable of being tolerant and loving to one another, than what might appear on the internet.”

Read the full interview at Indian Country Today.

Man Crush Monday: “S.W.A.T.” star David Lim

Photo credit: Annie Edmonds

Any S.W.A.T. fans here? If you’re a S.W.A.T. regular viewer, then you already know actor David Lim. Lim plays Victor Tan, a new officer who earned his stripes in the Hollywood Division before moving to the LAPD and Metro S.W.A.T. team.

Lim’s talents lie beyond just acting. Before becoming a member of the S.W.A.T. team, Lim was signed to Ford Models and moved to L.A. to pursue both modeling and acting. Lim has appeared in several commercials for Gillette, McDonald’s, Bud Light, Apple, and Dave and Buster’s. He’s also been a part of ABC’s Quantico playing new CIA recruit Sebastian Chen.

You want to get in shape like Lim? He’s got you covered with the perfect squat you can add to your leg day exercises.

Do you know an actor, musician, or activist you’d love to see highlighted on Man Crush Monday? Email me at monique@colorwebmag.com or message me on @COLORwebmag or on Facebook!

Watch Oprah Winfrey’s amazing Golden Globes speech again!

Oprah Winfrey stole the Golden Globes show, didn’t she? During a night where genuine anger and defiance mixed with performative “wokeness,” Oprah reminded us all why she’s the most respected and revered name in Hollywood.

I’m planning on having my full thoughts on Oprah’s speech and the night as a whole later today. But for now, enjoy Oprah’s amazing speech once again via NBC’s YouTube page and start your day off on the right foot.

Loved this article? Follow JUST ADD COLOR at @COLORwebmag and on Facebook!

Man Crush Monday: “Dynasty” star Sam Adegoke

Credit: Vince Trupsin
It’s been a while since I had some Man Crush Monday posts. Let’s get back into the swing of things with this week’s crush, Sam Adegoke.
If you’re a fan of CW’s Dynasty reboot, you’ve seen Adegoke tear it up as Jeff Colby. Before landing his Dynasty role, Adegoke wow fans on Murder in the First and Switched at Birth. He’s also starred in Lifetime’s 2017 Michael Jackson biopic Searching for Neverland.
Adegoke’s love of acting stems from his desire to act as a conduit for characters and their experiences, and hopes to impact audiences with something meaningful and thought-provoking. As he said to Rolling Out:
“I feel like I’m constantly learning. You never stop learning. That’s something some seasoned actors who have mentored me have always taught me. You always have to come to things with a fresh perspective, and boldness, with the confidence to lean into the uncertainty.”
Outside of acting, Adegoke has tons of hobbies, including clothing design, painting, drawing, and music. He’s also a huge motorcycle enthusiast and loves traveling and spending time with family.
Do you know an actor, musician, or activist you’d love to see highlighted on Man Crush Monday? Email me at monique@colorwebmag.com or message me on @COLORwebmag or on Facebook!

Al-Jazeera English’s Malika M. Bilal on the importance of the Ibtihaj Muhammad Barbie

In November, United States Olympian fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first Muslim woman to win an Olympic medal for the U.S., was immortalized as a Barbie. The doll was revealed by Muhammad herself at the Glamour Woman of the Year Summit. The doll is part of Barbie’s ongoing “Shero” collection, which honors women who break through glass ceilings and inspire girls around the world.

The Shero collection already has some heavy hitters in its collection–dolls representing director Ava DuVernay, U.S. Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas, plus size model Ashley Graham, and Misty Copeland have highlighted Barbie’s renewed focus on uplifting and inspiring girls to reach for their dreams. Muhammad’s doll follows in those footsteps.

“Through playing with Barbie, I was able to imagine and dream about who I could become,” said Ibtihaj Muhammad to Barbie.com. “I love that my relationship with Barbie has come full circle, and now I have my own doll wearing a hijab that the next generation of girls can use to play out their own dreams.”

“Barbie is celebrating Ibtihaj not only for her accolades as an Olympian, but for embracing what makes her stand out,” said Sejal Shah Miller, Vice President of Global Marketing for Barbie. “Ibtihaj is an inspiration to countless girls who never saw themselves represented, and by honoring her story, we hope this doll reminds them that they can be and do anything.”

Glamour Editor-in-Chief Cindi Leive also said how Muhammad has defied stereotypes to become a history-making Olympian.

“Ibtihaj Muhammad has challenged every stereotype—which to me is the definition of a modern American woman,” she said. “Last year, she was the first athlete from the U.S to compete in the Olympics wearing a hijab, and today we are thrilled to celebrate Ibtihaj as the first hijab-wearing Barbie. She will play a tremendous role in ensuring that girls of the future see themselves represented fully and beautifully in our culture.”

That role isn’t lost on host of Al Jazeera English‘s Emmy-nominated news talk show The Stream, Malika M. Bilal, who wrote on The Undefeated what the meaning of Muhammad in Barbie form means to black Muslim women and girls, including herself and her niece.

“Her announcement comes at a time in which the erasure of African-American Muslims seems particularly pronounced. A time in which a major black women’s lifestyle magazine released a list of ‘100 Woke Women’ and yet couldn’t seem to find one woke African-American Muslim woman to include among them,” she wrote, adding that the erasure “reinforces the idea that Muslim equals Arab, South Asian, immigrant, anyone other than an athletic, Olympic medal-winning black woman from New Jersey — one with a modest clothing line, hundreds of thousands of social media followers and now a Barbie in her likeness.”

“The introduction of this doll lends support to the reality that a black Muslim woman can be both authentically American and authentically Muslim,” she wrote. ” A notion driven home by statistics that estimate a significant percentage of the enslaved Africans brought to this country were Muslim.”

“It’s not just young girls who are representation-starved. Grown women like myself, and the many who’ve retweeted, reposted and reblogged the Barbie announcement, are just as excited, not just for the next generation of girls but also for ourselves,” she wrote. “…[W]hen the Ibtihaj Muhammad Shero Barbie goes on sale in 2018, I’ll be ordering one to add to my niece’s collection. But I’m not ashamed to admit that another one just might find a home in my house as well.”

Are you going to order yourself an Ibtihaj Barbie? Talk about it in the comments!

Loved this article? Follow JUST ADD COLOR at @COLORwebmag and on Facebook!

Liu Yifei stuns in new “Mulan” promo shots

Disney’s Mulan is headed in the right direction finally, at least with casting its main star. Say hello to our Mulan–Liu Yifei, star of international films The Forbidden Kingdom, Outcast, and The Chinese Widow.

Liu, otherwise known as Crystal Liu in the States, has gotten the royal treatment from Disney, including a Mulan-themed photo shoot to celebrate the casting news. The photos, which Liu posted to her Instagram page, give a tease as to what Liu might look as a cinematic Mulan–of course, she’s wearing high fashion in these photos, but you can see she definitely knows how to work a camera and pose with a sword (she is a model and ambassador for fashion houses like Dior).

Mulan is expected to come to theaters in 2019. Hopefully we’ll know if we have a bisexual Li Shang by that point, if we even have Shang at all–at last check, the film is planning on totally rewriting the role into a new character, which is not only annoying, but a missed opportunity for some LGBT representation. But for now, let’s bask in the cool photos; I’ll save that axe to grind at a later date.

Loved this article? Follow JUST ADD COLOR at @COLORwebmag and on Facebook!

Meet Shukri Lawrence, queer Palestinian clothing designer who’s challenging Middle Eastern stereotypes

Shukri Lawrence’s story should inspire all of us to live our truths to the fullest. The 18-year-old queer Palestinian artist and designer is expressing his full self amid conservative mindsets and Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Just a fraction of that kind of adversity would be enough to break some. But Lawrence has perservered and has created a clothing brand, tRASHY CLOTHING, that seems like it would be right up M.I.A.’s street. If you look at how he’s presented his clothing on his site–which features photography with a collage aesthetic–plus the critiques of excess and material wealth woven into his designs, you’d wonder how long it will take before someone like M.I.A.–who is always about post-post-modern kitsch and art school sensibilities–wears some of his pieces.

Matthew Whitehouse interviewed Lawrence for I-D. Here are three big moments from the interview.

On growing up in Israeli-occupied Palestine, including his family telling him to tell strangers they were Jordanian for safety:

“I only understood the significance of all of tthat when I grew older, experiencing the conflict daily. You can feel the tension fear, and pain in the air of Jerusalem. I try every day to stay away from trouble because I know I will regret the outcome.”

On how he keeps the willpower to keep creating and being himself amid danger::

“As long as you surround yourself with people that inspire you to keep going then you’re safe. In terms of societal expectations within my community, it’s hard to express myself freely in public because I live in a conservative place. This is where the internet comes in as a safe place for me to express myself with no censorship.”

His life goal::

“I’m trying to showcase the hidden, the misrepresented and the creatives of the Middle East. We aren’t all war and terror, we have a lot to say, we have experiences and stories to share, cultures to celebrate and most importantly an ambition for life.

⚡️ SIKE SIKE BABY ⚡️ @taniageorgedesigns ⚡️

A post shared by SHUKRI LAWRENCE (@wifirider) on

Read the full interview at I-D.

Black girls are winning! Aja Naomi King, Issa Rae and Tiffany Haddish are killing the game

There’s been a flurry of beauty and movie news that celebrates black beauty and talent! Check it out!

Aja Naomi King as L’Oreal Paris Ambassador

Instagram

Aja Naomi King is the new face of L’Oreal Paris. According to 21Ninety, King, who is best known for her work on ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder, will start her ambassadorship with the True Match Lumi Glow collection.

“Gratitude can’t begin to describe this feeling inside,” she wrote on Twitter. “No words can capture it…but I hope to be one more face looking back at you showing you what IS possible!!!”

Tiffany Haddish becomes an awards frontrunner

Universal Pictures

Girls Trip has put comedian Tiffany Haddish on the map, and the Oscar buzz surrounding her performance isn’t just hot air. Haddish has been named this year’s Best Supporting Actress by the New York Film Critics Circle. According to Vanity Fair, Haddish beat out other awards contenders such as Lady Bird‘s Laurie Metcalf and I, Tonya‘s Allison Janney.

“Though the New York Film Critics Circle is an insular voting body that doesn’t overlap with those who pick contenders for ceremonies like the Golden Globes and the Oscars,” wrote Yohana Desta, “it seems likely that her buzz, newly bolstered by this best-supporting actress award, could reinvigorate voters in other groups to throw their weight behind Haddish.

Issa Rae partners with CoverGirl

CoverGirl

Also from 21NinetyInsecure star Issa Rae is bringing her Awkward Black Girl magic to CoverGirl with her new lip collection.

Her collection, Melting Pout Metallics, features eight metallic lip shades, and these aren’t your average shades. With colors ranging from blue (“Sunday Blue”) a cool gray  (“Platinum Card”), vibrant purple (“Amped”) to a liquid gold (“Banger”), there are shades for even the most adventurous lipstick wearer.

Hooray, ladies!

Loved this article? Follow JUST ADD COLOR at @COLORwebmag and on Facebook!