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Straight Outta Compton

The History and Mystery of the Hollywood Casting Couch

Crystal Liu Goes to War Against Hollywood Casting Couch
Crystal Liu Goes to War Against Hollywood Casting Couch

For years, the topic of cultural diversity and representation in Hollywood hasn’t been receiving the coverage it deserves. Despite the subject being motive, most firms in the entertainment industry hardly discuss it or acknowledge its existence. Media outlets and other entertainment stakeholders that are covering society’s culture sections are however changing this. Using technology, there has been the creation of interactive social channels that provide the much-needed platform to discuss cultural diversity and representation in Hollywood.


Crystal Liu is a Real World Warrior
Crystal Liu is a Real World Warrior

In February 2016, the Guardian made a publication discussing the issue of African American representation in the American film industry. One thing that stood out in the article is how the entire movie industry was losing tons of revenue. The undervaluing of the African American audience is one half of the problem while the disregard of cultural diversity is the other.

Matt Damon in Great Wall
Matt Damon in Great Wall

Vox online magazine also made a publication on the issue of cultural diversity when discussing the casting of Matt Damon in the show The Great Wall. Looking at The Great Wall, the Hollywood whitewashing controversy becomes a reality that needs to be addressed. Thankfully, film giants such as Disney are setting the example to eradicate the whitewashing trend.

Crystal Liu
Crystal Liu

As per the article published in the Los Angeles Times dated November 29th, 2017, Disney is set to cast Liu Yifei as the lead character in the live action Mulan. Liu Yifei is also going by the name Crystal Liu, she is a native of China. At 30, Liu is both an established singer, model and actress.

FREE Mieoko Kabuki Brush!
Liu Yifei
Liu Yifei

Disney has set the release for the epic Mulan movie to be in 2019. Crystal Liu will be playing the role of a legendary Chinese warrior in the film. Looking at Disney’s press release, prominent figures in the showbiz industry will be directing Mulan. Some of the directors will include Niki Caro who is behind both The Whale Rider and North Country.

Crystal Liu Survived Traitorus Great Wall of Hollywood Cultural Exclusion
Crystal Liu Survived Traitorous Great Wall of Hollywood Cultural Exclusion

Niki is at the helm of Mulan’s production. She will be working with Jason Reed, Jake Weiner and Chris Bender who have been in charge of various productions. Finally, Bill Kong, the producer of the Hidden Dragon will be Mulan’s executive producer.

The casting of Crystal Liu in Mulan is perhaps one of the biggest wins this year when it comes to addressing cultural diversity in Hollywood movies. Unlike The Great Wall, which used Matt Damon as one of the lead characters in a show revolving around the Chinese culture, Mulan is taking a different approach by using a native from China in the production of the live epic action film.

Crystal Liu as Mulan
Crystal Liu as Mulan

Some of the films Crystal Liu has featured in include The Forbidden Kingdom in which she starred alongside Jackie Chan. Liu also played a starring role in Outcast alongside Nicholas Cage. According to credible sources familiar with the Mulan’s cast selection process, more than a thousand individuals went through the vetting process before Disney settled on Crystal Liu making her a  real world warrior for cultural diversity.

Crystal Liu is a Real World Warrior
Crystal Liu is a Real World Warrior

Other production companies are set to make similar decisions when selecting their star roles; this will not only address the issue of cultural diversity and representation but improve Hollywood’s controversy-ridden image.

Afro Slay Short Cut

The Resurgent Afro Slay Hairstyle

From Cool Counterculture To Corporate Mainstay: Embracing Afrocentric Hair

After a decade dominated by black women burying their natural glory beneath hair extensions, the past few years have seen the resurgent Afro Slay hairstyle being rocked everywhere from playgrounds in Miami to runways during New York Fashion Week. Once a sign of rebellion, sisters now proudly rock locs and afros while delivering presentations in the boardroom.


Zazie Beetz Afro Slay
Zazie Beetz Afro Slay

Back In The Day

It’s been a long time coming. The 90s saw a brief resurgence of the Afro among young black men, themselves shaking off the remnants of the Jheri curl trend. Lots of sisters got inspired by Janet in Poetic Justice and started rocking the big box braids. And they did look good.

 

AfroSlay Mosaic
AfroSlay Mosaic

But we still took that toothbrush and gelled down any edges hinting at being any other texture than baby-fine. That hat went on with a quickness when we couldn’t get to our favorite braider by the weekend. It was because we didn’t want our own, other women of color, shaking their heads at how we could go out with our hair THAT way.

Afro Slay Hair Style
Afro Slay Here to Stay

Many of us grew up with mothers who forever gave us complexes about heat near our ears when they slipped up on the hot comb. Next came the relaxers, then the extensions. The ideals of nappy and proud stopped being passed down, fading with the harsh reality of needing to show up for a job interview looking “presentable”.

Afro Slay Techno Color
Afro Slay Techno Color

More Than A Moment

Viola Davis stood on the red Oscar carpet in 2012 looking radiant, resplendent…and natural. The wig she sported during campaign season was gone. She slew effortlessly, kinky curls popping, highlighted by a gorgeous sunset hue. It wasn’t just a photo op; it was a statement. It was an affirmation to black women everywhere that their hair texture was beautiful. And she was heard.

No shade to Halle. To this day you won’t find any other woman of any color who pulled off that pixie cut the way she did. She achieved what no other Black woman had, which still has yet to be repeated.

Afro Slay Short Cut
Afro Slay short cut

What Viola represented a state of beauty as powerful and overwhelming as Halle’s. Two Black women representing the wide range of natural hair textures. One previously celebrated as ideal. The other now demanding equal respect.

Don’t Call It A Comeback

Pam Grier and Tamara Dobson made similar statements with their respective characters of Foxxy Brown and Cleopatra Jones. Even with that, many black women still felt the need to conform to more European standards of beauty when going into the office or applying for a loan. You didn’t want to seem too dangerous, too much like a trouble-maker. Too BLACK.

Afro Slay Purple
Afro Slay Purple

Viola made it clear that this line of thinking was dead. Professional sisters proudly walk into the bank portraying class and confidence with their carefully oiled coils. Mothers send their little girls to kindergarten with their hair in twists. Miss Universe contestants now sport afros while doing their pageant waves.

Afro Slay
Afro Slay

Natural Is Beautiful

The hair pattern doesn’t matter. It’s the confidence displayed as the world gets wise to the fact that there’s nothing scary about natural black hair. Society benefits when black women feel free to embrace the natural beauty they were born with.

Afro Slay Color Combo
Afro Slay fun with Color

Twist it, lock it, cornrow it, whatever. Don’t sweat the teeny-weeny afro when starting out on a natural hair journey. Check YouTube for countless videos on taking care of your particular hair texture. Just never again shy away from Afro Slaying out of fear or shame.

Brown Afro Slay
Afro Slay Brown Tinting

Represent the natural you with pride!

Best Celebrity Hair Makeovers

Whether you love them or hate them, when it comes to celebrities, you really just need to get your fix and find out what’s the latest with them – whether it’s the latest news in their love lives, their or their celebrity spouses showdowns, think Savannah James’s LeBron against the Warriors,  their looks or their hair styles! […]

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