Duckie Thot, an Australian model of Sudanese descent, just put some major points on the board for inclusivity and diversity in the beauty industry. A Fenty Beauty muse, the rising star just signed on as the newest global ambassador for L’Oréal Paris.
Even with game-changing newer beauty brands constantly pushing for more diversity in the industry (Fenty Beauty’s 40-shade range of foundations was so innovative when it dropped that its foundation won Time’s “Invention of the Year” award in 2017), there are still a lot of strides to be made. Case in point: Thot, who has appeared in major campaigns for designers including Moschino and Oscar de la Renta, admitted earlier this year that she still has to bring her own foundation to shoots because makeup artists still often don’t often carry shades dark enough to match her skin.
But perhaps the more beauty brands see models like Thot, the more inclusive the industry can actually be. That certainly seems to be the hope behind Thot’s major new gig as a L’Oréal ambassador. “I’m looking forward to helping more girls love the beauty of their dark skin,” she said in a statement. “In my mind, I’m going back in time and telling the young girl I was, ‘Dream big, work hard and trust in yourself girl because one day you’re going to say ‘yes’ to the number-one beauty brand!’”
It’s Thot’s strong voice on inclusivity (in addition to her impressive-as-hell resume) that made her a perfect face for the brand, L’Oréal said. “She launched online conversations where others shared their stories,” the brand told WWD in reference to her speaking out about inequality in the modeling industry. “By speaking out, she has contributed to the redefinition of what [being] a model is. Her uplifting messages are shared to inspire her followers to love themselves.”
Thot will make her L’Oréal debut later this week on the Le Défilé L’Oréal Paris runway show during Paris Fashion Week and will be starring in upcoming campaigns for L’Oréal Volume Million Lashes, Colorista, Rouge Signature, and most notably the brand’s Infallible Foundation. We have a feeling that this time, Thot won’t have to bring her own shade.
Serena Williams held up a Grand Slam winner’s trophy for the 23rd time, celebrating her unrivalled place in history, and received a congratulatory letter and a pair of custom-made shoes from Michael Jordan, the name most synonymous with No. 23.
Venus Williams got to watch from close range again, and shed tears more of joy than regret after being beaten in a major final for the seventh time by her record-breaking younger sister.
Serena won the all-Williams final, the ninth in Grand Slam history and the second in Australia, 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday. With her record seventh Australian Open title, Serena moved ahead of Steffi Graf for the most major titles in the Open era.
When Serena sat on the court, holding both arms up to celebrate on Saturday, Venus walked over to her sister’s side of the net for a hug. “This was a tough one,” Serena said. “I really would like to take this moment to congratulate Venus, she’s an amazing person — she’s my inspiration. There’s no way I would be at 23 without her — there’s no way I would be at one without her. Thank you Venus for inspiring me to be the best player I can be and inspiring me to work hard.”
Asked if it felt awkward to be on the receiving end of so many losses to her sister, the 36-year-old Venus didn’t flinch. “No, because I guess I’ve been here before,” she said. “I really enjoy seeing the name Williams on the trophy. This is a beautiful thing.”
Venus won the last of her seven majors in 2008 at Wimbledon. She didn’t make the second week of a major for a few years as she came to terms with an energy-sapping illness after being diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome in 2011. And she only made it back to the semifinals last year at Wimbledon.
REMEMBER when musicians became superstars because of their talent?
Prince may be the last of his kind.
Australia is the surprise first global leg of his Piano and a Microphone solo tour, a tour which didn’t exist a month ago but will be talked about for years.
Armed just with a piano and that immense talent, Prince put on the kind of concert you just don’t expect to see from a superstar. It was spontaneous and intimate. It was like a private piano party, just with 2,000 people watching. It was pure Prince.
His first Melbourne show at the State Theatre was particularly emotionally charged — Prince admitting he’d just found out about the death of Denise Matthews, aka Vanity, his ex-girlfriend from the early ‘80s and protégé when she fronted the band Vanity 6.
“Someone dear to us has passed away, I’m gonna dedicate this song to her,” Prince said before playing a touching version of “Little Red Corvette” with a touch of “Dirty Mind” — songs from the era when they were together.
Prince reworked his classic “The Ladder” to replace the name ‘Electra’ with ‘Vanity’ — so the lyrics ran “This Prince, he had a subject named Vanity who loved him with a passion, uncontested.”
After an encore Prince returned to the stage noting “I am new to this playing alone. I thank you all for being so patient. I’m trying to stay focused, it’s a little heavy for me tonight. Just keep jamming … She knows about this one.” That introduced a truly incredible version of “The Beautiful Ones,” another song from the Vanity era (she was the original choice for lead in the “Purple Rain” movie), the song ending with Prince changing “my knees” for “Denise … Denise”.
Unusually chatty and candid, he continued going off script. “Can I tell you a story about Vanity? Or should I tell you a story about Denise? Her and I used to love each other deeply. She loved me for the artist I was, I loved her for the artist she was trying to be. She and I would fight. She was very headstrong ’cause she knew she was the finest woman in the world. She never missed an opportunity to tell you that.”
Prince then opened up about a fight where he threatened to throw Vanity in the pool. She said “You can’t throw me in the pool, you’re too little.” He then asked his six foot bodyguard Chick to do the dirty work for him. “I probably shouldn’t be telling this story,“ he said, “but she’d want us to celebrate her life and not mourn her.”
A hula-hooping queen took over Manhattan on Wednesday as part of a tour celebrating her inclusion in the new Guinness World Records book. Jaws dropped and cell phones were thrust into the air as Marawa Ibrahim showed off her supernatural hula-hooping skills in Bryant Park.
The 33-year-old Australian broke the record for the most hula hoops spun simultaneously — somehow managing to twirl 160 hoops a full three times around her 5-foot-4-inch frame.
Ibrahim grew up reading Guinness books and long dreamed about someday making it inside the famed tome. “It was one of the absolute greatest days of my life because I wanted it for so long,” Ibrahim said of the day she learned she had shattered the old record of 132 hoops.
But Ibrahim is not planning to retire her hoops anytime soon. She has her sights — and hips — set on taking the hula-hooping-while-running crown.
“It’s kind of addictive,” she said.
The Guinness World Records 2016 edition will be available starting Thursday. To Ibrahim’s in motion, you can catch her in the video below around the 1:40 mark:
A skyscraper inspired by a fabric-wrapped body in Beyonce‘s “Ghost” music video is set to be built in Melbourne, Australia. According to Dezeen Magazine, the Elenberg Fraser firm won approval in May to build a 68-story curvaceous skyscraper that will boast 660 apartments and a 160-room hotel, along with retail space.
Parametric modeling was used to design the building’s form, which dips in and out throughout the exterior of the skyscraper. No completion date has been announced.
The Premiere Tower at 134 Spencer Street was designed to respond to climate and wind changes: “The complex form – a vertical cantilever – is actually the most effective way to redistribute the building’s mass, giving the best results in terms of structural dispersion, frequency oscillation and wind requirements,” the Fraser website explains.
Watch the music video below:
“For those more on the art than science side, we will reveal that the form does pay homage to something more aesthetic – we’re going to trust you’ve seen the music video for Beyoncé’s ‘Ghost,'” the Elenberg Fraser site says.
Set to make its New York premiere tonight, March 29, 2015, at 9:30pm, at the New Voices in Black Cinema Festival, at BAMcinématek in Brooklyn, NY, is “Black Panther Woman” – director Rachel Perkins‘ documentary on the little known Brisbane chapter of the Black Panther Party, which was directly inspired by the American Black Panthers.
Central to the film is Marlene Cummins (photo above), who was introduced to Australia’s Black Panther Party in 1972, when she met and fell in love with its leader, beginning her education into the Black Power movement.
This Australian chapter of the Black Panther Party adapted the politics and style of the American Black Panther Party, from the clothing to their defiance, attracting the attention of the local authorities. Yet, unlike their American comrades, who numbered in the thousands across America, the Australian chapter comprised of just 10 members – young Aboriginal people who staged educational theatre shows, kept watch on the police on what they called ‘pig patrols,’ and were at the forefront of demonstrations, including the Aboriginal Tent Embassy.
According to director Rachel Perkins, what began as a straightforward story, recounting the Black Panther Party in Australia, slowly revealed itself as something more. The tensions around the movement and her personal life tightened around Marlene, and finally led to the break up of her relationship with the party’s leader. Marlene filled the vacuum with alcohol and quickly spiralled into a cycle of addiction that left her vulnerable on the streets. Her vulnerability and her belief in the movement made her a target for black men in power. Marlene recalls the incident of her rape, by two Indigenous leaders, after which she made the difficult decision to stay silent. Dedicated to the cause, and distrustful of police, she, like other Aboriginal women facing abuse, chose to stay silent to protect the movement from criticism.
Comparisons to her uncle Tiger may be inevitable, but Cheyenne Woods is coming out from under her famous relative’s shadow with a win at the Australian Ladies Masters on Sunday. ESPN.com reports that Woods earned her first her first major professional tour victory by holding off 17-year-old Australian amateur Minjee Lee by two strokes. The 23-year-old golfer closed with a 4-under 69 at Royal Pines to finish at 16-under 276. Lee also shot 69 in the event sanctioned by the European and Australian tours. Woods’ two-stroke lead came when she birdied the par-5 15th, hitting a wedge from about 120 yards to 4 feet. On the par-5 18th, she holed out from 1½ feet as she matched Lee with a birdie.
Speaking of the impact of winning a Ladies European Tour event, an emotional Woods labeled the moment as “a huge accomplishment for me.” “The European Tour has been great to be able to play this past year, she said while acknowledging her fellow golfers. “I’ve been able to see all of these great players, play with Solheim Cup members. … To be able to come out here and compete with them and come out on top was huge for me.”
Described as Australia’s answer to Harold and Kumar, as well as Cheech And Chong, and also Australia’s first indigenous comedy feature film, Stone Bros stars Aboriginal actors Luke Carroll and Leon Burchill, and is directed by Richard J Frankland.
The movie was released in Australian cinemas in September, 2009 and is now making its debut in the USA, viaiTunes, as I’ve been informed.
Previously profiled on this blog, the synopsis for the pot-fueled road-trip reads:
Sick of the city life and their dead end jobs, primo-stoner Charlie and his up-tight cousin Eddie decide it’s time to reconnect with their homegrown roots. Taking off in a beat-up Ford they spark it up on a spiritual journey across the Australian Outback to find and return a sacred stone, which Charlie lost in a blaze of confusion. To succeed they will have to survive a series of hilarious encounters with a demonically possessed dog, a depressed drag queen, a jilted ex-lover, a soul-searching cop, and a deadly spider that has come along for the ride. Only one thing is for certain, it’s going to be a blast!
While I can’t say that I’m looking forward to seeing it (I’m not really a fan of stoner comedies), I’ll check it out eventually. It’s not everyday that one gets to see an Aboriginal stoner comedy.