Friday, June 15, 2007

America the (Not-So) Beautiful: Model, Gerren Taylor Speaks On The Ugly Side of Fashion

Model/Actress Gerren Taylor

As few as two years ago, you couldn't miss Gerren Taylor.

Dubbed "Baby Naomi" because of her striking resemblance to the catwalking legend, at only 12 years old, it seemed Gerren had taken a permanent seat on top of the modeling world. Appearances on Oprah, fashion show bookings and media coverage came quickly and then suddenly, almost just as quickly, Gerren disappeared.

Those who had come to know and love the baby-faced sensation wondered what dimmed the light of such a fast-rising star.

Now, the documentary America The Beautiful answers the question: Taylor was shunned by the industry because of her size.

" the heart of "America the Beautiful" is Gerren, a teen model who got labeled "obese" by the fashion industry at age 14 — as a 6-foot size 4. With a résumé that includes modeling for international designers such as Roberto Cavalli, Richard Tyler, Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY, Nicole Miller and Catherine Malandrino, Gerren went head to head with an industry obsessed with thinness. She was measured in London with 96-centimeter (37.8 inches) hips and told she had to be 90 centimeters (35.4 inches) or under to model in Paris. (Then as now, she weighs 130 pounds.) Even Gerren's mountains of supermodel media coverage — including appearances on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "Entertainment Tonight" and "Extra" — couldn't get her past the power of the tape measure." --Los Angeles Times

Not one to be deterred, Gerren is reportedly focused on continuing to pursue an early passion, acting---she remains one of Denzel Washington's most adorable co-stars--and will be featured in the BET reality series Baldwin Hills.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Jill Scott and Nzingha Stewart take on 'Hate'

From The Cocoa Lounge

Jill Scott

Trailblazing music video director, Nzingha Stewart, has been tapped to direct Jill Scott's latest video for the soon-to-be-released, very hot single, Hate on Me. (.mp3) Performers from Common to Dashboard Confessional have benefited from Nzingha's artistry over the years.

Here's one of our favorite Nzingha-directed videos as of yet: Her crisp, black and white vision of Bilal's, Soul Sista.