Show Transcript
[BLANK_AUDIO] [MUSIC] Kendrick Lamar's new song, Humble, has everyone bouncing, but some believes that video and lyrics are problematic mainly because he criticizes the use of Photoshop and says he likes quote, **** with some stretch marks. So today viewer poll is this What offends you about Kendrick's video? A, the video, B, the lyrics, or C, not a damn thing. I know how I'm voting. Use #essencelive to vote, and we'll read the results later in the show. [MUSIC] Here to talk about all the blacklash to Kendrick's Humble are Amber J. Phillips of the Black Joy Mix Tape, Christina Brown of Love Me Some Brown Sugar, and I love that Dove commercial. Thank you. [LAUGH] [INAUDIBLE] And via Skype is Essence Live viewer Sojourner Eveline. Hey Sojourner. Hello how are you guys doing? Good welcome to the show ladies. All right so let's get started with these initial reactions. Sojourner I'm going to talk to you first. What did you think of Kendrick's song and video for Humble? Well my answer is C not a damn thing. I love me some Kendrick. I thought the visuals were amazing. That particular lyric section, I didn't see anything wrong with it. So I was very surprised to hear a lot of the backlash he was receiving. Yeah, I know. Were you guys surprised [UNKNOWN]? I was totally surprised. When I first saw the video I loved it. I thought it was so great for him to bring up a topic that we don't talk about a lot. And something that's a relevant conversation to have, that's what you're supposed to do with your art So I loved it, and I think it's great that he has opened up this conversation about women embracing who they are naturally. Right. And not feeling like they have to put on a mask in order to feel beautiful. That's what my platform is about, so I loved it. Okay, cool, cool, cool. And what were your initial thoughts? I thought the video was great, but I understood the backlash. I think It wasn't a surprise to me because Kendrick Lamar has been pushed around. How he talks about Black women, how we represents them in his videos since ever. And I think this another moment where black women saw a of Kendrick, you're there when it comes to supporting Black men and telling the story of black men from Compton and giving us anthems, however you can do a lot more when it comes to your gender analysis in the your videos as well. Christina, a lot of people said they thought Kendrick was trying to police. Women's beauty with the comments about wanting a natural woman, so what are your thoughts on that? I don't think he was trying to police anything, I think he was speaking his mind. I have been in relationships, for example, where the men would tell me that they like how I look without my makeup and with my natural hair, without all that stuff. So I know there are a lot of men out there that Feel that way. So I think he would just speak his mind, and I have to appreciate that because it takes a lot of the stress away from us. [LAUGH] I feel like we don't have to get up every single day And put on all this stuff and Photoshop it and be perfect in every social media photo, so I appreciated it. That line about the booty and the stretch marks was TMI- [LAUGH] Me too. Yeah, booty's are great. I was like, Kendrick's going to like my booty the way it is. Right. Never happened. You know, you know that. So let's talk about colorism. We spotted this Tweet from @Seeruh. I can't believe Kendrick wrote that Hotep **** song about women and put a girl in a wet and wavy wig in the video. Hm, wait. I can. Soljourner did you think the deflection of the light skin girl in the video affect your views on it. Honestly I don't because whether light skin or dark skin, at the end of the day, you're still a black woman, whether you have curly hair, whether you have kinky hair, straight hair, perm, relaxed, whatever you have, that still makes you a black woman. So I don't think that took away from the message at all actually. No. Amber, as I mentioned, the video receives a lot of backlash from feminist like yourself. Mm-hm. Do you agree with some of the points or understand why they make have taken offense to the video? I absolutely do, I think Kendrick is talking about desirability right? We are talking about who we are dating. And I think black women physically- I mean from this feminist perspective of it's not- it's still not up to Kendrick Lamar to decide what's beautiful. That black women actually have been doing that for quiet some time now. Specifically black women MC's have been talking about different types of bodies, we have Tokyo Vanity, we have a lot of black women who push forward what they want to see. And if he wants to push back against Photoshop, that actually means representing more varieties of women, not the type of women who actually isn't People are Photoshopped to look like her. Most women who are Photoshopped kind of look like me. Or Agabare Sitabe, those are the women with the pressure to fit into society and to fit into these beauty standards. And I think Kendrick Lamar. Tried, but he still made the conversation very narrow. What I liked was the social media aspect of it, because you know when you're on Instagram late at night you start seeing all these Insta models and all this stuff. It kind of starts messing with your head, but here he was kind of like ripping a band-aid if you will off something. Doesn't get to talk about, especially a celebrity or an artist of his caliber. Right. To say that out there, so. Right. Amber, we're in a new period of activism, as a feminist how do you think social media's helping or hurting I think social media, if artists like Kendrick Lamar listen it's an opportunity for him to grow. What we know is even when Beyonce started to talk about feminism, she was pushed even further to talk about black feminism. And now we have Solange, and now we have Lemonade, and Formation So I think that if Kendrick Lamar really wants to push this conversation around black women I would love to hear him speak out and call out Double XL around their freshmen class always being male MCs. And we want more representation of different types of black women In hip-hop, we need more women emcees to be talking about breaking the modes around Photo Shop and around what our bodies look like, so I call him to do that, to actually take a step back and make more room for women to talk about what they want to see. That's true. So Journer back to you, what are your friends saying about the video? [MUSIC] You know, my friends, I seem to be the lone wolf. A lot of people seem to also [LAUGH] have a lot of negative things to say. But I really just saw it as Kendrick giving his preference. And a lot of times in today's Media days and with social media like you said, scrolling on Instagram, we see so many images of women that are covered in makeup, have weave and plastic surgery, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, I don't think he condemned them But I think it shows a message that says for young girls, like you said I'll accept you with your afro, tiger stripes, stretch marks, whatever you have I love and I'm here for it. So I saw it as an uplifting message. I didn't see him trying to tear down the women who do choose to wear weaves, or wear makeup or whatever the case may be. I thought it was just a positive Girl I love you just the way you are. And I loved it, I loved it. My friends maybe not so much but we'll have plenty of conversations about that. Maybe he'll be sending this video directly to Tyrese. Okay hey Kayla and I hear you had a birthday, You had a birthday? Yes! I did yesterday. Happy birthday. Thank you. So what are they saying on social media? Very vocal, lots of votes for C coming in. So we asked, what offends you about the Kendrick Lamar video? A, the video, B, the lyrics, C, not a damn thing. So lots of votes for C coming in. Sweetness Dixon says, not at all, he has the right to say what He want s to agree with the lyrics Valerie, Michaela says no problem at all it's our hashtag love, we recess I agreed what I just heard we have to learn to love ourselves just how God created us to often we try conform to an image that society says so it's okay, our children need to know they should be comfortable of who they are. We are all beautiful. Yes. People had jokes though. So [LAUGH] Arielle Marie from Twitter says, he literally had a sugar brown mama, a reference to the model in the video, with a Brazilian body wave frontal on, while he's talking about show me that kinky Afro girl, laughing with tears emoji. So some people weren't here for it. Tina Curry also wasn't here for it. She says, tired of men Saying what they're tired of. Leave women alone, if you as women wear makeup fine, if not great, doesn't matter. Yes ma'am. We asked what offends you most about Kendrick Lamar's HUMBLE and you said. 0% for A, B is 2%, be humble sit down, I clearly need my glasses. And 98% for C. Nothing, I'm with y'all 98% wins. [BLANK_AUDIO]

Model Who Bared Her Stretch Marks For Kendrick Lamar Video Says She's 'Puzzled' By Response

Multicultural model Carter Kim, who bared her stretch marks for Kendrick Lamar's "Humble," has been questioned about whether or not she's 'Black Enough.'
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This article originally appeared on People

Carter Kim proudly bared her stretch marks in Kendrick Lamar‘s music video for “Humble” to plenty of praise — and criticism over her heritage.

Lamar raps about finding a “natural” girl with real hair and stretch marks in the song, as Kim dances next to him, and the multicultural model found herself inundated on social media with accusations that her hair is actually a weave.

“That part is extremely frustrating,” Kim, 21, told Elle. “I’m a little puzzled because a lot of it comes from African American women. I’m just like, why wouldn’t you empower another African American woman who’s just trying to pave the way for her career and also just represent us as women in a music video that has now gone viral.”

“I would just think they would be happy with that, but everyone finds something.”

The video was a big break for the model — a job she agreed to do after the casting director, a good friend, suggested her — though Kim didn’t know much about the role going in.

“They basically told me: ‘You are the natural girl that is represented in 2017 in the society that has a ton of imperfections, but still loves herself and still doesn’t care what anyone else thinks.’ And also: ‘You are the music video girl vixen. You are that very exotic pretty girl that the normal girl transforms into,’ ” she says. “I was very blind going into it.”

Kim says her race is often brought up during casting meetings. “[I’ve] gotten a few different odd responses from black producers, when they’re like, ‘are you just Filipino or are you just Asian?’ A lot of people don’t really see that I am black. It’s been a journey,” Kim says. “I have gotten denied by some agencies and some projects for either being too multicultural or even being ‘too pretty’ for a role. … I’ve gotten denied for being black a few times. Surprisingly, that has happened and I have gotten ‘not black enough.’ ”

“My mom is full Korean, but she’s adopted, so she’s very Americanized now. I am Korean, French, and African American, and that’s what I am aware of. My dad is black and French.”

But Kim is focusing on all the positives that came from the video.

“I do this because I love this honestly. Nothing more nothing less,” she wrote on Instagram. “I am truly blessed for you all.”