• via YouTube

    ANGRY LAUGHTER

    Black Feminist Blogger Speaks Truth

    Amid tokenistic television and a whitewashed Oscar season, Aph Ko’s web series ‘Black Feminist Blogger’ pulls up the curtain and reveals the click-fueled demands of digital media.

    While shows like Scandal, Sleepy Hollow, and How to Get Away With Murder are well watched and critically acclaimed, women of color are all too frequently ignored in American visual media. Meanwhile, like cable television (before its colonization), the Internet is currently in a golden age for entertainers who are Black, Female, and underrepresented in mainstream entertainment.

    The last year has seen a proliferation of scripted comedies from Amani Starnes’s The United Colors of Amani, Azie Mira Dungey’s Ask a Slave, to Issa Rae’s The Mis-Adventures of an Awkward Black Girl (for which HBO has just ordered a pilot). But it’s not just about racial representation. A huge disconnect between entertainment and its audience is the equally unexplored wealth differential. A significant portion of characters on screens of all sizes are financially comfortable, well paid/respected members of professional classes, who are rarely forced to make choices based on economic necessity.

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  • Gregory Gorgeous stars in the YouTube reality show "The Avenue." (Foregound Inc.)

    VIRAL STAR

    Trapped in the YouTube Closet

    Gregory Gorgeous, 20, has become an Internet sensation for his beauty tips and gossipy reality series. But even his own show struggles to address his gender-bending style.

    What’s not to like about a man who calls himself Gregory Gorgeous?

    The androgynous 20-year-old Canadian, who really is quite pretty, has racked up 47 million YouTube views and 345,000 followers with kitschy makeup and fashion tutorials, product reviews, and stream-of-consciousness rants. For the past year, he’s been the star of The Avenue, a gossipy YouTube-distributed reality show in which a group of young fashion upstarts party, bicker, and reconcile with the predictable and soothing undulations of a generation reared on The Hills. Picture Whitney Port in Toronto, with a smaller budget and a looser grasp on reality. Oh, and the protagonist in the sequin dress is actually a boy.

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