VIBE Sexy Issue 2012 VIBE Sexy Issue 2012

Letter From The Editor: Sexy Issue

HOW REAL IS THIS!

I’m not snobby about reality television. Real Talk. I’ve watched too much of it to throw my nose north, stand on a soapbox and scream at audiences for watching Basketball Wives marathons over 60 Minutes. (But seriously, a balanced TV diet is recommended!). I was there for Flavor of Love, praying that PE’s hypeman knew the time and would select Ms. New York on Seasons One and Two. They were bat-shit crazy, yet perfect for each other—a couple made in guilty-pleasure heaven. Her and Flav’s nuptials could have provided classic reality moments and mindless programming for years. Alas, the franchise wasn’t meant to be. So instead we have Kimmy Pie. (More on that later.).

While there was the throwing of Nielsen numbers and drilling down on Google Analytics to quantify reach, this cover was a no-brainer. I’ve wanted to get this show on the road since Chris Rock said, “The reality star is the new celebrity,” in VIBE’s pages. His words hit like an anvil in one of those crazed Looney Tunes cartoons. I saw birds (not taking a shot here, BTW). Then I had a moment of clarity. He had a point. I decided to put Kim Kardashian on the cover of another publication in 2006. Four years ago, I thought she was having a fantastic 15 minutes. My calculation on how long she’d be relevant was off. Today, she and the family is a franchise with a $40 million production deal with E!. People used to stump me with questions concerning the discerning talent of Kim K. I had no answers and didn’t care that much to come up with even a flimsy theory. Now I understand her—or at least Kris Jenner’s—talent lies in branding.

The brand has taken several hits over the Kardashians’ marathon run, but there’s been more good than bad projected. All-American family with issues. Check. Girl who doesn’t drink. Check. Beautiful to all shades of men. Check. But what happens when the branding of other programs keep going left, never right? The catfights on Love & Hip-Hop and Basketball Wives define those shows. The audiences wait for cocktail glasses to hit a wall and shatter. We want to see the matador thrown airborne by the bull. Olé! And there’s a two-fold problem there. Although it isn’t specific to African-Americans anymore—shows like MTV’s Jersey Shore and VH1’s Mob Wives promote just as many rumbles—the combative personalities showcased are still an issue.

VIBE set up a roundtable with Chrissy, Tamar, Evelyn and Kandi. No need for last names. You know them on first-name reference. They sat down with our editorial consultant Bonsu Thompson to talk about the social responsibility reality television has. These women all have spin-off shows coming down the pike, so they’re taking off their coats, getting comfortable, staying awhile. For them their successes couldn’t have been scripted any better—getting paid to be themselves for your entertainment. How’s that for a reality check?

Jermaine Hall, Editor-in-Chief
@vibe_EIC

From the Web

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Tom Fox

Amber Guyger Appeals Murder Conviction In Botham Jean Case

Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger has appealed her murder conviction this week in an effort to receive a shorter sentence, the Star-Telegram reported on Friday (Aug. 7). Guyger is currently serving a 10-year-sentence for fatally shooting Botham Jean inside his apartment in 2018.

Attorneys for Guyger claim that there was insufficient evidence to warrant a conviction. The legal documents reportedly want the murder conviction tossed, or changed to criminally negligent homicide.

“I feel like she received a slap on the wrist for taking my brother’s life,” Botham Jean’s sister Allis Findley. “This tells me that she feels like she didn’t do anything wrong. She did not step on my brother’s toe. She took his life.”

Guyger was found guilty on Oct. 1. She maintains that she entered Jean’s apartment believing that it was her own. Guyger testified that she shot Jean believing that he was an intruder.

“She should have received life, so she should take her 10 years in prison and shut up,” added Findley. “If the court was to do this it would prove that, yes, there is systematic racism and white privilege does prevail over Black life. I’m hoping this appeal gets thrown out and her conviction holds. I’m hoping they overturn the 10 years and give her life instead.”

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Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Oprah Winfrey Puts Up 26 Billboards Demanding Justice For Breonna Taylor

Oprah Winfrey and the team at O, The Oprah Magazine, erected 26 billboards demanding the arrest of the cops who killed Breonna Taylor. The billboards went up all around Louisville, Kentucky, on Thursday (Aug. 6).

“Demand that the police involved in killing Breonna Taylor be arrested an charged,” the billboards reads. The billboard encourages people to visit UntilFreedom.com (the organization co-founded by Tamika D. Mallory, Mysonne Linen, Angela Pintom and Linda Sarsoir) and includes a quote from Oprah, “If you turn a blind eye to racism, you become an accomplice to it.”

🚨Billboard Alert🚨

26 billboards - for every year of life of #BreonnaTaylor erected in Louisville, KY.

Kentucky will not forget her name. We will get justice for Breonna. pic.twitter.com/rOM2bhVdAy

— untilfreedom (@untilfreedom) August 6, 2020

A drawing of Taylor also covers the Sept. 2020 edition of O Magazine, marking the first time that Winfrey wasn’t the publication’s covergirl. Winfrey decided to use the magazine’s 20th anniversary cover to amplify Taylor’s story.

On March 13, Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, was shot to death by former and current Louisville police officers Jonathon Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove. None of them have been charged in her murder.

“She was just like me. She was just like you,” Winfrey wrote on Instagram. “And like everyone who dies unexpectedly, she had plans. Plans for a future filled with responsibility and work and friends and laughter. I think about Breonna Taylor often.

“The September issue honors her life and the life of every other Black woman whose life has been taken too soon.”

See the cover below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Breonna Taylor. She was just like me. She was just like you. And like everyone who dies unexpectedly, she had plans. Plans for a future filled with responsibility and work and friends and laughter. I think about Breonna Taylor often. Imagine if three unidentified men burst into your home while you were sleeping. And your partner fired a gun to protect you. And then mayhem. What I know for sure: We can’t be silent. We have to use whatever megaphone we have to cry for justice. And that is why Breonna Taylor is on the cover of @oprahmagazine. The September issue honors her life and the life of every other Black woman whose life has been taken too soon. Head to OprahMag.com for more—and thank you to @alexis_art, a 24-year-old digital artist, who captured the essence of Breonna. The issue will be available wherever you buy or download magazines on 8/11.

A post shared by Oprah (@oprah) on Jul 30, 2020 at 5:32am PDT

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Prince Williams/WireImage

Watch The Moment T.I. Learns He’s Going To Be A Grandfather

Congratulations are in order for T.I.’s stepdaughter, Zonnique. The singer is expecting her first child with boyfriend and rapper, Bandhunta Izzy (a.k.a Isreal James).

Zonnique, who will be welcoming a daughter with Izzy, surprised Tip with the baby news during an episode of her Fox Soul show The Mix on Wednesday (Aug. 6).

Needless to say, Tip was shocked. So much so, that it took him a minute to actually process the announcement, even after his wife, Tiny, confirmed that they weren’t pranking him.

Zonnique broke the pregnancy news to PEOPLE earlier in the week, and opened up about the drawbacks of being pregnant during a pandemic.  “It really sucks being pregnant during the coronavirus,” she admitted. “At first, I'm like, 'This is the perfect time, like everybody is locked in. I don't have to worry about going out. So if I want to hide it for however long, I can hide.'

“But when it comes to going to doctor's appointments, I go to all of them by myself. I ask every single time, 'Can I bring my boyfriend?' And they're like, 'No, only you can come.' That's been the worst part," she added.

“I'm hoping by the time I'm ready to have the baby it will be over with. But I'm sure it won't be, so I'll be in there with one person, most likely. I'm just trying not to get my hopes too high anymore.”

Peep the video below to see Tip's hilarious reaction to learning that he's going to be a grandfather.

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