May 11, 2005

ANTM's Bitch of the Season

I haven't posted about ANTM this season because no one really inspired me, but while watching tonight's episode, I was finally motivated. The last couple weeks Keenyah's been showing her true colors and it's really pissed me off.

This week, since the girls are in South Africa, they did some African tribal dancing and went to visit Nelson Mandela's prison cell. Keenyah kept going on about how good she felt being around her people and how being in Africa meant more for her than the rest of the girls because she's black... although she didn't know if Mandela was still alive or not. While that's fine and all, Naima pointed out that it also has meaning for her because she's black too. Although she doesn't look it, Naima's father is black and Mexican-Indian and her mother is black and Irish, making her half black. Showing the ignorant selfish streak she's been riding lately, Keenyah said that she doesn't consider Naima black because she "just doesn't see that in her."

What the hell does that mean? You'd think that a black woman of all people would know what it's like to have people make assumptions about who you are based on your skin color... and it's not even like she's dissing Naima for being light-skinned, she refuses to recognize her as a sister, refuses to treat Naima as she sees herself. This makes me very angry because I know how Naima must feel and I think that kind of attitude is unforgivable, no matter what. Also, Keenyah has gained 15 lbs. since the season began and now has a gut that either hangs out or has to be airbrushed. Lastly, she's just not pretty to me. I think Kahlen is the prettiest and the most consistent of the girls left. Naima is stylish and pretty, too, but she either has great or terrible pictures, whereas Kahlen seems to look cute no matter what. So, I hate Keenyah and I award her the "ANTM Bitch of the Season" award. She lacks class and sensitivity and I will never, ever watch the show again if she wins. Boo Keenyah!

keenyah.jpg
Keenyah - "I'm black"

naima3.jpg
Naima - "Keenyah says I'm not black enough"

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Comments

I totally agree with you, I was appalled that Keenyah had the nerve to think that she "got the most" out of being in Africa "because she's the only black one." I was espcially appalled that she said this knowing full-well what Naima's background is.
I mean, who's to say that a Chinese person or Icelandic person etc. wouldn't be able to get equally as much out of a trip to Africa as a black person. Being a woman of mixed-heritage I was upset to hear Kennyah say that she didn't think of Naima that way (that way of course being black)...Keenyah is ignorant and annoying...the sooner she's gone from the show the better!

Posted by: Jess at May 12, 2005 12:25 PM

Is it just me or does it look like keenyah's busy packing acorns into the sides of her jaw? like she got her wisdom teeth out or something.

Posted by: julia at May 12, 2005 12:57 PM

Both of them are fugly. I tried to watch that show, but they don't have any attractive women, so what's the point?

More important, what kind of moron actually gets "upset" and "appalled" by what another moron says on a second-rate reality show? You people need to get a life.

Posted by: Geoff at May 12, 2005 01:38 PM

We have lives and jobs. Realitiy TV is an enjoyable escape at the end of a real-life day. Lighten up, yo.

Posted by: Kristina at May 12, 2005 02:34 PM

word, kris.

...Our unrecognized marriage would surely include debates over America's Next Top Model contestants, et al.
And it would be damn fun.

So I guess if that's wrong,
I don't wanna be right.
Take that, government!

Posted by: kati at May 12, 2005 06:00 PM

I know it's belated...but I couldn't believe that Geoff called me a moron!! First off, I work and study very hard. If I want to take reality television shows seriously, I think I should have the right to do so without being called a moron by someone who doesn't even know me. Next time Geoff, try to remember that not everyone can be as "cool" as you are, chill out.

Posted by: Jess at May 18, 2005 02:18 PM

Keenyah-hatas above are obviously mixed-race or white individuals whose egos were bruised by her comments. The truth is hard to swallow unless you remove the emotiveness in order to be objective and altruistic. As a African-born person who lives in Europe and regularly travels to North America and Africa, I can perfectly understand Keenyah's feelings about being in South Africa and how much it means to her spirit, connectivity and empowerment by being surrounded by millions of mirror images. The way that Africa washes our brain and feeds our soul after all the subtle racist indoctrination in contemporary Europe and North America is too profound for words. As the French would say, 'Les mots nes sont pas tojours suffissament'. Perhaps it was not tactful of Keenyah to have shared her feelings but at least they are true. It's just impossible that Naima could have had the same depth of feeling. And I will tell you why. Naima is the hottest thing to have emerged and well-deserved to win ANTM. However, while Naima is a woman of mixed heritage, she is most certainly not a black woman especially given that she has lived in North America all her life. If she was born and bred in Africa, I could conceive her as black because of the upbringing she would have had. Being black isn't solely about the way you look, it's about the heritage, customs, colloqualisms and even language passed on from generation to generation... and despite slavery, filtered in some degree to African-Americans. Precisely because her parents are mixed, Naima would not grown up in a home with a concentration and depth in its relationship and reverence for black/African society. Many mixed heritage people simply tend to err on the favoured side depending upon circumstances i.e. when it's suitable to say they are black, they do. And when it's advantageous to emphasise their white ancestry, they do. And when it's expedient to sit on the fence, they do. The more mixed, the more the crises of identity. No one else seems to noticed that Naima aligned herself with the white contestants throughout the show. No genuine black woman even in today's America would comfortably do that. As for Jess's rather inane question, I would say, yes, a Chinese person or Icelandic person wouldn't be able to get equally as much out of a trip to Africa as a black person. Why? Because it wouldn't touch their soul. If that's too intricate for you to understand then consider this: A chinese person in a room full of 100 wonderful Africans is going to feel extremely uncomfortable. An African-American will feel relatively comfortable. It's just nature's design that living things thrive best among their closest sub-species. And this comfort and connectivity provides an individual with the bedrock for achieving the most out of any given society. And that is what Keenyah felt!

Posted by: Adeniran at July 19, 2005 10:56 AM

Naima aligned with the white contestants becuase the other three black contestants are either bitches, or stupid or ignorant. How the heck wants to be near brandy with her sh#$ty attitude??? Tiffany doesnt really relate to anyone anyway besides Brandy, whom got eliminated early on. Keenyah is just pure annoying. So, who could blame her not to align with the real black contestants. And, Im an Asian who went to a school with over 98% African Americans, it aint no big deal. Keenyah was just bein selfish, period.

Posted by: dave at September 18, 2005 02:14 PM

i cant agree more.. i cant stand keenyah.. among all, i like kahlen the best. she is by far the prettiest and the most consistent with the best attitude.. pity she lost

Posted by: kahlen fan no 1 at October 17, 2005 11:21 PM

Naima just has to be herself more and attempt to forget the past seeing as how her future is looking much brighter, but other than that, she has been my favorite model throughout the entire season! Keenyah has no right to say the things she has said and I am very surprised that she got this far in the competition!!

Posted by: Shayla at December 29, 2005 06:32 PM

Another African woman chiming in. It's amusing that all of those who have not seen the truth in Keenyah's words are non-black but it makes good sense. You are so ignorant. Black means black, not brown or high yellow. In my West African city we have higher standards for blackness because we love our ancestors. We don't simply accept everyone with one or two drops of black blood. Naima doesn't even have a fully black parent. She is not black. Keenyah is an ignorant American, yes, but Naima is still not black. Asians and non-black people sound incredibly stupid trying to tell real black people who is black and who is not black. Please be quiet.

Posted by: Dominique at January 9, 2006 02:56 PM

People who aren't of mixed heritage are really the ones who don't know what they're talking about here. If you've never been denied who you feel you are inside just because of the way you look or your parents look, then you just don't know how hurtful it is. How do you know about Naima's cultural upbringing? How do you know how "black" she really is? Who are you or Keenyah to make that decision for her? What makes you automatically assume being mixed makes it impossible for one to have enough experience and pride to meet the standards of the unmixed and be "accepted" by you. It seems you've never had the experience of not fitting in anywhere; of any group to which you might belong treating you as an outsider regardless of your cultural upbriging or your personal identity. Evidently, those of you who think that mixed race people are somehow inferior to you, aren't treated like minorities on a daily basis or aren't proud representatives of each of their races equally and at all times (not just when it suits us) aren't familiar with the platinum rule: Treat others the way they want to be treated. I'd think respect for diversity and empathy for those who have unique racial issues would come naturally to those who sometimes feel alienated and different, but I guess that's just me. As for me not being black and thus not able to say who's "really" black, you're right, but you can't really say either because you don't get to determine other people's identities. All I was saying is that I thought it was messed up that Keenyah was narrow-minded and unfeeling enough to tell Naima that she's wrong about her own personal itentity.

Posted by: Kristina at January 9, 2006 04:23 PM

I'm a litte late comming in on this discussion but everybody's got an opinion right. I could not stand to watch Keenyah embrass herself on ANTM,I too would have been pissed if she would have won. She is a very ignorant person, who I would not want as a role model for young girls/women. I believe she was a little jealous of Niemah even before the prison drama she was making comments about how she didn't think she was cute or model material.... Basically she was jealous and tried ot make herself seem much better than what she was. I means it's good to be confident but when you over do it people just focus on your flaws.

During the show I personally thought Niemah was the best,she knew how to act in front of the camera,had a nice walk and won most of the challanges. Now I would probably say Kahlyn should have won, because I no longer like Niemah's sense of style. Her hair is always a mess and she can't dress. (but thats just my opinion)

As far as my color thats not important because I'm sure Dr. King would only what you to care about what I have to say.

oh and as far as Geoff if YOU had a life you wouldn't be commenting on us having a life...

ameena

Posted by: ameena at March 3, 2006 01:04 AM

Amen! I may not be black but I've been watching this episode with rising anger, what a bitch! And no, she's not pretty. She may be skinnier than I am, but I'm not trying to be a top model!

Posted by: Ellen at March 28, 2006 12:38 AM

hi,
i personally think that keenyah is really bitchy...i mean naima is part black, her father is part black and so is her mom, but u just cant really see it on the outside...she doesn't need to have really dark skin to say she's black...

Posted by: megan at April 11, 2006 03:02 AM

Okay wtf ii dont agree with this
bullshit if uu people actually
watched the show you would know
that those gerLs were in the finals
so stfu

Posted by: Sedrii at April 21, 2006 01:01 PM

Can I just say that not one contestant on that show tried harder than Naima did. She deserved to win. She completely concentrated on the prize and always said to the judges that she will try harder. They told her to come out of her shell and she did just that.
Kahlen was good but she wasn't professional enough. She always went to the judging room with messy hair. I was suprised none of the judges said anything about it.
Keenyah was horrible. She was far too competitive. On the go-see challenge she couldn't play fairly with either Naima or Kahlen and I never liked her. She has a really square jaw. I don't think it was right at all for her to say that Naima is not black and that she doesn't see it in her. I also think she is very jealous of Naima because of when she said "I think Naima is my biggest competition because the judges see something in her that I don't see"

Posted by: Louise at May 27, 2006 08:11 AM

I am extremely late on this thread, but it moves me enough to write because I am living through similar situations. Look, when it comes to being the other, African-Americans (who identify as black, not as biracial), have to be the most flexible about color, (as opposed to culture). We are often the only black in the room, or one of a few blacks in an area -- and regularly have to justify our presence either by dress or by actions.

We're almost never home, colorwise. An example? I had to attend a function with a co-worker at an historically black college. My co-worker is white. He confessed to feeling deep discomfort at being the only white person surrounded by black people. He did so in a friendly and confiding manner and I responded by commiserating with him. At the same time, I thought about where we work, where I am the only black man who works in a 65 person department, I thought about how defensive he'd become if I told him I felt uncomfortable being the only black person. It's in this light that I see Keenyah's comments about Africa. And, to be sure, I'm sure that, while she felt at home chromatically, that she definitely felt culturally adrift. An American is an American -- an African-Americans and a white American have more cultural common ground than an African-American and an African might. But they would have far less chromatic comfort.

Posted by: donmiguel at May 30, 2006 05:17 AM
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