A few years ago, long after it had been closed, Eli said he saw a girl swimming in it, coming out of the water in a bikini, laughing at her frigthtened boyfriend, seaweed snaking around her. He said she looked like a mermaid. 
Deenie always pictured it like in one of those books of mythology she used to love, a girl rising from the foam gritted with pearls, mussels, the glitter of the sea. 
“It looks beautiful”, her mother had said once when they were driving by at night, its waters opaline. “It is beautiful. But it makes people sick”
To Deenie, it was one of many interesting things that adults said would kill you: Easter lilles, jellyfish, copperhead snakes with their diamond heads, tails bright as sulfur. Don’t touch, don’t taste, don’t get to close.

And then, last week. 

~ Jhenne rambles about PoC & Media! ~


I rly want to reply to that post that you reblogged, ‘cause ive a genuine interest in your opinion on this bc its your major… But im in too much arm pain to deal with tablet typing paragraphs r/n…

But keep the discussion alive

And stop blogging on west coast time.

jfc no mama deenz dont type on the tablet

I will take this as an invitation to ramble on in a borderline incoherent manner, then! :D It’s going to be  mega-convoluted because I’m like student, critic, consumer, creator, and intended benevolent visionary producer. I will probably digress, because that’s what I do~

Without knowing what your response was going to be, I’d say:


DISCLAIMER– This is my opinion. I’m not making any kind of attempt at speaking on behalf of all black girls/black people/PoCs/any people that aren’t me, myself, and I~<3

Also: I am NOT, at any point, saying that one shouldn’t fact check/tw:/research/put in due diligence to not fuck-shit-up-offensively/work towards not-being-a-problematic-asshole, of course. Don’t be a shithead! :D)

[For those playing along at home, Deenie is referring to this mini-convo, anywho. The issues/complaints mentioned there are what I’m referring to, and basing this response off of! :D]


On one hand, I’m a media studies/critique that shit/Moff’s Law ride or die kinda girl. It is literally linked on my homepage for all to see. On the other hand, what you and Keish Keish said, and what peeps like Des have blogger’d about re: tumblr culture of criticism also resonate with me.

IDK I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS, but they really boil down to: PoC need MOAR media representation. That would help lessen a lot of issues, simple as that. (Of course, it’s not as simple as “well if you want it go and make it!1!” as we know, but I’m speaking generally.)

One of the main things I decided after my first legit Media Studies class was that representation is (imo) pretty much key.

A professor broke down representation twofold: 

  1. To stand in for [Think: Elected officials -> a constituency, or Token female character -> women.]
  2. Practice of image creation; getting across ideas. 

Representation can be judged by way of:

  • Statistical [quantitative] representation
  • Quality of representation (including "Positive Depictions"*)

*I think a point here, is that as PoC creators aiming for a “mainstream” audience, there’s a possibility of being sidetracked by an attempt to create a positive depiction, and little else in terms of character/story. (A friend suggested it could also result in reinforcing a positive stereotype -the Asian math whiz!/model minority!-, but I was thinking more flat/cardboard characters. Like Tiana.)

Essentially, I think the problem is that there’s such a dearth of PoC (/non-status quo peeps/not-cisstraightmiddleagedablebodiedWhitedudebrosofbeigeness) characters, texts, and properties. So when one is created, not only does it become tagged [“Black movie”, “Show about a Latin@”; I talk about tagging at length here], it simultaneously becomes this ~*beacon of representation.*~ 

It serves [or rather, gets held up and likewise examined/criticized] as a role model, simply by way of existing

Ideally, this wouldn’t be the case. 

Keep reading

Nellie, one of the LG Girls~

named for my childhood bestie. <3

Once upon a time, I worked for a budding lil’ magazine called Lip Gloss Teen MagazineIt was a super formative influence; teen mag focused on diversity/girls of color? Too bomb. This mag/opportunity is probably one of my earliest memories of being made aware of who I drew, and how. Skin tone, hair, size, alladat. 

Anywho it’s indefinitely haitused right now (sad face!), but you can read most of Issue Three on the MagCloud page.

{{All art drawn by me, Jhenne Tyler B., for the express use of Happy Inu Media's Lip Gloss Teen Magazine}}

Untitled for now...

Xaila stumbled down into the kitchen, drowsy as all hell and looking a borderline hot mess in teal plaid skinny jeans and a big garishly bright mulberry sweater, the look barely saved by the sweater being both off the shoulder and appealingly curve hugging. She apparently forgot to slap on some makeup, because the dark circles under her eyes were darker than a Nigerian’s backside. And her hair? Tore up from the floor up.

Deenie and Ju were the first to see Xai in her terrible disarray. Ju knowingly raised a brow, but decided to keep mum while Deenie decided to take a much more vocal approach.

“What in da hale happened to you? You look like Steve Urkel and lawnmower decided to do you up today,” she quipped while finishing up cooking breakfast for the three of them now. Figuring Xai probably needed it, she quickly spooned a bowl full of grits that had been warming on the stove and handed it to Xai, who barely grabbed, almost covering her sweater in home cooking.

“Huh? What? Oh… I’m just tired…” she answers in a hoarse, sleepy voice. Ju now has both eyebrows raised, her lips pursed in mild interest, and low hum emitting from them. She takes a stab at a sausage link while waiting to see if Xai gave up anymore info. Sadly, Xai just sits her ass down at the table with her grits and a spoon and goes for the sugar. Deenie snorts at that unfortunate sad sack of an excuse, and pretty much says so; “How come I don’t believe you?”

“No one said you had to,” replies Xai, who’s voice seems to be slightly slurred now. Ju clucks her tongue, and just stands up from the table and walks to the fridge, pulling out the bottle of orange juice, as well as the Absolut. Leaning back against the counter, Deenie turns her questioning to Ju, “Girl, its not even nine yet, you already fixin’ to drank?!” Ju nods in the affirmative and gets a glass, “Pretty much. Besides. I'mma need this shit in five… four… three…”

Xaila’s head, which was bobbing precariously between being up and down, has allowed gravity to throw the deciding card; it seems today that down was the better direction and she promptly lands face first into her bowl of grits. The epitome of ladylike snores coming from her mouth a milisecond before landing. Deenie drops her own spoon in momentary shock, but then falls out laughing at the sight. The fall into food didn’t even phase all that much Xai either. She remained soundly asleep while Ju just quietly moves back to the table with her goodies, pouring herself a moderate amount of juice, and then a ridiculous amount of vodka. While sipping, she reaches down into her purse and pulls out an air horn can. “Better cover your ears, two… one,” is all the warning Deenie gets before she hits the button, sending out a piercing honk throughout the kitchen and probably part of the house. Deenie slaps her hands to her ears, but that doesn’t do much to muffle the sounds of a point-blank air horn, and she winces.

But the effect Ju was going for appears in that Xai jumps, head swishing upwards while she slides backwards from the table in her chair. “Huh!? Wha… what happened!?” She yelps, not exactly realizing she’s partially covered in lukewarm Southern food. Deenie, about to mockingly inform her housemate of her fashion (and culinary) faux pas gets the ‘STFU’ hand gesture from Ju.

“So…” Ju starts, sipping her morning drank a bit longer before continuing, “White boi knows how to put it on you… hmm?” Her expression telling Xai that no matter what excuse she gave -her-, the truth was out. Might as well fess up.

Xai makes a strangled yelp and her face (what was visible beyond grits and nappy hair) darkened in a blush at Ju’s statement and its sisterly stare of 'can’t lie to me’. This certainly seemed to wake her up. Squirming uncomfortably for a moment, but stopping long enough to slap away Deenie-the-Hyenie, who started to prod her in the tits, “Out with it chile, I need to hear this. Is that why you came home so late?!”

“And without panties on may I add? I was up and saw your barebacked miniskirted ass try to sneak in, remember?” Ju finishes her drink in a few more sips, while Xai groans, looks around the room while shoving her fingers in her hair. “Okay okay… m-maybe I wasn’t working… but getting worked -on-… maybe. MAYBE!”

Deenie gapes at her friend and roomie, then grabs her by the shoulders and shakes her, “Details! Details now!” Xai screams and shakes her head, “Hell no! I want y'all to forget I even said anything!” Ju smirks, and fixes herself yet another drink, pointing the glass at Xai, “Hun you got a lil’ something…” And then she points around her mouth before putting the glass to it and drinking again. Shoving off Deenie, Xai wipes at her mouth, quickly… pulling off most of the grits, but leaving plenty on. Ju hides her growing smirk behind the glass still, nodding when Xai turns to her again. Deenie opens her mouth to say something, but shuts it again after Ju’s look.

“Uh… err… yeah. So! Since we’ve all agreed to forget this-” Starts Xai, only to be interrupted by Deenie, “No we didn’t! I wanna know who it is, since Ju seems to know already! Clue me in, dammit I demand it!” Instead of an answer in the verbal sense, Xai declares the conversation over by edging out of her chair while her roomies just stare at her, waiting for a more concrete answer than a few manic chuckles. It sadly never comes as Xai just shoots from the chair before they can get her to quit stalling, claiming its time to go and is out of the house with her bag and all in minutes.

Deenie and Ju sit there in the kitchen a moment. Ju puts her glass down and just laughs. Loud and a bit cruelly too. Deenie looks at her now, as if she’s the one gone crazy, but Ju then innocently adds… “I knew she’d run. Why do you think I let her walk out of the damn house covered in grits? That’ll learn her.” Deenie’s eyes and lips both grow large and round before she falls down into the recently vacated chair and laughs her own ass off too.

“She’s gon kill you, you know,” Deenie states, after the laughter was done. Ju gets one last snort in before stating, “She can fuckin’ try. She can fuckin’ try.”