Saturday, March 17, 2007

Rip The Runway 2007 - Hammerstein Ballroom NYC

Where do I begin with this one???? Let's take it back to 2006 where we made history on BET by being the first plus sized divas to grace the runway during Rip The Runway 2006.....as you know the segment went over HUGE and caused LL COOL J to formally rename us "Size Sexy". It was a great moment in history for me and a whole lot of other woment.....Unfortunately, I have to say....that this is where the dream ended....with the wrapping of RTR 2006. 2007's broadcast was a "whole 'nother story"......



The week before the taping, I received an email from a friend alerting me to the casting call for Rip The Runway....which was being taped on March 6th at the Hammerstein Ballroom on 34th Street in Manhattan. I read the email and decided immediately that I wasn't going to attend when I saw this written at the bottom of the email "Video Vixens encouraged to attend". Well....CLEARLY!!!! "Video Vixen" is not often used (if used at all...lol) to describe luscious ol' me!!!! So I didn't bother attending the casting....but I got TONS of calls from folks who braved the cold to stand outside amongst over 1500 people....and I KNEW I had made the right call by NOT attending and didn't think about it anymore.

Now here is where it gets screwy....on the day before the taping I got a call from a model friend who told me that one of the plus sized designers (Baby Phat...to be exact) had pulled out of the show in the 11th hour because they were told that the plus sized segment would lumped together with a total of 4 designers showing....and two of them were menswear designers....so as a result only one designer was showing and she didn't have enough models after Baby Phat pulled.....and would I be willing to help out?

Well, although I had to work in the morning at the Mandarin Oriental hotel...where they were presenting Queen Latifah's new clothing line...CURVATIONS....I knew my evening would be free and although it was chaos the year before....it WAS fun doing it. And going of that particular memory....I said okay....So I arrived at The Hammerstein Ballroom at around 2:45pm along with my girl Mia Amber (who had also worked the Curvations show) and my first inkling that perhaps I had made a mistake was the difficulty I had in getting inside the venue...(lots of back forth phone calls... and stinky attitudes from some of the folks working the front of the house......and the total confusion of course....

Anywhoo....after a 15-20 minute wait...I was finally allowed into the ballroom....where we were quickly fitted and headed to hair & make up and to my surprise we were greeted with the "everyone is getting the same look speech" Bare eyes and red lips...now this didn't sit too well with me as...we all know that red lipstick most certainly cannot go with everything....so imagine my surprise when I sat in the make up artists chair and watched him take a cotton ball with makeup remover and REMOVE MY BEAUTIFULLY SMOKED EYES FROM THE CURVATION SHOW!!!!! as well as my lipstick and put on this hideous ass red lipstick!!!! That wasn't the kicker though!!! After he removed my eye make up he looked at me with all seriousness and said "okay...your done!"....I looked at this man like he had twelve heads and asked him...."So you are not even going to try and make my eyes look neutral or neat, nor will you touch up the make up you removed from my eyes???...and YOU THINK I AM GOING ON STAGE LIKE THAT??????" Well, :I am sorry"...that's all I can do was his reply!!!!
Fortunately, for me...I learned YEARS ago how to do my own make up (I always carry my brushes and kit with me) AND how to FIX IT when SOMEBODY ELSE BOTCHES IT UP!!!!

Well, needless to say it all went downhill after that!!!! I witnessed the makeup people give the plus sized girls the runaround for several hours....as the hour of the taping drew near..most of us were forced to do our own makeup...yet again....as we watched them "hook up" all the little teeny weeny girls...(and TRUST me here...NONE of them were wearing bare eyes and red lips!!!)....if anything they were doing "fantasy" makeup on everyone EXCEPT the plus girls!!! And this was the sort of behavior that had me seething backstage.

Now, as I said earlier...I wasn't going to participate...so hadn't attended the rehearsal/run through....but the ladies brought me up to speed as we were waiting to run through our segment...it was then that I realized that we not only had to "walk" at the same time as the guys in the Steve Harvey/LSG segment...but we had to hold on to their arms like we were going to the prom....as we walked to Musiq Soulchild's new "Buddy" song.....it was then that I began to protest aloud...."Why on EARTH do we have to hang on to these guys arms"???? "No one can get their "STRUT" on like that???? None of the OTHER models have to have escorts and we only have ONE SEGMENT!!! Why do we have to share it with not one but TWO other designers??? Of course my protests fell on deaf ears but I DID hear from a model that attended the rehearsal...that they were going to cancel the plus sized segment because we didn't have a "Fat Girl Anthem" on the radio this year????

WTF???? If THAT isn't the DUMBEST thing I have heard in a very long time.....just plain dumb....anyway....after much confusion we got through our segment but at that point...I don't know about anyone else...but I most certainly was not pleased. The highlight of the whole evening for me was to meet and take photos with Deelishis from Flavor of Love (Beautiful, classy & quite approachable), Chris Brown (Very nice and mannerable young man...BOY!!! did THAT statement make me feel old...lol), Rakim (who shouted out his love for me on the mic...sorry Rocky!!!) and Steve Harvey...who in my opinion had to be one of the nicest celebs there that evening....

Meanwhile the dressing room has morphed into a holding area for a bunch of men & hanger-ons in parkas and boots who were CLEARLY not in the show AND checking out the models as they changed....Not cool BET!!!!(this made me lock up my purse in my suitcase!!! and the staff could NOT get them to vacate the backstage area....I dunno...but it made me a little nervous...but once a certain celeb and his entourage arrived...it was just ridiculous...the smell of the weed in the backstage was so thick you could cut it with a knife....I am surprised we didn't all hit the stage with "Contact Highs"...lol. They were rude and they moved like locusts...just obliterating everything in their paths...just pushing folks out of the way.

The segment went quickly and I could not wait to get out of there after the taping wrapped...the whole thing just felt really weird to me and I couldn't wait to get home!!! I remembered last year's broadcast, where you mostly saw the back of my head...so I didn't even bother telling anyone I would be doing it.....and quite frankly I am glad I went with my gut..this time...Although the segment looked better on TV than it did live...I wasn't really pleased with how I came across...and I am QUITE sure I will not be on hand for this broadcast next year...My plus sized Diva's did the damn thing!!! Kudos My Sisters!!! I saw a whole LOT of dancing and not much "Strutting" on the runway and while that is "Hip-Hop" it most definitely is NOT fashion and it disturbed me.

Let me say this though...ALL of the models that I encountered backstage were friendly and had nothing but positive things to say about the plus sized models ...But I did notice they (BET) were doing backstage interviews for clothing sponsor Hanes...I think...with June Ambrose..but I noticed that they didn't include not one plus size...whassamatta???? I KNOW Hanes makes plus sizes...hence the Just My Size line...so what's up BET?? Your demographic is FILLED with young women and teenagers who are struggling to love and accept themselves and be comfortable in the skin they are in....why not continue (as you did last year with the whole "size sexy" plug) to help encourage that self love by acknowledging and showing them that they are beautiful too...rather than ignoring them or try to brainwash them into trying to fit in to some ridiculous, unattainable mold that you have created for them???

We are NOT ALL meant be a size 6....and what a boring world it would be if we all were!!!

Enjoy the slide show family!


One more thing.....

To the reality TV Model who came to the ballroom complete with security and then rudely announced to those present in the ladies room that they needed "to clear the restroom" because she had her period and needed to change her tampon...."

Classy move. Very classy indeed!

Simple minds are satisfied by simplistic explanations.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are looking like Kevin Aviance in these pictures

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Aviance

not that there's anything wrong with it

how you doin'

Anonymous said...

Toccara was dancing her ass off, she is one fine pretty sister.