A Definition and Explanation

The Oreo Experience or: A Total Whitey in a Black Chick’s Body

Oreo – Slang: Black on the outside….white on the inside.

My grandparents have really cool recessive genes for black people. They have this rich, dark skin with bright blue eyes.

I also have an interesting recessive gene for black people: the one that makes me love Renaissance Fairs, Kristen Chenowith and dressage competitions.

This blog is dedicated to that existence.

At Least 5 Reasons I Should Have a Small But Definitely On-Camera Role in the Downton Abbey Movie: An Open Letter to Julian Fellowes

At Least 5 Reasons I Should Have a Small But Definitely On-Camera Role in the Downton Abbey Movie: An Open Letter to Julian Fellowes

 

My Dear Mr. Fellowes,

I was thrilled to bursting when I saw the news last week that Downton Abbey: The Movie will start shooting this year. I love this show. For six winters, my entire Sunday days were dedicated to prepping my home for our Downton Abbey viewing party. Sometimes this meant something as simple as popping a roast in the oven; sometimes, opera-length gloves were involved. My Monday days were spent discussing every detail of the show. And my Thursday days were spent shivering in the corner because it had been far too long since I had seen the Crawleys and I feared I never would again. 

Though I may just be another fan in the masses, I think we would be a great fit to work together. I have detailed my reasons why below and am open to any questions or clarifications you require.

  1. I already own several corsets. Think how much money you’ll save in wardrobe by only having to dress 45 of your 46 extras for what will surely be a glorious holiday or wedding ball where I proudly walk through scene without weeping openly in joy and touching everything around me just to make sure it’s real!
  2. You’ll look super woke. People love saying “woke” these days and they rarely get to say it about costume dramas like Downton or Tory peers like yourself. In fact, there’s much gnashing of teeth about how even though people of color were definitely hanging out in early 1900s society, they rarely get featured in films and shows about these eras. Think of all the awesome PR you’ll get just by having me walk through frame and definitely not smile directly into camera.
  3. I watched Gosford Park about 45 times. With a running time of 2 hours and 17 minutes, I invested a lot of time in this work. I think it’s only fair that I cash in on that investment of that time that I could have spent with “family” or “friends” by spending a bit more time flying across the globe, motoring out to Highclere Castle, fannying about a green room, and then crossing through a scene definitely without embracing Anna Smith in the middle of a take.
  4. I just used the phrase “fannying about” without batting an eye. I may have been born in Texas and now live in California, but I’m pretty much the most British of all my friends–even the British ones. And when I had my DNA tested, it turns out that a full 10% of me hails from slaveowners that came from Britain. It would mean the world to me to return to my homeland for the occasion of appearing, if only briefly, in a scene wherein I walk through the drawing room definitely without reciting every single one of the Dowager’s best one-liners while weeping happily.
  5. I just spent a bunch of time crafting this new webseries, Black Girl in a Big Dress, which is, in part, a nod to my love of all things slightly old and very British. I mean, come on. 

 

For real, your Lordship. Let’s do this!

I look most forward to receiving your reply.  

Sincerely,

The Oreo Experience

PS. I am actually quite excited about this new project, BLACK GIRL IN A BIG DRESS! And hope that everyone reading will take a look! It’s been a labor of love for the last half year and I can’t wait for everyone to see the whole thing. Find us on twitter @BlkGirlBigDress and Facebook.com/blackgirlinabigdress
PPS. I can’t promise that I’m not wearing that giant dress right now.

PPPSNext Week on The Oreo Experience: At Least 5 Things I am Willing to do to be a Part of the Downton Abbey Movie.

 

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What’s your favorite costume drama (okay, or favorite “regular TV show”) and why should you have a role in its next installment? Let us know in the comments and let’s get you on camera! 

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For Mor-eo Oreo and to find out more about Black Girl in a Big Dress:

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Great Heroes of Black History Month

As longtime readers of this space will know, an Oreo is not likely to celebrate Black History Month. Summer Solstice, is fine. Nothing wrong with a Labor Day picnic. And I’m already happily planning the photo shoot for this year’s Boxing Day cards.

But Black History Month is not something we traditionally make space for. When black people go on and on about other black people…and especially when they go on and on about the historical treatment of black people, it makes other people very uncomfortable. It doesn’t matter if what said black person is saying is “true,” or “correct,” or “a helpful bit of conversation to help understand current events,” history and truth will always be around, so no need to harp on them. Comfort, however, is fleeting and should be cherished. Like a shooting star or the finish on a nice Southern French Negrette.

Yesterday, however, Vice President Pence gave us a lovely gift! He showed us that we can celebrate Black History Month by talking about White People!

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That’s way more comfortable than being all snowflakey/SJW/RBP about it. It’s perfect! We get a few more days to throw a lovely bash (who’s gonna pass up an excuse to pass the flutes!) and we can do it without upsetting the social order.

I hear what you’re saying, though. You’ve been indoctrinated to focus on black heroes during BHM. Effectively, unsung white champions have been Affirmative Actioned right out of the conversation. So they’ve been all but forgotten. What white heroes would we even talk about? We’ve got you covered. Below are a handful of white folks to lift up along with talking points about their contributions to Black America.

Ellen Clapsaddle

Look at this darling little white girl.

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She was illustrated by another darling white girl. Ellen Hattie Clapsaddle lived in the late 1800s and early 1900s and was the most prolific greeting card illustrator of her day. Black people, after being freed from slavery, developing economic communities of their own, standing up to the nation when those communities were torn down, and then building themselves up again would eventually mail postcards to each other. Thanks for the support, Ellen!

 

Hubert Cecil Booth

This is Hubert!

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Back in the day when everyone went by all three of their names, he was busy being three-named and inventing the vacuum cleaner. Most homes in the US have a vacuum cleaner and some of those homes have black people in them. Plus, earlier last century when black people could only get work as preachers or maids, some of those ladies used vacuum cleaners instead of having to break their fingers combing carpet by hand. Where would they be without this great man? Thanks, Hube!

 

This Guy

Look at this guy!

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Who is he and what did he do? Does that matter? I think what’s important to see here is that he looks like someone you could just have a conversation with. He probably keeps a level head and gently guides you to make decisions that don’t get everyone all riled up. Thanks, This Guy!

This couple!

Look at the love!

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These two are just starting on their lives together, but they’ve totally had conversations about adopting a kid one day. And they’re not totally opposed to the idea of adopting inter-racially. So there’s like a solid 70-30 chance that they’ll help reduce the inner city by one. Thanks, This couple!

Happy Black History Month, everyone!

For more BHM survival tips:

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What heroes are you celebrating this February? Let us know in the comments! 

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For Mor-eo Oreo:

Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
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Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!

 

How to Free Speech

How to handle speaking out on line is one of the biggest issues of this era.

Because let’s be honest. Sometimes a joke or a meme or a picture is super funny.

But sometimes, it’s super racist or sexist, too.

BuuuuuuUUUuuut, that doesn’t mean it’s not funny and it definitely doesn’t mean you shouldn’t just go ahead and post whatever you want wherever you want.

I mean, it’s basically nothing but a complete abortion of your Constitutionally protected right to free speech not to post that shit. Sure, there are a lot of difficult topics of national importance to talk about right now, and the best way to do that is with a funny-as-heck-jokey-joke. And bonus, a joke is much quicker than a whole conversation and allows you to get back to watching Dr. Thorne on Amazon. (That’s what I’m doing with my time, anyway, I can only assume we’re all following the latest from Julian Fellowes).

Now when it comes to people setting great examples for posting offensive shit and just not giving a flip about it, there are a lot of examples to choose from, but let’s focus on a couplefew that made news this week. Just like these folks (one of which is a physician, two of which are elected state senators), you shouldn’t be afraid to share your controversial opinion. You worked hard on those barbs, now’s the time to just let them out.

heatherwick

sandlin

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Now, some people might call these joke “tasteless,” or “offensive” or “completely fucking tone deaf and awful” or “definitely not part of the job duties of being a g*ddamned senator.” But these guys were probably super proud of what they came up with and so posting it was just self-care. Something I think we can all agree that we need these days.

But even thought these proud Americans were just being good and expressive citizens, the Internet’s response was quick and harsh. Heather’s work was contacted and the senator’s facebook pages filled up with vitriol and news media were contacted. Yikes!

So what do you do if you find yourself in this kind of situation? Harassed online because your funny joke just happened to also be quite racist/sexist/horrible?

It’s simple: Just follow these steps to keep your klout score up and your employers from being flooded with calls and emails asking for your head and resignation.

  • Claim you were hacked. If it’s good enough for the US election, it’s good enough for you. Do what Dr. Wick did and say that you lost control of your account for a while and unkind forces put words (funny ones) into your tweet mouth. People won’t believe you because you will be lying, but at least you’re making an effort.
  • Apologize, the right way. Say something Kellyanne Conwayish like “Well, I’m sorry if anyone got their feelings hurt.” This kind of statement lets you get credit for saying the word “sorry” without the pesky burden of taking responsibility for your actions or releasing any amount of your narcissism. Don’t apologize the way the SNL writer Katie Rich did–with sincerity and humility. All that will do is make you a “good person” and get you another, equally cool, job. But you won’t look nearly as awesome.
  • Lash out/double down. Lean in to what you said in the first place. If folks aren’t on board with it, that’s their problem.
This is one of the senators speaking.

This is one of the senators speaking.

  • Make like one black or female friendNot to give you a pass and absolve you of guilt. But to maybe stop you from doing this stupid thing in the first place.

Heather, Senators, I am available for consultations and coaching. Don’t hesitate to reach out.

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What was the last worst thing you said online? How did you recover? Let us know in the comments!

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For Mor-eo Oreo:

Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
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Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!

 

Guys, I Can’t Stop Thinking About This Painting

I can’t!

I was googling totally normal things and this painting turned up and now these animals are haunting my dreams and I’m kind of okay with that.

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I’ve made it my background on my desktop and my laptop. I’ve changed one or two avatars to be this thing. I’m in deep guys.

This painting is doing exactly what art is supposed to do. It’s forcing me to ask questions. Questions like:

 

What the effs  is wrong with that little dog on the screen left?

Why is there a Rice Krispies Treat between the plate and the oil thingy?

WHERE IS THE PERSON WHO WAS SITTING HERE?!?!? This painting is called “Exemplary Behavior,” but it’s pretty clear these dogs aren’t exemplary at all. They’re murderers. Murderers!!

So they dispatched with the person, fine, but where is the chair??? That little dog is too short to be on its hind legs. AAAUGH! They’re standing on the corpse of this diner, aren’t they?!

What did the big white dog to do become the boss of this unit?

How many regrets do you think the medium-sized tan dog on the screen right has right now?

Where is the cutlery? Ugh, that’s what they used to kill the person, isn’t it??!

Why is the sugar so close to the pork chop or chicken or whatever is on the plate?

Does Bingo in the middle there get a new golden collar bauble for every kill?

What are these dogs’ demands? They’re clearly after more than food.

Why no veg with this meal? Like not even some mushy peas or anything?

Will they be forgiven? Will they forgive me?

 

I know, I’m spending a lot of space dedicated to this thing, but I think it deserves it. And while all of this guy’s paintings fill me with the same sense of whimsy and menace….

Terrible dish for fish. But that doesn't mean I don't empathize.

Terrible dish for fish. 

Theivey AF

Theivey AF

That plate used to contain a human baby.

That plate used to contain a human baby.

…..the dogs one really steals the show. And isn’t that the kind of mad obsession you want in all of your friends? No, hmmm. Well, potatoes, tomahto, I guess.

Can someone who knows anything about art history or possession by painting explain why I love this so?

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What are you obsessed with looking at these days?

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For Mor-eo Oreo: Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)

Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!

 

 

Diary of a Mad Black White Woman – Hair Quiz

Dear Diary,

I know, I know, you’re already chastising me for ignoring the goals I so painstakingly wrote out in you just a few short weeks ago.

Nothing personal, I just gave it a thought and decided that I should try “loving myself as I am” for a while. And by “loving myself as I am,” I mean “I don’t want to get up an hour earlier every day, so maybe we just let these pants out; and am I really going to open up my Rosetta Stone Finnish every day? Isn’t that what google translate is for?”

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But there is one thing that I feel I have no choice but to commit to.

I changed up my hair recently and it has really captured the imagination of my friends. And coworkers. And absolutely and complete strangers. And TSA agents.

And I have heard their cries.

Normally, the hair conversation goes kind of like this:

THEM: Did you…. Change your hair?

ME: I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you over the roar of this kettle. Shall I make you a cuppa, or do you have time for a proper brew?

And then we usually move on.

This time, for some reason, it’s been different:

THEM: You changed your hair!

ME: I’m sorry, I was re-watching my favorite dressage clips and couldn’t hear you over the beautiful tinkling hooves. Which do you prefer, a counter canter or a flying lead change.

THEM: Okay. I have to know…

ME: Well, the difference is simple. A counter canter–

THEM: So, this one… is it real?

ME: It’s pretty unbelievable to watch a steed take to the air like that, but yes, it’s very real.

THEM: I mean your hair. Is it real?

ME: Well, you can see it, so it’s not imaginary.

THEM: But is it like… yours?

ME: Well, as far as I know, no one’s coming to arrest me for theft.

It’s about now that the conversation tends to shift to anything else. Often because this is also when I start setting things on fire as a distraction.

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But now, even above the roaring flames, folks just keep going.

THEM: Okay, but like… I’m dying to know. Beyoncé’s hair. Is that real?

ME: I don’t know Beyoncé.

THEM: And like Viola Davis… I know she took off her wig in that one episode, but what about the like the Golden Globes… is that her hair?

ME: I also don’t know Viola Davis.

THEM: Yeah, but like.. .what do you think?

ME: …

THEM: …

ME: I think that I prefer the counter canter. It’s not a rated move per se, but it’s very necessary.

I’m not sure what has increased everyone’s attention to this detail, but I will do my Oreo duty to smile, nod, and do what I can. To that end, I have created the following quiz that I will be handing out to friends next time they ask about the hair of people I know nothing about. Will let you know how everyone scores next week.  xoxoxo

 

 

How Well Do You Know Hair?

It’s vitally important to know if a black lady’s hair is growing out of her head, or if it’s just attached there by magic and white tears. It’s also sometimes hard to tell what’s going on up there. So why not test your follicle strength with this very easy quiz.

Look at each photo, then choose the answer below it that you think is the best way to answer this conundrum. 

 

 

 

A. Real
B. Fake
C. I don’t know
D. I don’t care
E. Wait, what? Why does anyone care?

 

 

 

A. Real
B. Fake
C. I don’t know
D. I don’t care
E. Seriously, I’m not sure how this matters much at all.

 

 

 

 

 

(source)

(source)

 

A. Real
B. Fake
C. I don’t know
D. I don’t care
E. Honestly, this woman works incredibly hard smashing barriers left and right, do we really need to reduce her down to what her hair is forced to look like for the sake of being camera ready.

 

 

 

 

 

A. Real
B. Fake
C. I don’t know
D. I don’t care
E. Are your teeth real? What about your chin and nose bridge?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A. Real
B. Fake
C. I don’t know
D. I don’t care
E. What? It’s just a question.

 

 

ANSWERS!

If you answered mostly:

As, Bs, or Cs,  – congratulations, your guess is as good as mine.

If you answered mostly Ds – congratulations, your sentiment is the same as mine!

If you answered mostly Es – you might want to make some time for a proper brew and a think.

 

 

BONUS!

Another fun hair conversation I had this week:

HIM: Look at this picture of David Beckham

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ME: I mean, I’m not complaining about this, but why are we looking at pictures of David Beckham? This is our office. 

HIM: What do you call this hair style?

ME: Cornrows.

HIM: No, that’s not it.

HIM: Yes, it is. Those are cornrows.

HIM: But he’s white.

ME: …

HIM: It’s not cornrows if they’re white, right?

ME: (cheerfully finds match)

 

Also, diary, “test your follicle strength.” I might be more proud of that than of anything I have ever done.

 

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If I met you for the first time at a dinner party, what am I most likely to ask you? Let us know in the comments! 

Still confused about how hair works, check out these handy guides!

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For Mor-eo Oreo: Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)

Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!

An FAQ for Wearing Blackface on Halloween

Halloween is a great time to express your creativity and have some fun. Whether it’s decorating your house with paint-dipped gourds, organizing a walk-through maze, shucking corn at a fair, or just keeping it simple and putting on a costume, this is a great time to just do you.

It’s also that time when a bunch of people think it’s totally cool to put on blackface and wander around in public in the name of holiday fun.

As a super approachable Oreo, some of these people might come to you for advice, shading tips, and guilt assuagement. And as that Oreo, you have two choices.

  1. Call them on their crazy ass behavior and unfriend them immediately.
  2. I’m just kidding, you have one choice and it’s this one: Make them feel comfortable with their suspect decisions. You don’t want to rock the boat and they don’t want you to, either. (After all, those who rock the boat don’t get invited to the Mortinson’s Caroling Regatta this year and you didn’t learn the second alto part to The Huron Carol for nothing). They’re just trying to have a little fun, so stop being a dick about it.

Here is an FAQ for how to deal with the blackfaced Halloweenster in your life:

Q: Is it really racist to wear blackface for Halloween?
A: What was that? I couldn’t hear you over this fully restored phonograph playing Night on Bald Mountain.

Q: And is it any worse than sexy Scrabble?

A: Sexy Balderdash or nothing!

A: Sexy Balderdash or nothing!

Q: What if you’re doing a character you like? Like you’re not doing a lynching motif, you’re just dressing up like a famous black person. Is it OK to do blackface then?
A: I’m so sorry, this fully restored 1920s Singer Sewing Machine is louder than I thought, but I really must finish this underskirt before the end of the day.

Q: I mean, isn’t this just being overly PC?
A: Really sorry again, but I forgot to oil the returns on this fully restored 1920s Remmington typewriter and I really do need to finish this set of haikus. You don’t mind if I type during this phone call do you?

Q: All good, I’m at your office door anyway. I guess what I’m asking specifically is you don’t think this costume is racist, do you?
A: JESUS!

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Q: What? Oh, I get it, you think I’m Black Jesus. That’d be funny, that’d be really funny, but I’m just doing Beyonce from Lemonade. That’s why I have this bat. Isn’t this fun?
A: I don’t really know Lemonade. But the tailor who made this farthingale is really great if you want her to whip up something else for the party Saturday night.

Q: You know I broke up with Scott a few weeks ago after he cheated on me, so this is like me being all “fuck you Angela Sodaskas with the good hair.” This is cathartic for me.  Are you telling me that because I put a little tanner on, that this is actually offensive?
A: You know what I’m most looking forward to about Saturday night? The mini quiches. Oh, and Mitchell’s famous goat cheese tarts. Hashtag yum!

Q: Seriously. I’m just trying to have fun. I mean, Sandra’s wearing a Leprechaun outfit and you know who’s mad about that?
A: Did you want a scone, I was just about to toast some.

Q: Nobody, that’s who. How is that fair?
A:  You’re right. Save the carbs for Saturday. Mitchell also makes those great lemon squares.

Q: Oh hey Jordan. Great costume.  Aydrea, what do you think?
A: JESUS CHRIST!

Q: No, no, I’m not Black Jesus–but that would have been funny! I’m America’s Sweetheart Simone Biles. Can you tell this glitter leotard is giving me a wedgie?
A: ..um…

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Q: Oh, come on. You’re not one of those people who’s like “ugh, your costume’s offensive because you covered your whole body in blackface” are you?
A: I would never say that.

Q: I know. You’re always so chill. Why can’t everyone be like you?
A: I’ve read the manual a LOT of times. Like really a bunch of times. Takes some real dedication. And a lot of people have families, so it’s hard to carve out the necessary hours.

Q: Have you seen Geoff’s costume? I think he really knocked it out of the park. Hey Geoff come over here!
A: JESUS FUCKING CHRIST!!

Q: Hahaha! I thought you’d think I was do Black Jesus. But no, I’m not Black Jesus. I’m a Black Lives Matter protester.
A: …

Q: You get it, right?
A: I’m so sorry, it’s really hard to hear you over the sound of me breaking these fully restored vintage China plates, but the smashing action is making it possible for me to not break my own fingers and face. Can we maybe touch base about this a little later?

Q: Sure! You going to the party Saturday?
A: I wouldn’t miss those tarts for the world.

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Do you need a little help keeping that stiff upper lip? Here are some more helpful How-tos!

And hey! Here’s The Oreo Experience having some Halloween fun with references that are surely as timely today as they were in 2011. Also that costume totally still fits… totally.

What’s the best (and or worst) costume you’ve seen so far? What are you dressing up as? Send us your pics and let us know in the comments! 

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For Mor-eo Oreo: Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)

Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!

Wrong Idea Woman

Did this a while ago and thanks to some fundamental misunderstandings on my part of how technology works, am just now realizing that no one has seen it. Please enjoy!

Sadly, this isn’t the first time this has happened, check out me leading people on in weird ways here.

 

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For Mor-eo Oreo: Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)

Leave a comment here or at any of the above and let us know what you think!