Month: July 2011

Talking Vagina Hands Are Big Douchebags

Huzzah! Summer’s Eve found a way to make women hate both their skin colors and their lady junk!

But BOO! Thanks to Fourth Estate outrage, the ads were pulled.

Yup. That's what Summer's Eve thinks a vagina looks like.

The douche company (literally, that’s not a slam) put out a series of ads where hands pretend to be vajayjays and extol the virtues of their completely unnecessary product that dangerously changes the ph levels inside of a very sensitive area leading to fun things like yeast infections and thus even more self-loathing while taking on the persona of various ethnicities, of course speaking with completely accurate, non-stereotype-tastic vernacular. I mean, when my squish mitten talks to me, it always says “Girrrrrrl” first.

I don’t think an ad campaign has made me shudder about my skin so much since McDonald’s PR geniuses said this on their website.

Like the unique African Baobab tree, which nourishes its community with its leaves and fruit, McDonald’s has branched out to the African-American community nourishing it with valuable programs and opportunities.

Highlights of the videos included an African American pudding hatch gettin’ ready to go to da club and a Latino yippee bog saying things like “Ay yi yi” in an accent Speedy Gonzalez would be proud of.

And don’t worry, Blanchetourage members, they didn’t leave you out. The white ham wallet like totes wants to be BFFs!

The vids aren’t avail on youtube anymore, but thanks to Adweek.com, you can watch them here. Please do. It’s a real treat. Don’t worry, I’ll wait…

UPDATE: A friend (who may or may not choose to remain nameless) found one of the vids on yt! Here it is. Until further notice (ie. more of my friends do the hard work for me), check out the other two vids at the link above.

NEW UPDATE: Summer’s Eve pulled the videos again and again, but here they are!! Again, courtesy of Adweek.com

Summer’s Eve may not know how to take care of ladies’ bodies, but at least they’re helping make more Oreos! If after watching the video any new converts have questions, start here and send me a message letting me know you’re in!(Special thanks to Bloodhound Gang for writing the following song and thus contributing largely to this post)

To see an ad make forced labor look like high fashion, check out this post.

And for another video requisite for Oreo training, click here.

What do you think of these vids? Did Summer’s Eve make the right move by pulling them? What does it imply they were made in the first place?

And in case there’s a fave euphemism of yours that I was not able to use above, let us know in the comments!

******

For Mor-eo Oreo: Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)
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Oreo Road Trip! 3 More Places to Feel Really Awkward About Being Black

Being an Oreo (or supporting a friend in their Oreo journey) requires regular visits to places that make you pretty bummed out about not being white.

We talk about how going to the movies can achieve this.  Spending time with the right friends and co-workers can, too.

But if you feel like doing a bit of driving (in your Oreo-approved Mini Cooper–the originals, not the new ones that obliterate the purpose of being mini by being the size of a totally regular car– or on your Vespa) here are three places to check out on your journey away from your ethnicity.

DAVE AND CHANTAL’S HOUSE

What Will You See There?  Pictures of their recent South African wedding (awwwww!)…where they chose a “colonial”  theme (awwww—okaaaaay) and to round out the effect, and made sure that all the all-white crowd was attended to by a fleet of all black servants–just like in the good ol’ colonial days!!! (awwwwwkward!!!)

The smiles were as genuine as the nostalgia

*Bonus points if you hang out with the wedding coordinator who, upon hearing this idea seconded it and unembarrasedly put out an employment notice requesting the specialized staff.

PLANTATION CHAPELS

What Will You See There?  Beautiful homes (awwwwww!) that were home to wealthy wealthy slave-owners (awww–kaaaay) and where slave quarters are kept in preserved, working conditions (awwwwwkward!!)

Well, black families did do really well on plantations, right Bachmann?

*Bonus points if you don’t skip the Confederate flag as a commentator who was mentioned in this article on the trend suggested.

THE PINKBERRY NEAR MY HOUSE

What Will You See There? I mentioned recently that a very helpful employee at my local Pinkberry suggested that out of all the flavors available, I might like watermelon the best. I decline and went with my staple mango and original tart.

I thought this was a one time thing, but no! I went back and the conversation went very similarly:

Pinkberry Worker: What can I get for you?

OreoExperience: Mango and original tart, please.

Pinkberry Worker: Watermelon?

OreoExperience: Mango and original tart, please.

Pinkberry Worker: Oh, okay. Oh.. are you with them?

I turned around and saw another black family at the back of the store. They entered about 3 minutes after I did. We hadn’t spoken to each other and our body language was in no way open towards each other (thanks for following the rules, btw, Other Black People!). Surely he couldn’t’ have meant them.

OreoExperience: Who?

Pinkberry Worker: Them.

He did.

OreoExperience: No.

Pinkberry Worker: Okay…. I’m sorry, did you say wa–

OreoExperience: Mango

For toppings, I'll take yogurt chips, kiwi slices and just a spoonful of embarassment

*Bonus Points if you keep going back to this Pinkberry….like I do.

___

Where are your favorite places to road-trip, awkward or otherwise? Let us know in the comments!

******

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Prison: 3 Reasons To Visit The New Day Spa for Black Dudes

Everyone needs a place to get away from the routine

Hey black guys! Want a break from that dangerous, deadly life you lead? Do you need a place to lower your blood pressure while communing in a community of your peers?

Try prison!

This headline came out last week which surely didn’t bother anyone in the blogosphere at all:

Black men are half as likely to die at any given time if they’re in prison than if they aren’t, suggests a new study of North Carolina inmates.

The short story is that a new study shows that black men live longer in prison than outside of it. And of course they do! With such comfy quarters and sense of camaraderie, it only makes sense. Here are three reasons why you should book your weekend away today!

(PS…Did Bachmann and Santorum get this memo?)

1. Sober living!

The black prisoners seemed to be especially protected against alcohol and drug-related deaths…

Few things are more sobering than living in a studio apartment (Los Angelinos, am I right!!) and in prison, you don’t even get that much. But it’s all part of simplifying your life.

You're so cute IKEA, but even this adorable Splornjabarn won't fit between the cot, the toilet, the shiv stand and the shame. Bummer!

2. Clean pipes!

White prisoners died of cardiovascular diseases as often as expected and died of cancer slightly more often than non-prisoners.

Black inmates, by contrast, were between 30 and 40 percent less likely to die of those causes than those who weren’t incarcerated

Some might say that it’s depressing that food available to undeserved communities is less healthy than food  that’s served in prison.

Hey! A cucumber! See - spa-like!

But hey, all of us can be lazy cooks at home. You always expect something nicer when you step out.

3. Not murder!

They were also less likely to die of … suicide and murder than black men not in prison.

We talked last week about how awesome it is to live in a gated community. It’s safe in there!  And it doesn’t get much more gated than your average state lock up.

Some folks have said that things like unequal sentence for crack and cocaine violations, Three Strikes laws and  long jail sentences for casual marijuana are just conspiracies. And I think they are conspiring….to help black dudes relax for once!  It’s like they’re trying to throw a fun surprise party getaway!

How do you feel about day spas? Either the kind you elect to go to or the kind you’re forced to when you can’t afford decent legal counsel? Let us know in the comments!

******

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8 Other Awesome Things About Slavery

She knows what's up with black people.

This weekend, Michele Bachmann caught some very unwarranted flack for trying to promote marriage and family unity.

Bachmann, along with other Republican politicos, signed a pledge written by activist group  The Family Leader that said this:

“Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.

The goal of The Family Group and it’s completely inoffensive pledge is ostensibly to push America back to a more family friendly environment by cracking down on abortion, getting rid of porn and by getting all nostalgic for the early days of this country.

Now, some people might say that instead of bringing various sides of an argument together, invoking the institution slavery in a discussion about anything other than actual slavery only serves to polarize anyone who might be reading that document or listening to someone talk about it.

Those people are lame and boring!

Especially because as Bachmann, et al, pointed out, slavery did some real good for black folks! I don’t know if they need another speech writer or document typer-upper. But here are eight other kickass things about slavery that we might want to work into some legal documents!

1. Fitness plans. According to some stats I hastily Googled, almost half of all black people are obese. This article says that in 42 states, more than a third of the black people there are obese. And in 15 states, that number goes up to 40%. I imagine that means that those black people are so fat that…they probably have a number of health problems and are uncomfortable in tiny seats or skinny jeans.

But back in slave days, blacks were super fit!! You can’t have a high body fat percentage when you’re doing hard labor all day. Not only did they get some cardio in when they were running from dogs and bullets and things, but they also got some fantastic strength training by carrying around full bushels of crops.

Not fat.

2. Better names. So there were those studies a while back that showed how identical resumes were handled much differently by recruiters depending on whether they had regular American sounding names or super ethno-black ones.

It was much the same in the good ol’ days. Slaves would come over with these hard to pronounce names and were promptly given new ones. They didn’t have to think about it or sift through dozens of baby name books to figure out if they were more a Madison or a Brighton or a Westley. Slave owners did the work for them! You came into the plantation an Mbutu and left a Marvin. Easy peasy!

3. Zero Percent Unemployment. It’s not new that The Great Recession has been hard on everyone. But statistics show that it’s been super hard on blacks. Whereas the national unemployment rate hovers near 9%, it’s up near 16% for black people and even slightly higher for black men.

That’s so not how it was when slavery was en vogue. You’d be hard pressed to find a black person out of work then. And sure, they didn’t get paid and had to work ridiculous hours, but you know how good an internship looks on a resume!

4. Travel Benefits. Trying to work overseas can be a nightmare! There’s Visas and sponsors to worry about. You have to figure out how to get your paychecks converted into the right currency for whatever bank you’re using. You can’t lose your passport.

But slaves got to work overseas and had someone else take care of all the particulars! All slaves had to do was mind their own business in Africa. Then, suddenly, they got a surprise trip to a whole new world with lodging already taken care of!

Ugh! It's as crowded as coach, am I right!

5. Easier Investment Portfolios. Have you looked at a paycheck recently? They’re so confusing! There’s the gross pay and allowances and all kinds of taxes. And don’t get me started on how complicated it can be to have a 401K! You have to figure out who your dependents are and how much of what stock you want to invest in. And if your company does matching funds, what’s the tipping point when you start taking out too much…it just goes on and on and on…

But slaves didn’t have to worry about all that. No pay meant no financial headache! No one likes doing their taxes and slaves got away with never having to.

6. Lots of Time Outdoors. How tiring is it, being cooped up in an office all day! Fluorescent lights and distant windows and office chairs that never seem to be adjusted quite right. It feels so good to just get away at the weekend. Go outside, take a hike or even just a walk around the neighborhood. Camping is a huge industry–people love it! And those lucky lucky slaves got to be outside all the time!! And they didn’t even have to wear sunscreen!

7. Low-Sugar Diet. We’ve already talked about the obesity rates among blacks, but diabetes is sky-high, too. Diabetes rates are twice as high among African-Americans than it is in whites. And they’re more likely to have to have limbs amputated. No. Thank. You.

It’s hard to over do it on the sugar when you’re eating scraps of meat and bread and so slaves totally had it good when it came to controlling carbs! It’s soooooo hard to say no to dessert. But slaves never got the chance to say yes! How easy would it be to be healthy without all that nasty temptation everywhere!

8. Gated Community Living. Today, neighborhoods where lots of black live are all scary like Compton or Oakland or The South. But as slaves, blacks got to live in super secure, fenced-in areas that would be totes out of their price range today. Jealous!

I mean, no, they didn't live in the big house, but they got to live behind the gate. Which is more than I'm doing, tell you that!

******

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3 Ways The Casey Anthony Verdict was Less Awkward Than OJ

I just finished watching the Casey Anthony verdict come down. I’m sure every moment in every trial is as tense as these few

People always look so nice in court. I wonder if legal stylists are cheaper than regular stylists.

minutes were for the folks involved. But for whatever reason, the media decide what moments are going to be tense for everyone else in America as well.

The tension reminded me of how it felt in my 11th grade trig class when the OJ verdict was being delivered. A bunch of kids begged our teacher to turn on the TV in the room and let us watch. I, as the only black kid in the class, would rather have taken the pop quiz on my desk and given myself a dozen papercuts on my eyeballs than watch that trail wrap up. But as an Oreo, I had to say nothing. To speak up would have been to acknowledge my discomfort with my race. Clearly, no one else, including the teacher who lets us watch, thought it might have been awkward for me…it’s possible they thought this because they didn’t realize I was black. So I had to play along.

Today’s verdict was much easier to take. Here’s why.

1. I was alone. When dealing with difficult current events, it’s much better to do it in the privacy of your own home/office/bathroom/car/box seat at the opera. With no one else around to agree or disagree with you, you can’t wonder aloud how the intersection of race and or class would have affected another hypothetical trial. You can’t bring up to the person next to you that hundreds of kids go missing/killed every day and what makes any one child more deserving of media attention than the next. You get to stuff your feelings back into your gut. That knot in your stomach is very filling and thus, you satisfy your need for restraint and you don’t feel the urge to snack.

It's like a Lap Band for your soul

2. All players were white. In the OJ trial if you supported the prosecution because you hated murder**, you were labelled a racist or if you were of color, a sell out. With Casey, you could dislike murder and not be called a traitor to humanity. That was nice.

Bonus: That since there are no of-colors in this case, we don’t have to worry about any rioting or looting this afternoon. Though a toddler riot would be totes adorbs!

She will eff you up!

3. If Casey does a reality show or writes a book after this, we won’t all be terrified. OJ continued to horrify us all by creating a reality show called “Juiced” where he inspired other people to try and commit murder by playing pranks on them and showing up in places where he wasn’t expected or invited. Then he wrote a book called “If I Did It” that was awful. I didn’t read this book, but the fact that he wrote it and got someone to print it was pretty awful.

If Casey showed up at a party or decides to write a book (I’m fairly certain William Morris Endeavor and CAA have both already optioned the rights to this story) she’ll look way better on the talk show circuit.

She will not make this face when presented with the Casey Anthony interview

Did you follow the trial? What did you think of the trial or the verdict? Were you in my 12th grade class (I’m looking at you, LR!). Do you remember me sobbing quietly in the back of the room? Let us know in the comments! 

**I’m pretty sure I’m required to say that OJ Simpson was officially acquitted of murder in 1997 and therefore is considered not guilty of the crimes mentioned in this post.

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Holy Rolling Batman – Gospel Night at Skating Rink

When members of my blanchetourage like my Brown-educated roommate, her boyfriend who’s getting his PhD in something to do with Shakespeare and their friend who works as a French literature translator invite me to hang with them, I always feel perfectly safe that whatever they suggest will be Oreo-appropriate.

So when Brown, Shakes and French said “Let’s go skating!” I was like “D’accord!”

I'm very agreeable.

When they murmured that it was Gospel Night at the place we were going and that the place we were going was at the corner of Crenshaw and Venice (read: inner effing city!) I was apparently not paying attention.

But easily distracted.

When we got there, I was in shock. “Gospel Night” didn’t come close to describing the scene. It might as well have been “Fried Chicken and Check Cashing Place Night” considering the number of black people who were there.

I was soon distracted though, because in addition to way too many black folks, World of Wheels was also filled with something else: wonderful, sweet nostalgia.

I hadn’t been to a skating rink since I was maybe 10-years-old. So, you know, just like 10 years ago. Definitely not 21 years ago. And I had forgotten how wonderful they were.

Old school skates are awesome. They’re heavy and look exactly like they did back in the day. Which also means they’re probably also crawling with strangers’ foot germs from back in the day, but they smelled fine and did the job. The floor on the rink feels really specific–smooth, but grainy like you’re sliding over warm ice with just a hint of gravel in it. The arcade was awesome. I am terrible at video games (except Katamari – I will totally kick yer butt at Katamari) but I love arcade games. Give me skee ball, Centipede and some air hockey and you can get rid of me for like 12 hours.

Look, if you played Katamari, you'd totally get this pic. If you don't get this pic...that's probably best.

While looking at all this wonderfulness and whizzing around the track, I felt all the things I felt when I was a kid–joy, bliss, abandon, like I could fly, and because a guy I had a very meaningful relationship with sex with a few times showed up, hugging a girl with whom he was clearly having a very meaningful relationship, I also felt shame. Just like in middle school. Joy and shame very close together.

I also marvelled at the crazy skating abilities of all the RBPs near me. Brown, Shakes, French and I were the only one who weren’t spinning, dancing and Salchow-ing while in rollertastic motion. Why, I thought, could these homophobic-looking thuggy teens ronde de jambe so easily, but not me? So I gave it a little try. Turns out, having an unshrinkable ass isn’t just good for attracting unwanted attention on Hollywood Blvd. late at night after an improv show. It’s also great for grounding yourself during a successful Besti Squat.

It looks like this. Jazz hands not necessary.

Is skating like basketball for black people? Something they can just do? It was so cool seeing those dudes flying about doing balletic moves on wheels that had I seen them back in the day, I would have totally engaged in a very meaningful relationship with sex a few times with any one of them.

Unfortunately, I had to leave early for the aforementioned improv show. It was one of the best shows I’ve done in a while. I totally think it was because I was so full of skating joy that it would have been impossible for anything that I did in the next 24 hours to be colored with anything but wonderful.

Have you been skating as an adult? How was it? Are you good at it? Terrible at it? Do you have pictures proving either way? Any other childhood fun things you like to do now? Or are you still a kid and so you’re enjoying these things for the first time? If you are a kid, do your parents know you’re reading this blog? Let us know in the comments!

Want to go to cool events like this? Then make sure to grow your Blanchetourage. Click here to learn how.

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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!