Raven-Symoné Goes Against the Grain

Former Cosby kid stays true to her roots


P&G’s survey move is not without its own provocative elements. In a video on the Website for its “My Black Is Beautiful” campaign, a P&G spokeswoman earnestly and convincingly says that the campaign is all about “celebrating and honoring black beauty.” Meanwhile, P&G recently announced that it has partnered with Island Def Jam to launch TAG Records in an effort to reach its product TAG deodorant’s target market—the young male consumer with a focus on hip-hop.

But Enough is Enough, led by the Rev. Delman L. Coates, Ph.D, thinks that P&G’s advertising on BET and MTV is a direct contradiction to the “My Black Is Beautiful” campaign. Telling P&G it “can’t have it both ways,” Enough is Enough states, “…video programs that sexually objectify women, portray black men as
pimps and gangsters … are antithetical to this ‘My Black Is Beautiful.’” I must agree.

That brings us back to Raven-Symoné. While sex definitely sells in our sex-crazed world, Raven-Symoné has found a way to make her formula work sans being model thin and embracing boundless, hypersexual innuendo, other salacious accoutrements that have largely come to define popular culture and the pursuit of fame today. There’s no question that Raven-Symoné sets a great example of what “black is beautiful”
and success can really be. “I think it’s very important that you be your own individual. Trying to be someone else isn’t good or fun,” Raven-Symoné has said. “I’ve gotten a lot of flack for being thick and fabulous my entire life. But I’m comfortable with myself.”

George Alexander’s column on the business of entertainment appears weekly at blackenterprise.com. He is the author of “Why We Make Movies” (Random House, $15.)

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