The interwebs were buzzing this week after Essence.com shared photos and video of Basketball Wives star Evelyn Lozada’s photo shoot for luxury bridal house, November Lilly. Although the site, which pretty much exclusively covers celebrities these days, made it clear the shoot was from another source, many questioned whether or not Evelyn belonged on a site geared toward black women.
One outspoken critic of Lozada’s inclusion was the blog, What About Our Daughters, who felt Essence crossed the line by including Lozada who has often engaged in fights and name-calling on her hit reality show.
Gina of What About Our Daughters wrote, “To say Ms. Lozada is a hyperviolent, Black woman hating, foul mouth scourge would not quite capture her true essence. Add to that, the man she’s engaged to has publicly stated that he has a preference for non-Black women, then you see the logic in highlighting Ms. Lozada on a website whose tag line is “Where Black women come first.” Makes total sense!”
We have also been very critical of Basketball Wives, and after a supertrailer for the show’s fourth season was released, I wrote an article wondering when viewers would get tired of the drama, fighting, and negative portrayal of black women.
Apparently, the criticism about featuring Lozada on the site got to the folks over at Essence.com. One of the site’s writers, Charli Penn, attempted to clear the air.
“Ladies, to clarify: Evelyn Lozada is not on the cover of ESSENCE magazine and ESSENCE did not shoot her. We were simply sharing photos from a private shoot that international styling house November Lily did with Ms. Lozada privately,” Penn wrote in the comments section. “This is not a cover, nor a feature in the magazine. That news was poorly-reported by multiple blog sites. Thank you.”
Covering pop culture while setting a good example and not encouraging the negative behavior of reality stars by turning them into celebrities can sometimes be a difficult balance.
But where do you draw the line?
What do you think? Was Essence wrong for featuring Evelyn Lozada on its site or are the site’s critics off base?