Photo via Essence.com

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?

  • Sindy

    Thing is that if EL were at least entertaining or had a personality, I could see the coverage on a reality show chick (that how they portray themselves…not a woman and definitely not a lady).
    At least Miss New York had some comedic timing but she never got coverage like this for good reason.

    The whole Essence brand has gone downhill since Susan Taylor left.

  • Zaza

    Why do I feel this wedding is never gonna happen? Reminds me of Kim Kardishian’s triumphant wedding spread in OK!, K Rowland’s bridal shoot and Carries shoot in the Sex and the City film, why you taking bridal photo’s before the wedding? Congratulations you’re getting married, but why you need to be parading yourself in wedding shoots before that I don’t know,bad luck omen or what…

    Chad will keep her ‘engaged to be’ forever till he finally drops her for the next one.

  • Essence 4eader

    I thought essence was a magazine for all women of color, not just black women. And not that I’m taking up for Evelyn, but I think its a bit much to call her a black woman hater; as far as I know she interacts with black women, so its wrong to label her basically as racist. I’m sure her fiance has sisters and she interacts with them. This is the reason women don’t. Get along bc we spend so much time tearing each other apart over trivial nonsense like this. Nope, they weren’t out of line.

  • Gigi Young

    If black women are watching Basketball Wives and Essence caters to black women, Basketball Wives “stars” will be featured in the pages of Essence.

    If these women and shows weren’t topics of interest, they wouldn’t be discussed either in Essence or on Clutch.

  • Yb

    “I thought Essence was for all women of color”

    Really?

    The fact that their covers, ads, photo spreads, and articles features and revolves around bllack women lead you to believe that this magazine caters to ALL women of color?

    Like really tho?

  • iQgraphics

    See the problem for me here is the line between “entertainment” and “entertaining”
    Evelyn Lozanda and Chrissy Lampkin are entertaining. They do not possess any particular skill set that would lead them to me highlighted in any magazine.

    Now there are those that specialize in the field of “entertainment”, they have their baggage and scandals… (as we all) but they can do something worth coveting.

    Ev isn’t even a model…

    She’s a messy broad.

  • http://1stamend-kisa-kisa.blogspot.com/ kisa

    Essence was WRONG. But not because Evelyn is not black but because of what she represents. Violence, hopping from athlete to athlete and again, a violent foul mouth floozy. Come on now. She is one of the worst ones (reality stars) out there. She is tacky to say the least and I thought Essence represented class?????

  • http://1stamend-kisa-kisa.blogspot.com/ kisa

    Preach Zaza! Preach

  • http://1stamend-kisa-kisa.blogspot.com/ kisa

    Bravo, well said. I applaud, co-sign and concur with that assessment iQgraphics.

  • gigi

    I so agree with you Zaza

  • PttSophisticate

    No. Get over it people. She is no one to look up to but enough people in the black community watch to make her a relevant (I know I’m laughing myself) reality celebrity of sorts.

  • http://eclecticspectrum.wordpress.com Afia

    I gave up on Essence a long time ago. I’m not surprised.

  • Aleah Smiles

    After reading this, I first thought to myself, “Here we go again, finding another trivial thing to get mad about…” But then I stepped back and thought about it. I must admit, I am on Essence.com at least twice a day. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve read stories by some of their regular contributors regarding how tacky reality show stars have become (with a focus on those that are brought to us via VH1). So it is really weird that they would highlight Evelyn. I’m not hating on her relationship with Chad…it’s their business, their lives, their happiness. Also, regarding Essence/ Evelyn not being black – for a quick minute I was like hmmm, it’s okay bc she is a woman of color. But I had to put the pause on that one bc I’m pretty sure they are not featuring us in an articles in People en Espanol or Latina (in print or online)…I’m just saying.

  • laurenghini

    ssskreeech HALT how is Evelyn is “black woman hating”?…because she’s no longer friends with ex-BFF Jennifer, who happens to be a black woman? If anyone is “black woman hating” that would be her black fiance Chad, who as the artcile recaps that he “has publicly stated that he has a preference for non-Black women.” Her daughter looks like she could even be half black too. Evelyn mainly socializes with black ppl…I highly doubt she hates black men or women. Latinos are a mixture of ingeneous, european and african ppl…some may even classify her as black lol

  • Essence 4eader

    And as far as black woman hating y’all can say her ex best friend jen is a black woman hater…she’s brightened her skin and acts a fool with the darker skinned women on the show but kisses shainie and tamis asses and had her head so far up evelyns ass she was trying to look just like her, but she hated royce for some trivial reason and basically made up a reason to be mad at her just so she could meet evelyns approval…so jen is the bw hater, not evelyn! And as far as the article goes, um essence has had non blacks on their magazine cover before…in case y’all didn’t know mariah carey is afro latina and christina millian is cuban, zoe saldana is puerto rican and black, and stacy dash is mexican and black and they’ve been on the front..so stop it..

  • Apollo

    To be honest, I’m not one bit surprised she was featured on the site (though they may not have taken the photos, she was still featured). The have “10 Best Moments from Real Housewives of Atlanta,” and at one point did recaps of “Single Ladies” on VH1. It seems Essence should probably consider re structuring it’s online content to include more of what is in the magazine.

  • BlacknAmazed

    Well….It’s not about a fews opinion. She has openly admitted to sleeping with half the NBA and NFL. The fact she is revealing from what I hear that she slept with yet another of her cast mates…boyfriends/baby daddy.. is distrubing. Not to mention her fiance has been very disrespectful to black women and black folks. Also…she has made racist statements about not wanting her kids looking like him and calling him black.. She is not black…okay..and the list goes on.

    When I was growing up Essence in my mind represented our view, our success, it encourged and empowered black women. Now, in 2012 Being black is not good enough.I guess…..even in a black womens magazine. So, giving these pages to Savannah…LeBron’s Fiance…just never crossed a black mind…lol *side eye*.
    We are responsible for the images we send to our young girls and young ladies coming of age. If we are not….then who is? Evelyn doesn’t represent nothing I would ever want repeated.
    Essence, Ebony, BET all these things need to shut the gate. Since y’all on your progress and that don’t include being black. Then close the gate….all this stuff is more of an insult than a compliment to us as a people….and it’s just not needed in the black community.

  • http://1stamend-kisa-kisa.blogspot.com/ kisa

    Aleah Smiles thank you for pointing that out. Actually, the only one that they have featured is Beyonce and we already know that is because of her work with Shakira and the spanish version of her songs that she has put out. Look, all I am saying is that I go on Essence.com daily, just as much if not more than you, and its the beautiful “Just Engaged” or “Just Married” stories I look forward to. Or the articles written by Demetria Lucas. ALL Positive stuff. Not some crazed woman jumping over tables just to go slap some woman in the face that she was friends with for 12 years. Bear in mind this woman in question is knocking on 40… I rest my case.

  • Essence 4eader

    No shade but it seems black women find the MOST trivial reasons to be angry…why again are we mad at essence for this? Bc they featured a woman who isn’t black..then y’all call her a bw hater…black women, wake up and stop being mad abt stupid things! Are we really that upset over them sharing photos of her or are we mad bc of who she’s. Dating? I think that’s why so many black women are trashing her. Not saying she’s a role model, bc she isn’t (ur kids shouldn’t be watching this type of programming anyway) one in any way, but damn can she be happy? Or is it something within y’all that’s against people being happy?

  • Aleah Smiles

    I couldn’t agree more :-)

  • akosua

    “Women of color” historically has always been a term to describe bw. This term has now become mainstream now as a tool for whites and some blackmen to justify IR dating among bm in particular. When blacks use affectionately the term “brotha” or “sista” we know we are talking about in particular bm and bw not other races of the same gender.

  • Kim

    You must be very young. Essence is a magazine for BLACK WOMEN. I don’t know what world you come from, but it has never been a magazine for wome of color except black women. Because they have attempted to water it down and include people who are not part of me (at least), they have been struggling. I have been a reader for over 25 years. I grew up with Susan Taylor’s words of wisdom entering into my home on a monthly basis. Do you even know what you are talking about? No wonder the magazine is struggling. People like you.

  • Kaya

    Just because people interact with black people or have “black friends” doesn’t mean they can’t be racist or a BW woman hater, im just saying.

  • MySister’sKeeper

    Sweetie….relax. We are not a monolithic group. It’s ok if you’re not angry (although honestly, you kinda seem angry, albeit not about Evelyn on Essence). Some are, some aren’t. It’s really OK.

  • S.

    Am I the only one who thought she was black-ish? O_O

    Hell, she looks as Black as Zoe Saldana to me… meh

  • Shont

    I think if the magazine wants to put her in it, then it’s their choice. They have to deal with the fall out!! No she isn’t a model. But haven’t women been bitching about the everyday woman never being featured? Well, there ya go! Obviously the industry finds her interesting. If yall are mad now, you’re really gonna be mad when she starts making appearances on your favorite shows the way Nene Leasks has. If other magazines blatantly refused to put black women in their magazines, you’d have a damn fit!! Stop crying about every little thing!! …wanna tell Tyler Perry who he can put in his movies. …mad at Chad because he doesn’t date black women! Who gives a damn!! Let those other women take out the damn trash!! And stop acting like we own black men! Everytime a famous black athlete or movie star marry outside of their race, black women get their panties in a bunch! All of these men aren’t great! I’ll bet a lot of them are abusers, cheaters, gay, lousy fathers… Hell, have you been watching Basketball Wives???? Hello! There are some great nonblack men out here who look as us and wonder why we box ourselves in. The answer is simple: Generally, we have small minds. …protesting a magazine that not oinly doesn’t put anything in YOUR pockets!

  • http://www.RealTalk123.com AlesiaMichelle

    Cosign…

  • Kayla

    Just STFU Please!!!

  • Stephanie

    I’m not the one to assume, so does anyone know if she’s black or not? Nationality has nothing to do with race…I don’t agree or disagree with Essence or the bridal house shooting/featuring her. It’s a business at the end of the day.

    Playing devil’s advocate (warning)! Although we see her in a certain light on the show does not mean that she’s some angry, fighting, and name-calling person 24/7. It could just be the people in which she’s surrounded by on the show that are not true close loved ones in her life. Imagine if you’re cast on a show with people that you don’t particularly care for, don’t know and/or definitely cannot even stand to look at….what actions will you display?

  • Dalili

    @ Stephane ** playing devil’s advocate, duly noted** :-)

    **Although we see her in a certain light on the show does not mean that she’s some angry, fighting, and name-calling person 24/7.**

    That’s exactly how she comes across: mean spirited, explosive, crass and immature.

    **Imagine if you’re cast on a show with people that you don’t particularly care for, don’t know and/or definitely cannot even stand to look at….what actions will you display?**

    I’d handle myself as though I had some home training. I wouldn’t try to solve everything by yelling and getting into a brawl every time someone said or does something I don’t agree with. I’ve had to work with people whom I had fundamental differences with; I learned to be courteous while still working beside them every day. It’s what grown-ups do.

  • AustralianGirl

    does anyone know the name of the song in this clip? its beautiful!

  • AustralianGirl

    dont worry about it – i found the song

  • Kacey

    I don’t really care much about Evelyn being featured on their website because it is just further proof of the deterioration of Essence’s brand. I used to be a subscriber of the magazine but since my last subscription lapsed it has been years since I picked up a copy. It has lost its relevance and appeal to me and many others. Sadly, because of lost of readership, I think the magazine will be forced to fold sometime in the next 5 years.

  • Essence 4eader

    No KAYLA YOU SHOULD STFU!!! You must be another abw out here mad bc you can’t keep a man, blaming men for the fall of your relationships, mad bc chad don’t want to date black women (who cares! Forget him) ; mind u I’m sure u weren’t in the runnings for dating him anyway but u chose to be mad at evelyn for dating him. Angry. Bitter spiteful mean ass black women kill me! But then y’all wonder why black men chose to date outside the race…and keeping in the spirit of you being an abw you get mad at essence for featuring a woman of color who happens to not have filled in the bubble next to black when asked her nationality. You are so very ignorant.

  • Essence 4eader

    Zoe saldana is not black

  • mamareese

    Yeah, the glorifying of reality stars is getting on my last nerve. It would be different if these were women and men that made a difference or were role models. We are up here putting chicks that sleep with married men, slap scary women and are less than pillars of society on front covers. I can think of a million other women of color that desevered that spot. Furthermore, I thought these magazines were supposed to be geared towards our positive women….not video hoes and groupies. They got magazines for that forum…um King, etc. I wish this chicks 15 minutes would hurry up and be over along with several other embrassments to our race.

  • Bosslady

    @Essence 4eader, I don’t think people’s uprow about her being featured on Essence has ANYTHING to do with her race, as you have stated Latinos are a mixture of races and you can clearly see her African features, also Essence has featured other non-blacks in it’s magazine such as Robin Thicke, and I honestly don’t feel there would be any uprow if Essence featured a Latina such as Jennifer Lopez, as although they are non deemed as “black” they are prominent figures in the black community. The issue with Evelyn is what she represents; (not her race) violent, angry, etc. I’m sure people would be equally mad if Nene or Jackie were featured in Essence.

  • Bosslady

    Essence 4eader, Zoe Saldana on MANY occasions has stated she views herself as a black women…Her race is mine nor your concern, but views herself as a black women and looks like one therefore she is black! FYI. You can be Latina and any race.

  • Monique

    For others who also interested in this song: Esthero, “Superheroes” from Breath From Another album.

  • Usagi

    Didn’t they have Nene’s ugly horse face in Essence? Shouldn’t we be asking why they have skin lighting ads in the back of the magazine ?

  • Usagi

    Also, they shouldn’t have Eve or whatever her name because she’s a terrible person. Why do all these women look like horses ?

  • NtrlGAGirl

    EXACTLY! And when it does, the “issue” will be that it is because of a lack of support from our community and not because the magazine “fell off” offering what is meaningful and relevant and inspirational for our community. Choosing to highest the lowest common denominators in our community will and should be, the magazine’s undoing. It can and needs to do better.

  • Frank

    That horseface comment made me laugh out loud!

  • Ms. Information

    Essence is for black women…not random women who happen to screw black men….

  • overseas_honeybee

    Essence sold out years ago. Call it what you want but just the simple fact that she was included (whether they took the photos etc or not) speaks volumes on how far their brand has slipped. Canceled my subscription a minute ago. Their integrity has totally fallen by the wayside. So instead of complaining out loud to folks who “just don’t get it” … I’ll just keep my few dollars in my pocket instead of buying any more issues. Money talks …

  • soulfullyreal

    Why are we fronting like BW don’t watch Basketball Wives in droves? It’s about the bottom line in any business ($) and if publishing pics of Evelyn get’s more hits for the site, that generates major moola from advertisers. Plus, there is general interest from black women about Evelyn’s life. Personally I could care less, i think she’s rachet as all get out, but we have to look at this honestly to get an accurate idea of why Essence posted the pics. She’s popular. It is what it is.

    Now as far as the racial aspect, I don’t think Essence takes the point of view of literally only covering black women, but rather addressing the lives/ interest of Black women, a small difference that apparently means a lot. As far as entertainment is concerned, all those “Basketball Wives” are of concern to many black women. It hurts to type that but it’s true, who else is watchin that show? Please don’t take that as me supporting what Evelyn stands for, she’s no body’s role model in any sense, but I’m not mad that they covered her based solely on the fact that she’s Latina.

  • KjenNu

    *Sigh* I accept the fact that previously “all-Black” arenas are now working to position themselves as “multi-cultural.” I also now relinquish any previous guilt I once had felt that I no longer went out of my way (because of scarcity of access and buying habits) to support them.
    Hence, I haven’t bought Essence in years.

  • Alexandra

    Essence has some whiny readers. Seems like most of their controversy stems from reader complaints.

    According the some posters on here, as well as the American one-drop rule, Evelyn is Black. Being Puerto-Rican, it’s even more likely there’s more than one drop in her.

  • ThisIshRightHere

    I just came to say that Evelyn Lozada is, indeed, Black. She may not be the “type” of Black that you all consider to comprise the majority readership of Essence (or even this very site, for that matter) being that she has some other ish mixed in, but she is without a doubt an afro-descendent of Latin America. She is no less black than say Rashida and Kidada Jones, Thandie Newton, Tia and Tamera Mowry or even Barack Obama.

    If you don’t like her and don’t think she deserves this kind of glory, then cool. Say that. But if you kin-claim any of the 50-percenters above, then kindly accept that Eve is us.

  • http://www.yourboyfriendsbestgirlfriend.com CW

    Indigenous maybe? LOL

  • Mrs. D

    I certainly think essence.com coulld have passed on the Lozada photos. I have always looked to essence as a publication that highlighted proud black women. If you listen closely to Lozada’s comments you will hear her constantly demeaning black women and in ways that speak negatively about our hair, body and culture. I was surprised to see the photos and thought it added no value. Ms. Lozada should read Essence not be featured in it in any way. Otherwise Essence risks loosing it’s identity and becoming a clone of everything else.

  • Lisa

    I think society focuses on all of the wrong things. Evelyn seems to be in the relationship with Chad for all of the wrong reasons anyway. Even though she is not on the cover of Essence, why is Essence promoting her Bridal photos. She is not BLACK! From watching the show, she comes from a poor Hispanic family. Focus on Black people!

  • Pdiane

    Evelyn is a horrible example of the word “female/woman”. She is nasty, ignorant, vicious and it is evident uneducated. It is evident by her remarks that she hates black women, and what amazes me is that many black women (even the ones she associates with) readily accept or ignore her berating comments made toward African Americans in general. Her attempt at being a soft, shy bride is halrious. Essence is a crap magazine since Susan Taylor left, and sold its true interest several years ago. I do not even purchase the magazine…..if I do take a notion to read the magazine, it is at the store while waiting to check out -refuse to spend my money on this crap magazine that is full of ads,superficial stories and clothes, which fits Evelyn crasp persona. To even associate her with the word black woman is an insult.

  • Faye

    Hispanic is not a race. She could be of African descent. She looks black. Just a black Latina.

  • Faye

    She could be of African descent. Puerto Rican is not a race. If she speaks badly of blacks, shame on her. I am not surprised since many Hispanics of African heritage choose to deny that truth. Everybody wishing to be something else.

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