Saturday, August 28, 2010

New Fantasia believes her skin color affected her press coverage

Prior to her suicide attempt Fantasia Barrino naturally faced a barrage of negative press surrounding her affair with Antwaun Cook and the lawsuit his wife Paula filed against the former American Idol.

But does she think her African and more ethnic features had anything to do with the excessive and sometimes mean-spirited tone of the coverage she received about her personal life? Say, versus the media’s nearly silent stance on the controversial love lives of other female entertainers like Angelina Jolie, Britney Spears or Alicia Keys?

“Yes, I do. I really feel like it does. I was on Nancy Grace, CNN, every gospel station and in every magazine and every newspaper,” she told VIBE about the scandal before her O.D. “It was on. You would have thought I was the President or something.”

But the VH1 Fantasia For Real star says the response wasn’t a surprise because America’s challenged standard idea of beauty is a situation she’s been dealing with since her Idol days.

“I’ve battled and have had to deal with that before. Lord forgive me and I don’t want to offend anybody," she says, "but when [I did Idol] it seemed like everybody there was Barbied out. Slim, long hair, light eyes, light-skinned. And here I come with my dark skin, full nose, short hair and full lips — it was hard."

Fantasia says she even believes she’s been blackballed out of red carpet coverage spreads in many popular magazines because of her looks. “They never put me in those magazines [featuring] the red carpet. Everybody there has long hair and everybody is bright-skinned, and I was like, ‘But wait a minute. They never gave me that.’ That bothered me,’” says the singer whose new album, Back To Me is in stores now. “And then I tried hard to find people to dress me and they still would not put me there [in those magazines].”

But Fantasia says she’s since made peace with her beauty’s place in the industry. “One day I was like, ‘that’s okay’, but I had to get to that point,” she says. “ I am a dark-skinned, full-lipped sister and it’s all right. Brown is in baby, and it ain’t going anywhere.” —Ronke Idowu Reeves

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