While poking around Huffington Post's Entertainment Page last week, I was struck by two images, placed one above the other. The first was Laurence Fishburne's daughter, Montana, who has made headlines lately with her announcement that she'd be releasing a sex tape. The photo is her cover shot from As Is magazine (the acronym stands for Artists, Streets, Information, Style) alongside the charmingly mince-free headline "I'm Not Doing Sh*t To Him, But F**king And Having My Career."
The second pic came courtesy of longtime reality It Girl Kim Kardashian, who Tweeted a sneak peek of her 2011 calendar to nearly 4.5 million Twitter followers.
Besides the fact that my eyes were being assaulted with so much exposed skin at 11:30pm on a weeknight, the images grabbed my attention with their relatively disparate portrayal of female sexuality:
Both women are young, attractive, curvy and of color.
Both women are more or less known because of their fathers.
Both women are posed in hypersexualized positions with exaggerated come-hither expressions on their faces.
Both women have starred in sex tapes.
And yet, Montana has been made out to be some sort of slut with loose morals by the media, while Kim enjoys near-iconic sex symbol status. (Ironically. Montana has said she hoped her film would help fast-track her to stardom, specifically citing Kim K's success.)
What makes it acceptable -- or even praiseworthy -- for one woman to broadcast images of herself slathered in nothing more than a skimpy bikini and body oil, while another is condemned for posing in a thong and strategically placed cravat? Why is a sex tape one woman's trash and another woman's treasure? Is it because Fishburne purposefully released her "sex tape" (it's actually a porn film with Vivid Entertainment), while Kardashian's was surreptitiously "leaked" (although she eventually settled with Vivid Entertainment for $5 million over its release)? Paris Hilton, Pam Anderson and Kendra Wilkinson have all endured this latter type of "oopsy" sex tape release, and none of their careers (I use that term loosely) have suffered for it. So Montana's not so far off in her assertion that bonking on camera can bring fame and fortune. And yet...hardly anyone believes the famous daughter will amount to anything. Instead, she's been deemed a whore.
Is it a race issue? When white women star in sex tapes that somehow make their way onto mainstream screens, they're viewed as the victim (I know Kardashian is Armenian, but her ethnicity is more challenging to discern than Fishburne's), while when Black women star in sex tapes, they're hos? That's the only difference I can think of. How about you?