Black Girls Rock! Red Carpet

Posted on October 15, 2012

Is it us, or is that kind of a dumb name for a charity?

BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Inc. is 501(c)3 non-profit youth empowerment and mentoring organization established to promote the arts for young women of color, as well as to encourage dialogue and analysis of the ways women of color are portrayed in the media.”

Okay, fine. Great cause. But are we the only ones who thought, “Really?” the first time they heard that? “ASIAN GIRLS ARE AWESOME!” Doesn’t that sound kind of dumb?

Anyway,  BET hosted an event for the group and the ladies did indeed rock their looks. It’s a sad fact of the red carpet world that events like the BET Awards or the Latin Grammys are not wall-to-wall designer dresses like their more mainstream counterparts. Our only conclusion is that dresses simply aren’t lent out to celebrity women of color with the same frequency as white celebrity women, so it’s nice to see these ladies sporting major names.


Ciara in Givenchy

 Well, that’s one way to deploy the ladypant. We’ll give her credit for going way off the beaten path, but it’s not quite a red carpet look, we’re thinking.


Eva Longoria in Dana Budeanu

 Girl, that is SO not your dress. It makes her look thicker and wider than she is. And the shoes do nothing for the look.


Gabrielle Union in Dolce&Gabbana

 Simple and pretty. We think she could have jazzed it up with better shoes, a colorful clutch and possibly even a contrasting belt, but she looks good.


Janelle Monae

 We love Janelle and we love her signature look, but we think it’s well past its expiration date. Even so, she looks good.


Kerry Washington in Marchesa

 It’s pretty, but we’re not loving the shape on her and it feels like it needs a little something to bring it up. Better shoes and hair, maybe.


La La Anthony in Balmain

That is one SERIOUS dress. To be honest, it’s not really our taste – as is the case generally with Balmain – but it suits her, and the color looks great on her. Again: we think some more interesting shoes could’ve sold it better, and possibly some black hose.


Taraji P. Henson in Diane von Furstenberg

 Someone finally wore an interesting pair of shoes but – and this all gonna make you yell at us for being too picky – we think they’re a bit too much for the dress. This is an instance where simple black pumps would’ve been a better choice.


Tracee Ellis Ross

 It’s a simple-to-the-point-of-boring gown, but the hair and the arm jewelry help to make the look.



[Photo Credit: Getty ]

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  • PastryGoddess

    I for one am loving the big black X on the carpet.  I’m going to give it to Kerry FTW. Although, good on Ciara for bringing the cray cray to the red carpet

    • MilaXX

       I kind of like Ciara’s look, but I’m not sold on the shoes. She needs a fierce shoe to pull off an unusual look like this.

    • lovelyivy

       It’s cray but a better brand of cray than Ciara usually brings. No hoochie to be seen.

  • Sobaika

    I did a double take at Gabrielle Union. She looks really different, and I’d long accepted that her face was sort of frozen in time. Maybe it’s the bangs/makeup?

    Anyway, she gets my vote for best dressed.

    • l_c_ann

      She looks great and would look the best dressed on a lot of the red carpets we’ve seen this fall. 

       The dress fits, the dress flatters, and she knows it.

    • Call me Bee

      I just watched her in “Bring it On” for the thousandeth time.  Oh my gosh both she and KD were so damn cute in that movie! 

      • Sobaika

        I caught 10 Things I Hate About You the other day. Aside from the overall awesomeness of that movie and Heath Ledger, it was fun to note how much hotter Gabrielle Union and Joseph Gordon-Levitt got with time.

        • God, I freaking love that movie.

          “I know you can be overwhelmed, and I know you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?”

          “I think you can in Europe.”

      • Just rewatched the clovers cheer. I love eliza dushku, kirsten, and gabrielle; none of them age.

    • nc17

       for a second on the scrolldown I thought she was Jennifer Hudson :X

  • jenuwefa

    Is it just me, or is the angle of the photos off?  They all look like bobbleheads…

    •  Not you. The angle must be getting done from slightly above, since everyone looks wierdly ill proportioned.  Giant heads, and tiny, beensy, pointy feet.

      • minnye

        Just looking at those teensy pointy shoes is aggravating my neuroma!

        • Snailstsichr

          I’m just hoping the angle is to blame for Eva’s shoes – they are seriously horrible and make my toes recoil in pain.

          • Rrroza

            Makes me wonder where this event is…they couldnt put the shooting area somehwere that the photog could get some distance? Back is to the wall? 

    • Violina23

      Exactly what I was going to say… The pics are all taken from above, making everyone look short & stocky

    • I was just about to say that. 

    • MilaXX

       yeah, bad angles

  • afabulous50

    I think they all look hideous.

  • Janet B

    La La, just because your dress has pockets it doesn’t mean you must show them off.

    •  Man or woman, on the RC, keep your hands outta your pockets.  Besides, what the hell is she supposed to be able to carry in that tiny pocket? Lip gloss?  A condom? Her DL?

    • littlemac8

      My arms are so short I’m not even sure I could reach those pockets!  AWKWARD!

  • Black Girls Rock! is a fantastic name.  Society do not tell black women/girls they rock enough.  Instead the message is usually how they are doing it all wrong. 

    • julnyes

      I like the message, but I think the name is a bit silly. Also, if it is suppose to apply to all women of color it isn’t particularly descriptive.

      • RocknLox

        I think the name is inspirational and affirming. I have seen more than one black girl proudly wearing a Black Girls Rock! t-shirt with a huge smile on her face that such a thing even exists. I don’t think the title is meant to marginalize other minority girls especially since the charity’s main thrust is supporting all women of color. A good cause that uplifts a group that is normally downtrodden or marginalized. What’s so silly about that?

        • julnyes

          If the main thrust of the charity is all women of color, then the name should reflect it – it doesn’t. I find it silly because I think saying something “rocks” just reminds me of 80’s hair metal bands. I know nothing about the work that they do, but if they are empowering women and encouraging discussion, then I am all for it. Doesn’t change my initial reaction to the name however.

  • I’m not loving the fit of the dress Taraji P. Henson’s wearing.  It’s doing weird things to her boobs.

  • Thank you! When I first watched the event about 2 years ago the first thought that came across my mind was, “Black Girls Rock? That’s such a dumb name, though.” I tweeted this thought and some folks were calling for my head. That I wasn’t supportive and blah, blah, blah. Um…how does my not liking the name of a charity make me not supportive? Please.

    Anywho, Ciara looks a mess. Gabrielle’s hairdo is odd. I agree with your Janelle assessment. Taraji’s dress is very nice. And I see Tracee is still on the ‘I-do- not-wear-a- bra’ phase.

  • Vanja

    Dear red carpet supervisors: I’m pretty sure that black tape also comes in the colour red.
    Ciara’s jacket is interesting, but I’m not really sold on the pairing with the trousers & the long shirt.

  • SapphoPoet

    Janelle Monae, Janet Jackson called from 1985 and wants her outfit back. 

  • VanessaDK

    First time I’ve really coveted a Marchesa outfit. Usually too frou-frou for me.

  • eowyn_of_rohan

    I hate Taraji’s shoes and the dress isn’t DvF’s best, but damn that woman always manages to look fantastic.

    • MilaXX

      I am always amazed that she has a grown child. 

      • eowyn_of_rohan

        Same here.  I remember watching her on behind-the-scenes stuff for Benjamin Button and she was saying her son was fourteen (at the time) and I nearly fell out of my seat.

        • MilaXX

          yep, he’s 17 and a senior in high school now.

  • Anathema_Device

    Is that Henson’s bra strap hanging out? Yikes and no. None of the looks excite me. I like Monae’s because it has personality.

    • kimmeister

      I was trying to figure that out myself, but I think I’ve convinced myself it’s a part of the dress.

  • Jennifer Coleman

    I almost have to give it to Lala because she usually makes some hideous red carpet choices and this one was not bad at all. Black hosiery would’ve clinched it. She should pick a style & stick to it, though. I like Taraji’s dress, but it smushes her bust. Maybe a emerald suede pump? It could just be the photo angle, but Tracee’s sleeve/bust relationship seems off, like she needs a better bra. Janelle is at eye-twitch status with me now and Gabrielle & Kerry are good, if not a bit expected at least in my book.

  • MilaXX

    If it helps, I believe Black Girls Rock! came out of the music industry and the name was supposed to be a play on words; both rock as in awesome and rock as in play music really well.
    Anyhow, I think everyone did pretty except Eve Longoria who looks horrible. I’m just surprised that everyone is dressed so seriously. The show itself airs 11/14.

    • zuzu

       There’s a charity called Girls Rock! which runs rock music camps for girls.  This charity may or may not be a spinoff of that to focus more generally on black girls; I couldn’t find much information on the website.

  • spooki C

    La La looks kind of scary but I kind of love it. Very different look for her.

  • Janelle Monae’s suit looks like one out of Karl Lagerfeld’s closet. I feel like she could move away from this look without moving too far – YSL’s smoking jackets would be a nice first step; Balmain also makes some cool blazers. Still pants, but with a little contrast in the jacket. It’d freshen it up a bit.
    Ms. Union looks beautiful. Love the hair and makeup.

    • lovelyivy

       Good catch. All she needs is a pair of gloves, a handsome toyboy and some sunglasses, and I’d think it was her Halloween costume.

  • Tamara Hogan

    That electrical tape X on the red carpet looks really, really tacky. 

  • Introspective

    Ciara could have been fierce with just the cigarette pant, but the apron and the white sandal takes this to a place of no.
    Kerry and Eva look pretty humdrum. at least the Marchesa shows unusual restraint.
    Tracee needs better foundation, Taraji needs a size smaller and a thinning of her booms.
    Gabrielle looks good but also needs something to make this outfit seem less daytime power luncheon and more like a nighttime RC event.
    ETA: totally forgot to mention Janelle. Because, why bother? girl needs a hard shake and a new look stat.

    so surprisingly (cause she never looks good in my book) LaLa for the win. That dress is amazing, the color does wonders for her eyes, and the fit is perfect. agree that hose would have risen this to werq status but for her its a personal best.

  • greyhoundgirl

    Eva Longoria looks like she’s is wearing a deconstructed bunny rabbit.  Those shredded-skin sleeves are creepy.

  • Pants_are_a_must

    Say what you want about her signature look, but Janelle Monae is the only one who looks like she COULD rock. La La Anthony simply looks like Monae’s mean agent lady.

  • Dot

    Ciara looks like she’s wearing a hairdresser smock with buttons.

  • Judy_S

    I think they all look very good indeed. The first 2 looks though look almost like vintage 80s stuff. Are those shoulders coming back?

  • e jerry powell

    I think that dress is something Tracee borrowed from her mother.

    I”m glad to hear that someone else thinks Janelle needs to branch out.  I know she has stuff other than tuxes in her closet, I’ve seen the music videos.

  • Ooh, La La! (See what I did there?) She looks fierce.
    Eva Longoria, on the other hand…why? Why the upholstery?

  • Call me Bee

    No–Eva Longoria’s shoes do not help her outfit, but they are fierce shoes and I want them right now. 
    Gabriel Union FTW. She looks fab.

  • Sarah Hankins

    So, I’m not sure what T&L mean when they say Janelle’s signature look is well past its expiration date.  She dresses in a pretty wide variety of woman-tailored men’s formalwear.  If a man on the RC dressed consistently in well-fitting, cleverly accessorized, quirky-but-tasteful suits, he’d most likely be praised for style and sophistication, not critiqued for being stuck in a rut.  Are we suggesting that Janelle needs to start wearing women’s clothing on the RC like a good girl, or are we suggesting she needs to wear different types of menswear?  I really hope (and assume, given T&L’s pro-androgyny track record) it’s the latter.  Either way, though, if Janelle’s look is worn out, that goes triple for the looks of the overwhelming majority of famous gents out there.

    • Dagney

      Right?  and I must have that rhinestone pin she is wearing. 

    • RocknLox

      I am tired of her tux at this point, but you make a good argument. Janelle, carry on. 

  • guest2visits

    Janelle Monae’s little black suit look is very cute, but it would be nice to see her try something else.
    Also like Kerry’s and Gabrielle’s simple black dress.

  • watchmeboogie

    And here, Eva Longoria, appearing tonight in a gown by Charmin.

  • Targettaste

    Forget the tacky X on the carpet.  The Chevrolet logo on the backdrop makes it look like Janelle, Kerry, and Tracee have collars designed by PR’s Melissa!

  • GTrain

    Totally agree Janelle needs to try something new; bored with this look.

  • Judih1

    You are right that usually you don’t see big name designer frocks on the Red Carpet for events specifically for women of color. At this event, they apparently did loan designer frocks, but certainly not some of the more fashion forward looks.

    Most of the looks are pretty boring (tracy ellis ross) or odd (Janelle) and ALL have terrible accessories. They certainly look like Black Girls Rock, but instead Black Girls Play if Safe

    Does Traci Ellis Ross and Solange Knowles look more like sisters than Solange and Beyonce?

  • eva longwhatevera looks like she’s wearing the chenille throw she just pulled off her easy chair on the way out of the den.

  • altalinda

    Ciara takes the win for me.  Interesting and sleek.

  • As tiny as Eva is, it had to take some major effort to make her look that wide.

  • Gabrielle FTW; think I got a new girl crush. The title of the charity may be a bit much, but considering the trashing or ignoring we get on a daily basis from so many outlets (yours not being one of them) I guess it’s par for the course, sadly.

  • MilaXX

    Just came across some Janelle Monae pics of her in the photoshoot for covergirl. They switched it up and put her in cream satin for one  look and white for another. She is honestly serving some old school glam realness and looks GORGEOUS! Might be the change you were looking for from her.

  • ccm800

    Eva and Gabrielle are unrecognizable to me.