Fashion. Beauty. Health. Life. Style. Music. Art.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Remembering Lena Horne

In music and the arts, it's often easy to take our icons and legends for granted. The term legend, icon, pioneer gets tossed around far too much these days. Before most artists have lived enough, and endured enough challenges for those terms to apply the accolades come as a marketing tool rather than a true realization of impact.

I've always admired Lena Horne. Like most people I was also in awe of her continued elegance and beauty as she aged. It was inescapable. I'll admit I wasn't fully aware of the impact who she was and what she endured until I got older. Much like Eartha Kitt, Nina Simone and others who stood before, there is a lot to learn and it's important to learn it and pass on. Lena Horne felt her talent was often obscured by her looks. She didn't want to be molded into mere 'eye candy', she was an unafraid and outspoken activist. Her legacy isn't dependent on sales stats, clothing lines, or endorsements; this was a woman of substance who came along during in a time full of obvious barriers.

Unafraid to speak her mind during an era where American Blacks weren't yet considered equal, she would find herself blacklisted and unable to find work for many years as a consequence. In today's era, with such high profile platforms, it's rare to hear one of today's female artists in film, music or television say anything that may be considered 'not politically correct'. I celebrate Lena Horne for being the woman she was.

Variety shows, movie musicals and so many artists from my childhood and youth quietly helped to mold my view of entertainers and inspired me deeply. There is indeed something to be said about positive images for malleable minds of young girls and boys. Today, I'm grateful for YouTube which has an abundance of great footage of so many great artists like Ms. Horne.

In today's vapid and empty landscape of fauxlebrities and contrived corporate imaging, it's humbling to be reminded of a era when standing for something mattered, as well as presenting an image of refinement, elegance, class and perseverance.
Thank You Lena Horne. Rest In Power and Peace.

No comments: