Indochine's Top Shelf

Jesikah Maximus

Howard Huang's "Urban Girls"

Tonight I picked up Taschen Book's "Urban Girls," which is a hard bound "art book" collection of the photography of Howard Huang. Huang specializes in urban model photography for magazines like BlackMen. I'll just say this right off the top: I like Huang's work. I like his use of color and his lighting. While there is much about Huang's photography that, on the surface, looks like SHOW magazine's stuff, it's more intricate and better thought out in my opinion.

Bria Myles is on the cover of this book, which is also sold in stores like Barnes & Noble. The paper stock is quite heavy and the printing is top notch. It really is a beautiful tome which is as pleasing to the touch as the eyes. You'll also find high quality reproductions and outtakes from shoots with some of your favorite models, like the ones featured below of Maliah and Jessikah. Overall, I'd give this book a high recommend. It's a good look for urban modeling. (Click photos to enlarge)


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BlackJackSkanz Top Vixen Results

This is the result of over 9,000 votes on BlackJackSkanz - one of the best known websites for urban models out there.

A couple interesting notes: 1) Seems like Suelyn should be higher - she had a great '09, 2) Seems like Cubana and Vanessa should be lower; a testament to the power of a large Twitter following, and 3) Suleika's position seems well deserved.

Bria finished Second Place in Cutie Central's Top Vixen Poll for '09 (number one for Model in Highest Demand) so it looks like she is quite possibly the number one urban model right now. biggrin

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What Happened To All The Black Girls in Urban Mags?

Now I don’t want to go getting all racial, but it seems to me the urban eye candy genre had its origins in hip hop/rap music videos. The women in those videos and the early issues of BlackMen (note the name, Black men), KING, and Smooth were, by and large, black. So this genre started off showcasing black women for a mainly black male audience. But over time, this has changed dramatically in the magazines. It’s no longer about black women. It’s more so about white and Latina women. Let me state for the record that I have nothing against women of other races, but I don’t see a whole lot black women on Lowrider or Maxim covers. Yet, white and Latina women seem to dominate the few covers a black model can be featured on.

Coco has had at least 6 - count ‘em, SIX - BlackMen issues in the last two years. More than any black model I can think of. SHOW magazine just finished with the Latina Black Lingerie issue. Now the next issue is the SHOWcase, also featuring two Latina models on the cover: Jesika Maximus and Jessica Burciaga. I know for a fact issues with Bria Myles and Khyrsti Hill on the cover are waiting in abeyance while these new SHOWcase Latina issues come out.

Maybe this all comes down to dollars and cents for the magazine owners. Maybe black males don’t buy magazines with black women on the covers. If so, that’s a sad commentary and not an issue I expect a profit driven magazine operation to take on. But it sure would be nice to start seeing sistas return to the forefront of a genre (urban eye candy) they founded.
Jesikah SHOWJessica SHOW

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Jesiklah Maximus - SSX #87

Jesikah Maximus is an interesting case study. I've seen her in motion in videos and she holds up to scrutiny. She appears to be as attractive -- if not more -- as Vida Guerra, minus the over-the-top boob job. Also, unlike a lot of girls these days, Jesikah has no prominent tattoos that need airbrushing. Don't get me wrong, Vida is an original, but I can't help but ask - "What if Jesikah had appeared first all those years back?" Who knows. But the market has sure changed a lot since then. There's a lot more competition and a lot more Photoshopping going on.

Vida was embraced by all the urban magazines, plus the traditional lad magazines like Maxim and FHM. Jesikah, by comparison, has never even been in Smooth Magazine to my knowledge. Vida had a major web presence with a huge Yahoo Group and high ranking website even from the start of her career. Jesikah, on the other hand, has no Yahoo Group and a website that's said "Coming Soon" for a long, long time.

Who can say what the reason for these disparities is. Maybe Vida just had her act more together. At any rate, I'm a fan of Jesikah's and I look forward to seeing more of her. Get that website up girl!


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