In defense of the Anyang’s…
First I appreciate those culturally discomforted by the Nyong’o (bedroom) photo.
This group are dyed-in-the-wool Africanists and Luoists for whom the burden of maintaining cultural norms seems to be squarely placed on their shoulders.
In defending the Nyong’os; I argue that Lupita is culturally undefined. Her stardom exists in a culturally neutral ground, on which she has the leeway to pose, as she did, in a bedroom setting with own father.
The question my culturalist friends ask is: should a father pose (or be) with a daughter in a bedroom? What’s the social boundary?
This question is being asked even by those living in a bedsitter. Are their parents allowed in? If not, why?
Clearly you all can see that in that room was not just Lupita and Lupita’s father. A third person, perhaps Lupita’s mother, brother, sister, bodyguard or one of those black panther dudes assisted them snap the shot.
So, to what extent is a bedroom out of bounds for father and daughter?
Some – crossing the red line – have argued that Lupita didn’t even have bra on; which reminds me of a phenomenon that has been variously described as ‘colonial hangover’: that a people who just a generation ago were walking naked would today place such high premium in a garment, a lasting pathology of an injurious colonial experience.
Be that as it may, does Lupita has that which a bra is meant to hold. Lupita’s chest and my chest have uncanny resemblance. I too don’t do bras!
As I conclude; culture has a geographical context and customs can go so far. Technological determinism, the bridging of space and time, normative deviancy, Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawkings and Barack Obama.
“…for those who know…”