Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Vogue Black: Segregation or Inspiration
Hello Meltingpot Readers,
Sorry, I missed you yesterday. I was away from my office allllll day.
Right now I should be grading papers, but I need your opinion, people. As I mentioned here last week, I have a new gig writing for the just launched, Vogue Black. Quite frankly, I was thrilled to be asked to join the blogging staff for this groundbreaking publication. I remembered how exciting the all Black Vogue printed issue was in 2008 and figured an online edition of Italian Vouge, dedicated to exploring and celebrating Black beauty, fashion and culture, would be more of the same.
Yes, I questioned why the Italians, and not the Americans (or even the British or the French) were spearheading a fashion book for Black women when there aren't too many Black people living in Italy (no offense Ragazza!). But I didn't think they were incapable of handling the job... especially since they hired Black American, British and French writers to provide much of the content. Pretty smart if you ask me.
But now that the site has launched, along with Vogue Curvy ( a site dedicated to plus-sized beauties), folks are criticizing Italian Vogue for creating a fashion ghetto for Black girls and big girls. They claim it's taking the industry backwards, and wonder why we can't just incorporate Black women and plus-size models into the pages of the regular magazine.
You know what I say. Shut up! (Pardon my French, but this really makes me angry.) You know why? Because right now we live in a world, where Black girls and chubby girls are starved for editorial content that takes us seriously. Where we are not just background material or a token image amongst a sea of White (and or skinny). I want an entire magazine (hell, I'd like five or six to be honest) where every single page and article is about people who look like me. I don't want to have to skip the make-up/hair/skin care pages because I don't have pale skin, light eyes and straight hair. I'll say it. I'm greedy. I want every page to relate to me. Kind of like most White people can do when they read Vogue, Glamour, Allure, Cosmo, Redbook, Self....
Maybe if we lived in a world where we were constantly bombarded with beautiful images of beautiful Black women and plus-sized women, we wouldn't need Vogue Black and Vogue Curvy, but until then, can we please enjoy this one publication that does?
Here are some of the stories that have run discussing the issue:
New York Magazine: make sure you read the comments on this one.
Okay, Meltingpot readers, tell me what you think. Is Vogue Black taking us backwards or moving us forward? What do you think about magazines aimed at a specific ethnic group in the year 2010? I really want to hear from you all. (And Fyi so do the editors of Italian Vogue!) Speak up.
(And just because I have a strong opinion, doesn't mean I don't want to hear yours. That's how we all learn.)