Saturday, June 28, 2008

Black in Vogue

I got an email from Dr. Lez Henry this morning, saying he had been rung up and asked to buy Vogue as the publishers were saying the current issue would be the worst-selling ever. It features exclusively models of African origin.

Now, this was interesting to me because I received the same phonecall, plus another one later on saying the issue was Italian Vogue.

I don't understand why we are supposed to buy Vogue to "show support" for sistas when the fashion and modelling industries are notorious for excluding Black models and requiring them to look as white as possible - pale skin, European features and fake long, straight hair.

Black models have fought for acceptance for many years and now Vogue, the world's leading fashion magazine, is saying their all-Black issue will not sell. This is a slap in the face - why should we support it? But if Vogue want to give me a free copy, I might read it.

Having said that, I do support the efforts of individual models of African heritage, including Naomi Campbell, who recently pled guilty to abusing police at the airport.

Now, if you have ever been through an airport, you know you might expect to be treated as if you have landed from outer space. I don't know what happened in Naomi's case, but I support her because I know how badly behaved airport security can sometimes be. It was meant to be about lost luggage - who doesn't want to kick off when their luggage goes missing? You don't know if you will ever see your personal and valued items again, or whose hands they have ended up in, or which country they are now residing in. British Airways is reported to have sent planes full of luggage to various destinations in order to unite items with their owners, such is the incompetence of these companies.

Not forgetting the fact that some years ago, Diana Ross accused airport security of touching her inappropriately. We will probably never know what really happened.

See also Black Haircare: From Korea to Your Neighbourhood

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is fabulous that the July issue is the all black issue, black models need just as much coverage as everyone else! Although Vogue is not the major arbiter of equality, but at least it is a step in the right direction. There defiantly needs to be more “Bianca’s” recognized in the industry.
I’m currently working with Toyota and I’m really hyped when it comes to spreading the word about the new interactive If Looks Could Kill webisodes. They follow an aspiring fashion assistant who is a prime example of a woman whos’ got it going on. I’m talking the dream job, man who’s got all the ladies drooling, and the spice to keep it all together. Think James Bond meets Sanaa Lathan in Something New.
You’ll have to see what I’m talking about. I can’t wait to read your thoughts on the first episode so we can chit-chat abut what’s really going on. Don’t be surprised when you find yourself being reeled in like bait. That will make two of us!
I hope I didn’t overstep my bounds by directly contacting you. After viewing your blog and seeing how hip to the game you are when it comes to what’s hot and current, I figured this would be something that would catch your interest.
Looking forward to the girl talk!
Gabrielle Thorn
ILCK Ambassador