Your Good Deed for the Day
The March issue of InStyle is on the stands. Queen Latifah—her usual resplendent self in an ivory Zac Posen dress and lavish-but-understated bling—is on the cover. You should buy it.
I’m not suggesting that you buy it because I think InStyle is a great magazine. Indeed, I almost never buy it myself—or even flip through it while I’m in line at the grocery store (that’s what Star is for). While I adore celebrity gossip, fawning puffery makes me feel a bit unwell. And the fashion is totally half-assed. It’s like Glamour and Real Simple and People mashed together, and I say, “Ick.” No, I am suggesting that you buy this issue because there is a black woman on the cover, and newsstand sales of mainstream women’s magazines generally tank when there is a black woman on the cover.
Personally, I am more likely to buy a magazine with Queen Latifah on the cover than one featuring, say, the newly-emaciated and heinously over-Botoxed Nicole Kidman, as my sense of full-figured-and-naturally-gorgeous solidarity transcends my attachment to racial identity (believe you me, if I could reasonably and conscionably claim to be anything other than perfectly white, I would). Nevertheless, it’s a fact: whenever a fashion or lifestyle mag puts an African-American woman—no matter how famous or how beautiful—their bottom line takes a serious hit. The deleterious effect is similar with other women of color. Thus, women with skin other than lily-white or aerosol-tanned become cover models only through a sort of affirmative-fashion program.
The only way to change this unfortunate state of affairs, the only way to create a newsstand that reflects our diversity, is through economic action. So, grab a copy of InStyle: read the article on Queen Latifah, ignore the piece on ways to update a classic string of pearls (the only way to credibly wear a string of pearls is as a string of pearls), and try to pretend that you didn’t just see Jennifer Love “Why Am I Still Famous?” Hewitt.
February 23, 2005 | Permalink
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