Hey, Fashion Mags: How Come It’s Still Only White Girls on Your Covers?
December 19, 2014 By Britni Danielle
Britni Danielle is a regular contributor to TakePart. She writes on a variety of subjects for Clutch, Ebony, Jet, and others.
If Hollywood is a “white industry,” as Chris Rock proclaimed in his infamous op-ed in The Hollywood Reporter, the fashion business is also pretty pale. The style community might seem like a bastion of creativity and inclusivity, but when it comes to which models get to strut the world’s most glamorous runways—or grace the covers of the most prestigious glossies—as with Tinseltown, the fashion world is racially homogenous.
How bad is the lack of diversity? According to an analysis of top fashion magazine covers by The Fashion Spot’s Jihan Forbes, models of color are mostly missing in action. Of the 611 covers published by 44 major print magazines, only 119, or 19 percent, included nonwhite models. While it might be tempting to consider nearly one-fifth of covers as a promising number, the overwhelming use of white models in nonwhite countries such as Japan and Korea—and the dearth of any models of color this year on either the U.S. or U.K. editions of Harper’s Bazaar or the U.K. edition of Vogue—belies the industry’s supposed inclusivity.