Wednesday, March 20

Why I Disagree with Jada Pinkett Smith's Question of If White Women Should Ever Grace the Cover of Popular Black Women's Magazines?

The absence of black womyn in mainstream media and specifically on the cover of magazines has been a problem that has lasted for decades and with the exception of a few faces (i.e. Beyonce, Halle Berry, etc) it is still an issue that persists today. This is why I found Jada Pinkett Smith’s latest post that posed the question that if the black community wants to see more diversity on mainstream publications then perhaps black magazines such as Essence, Ebony and JET should consider offering covers to white womyn. She presents the idea of diversity, openness and solidarity amongst womyn which I think is a great idea in theory but the issue is that those 3 magazines specifically were started as a resolution to the gap in the marketplace that failed to tell our stories as womyn of color. There was nowhere to share our unique beauty, experiences and stories, more importantly there was nowhere except these publications that celebrated us.

I’m not opposed to featuring other cultures and races within these magazines because I do believe in diversity. I remember years ago there was an issue over at Essence magazine because a white womyn was hired to be a fashion editor. People were in uproar about this because they believe that black magazines should remain strictly black. I simply think that there can be diversity throughout the staff of the magazines and within the glossy pages of the publications but where I think the line should be drawn at is on the cover. Think of the pride felt by black children to womyn (and men) who see beauty that looks like them consistently smiling on the covers of these pages month after month. It’s always refreshing to see a familiar face smiling back at me when I walk past the newsstand so until mainstream publications start consistently putting our beauties from Kerry Washington to Viola Davis on their covers, I am happy keeping the prime real estate of the front cover to beautiful brown faces for now.

Here are Jada's thoughts on this that she posted to her Facebook:

Will there ever be a day in which women will be able to see each other beyond race, class, and culture? There is a question I want to ask today. I’m asking this question in the spirit of thinking outside of the box in order to open doors to new possibilities. These possibilities may be realistic or unrealistic. I also want to make it clear that there is no finger pointing here. I pose this question with the hope that it opens a discussion about how we can build a community for women based upon us all taking a deeper interest in one another. An interest where skin color, culture, and social class does not create barriers in sharing the commonality of being… women. With love and respect to all parties involved, my question is this…if we ask our white sisters, who tend to be the guardians of the covers of mainstream magazines, to consider women of color to grace these covers, should we not offer the same consideration to white women to grace our covers? Should women extend their power to other women simply because they are women? To my women of color, I am clear we must have something of our own, but is it possible to share in the spirit in which we ask our white sisters to share with us? I don’t know the answer and would love to hear your thoughts.

What do you think, should white women be featured on the covers of black magazines? Would love to hear your thoughts!

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