Since I tend to do both video and written post, it was actually hard for me decide which to do for this post. However, I am going to keep it written and short! J
So, I was reading the December issue of Ebony, and the question crossed my mind: Why, as young ethnic fashion forward individuals, would we rather read non-ethnic publications (Elle, Vogue, Glamour) over black publications (Ebony, Vibe, Essence)? Now I don’t mean for this post to exclude any non-ethnic readers of GL… But it is important for me to address the issue. When I write/record my posts, they are intended for any race; however, because I am brown some posts are going to be more beneficial to those who are also brown, for example, a curly/kinky hair post. So this drives me to believe there are not many “brown” people working at the major publications like Elle, Vogue, and Glamour. So what about our magazines that are intended cater to our needs? There is Black Hair Sophisticates, Rap-Up, Vibe, Essence, Jet, Ebony, and more that are not being financially supported in comparison of their non-ethnic competitors. Of course over the last ten years written publications have taken a major fall due to digital rivalry, but this does not excuse the comparison from 1/1/2011 – 6/30/2011 of Glamour selling 2,304,146 and Ebony selling 1,235,865 or even Essence 1,050,013 (who has an entire weeklong festival surrounding it ‘Essence Festival’).
My review of the situation, our magazines are “over our head”! While reading this month’s Ebony, they feature Power 100, political debates, cultural debates within Hollywood, black marriage counseling with tips, and they never forget the past by writing an article about a group or individual who got us where we are today. Versus Glamour, who features the 10 women of the year (none of which were black), Glamour fashion, health and body (‘The Snob Diet’ < which once I read, is basically telling you to starve yourself), ‘Men, Love, & Life’, and celeb gossip.
So, what’s the difference? Well, our magazines tend to reach to the soul, while I feel the other mainstream magazines touch the outer appearance. Since majority of our magazine readers read them for quick make up tips and fashion do’s and don’ts… it is my recommendation that (1) we get more fashion/ beauty forward writers at our ethnic publications, and (2) we do better to support them so that they are able to produce a quality of work that entertains our people. It’s time that the make-up tips I read, work for my skin tone… and the hair product reviews can actually be used on ethnic hair. Also, while feeding are beauty and fashion thirst, we will still be fed with the quality of what Ebony and other ethnic mags have to offer. No matter what, you must SPEAK UP to make a difference!