“Beauty standards are so damaging and it’s hurtful and destructive that colorism operates with such whiteness, in cultures across the world. I hated myself before I even had the concepts to know what I hated about myself. I know this story is repeated amongst many people of color in any generation. I imagine other illustrators of color went through a similar battle as me —- why not create the reality of life as I personally know it? I draw from what I know and I sit and eat and sleep beside the most powerful black and brown women, who hurt and live and love like I do. Who are more than their bodies, who are more than their ideas, who are like fully realized and functional  and complex people.”

-Mohammed @


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Azha & Apryl



Los Ángeles

I recently went to see Damian John Harper’s debut film, Los Ángeles, at the LA Film Festival. The film’s subject matter sparked my interest as it dealt with the Zapotec community in the village of Santa Ana del Valle. My mother is a Zapoteca de Oaxaca so a lot of the imagery and themes hit close to home for us. Los Ángeles depicts the hardship of indigenous migration to the U.S. in hopes of providing for family back home. A story about a young man unfolds as he becomes involved in gang activity thinking this will assure his safety in the states. After seeing Harper speak I was disappointed that this film had not been conceptualized and directed by a person of color. Harper is an American, Colorado born anthropologist who took interest in the people of Oaxaca. White people’s inclination to document indigenous communities is something I see far too often. Despite Harper’s background I was pleased to see the representation of actual Zapotec voices as those in the film were not trained actors and instead people of the community in Santa Ana del Valle. I saw my family in a lot of the people on screen and overall it dealt with realities that otherwise do not get represented. Though I take issue with the dynamic between white anthropologists and indigenous communities the film made me nostalgic for Oaxaca and reminded me how blessed I am to be brown. It encourages me to document my mother’s story and continue to fight for the rights of my roots.

For more information on the film visit

-Apryl SHADEMAG,2014


Xicanas In Suburbia by Apryl Fuentes & Alex Cervantes is a body of work that touches upon the misrepresentation of people of color in society, media & everyday life. It is what brownness is to us, to you, to everyone we love. What was once just a figment of ambition is now coming to fruition thanks to support from friends and artists alike. Stay critical. 

Con mucho amor,


photo credit: Azha Luckman

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BEHIND THE SCENES // Thanks to our good friend Brit Weathers for the awesome iphone footage and production skills, and Steph for Apryl’s amazing hair ENJOY !


BeforeAnyoneElse Shoot

- Azha, xoxo


Hey Shade Shawtys!

It’s been a while. We’ve been working on some new content that’s a little different than what we usually post. Shademag would like to introduce you to our new contributors. For the upcoming months we’ll be working on our first print zine & some other huge projects. So, for now these wonderful ladies will have a place to educate, inspire, and keep you all critical. You’ll be seeing a variety of their amazing work on the blog. Stay tuned! 

From top left to bottom right:

Illustrator, Amelia quraisygirl // ig @quraisyagirl 

Writer, Malaya soupbabe // ig @mmalaya 

Writer, Ivane babybabybabybabybaby // ig @creepingbeauty 

Multimedia Creative, Ceraphina fictionalphina // ig

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