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If Cosmo Had More Black Employees, Things Like This Wouldn't Happen


Cosmopolitan.com came under fire yesterday for publishing a listicle of beauty trends that need to die back in January. Somehow no one on staff caught that pictures of Black women with brown skin were only used to illustrate the tacky trends—though Nicole Richie was used an example of a celebrity who got it right.

When screenshots hit social media, the backlash was swift. Using Black and Brown girls, almost exclusively, as examples of what beautyphiles should not do, sends a strong message to those who are used to mainstream media invalidating our beauty or erasing our presence

Folks who have no experience with marginalization would never see it, and this piece was likely not the result of malice on the part of the writer and editor responsible. That does not, however, mean that Cosmopolitan is not responsible for this clear display of implicit bias. Unconscious discrimination is still racism that perpetuates a harmful status quo.

You know what could have saved Cosmo here? More Black employees. Cosmopolitan and the rest of these mainstream publications must diversify their staff from the top down or expect to have their names and reputations dragged with regularity.

They had it coming, and they deserve it.









Kimberly Foster is the Founder and Editor of COLOURES. Email or




19 comments

  1. And you go the nerve to wonder why we need #blackgirlsrock. Ugh!

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  2. The standards of European beauty. Nothing but a carbon copy of black beauty recycled and spit back in your face...smdh

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  3. Does Essence have White employees?

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    Replies
    1. Essence is owned by a white conglomerate. So troll elsewhere.

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  4. I don't think they were being totally honest. I mean they like big lips, they like tan skin so really, which pic to you REALLY think "they" gravitate to?

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  5. De eso se trata, ninguna revista de moda puede permitir que existan mujeres autenticas, de lo contrario la moda no tendría sentido.
    (Entendiéndose por moda como una medida, entonces la moda es el valor con una mayor frecuencia en una distribución de datos).

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  6. I agree with many parts of the article, but you don't need black or brown employees to realize that the "bad" half of the pictures are all black women and the "good" side is all white. I think problem is deeper than that. The reality is that a black person who was employed at this organization might struggle in the environment that thought it was OK produced this article, which is so completely and blatantly wrong.

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  7. I know Susan Taylor sold Essence magazine to Time Life a few years ago, so I cancelled my subscription. Now is time for a new Essence to emerge. Cause I don't read cosmo anyway, so why should I care if there are any black faces on it.

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  8. These look like fashion trends that I've seen white women try. I hope they're not trying to pin these things solely on black women. . . but couldn't they vary the race of each "RIP" photo? I don't know if they did this on purpose, but it does look suspect.

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  9. google beauty. go to images and tell me what you see.

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    1. That was whiter than an avalanche. I did find one picture of a woman of Indian descent, but as is the current trend in their culture she was as pale as possible.

      I've never understood fashion (which, as a female, is frequently a disadvantage). I thought all the women in the "R.I.P." photos were gorgeous, especially the first woman (I don't know names because I don't really understand obsessing over celebrities, either). Her eye makeup seemed bold and exotic, and while I must say again that I know little about fashion, to me it seems like a wonderful way to adorn your face for certain occasions.

      The industry's obsession with thinness, androgyny, and apparently white-ness is baffling and appalling to me. I don't understand it and I doubt I ever really want to.

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  10. Cosmo is not the only mag that dumbs down black beauty. We have to be very careful where we spend our money. The ongoing attempt to demish black beauty has been happening since the beinning of time. These racist mag publishers exploit us just enough to not make us too angry. They are not stupid, they know that African Americans are comsumers, "it's all about the benjamin's". Stop buying!!! When you boycott them it gets their attention. MLK used this tactic very effectively during the Civil Rights Movement during ghe sixties.

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  11. I've just googled "beauty" what I saw was shocking and scary!

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  12. And yet there are too many 'white' women in the media who get it wrong. I think this is purely an ignorance article, in regards to the fashion par faux but it's not right. All women are beautiful,no matter creed, size or shape.

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  13. Photo shopped race baiting

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