I gave a long overdue shout out to one of my besties in the beauty blogosphere, Julia of All About the Pretty. I’ll tell ya, I touched her arm when we were at Fashion Week in September…her skin is like silk and velvet and all things soft and sumptuous because of the body scrub she’s been doing for years now.
Some of the hubbub and criticism of Vogue Italia’s new additions have died down, since Vogue Italia’s editor in chief wrote her rebuttal (in which she quoted ME! In Rachel Zoe’s words, I die!) And also, the announcement that the legendary Bethann Hardison is now the editor-at-large of Vogue Black quieted some naysayers.
Some of the hubbub has died down, but not all. And my attitude towards it can best be described as resigned bemusement.
I realized something recently — almost every website I write for has a variation of the word black in the title. Black Voices, Black Atlas, Afrobella, and now Vogue Black. It’s not that I’m exclusive about what I write about, I’m just passionate about celebrating our unique beauty.
Most of the time, when I read criticism of the sites I write for, it’s from white supremacists who are mad that black people have their own channel on the teevee and are living in the White House and going on fancy vacations and whatnot. To paraphrase. So I was kinda surprised that this time, the shrill voiced outrage was coming from women of color — about the fact that Vogue made a site dedicated to black beauty. I’ve come to the conclusion that I must be clueless.
To me it’s like – hey! Vogue’s catching up to what I’ve been doing since 2006! But to others it’s like how DARE Vogue create a channel just for us! Why separate us into another channel? The 1950’s are over! Thanks for setting us back * insert number of years*, Vogue! SMH! And if you admit to liking it even a little bit, people accuse you of having a “separate but equal mindset.”
I’ve seen articles online where it’s that serious. And I just don’t feel that way.
I don’t see Vogue Black as some kind of intended honor bestowed unto our people by the high priestesses of fashion. Please. I don’t see it as an attempt to neatly corral our beauty thereby throwing us a wacktastic bone while keeping regular Vogue the same as it ever was. I see it as a new initiative that’s beginning to find its look and find its voice, that is celebrating a range of black beauty and focusing on our celebrities and cultural icons. Big stories from Vogue Black also appear on the front page of Vogue Italia, and I hope to see more integration of articles from Vogue Black, Vogue Talents and Vogue Curvy on the main Vogue Italia website. The future is still wide open and bright, as far as I see it.
We’re at a fascinating crossroads in the black fashion world. On one hand, Vogue — the quote-unquote “world’s most influential fashion magazine” — is giving black beauty its own spotlight for the first time in the brand’s 118 year history. On the other hand, we’re seeing sad times as we face the apparent demise of the historied and celebrated Ebony Fashion Fair, which has brought high fashion to black women for half a century.
I guess it’s obvious, I’m biased because I’m contributing towards Vogue Black. But I gotta tell y’all, I am optimistic. I believe that this another step towards some long overdue changes. But enough about what I think… I’d like to hear your thoughts.
Vogue Black is here. What would you like it to be? What kinds of articles and photographic inspiration would you want to see? Do you have any constructive criticism to share?