I’ve hemmed and hawed about having big news and the best being yet to come…this is one of the things I’ve been talking about.
I’m a contributor to Vogue Italia’s new site, Vogue Black!
*cue fireworks and the chorus of Hate Me Now*
And I’m not the only one! Andrea of Fly is also contributing to Vogue Black, and Gabi of Young, Fat, and Fabulous is contributing to Vogue Curvy, the new destination for full figured fashionistas.
For me this all began last November with an exciting e mail. And I kinda feel like I’ve been holding my breath the whole time. I didn’t tell my friends, or most of my family. And if you know me, you know HOW HARD THAT WAS. OMG.
Now finally, I can exhale and share the happy news.
When I was originally approached, it felt like someone told me I’d won the lottery or something. And today, to see it’s actually come to fruition…it’s amazing and overwhelming.
Vogue Black launched just yesterday and clearly the site’s got some kinks to be worked out. I have nothing to do with the photos or layout chosen for the posts — I’m sharing and creating original content and it’s as much of a surprise to me to see what photos accompany my words, as it may be to anyone else. Author bios haven’t been posted yet. The posts right now are very photo-heavy and content-light (as my friend Claire of the Fashion Bomb correctly pointed out). But it’s up, and I may be biased but I think it’s awesome. And of course, already the blogosphere is full of opinions about it.
The Cut wrote a particularly cutting post on the topic, questioning the separation of curvy and black beauty from the mainstream. That’s a lot of the criticism I’ve been reading — why does Vogue Italia feel the need to separate into different channels?
My answer is, because throughout the history of fashion, black and curvy has been overlooked. We deserve our own spotlight. Of course, ideally black beauty and full figured beauty would be part of the mainstream – BUT IT’S NOT. Someone please share a link from The Cut about plus size fashion bloggers or black beauty bloggers. Please. I’d love to read it. Because I’ve been reading them for a minute and I’ve never seen one. And who’s to say that material from Vogue Black or Vogue Curvy won’t make it into Vogue Italia? For me as a reader, I think it’s refreshing to find a channel that exclusively caters to what I’m looking for — beauty and fashion inspiration that relates to my reality.
Clutch Magazine just did a great post about this titled Are Black Fashion Bloggers Being Ignored? and I can honestly say that the answer is yes. I think black beauty and fashion bloggers have been just as marginalized and overlooked as black designers and models have been. And we are here, we care about beauty and clothes and hair, and we’re a purchasing market that’s being underserved and unappreciated. It’s amazing to me that Vogue Italia has made this move, when American Vogue and British Vogue don’t seem nearly as engaged. It kinda blows my mind that all of this has come from a country that I’ve never been to, so far away. Note to self – plan trip to Italy ASAP!
All I can say about today is, we’re living in interesting times. Already people are blowing up my inbox and my Twitter page with questions, already some are throwing shade (I see y’all!), and already an interview with me has been posted on The Glamazons blog about today’s news! It’s some kinda wonderful. And I am making sure to be thankful for ALL of these blessings. As Mama Bella told me this morning, “Ask God to guide you in what you say and do, in every minute, every hour of every day.”
I am, mom. And I will continue to do my best to make you and Dad proud!
I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Vogue Black. I sincerely applaud Vogue Italia for making this forward-thinking decision, and I hope it isn’t a symbolic, brief act. I believe that this is just the beginning, and I really hope that it leads to beautiful, big opportunities for all of my sisters in the beauty, fashion, and lifestyle blogosphere. I’m BEYOND excited and honored to be one of the first to be featured. Now let’s see — who’s got next??