Current Events

Published on February 24th, 2013 | by Kailei Carr


Sound Off: Essence Mag Relevance, T Mag Lack of Color and Shady Politics

soundoff022413By Kailei R.

OK, Vyne World, this was a busy week in the news. And though we still have the top headlines from the past week with the Vyne Rewynd, I wanted to get you all to sound off and voice your opinions on some things that I’ve come across this week. So let’s start a conversation! Make sure to post your comment below.

  • Editor-in-Chief of Essence magazine, Constance C. R. White and other editors were let go last week amidst massive lay offs at Time Inc. When Constance joined Essence two years ago, people were generally excited and hopeful that she could help inject some new life into the magazine. But her departure raises questions about the health of the magazine (some say that it may even be a good target for Meredith). With rising competition and increasing diversity amongst black women, do black women “need” Essence anymore? Sure, Essence was at one point the only magazine catering to black women. But is it still reflective of a “collective voice”? Or is a “collective voice” necessary? Sound off!
  • Last Sunday the New York Times re-launched its style magazine, T Magazine, with an updated design under the helm of new editor, Deborah Needleman, and guess how many women of color were included in editorial content? Zero. That’s right – none. And apparently advertising pages only featured one black and one Asian model, making the entire issue almost colorless. It’s hard to believe this happened 2013, not 1913. Needleman responded to the backlash by saying, “it was something I noticed and regretted…In coming issues, we cover the people and places of Seoul, São Paulo, Kenya, Bollywood actors, Nigeria, etc. A majority of fashion models are still unfortunately mostly white, but it is our aim to celebrate quality and beauty in all its diverse forms.” Meh. I mean, yes, diversity comes in all forms. But this is representative of a much larger issue. Publications create content to cater to their readers and what they are demonstrating is that they really only care about their white readership. Pointing out that they are “global” and will be covering people in geographies around the world is great, but it, in my opinion, dismisses the wonderful diversity that exists within this country. So what do you think, Vyne World? Sound off!

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About the Author

Kailei is the co-founder of The Vyne. She is an expert shopper, digital marketer and has conducted extensive research on African American women.

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