I was just reading a post on Jezebel.com about how Vogue constantly uses White models on the covers of their International editions in countries that are not predominately White, i.e. Turkey, China, India etc. All I can say to that is why blame Vogue? It seems Vogue is basically giving these nations what they serve to their people everyday. Turkey has been fighting to be a member of E.U. (European Union) for so long with America advocating for their inclusion & hypocritically meddling in matters that are not their own, while failing to deal with matters on their own soil such as immigration reform particularly for Mexicans who are technically native American Indians. European nations such as France deem the Asian/Arab Muslims of Turkey unworthy to join White Christian Europe siting civil rights violations which many European nations are also guilty of. In many Asian countries like India, Japan, China & Turkey, white is right & sets the standard of aspiration.
If you look at many of the magazines from these countries they also feature White models or Asian models who are as close to White as possible, so once again I say why be mad at Vogue when they are just going along with the nation’s standard. We are so quick to always want to blame our colonizers & white people in general for our own inability to rid ourselves of our own mental enslavement. There has to come a time when we take responsibility as non-white nations in the images we ourselves portray to our own people and the rest of the world. Why are we always promoting a western way as the standard of global acceptance & making it, instead of promoting our own culture & aesthetics as the standard by which the people of our own nations & the west should come to embrace instead of always embracing the western way & aesthetics?
Things won’t change until we, the once colonized, get rid of the colonial mentality & stop having such a strong desire to be legitimized by those who once colonized our nations. We are constantly in an uproar about lack of inclusion in the White world instead of accepting that we are not & never will be White or White standard. We create a White superiority or White supremacy complex for ourselves when we decide that magazines, runway shows, designers, films etc. which cater specifically to non-white people or nations are somehow inferior simply based on the fact that it does not fall in line with the White or western standard. Why should black models be fighting to get on the runways of White designers instead of wondering why there aren’t more Stephen Burrows & Tracy Reese‘s showcasing their collections & giving Black models an outlet. Why is it unphathomable for a Black designer to send only Black models or all Black models with the token White model down the runway when it is perfectly acceptable for White designers to do so? Why aren’t these Black designers taking that stand & letting that publicity work for them as much as it has worked for Vogue to have an all Black issue & to have white models in Black face? We have always been an inclusive people from Africa to her Diaspora, but we must learn that you can’t come to a gun fight with rocks. There is power in numbers & we need to stop being fooled that we are the minority ; thereby staying in the place of the minority who does not have final say or make the decisions of national or global direction.
We are jumping up & down like crazy in elation to have a Vogue Black website instead of creating our own equally competitive websites/magazines, when there are more black millionaires & billionaires globally more than ever & billions of Black people all over the world with spending capital just begging to be served by a market that often sees them as an after thought. This goes for the Arab world & the Asian world as well. We need to stop blaming Vogue & start looking in our own closets & mirrors. I am sure that had they put typically Turkish, Chinese & Indian models on the cover they probably would have sold less in those countries judging from the covers of their own national magazines. Are we supporting our designers, are we supporting our magazines, TV, Film & publication industries that cater specifically to us? Why do we run to purchase the new collection of African inspired designs from western designers when we bypass African designers who are inspired by Africa as a way of life, not just as a seasonal fad or trend? Can we even name a handful of Black, African, Asian & Arab designers as quickly as we can name their European/western counterparts even though most of the western designs are created by the hands of migrant labor forces within & without western nations? Once again I say, why blame Vogue instead of looking deep within & ending the cycle of western/colonial mentality which we perpetuate & accept amongst ourselves.