Chock-full of different shades, hues and ethnicities (some of the time), Glam Belleza Latina is probably a magazine that most women of color have either a) never heard of, b) wouldn’t have a clue of where to “buy”, or c) have heard of, but didn’t feel compelled to read because, well, the name of the magazine is Glam Belleza Latina.
And this all makes sense. You’d first think, “Oh, this is for Latina women, not for me.”
But, wait a second, because you’d be shock to know that as a darker Black American 20-something, I’ve found myself identifying with the tone and image representations of Brown women in this magazine more than I could have anticipated. Was this unexpected? Yes. But is this completely off kilter for me to be attached to this magazine? No.
I See Women Who Look Like Me
Here’s where things get tricky. The larger percent of the women, models and celebrities that grace the GBL spreads are of a Latina decent. Ok? Ok.
But, as I turn the pages, in each issue, I find more than enough women and models who look like me. Key word: look. So, they may not actually be Black American women. But many are and have been dark Brown, curvy, with medium-to-thick curly hair, like myself. And that means something. At least it does to me.
A beauty magazine (notice, I reinforce the word “beauty”), that houses nothing but fabulous images of Brown women (whether light, medium or dark) is major, regardless if it’s one that is formally catered to Latina women.
And here’s why:
Complexion Inclusivity Is Just As Important to Brown Women As Race Is
I found this out in the most unusual way. A few months back before I had finished the BB website outline, a homegirl of mine (who is Korean, and a bit fair skinned at that) reached out to me and said, “You have to do a BB blog…us Brown girls need something like that.”
I was completely thrown off by her idea that she too, was a Brown girl. For her, I realized, finding someone who looked like her, shared the same beauty issues as she did or just felt the same way about being excluded from the everyday mainstream beauty conversation was just as important as finding a blog or magazine that focused solely on Asian women. How intriguing that she, a woman who shares no common physical attributes with me, felt just as attached to being a Brown girl as I did?
For the Most Part, Women of Color Share the Same Beauty Issues
The same way she connected to Beautifully Brown and it’s message and image representation, is the same way I’ve connected to Glam Belleza Latina’s overall beauty conversation and message.
The reinforcement of hue and complexion inclusiveness is beyond uplifting and necessary and GBL has figured this out. No, they haven’t and aren’t expected to put any other celebrity or model on their cover besides one that is of Latina decent. They have an audience they are dedicated to, and for that we must respect them. But, they didn’t have to include the range of hues of Latina (and sometimes Black women) that they have. They could have easily, always and only had fair skinned Latina women on their covers, gracing the majority of their beauty spreads and being the highlight of their features. But, they didn’t do that. And for that, I’m forever a fan of Glam Belleza Latina.
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