It’s breathtaking. It’s fabulous. And, it’s still, sadly, very new to see.
Black models in mainstream magazines.
In their August 2015 issue, W Magazine features an all-Black model ensemble in a fall fashion spread entitled “Natural Selection.” Shot by Emma Summerton in New York City, W’s fashion and style director, Edward Enninful, laced the models in the yet to be seen, upcoming seasonal trends. Consisting of reverse layering, high slits, cropped flared pants, pastel colors, bold prints, oversized outerwear, belted and double breasted jackets and midi dresses and skirts, the spread was by all means, jaw-dropping.
But, it was also a surprise, making digital headline news amongst competing sites anxious to spread the word that W Magazine had (oh my God!) Black girls gracing their glossy pages.
Oh, and not just one or two Black girls that kind of look mixed or are lighter skinned. No, these were Black girls in various hues with various hair textures! (I’m hoping you’re picking up on my sarcasm, here)
This, once again, is unnecessarily digital headline news.
While I loved the fact that the all-Black model cast was thrown in front of a demographic that probably doesn’t see us adorned in high-end fashion that often, if ever, I also felt frustrated.
Ajak Deng, Amilna Estvao, Anais Mali, Aya Jones, Binx Walton and Tami Williams look fabulous. But, aren’t we a bit tired of Black models in magazines (or on covers of them) being “news”? There should be nothing groundbreaking about seeing us in magazines anymore. Seriously, it’s 2015.
I never want to take away the accolades and accomplishments that Black people as a whole have achieved. And, I for sure don’t want to take away the strides that Blacks in media have progressed to make. But, I do feel like there has got to be a point where we stop feeling excited about seeing ourselves on covers of magazines and even on TV, and instead expect it.
After flipping through the glossy, glammed up pages filled by the beautiful Black beauties, I silently put down my blow horn and tossed out my party hat.
They look beautiful, but I didn’t feel like I was jumping for joy anymore, I felt like I was settling.