I was eight years old when I fell in love with magazines. The glossy pages, slightly sticky and heavily scented perfume samples, and the supermodels in insanely decadent haute couture designs drew me in from the very start. But even as a kid, I noticed something missing: people who looked like me and the women in my life. Aside from Essence, I rarely saw women of color.
There's always been a myth that brown faces don't sell copies. Even if you've got a big, buzzy project out, all priority seems to go to the A-listers with the long, blonde or brown hair and fair skin. According to Fashionista, only 31.3% of 2017's major magazine covers (including Allure, Cosmopolitan, Vogue, and Elle) featured people of color. Which is progress from the late '90s, but there's still a lot of work to be done.
Thankfully, we're happy to report that the tide is changing. It's not uncommon to see natural hair, dark skin, and curvy bodies peering up at you from your local bookstore or the airport today. Each cover is hard proof that the industry's standards of beauty are finally changing... which gives something for the next generation to look forward to. See July and August 2018's brown and Black cover stars, ahead.