Well, this is a mess. Fashion magazine Cosmopolitan is under fire for an image gallery they published earlier this year which featured “21 Beauty Trends That Need To Die In 2015.” For the most part, the piece was typical Cosmo fluff, except for one minor detail: a few of the side by side photos featured Black celebrities rocking the trend that was marked “RIP” and the White celebrities in the opposite photo were marked, “Hello Gorgeous!”
Many critics have chomped down on Cosmo’s neck, claiming the inclusion of Black stars rocking the trends they wanted to slaughter this year was racist. This article was originally published in January. It could have been changed or this could be the original piece.
The article’s resurgence has seen some serious backlash, but does this 21 image gallery with four of the images featuring Black women show an obvious bias against women of color? Or are people overreacting and jumping on the popular outraged opinion?
It’s already rare that we see ourselves in mainstream fashion magazines and Cosmo is known to feature beautiful Black women like Naomi Campbell, Nicki Minaj, Tyra Banks and Beyoncé on the cover. And it’s more about the celebrity power punch they pack rather than actual, real attempts at inclusion.
Getting angry at a gallery that’s not actually killing Black women is an interesting stand to take. It bears repeating that four of the 21 photos feature Black women. Perhaps Cosmo should have considered using Black women on the “Hello Gorgeous” side? Could that have been a better approach at inclusion?
The fashion industry is where diversity goes to die and Cosmo’s display of what could be considered by many as casual racism is just one small testimony of how undervalued faces of color are, not only in fashion, but in the world at large.
Cosmo has yet to release a statement on the matter. Perhaps the mag was simply trying to show diversity in the images, but regardless, it was a major fail–considering the amount of backlash.
What do you think? Is Cosmo racist or displaying diversity?