Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Diversity Roll Call: Magazines & Lit Journals

I was at the salon the other day without a book (what was I thinking?). I ended up perusing a few magazines while waiting for my hairdresser to work her magic on me, and--

By the way, is it my imagination, or has Cosmo changed a lot since the eighties? Because I could swear there used to be an occasional issue that didn't read like the Kama Sutra.

--Wait, that's not where I was going with this. Focus, Ali.

In these days of controversy over "whitewashing" in the publishing industry, I looked at the magazines at the salon from a different perspective. I know some magazines target people of certain ethnicities or hues, but is there such a thing as a truly diverse magazine? Or one that at least aims in that direction? What about The New Yorker, does it aim for diversity? (I'll admit, I wouldn't know. I still haven't gotten past my childhood resentment at all those New Yorkers in waiting rooms and on airplanes, full of cartoons that weren't remotely funny. The nerve!).

So, your assignment is to do one of the following sometime in the next couple of weeks or so:

1) Take a look at the magazines or literary journals you read. If you don't read them, pick one up from the library just for the heck of it. Look at the ads, the photo spreads, the authors and subjects of the articles. Do people of color exist in the world this publication presents to its readers? How about gays, lesbians, or people with physical differences?

2) Do you know of a magazine or journal that does embrace diversity? Be it high brow or low brow, tell us about it. If you don't know of any, do a little digging. They've got to be out there.

To participate in this Diversity Roll Call, co-hosted by Susan of Color Online and myself, please add a link directly to your post.


  1. I think hte New Yorker tries to appeal to all races of rich people :-)

  2. I don't read many magazines, but I was doing a project so got a couple of copies of Seventeen and Teen and was pleasantly surprised by how diverse the models they use in their ads and articles are.

    I won't be participating in this challenge, but I just thought I'd share that.

  3. I'm glad to hear it, Akilah. Relieved, actually. I'm sure those magazines have changed quite a bit since I last read them!