Saturday, May 05, 2007
Trapped in The Folds: The Problem with Today's Magazine Covers
(Model, Chanel Iman, on the Cover fold of Vogue)
American Vogue's recent "The Worlds Next Top Models" cover got us thinking about a problem that has been plaguing the publishing industry since someone got the grand idea of extending a magazine's cover: The Fold.
"The Fold" has always suggested that the person(s) who occupied that space were either (a) not quite famous enough to carry a cover (b) not quite cute enough for the much-coveted front page or (c) just too "ethnic."
(Actresses Rosario Dawson, Ziyi Zhang and Kerry Washington in the Fold of Vanity Fair)
Whatever the case, literally marginalizing (particularly) black people to the folds is a practice that is not only archaic but slighting. It's gotten to the point where anytime we see a magazine with a fold, we can assume that at least one person of color is included on it. Either an individual makes the cover or they don't, and relegating us to the 'well, you almost made it' space is no real consolation.
(All 3 Heroes cast members of African descent, Noah Gray-Cabey, Leonard Roberts and Tawny Cypress find themselves in the fold)
So to Vogue, Elle, Vanity Fair, Emmy and others who come from the 'push 'em to the right' school of publication, we'd like to let you know that we're watching and we're definitely aware...