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I credit having two older sisters with my falling in love with EVERYTHING BEAUTY. Watching two fashionistas while growing up turned out to be a seduction of my interests. I was quite the tomboy until 8th grade  then it began. As a teen, I began to devour every beauty editorial in all of the top fashion magazines: Vogue©, Elle©, Essence©, Cosmopolitan©, Harpers Bazaar© and Seventeen. I could not get enough. I was ever-willing to spend my last $10 on an eyebrow pencil and two fashion rags. I would spend hours at the nearest store to browse the make-up lines and become familiar with every tool there was. I learned to sew at a very young age (Mommy made sure), so this was the time I started designing and sewing my own outfits to wear to school. So of course I had to have nails and eye shadow to match. If my blouse had black and white stripes or a checkered pattern, then so did my nails and eyes. Eventually becoming a NAIL TECHNICIAN & MAKE-UP ARTIST was a natural progression.

Friday, July 30, 2010

ESSENCE Magazine, Our Voice?

The binding edge of ESSENCE Magazine says - WHERE BLACK WOMEN COME FIRST!

Where we are 1st. Where we look 1st. Where we are the 1st image considered for presentation. Where we see ourselves 1st. Where we 1st graced EVERY cover. Where our history is 1st for dialogue. Where our many cultures are 1st to be glorified. Where we celebrate our rich history in America, 1st. Where major advertisers were 1st forced to produce ads that reflected our looks, culture & our American experience. Where these advertisers then paid for ad-space they would have 1st  disregarded us in - were for the 1st time forced to reconsider their creative direction. Forced to see us 1st.

I am confident in Elianna Placas' abilities to be a very successful & proficient Fashion Director - in general. Her resume` speaks for itself. I do not wish to whisk her away in the spirit of "Affirmative Action". [sic] In fact, I look forward to her performance  being a 2-handed slam dunk -  in this capacity as a Fashion Director of a major U.S. lifestyle publication. YET...

The issue is this...

How likely is it that Elianna Placas ?:

_Identifies with years & years of not being able to find jeans that fit.
_Understands the feeling of not being able to wear foundation make-up that truly matched her skin.
_Knows the complete shame felt because her image is hardly, if ever seen in fashion, beauty, TV & film.
_Experienced the realization that celebrities of her heritage were/are not worthy of being considered a standard of beauty.
_Could not find swimwear that flattered her body type.
_Felt the frustration of near total exclusion within the industry (fashion) that she loves...
_Saw the ridiculousness in the 1st main-stream acceptance of our glorious rumps being heaped onto Jennifer Lopez.

It goes on & on. The fashion filter through our specific history & specific perspective is a unique one. Someone who may NOT HAVE BEEN IMMERSED IN THE CULTURE IS NOT QUITE AS LIKELY TO CONSIDER THESE THINGS as they convey the desires of the readership.  Someone who lives/lived the culture stands at the ready. Not to ignore our over-all progress in the least.  In its' extreme power, progress does not erase history.

Whatever has caused this to be, whether it be pressure from Time/Warner, whether she's good friends with ESSENCE'S Editor in Chief, whether ESSENCE actually seeks to, as Roland Martin hinted - be thee most progressive publication, whether the politics of corporate America have reared their ugly head again...
I wish there had been enough sensitivity on the part of Time/Warner & the ESSENCE EIC to honor & acknowledge the lack of inclusion of people of color in main-stream media/culture/arts/entertainment & the American experience as a whole.

It feels like we, AGAIN have been ignored, our buying power AGAIN disregarded, AGAIN we are not competent enough to be...in charge of the sound, tenor, tone, resonance, octaves of...


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