Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Stand and deliver: Black Vogue or your life

I arrived back from Jamaica at the beginning of the month to find copious emails, Facebook messages and text messages urging me to go and buy a copy of Vogue Italia's 'A Black Issue' - the much talked about July issue featuring predominantly black models. Now don't get me wrong; I was just as excited as the next man. But I found all the hoopla and hype concerning the magazine a little confusing. After all, a 300 + page glossy, no matter how breathtaking the images, was never going to put an end to racial discrimination, injustice and all the myriad issues we face in the black community now was it? So why the bizarre, evangelical praise over an overpriced fashion rag?

Who knows, maybe it was the fact that the hallowed issue landed right on the tail of the whole Obama Democratic party leader victory, subsequently duping peeps into believing that it was of much greater significance than it actually is. Or is it me? Am I just being an old cynic? Well that just may be the case because according to this article published in the Guardian recently, branches of WH Smiths around the country are being bum-rushed by hordes of screaming black women trying to locate a copy. Well silly lasses, they should have come to me first. Rich picked up a copy at a Waterloo newsagents and was so spoilt for choice that he called me to ask advice on which of the covers to get (we agreed on the Naomi one in the end, might be worth a bob or two in years to come). But in all honesty, by the time I actually saw the finished product I felt as if I'd seen the majority of images online anyway, so it was a bit of an anti-climax. Not to discredit the editors though, the photography is absolutely divine and it it's indeed rare and refreshing to see so many beautiful and diverse images of black in a thick, bound, glossy overflowing with elaborate, high-budget ad campaigns.

I'm just hoping this wave of hysteria surrounding black images in magazines will continue long after the Italian Vogue hype subsides. There's a group on Facebook called Black Magazine Support Group that does what is says on the can - supports and promotes black magazine titles who struggle to gain exposure. In my opinion magazines like Colures produce beautiful photoshoots on a par with the mainstream fashion titles. And of course at Pride we strive to produce quality images on a minuscule budget, and do a pretty fine job I might hasten to add (okay, so I may be biased slightly). So please support us. We're a lot more gentle on the purse strings, and and at least you'll actually be able to read the articles... 

1 comment:

Janice aka Miss Mad News said...

I refused to get excited. Vogue was just throwing us a bone. In 2008 we get one whole issue to ourselves. Wooptie do! Let's all shuck and jive in the streets!

The issue has now come and gone, so I'm guessing its back to business as usual!

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I am a thirty-something African Caribbean female from South East London. My blog will shine a light on Black British culture offering the best in entertainment, fashion, beauty, community, film & music, with the occasional personal musing thrown in from yours truly. Thank you for taking out the time to peek into the pages of my diary. Now grab a cup of cocoa, relax and enjoy.